E11 - Megi Terziu at Anglia Ruskin University12 July, 2023
Today on The Route to Networking podcast, our Network Consultant Holly Staff was joined by Megi Terziu, a Cyber Security Student at ARU. Megi shares her experience studying in a heavily male-dominated space, from her college days to her degree, she shares it all! It was great to have our first student on the podcast and get a different angle on what it’s like being a female student in an industry like this one.
So where did it all begin for Megi? Back in her college days, her course was very IT-based and in the beginning, she was interested in the computing side. When she was doing her level 3 she had a couple of modules in Networking and she found she was passionate about it. In her second year, the course was split between three technologies, which is when she decided to go down the Networking path. Her love for Networking comes from the thought processes that go into it. It makes you think and it’s not just straightforward, it requires problem-solving and curiosity.
During her college days, there were originally a couple of girls on the course, but they ended up dropping out, leaving her the only girl on the course from the start to the finish. The transition from college to university was intense. In college, her level 3 is where she was introduced to many things, not just programming but the creative side. They gave her the choice to create video-style projects, so thinking her creative side would come out, chose that. She ended up hating it so when it was time to go into her second semester, she chose to go into Networking and take the technical route as opposed to the creative route.
Although her course is still very much male-dominated, she has seen a huge difference since her college days. The lack of exposure to the Networking space is the reason why there are only a handful of girls on her course and there is still so much that needs doing.
Going into her 3rd year in only a matter of months is both incredibly nerve-wracking and exciting. She is well aware that it will get harder and more advanced, but they have already been given their briefs. They will be creating viruses and hacking one another in a safe environment, so in other words ‘ethical hacking’. This is so they get used to how people create viruses so they can learn and stop them.
When it comes to her home life, Megi’s parents are incredibly supportive, but they weren’t always sure that she was making the right decision. They didn’t quite agree with it at the beginning due to their background and the country they’re originally from. They questioned her if she was sure that it was what she wanted to do and once she started to prove herself, get the grades and win student of the year, they were beyond proud, and it confirmed that she is exactly where she needs to be.
To hear a brilliant quick-fire round, tune in now to listen to the full episode.