With life being in constant flux, the time has come again to say goodbye to some of the best people I’ve worked with (both students and lecturers), the admin staff, cleaners and catering people, the girls behind the counter at Greggs, The Potters, and to what used to be the University of Wales, Newport (now the University of South Wales). It’s a place I’ve become very attached to during the time I was there.
Much has happened over the last three years, but it seems like only a month ago that I was sat in the lecture theatre during the induction, thick as a short plank (really, I was) and feeling quite lost watching several PhDs run through stuff about academic standards, Harvard referencing and whatnot – it was a whole new level to what I’ve encountered before.
This was my introduction to a technical field that, like maths, engineering and physics, I thought only the super-intelligent could graduate in, but I found that anyone who puts in enough hours study (in what they call ‘Self Directed Learning’) will find things much easier. Largely it was down to motivation, and the rest was down to some exceptionally hardworking and gifted lecturers providing the groundwork. I’m very confident that next years’ graduates will do even better.
The degree course itself, being one of the ‘hacking’ programmes that appeared on the scene a few years ago, was also very different to my original perception of it. A good 90% covered networking, systems administration, criminology, a bit of coding and management. Far more than I’ve been able to post on this blog. Pretty much the entirety of the last 9 months was spent developing the practical skills, which is important because I’ve always maintained the belief that anyone in the INFOSEC field should actually have a decent amount of exposure to whatever technologies they’re dealing with.
What happens next? I don’t know for certain where I’ll be in several months’ time (or even if I’ve passed yet), but hopefully it’ll be a position in which I’m able to prove the university and its lecturers were (and still are) among the finest in the country.