E22- Sonica Lama at Continental Finance Company03 August, 2023
On today’s episode of the Women in Tech spin-off series, we are joined by our host Libby Stein and special guest Sonia Lama, Cyber Security Analyst at Continental Finance Company. During this episode, Sonica shares her experiences relocating from Nepal to the USA and some of the trials and tribulations she faced along the way. The pair also discuss some of the exciting things Sonica is looking to do outside of work in the future.
Sonica’s journey into the world of cybersecurity started when she was exposed to the field through the IQ4 Corporation’s internship program as an IT Mixed Analyst. The program offered her a real-world case scenario involving a threat attack, and she was fortunate to have experienced mentors guiding her through the process. The effect of this internship was prominent, leading her to stay in touch with her mentors even after it ended.
Eager to dive deeper into the cybersecurity space, she went after an opportunity to expand her knowledge. She secured a position at LIFARS, a cybersecurity consultancy, as a content writer. While researching and writing articles on cybersecurity topics, she began to gain a wide understanding of the industry.
Becoming a SOC Analyst
Having set her sights on becoming a SOC analyst, she realised she lacked the skills required for the role. So, for 3 months, she enrolled in online classes, gaining the skills to excel in the position she wanted. She also sought guidance from SOC analysts on LinkedIn, to grab their advice on their experiences etc. She started applying for SOC roles and landed a position after just three months of effort where she stayed for almost 2 years.
Continental Finance Company
A recruiter from Continental Finance Company approached her with an opportunity in a different sector. Seeing this as a chance to be more challenged, she accepted the offer.
A Brave Step into the Unknown
For many, moving to a foreign country can be a life-altering experience filled with excitement and challenges. Sonica’s journey from Nepal to the USA was no exception. This relocation played a huge role in shaping her current career path, opening doors to a number of opportunities that would have been difficult to come by in her home country.
At the age of 19, Sonica took a brave step into the unknown, leaving Nepal to study in the USA. The decision to move alone undoubtedly came with a mix of excitement and fear but a huge opportunity, nonetheless.
Women in Tech
Sonica has been fortunate to avoid skillset stereotyping based on her gender. Despite this, she has still experienced the effects of being a woman in the workplace. From her perspective, she highlights the challenges women encounter, such as confidence-building and career progression, while also navigating cultural differences and language barriers as an immigrant in the tech world.
Her advice to those looking to enter the industry is continuous learning is key to staying relevant and competitive. In a society that often defines individuals by their job titles, she advises women not to let their professional roles define their entire identity. And finally, feedback and constructive criticism are powerful tools for growth.
Tune in to the full episode on the 03/08/2023!