Podcast Transcript – Kenneth Nguyen
Today’s podcast features an interview with UNT alumnus Kenneth Nguyen, we asked him a few questions related to his program and to talk a little bit about his post-graduation career path.
We hope you’ll stay tuned. My name is Kenneth Nguyen, I graduated May of 2020 with a double major in accounting and business computer information systems, right now I am a cybersecurity consultant.
When you started at UNT, what were your plans for after graduation? Have these plans changed, if at all?
When I started at UNT, I came in as a accounting major just solely accounting with the intentions of doing my master’s and becoming a CPA. And when I got further into my program and learned more about the profession and got to talk to some people in that industry, I realized that it wasn’t really my thing. So, I decided to pursue a double major in IT. And I started exploring the industry and realized that cybersecurity was the most interesting industry in IT for me.
And so after graduation, my plans shifted to wanting to work as a cybersecurity professional.
What advice do you have for current students as they decide their next steps after graduation?
One main advice I have for prospective or current students is to get involved with clubs and it can either be a professional club or a club that interests them in any sort of Hobby and career-related being able to connect with like-minded people is really important, and you’ll get a lot out of that, not only from yourself personally, but career wise as well. Even if it’s not a career related club, you’ll meet people who may be the same major as you and they’ll help you out.
So overall, my main advice would be to get involved and start building a helpful network of people who you can rely on. And another thing that I think most students should check out is Toastmasters. It’s a club designed to hone your effective communication and public speaking abilities. It really helped me tremendously. And I’ve noticed that in the interviews that I went through for my internship, and you can find more information on it through the handshake portal and or you can just google UNT Toastmasters.
How did your program at UNT help you feel prepared for this role as a cybersecurity consultant? My accounting degree helps indirectly in that it doesn’t keep me tunnel visioned with just the technology, because at the end of the day, a company’s bottom line is their business and how it operates. And with that business background I have, I can see how the technology, the cybersecurity that I’m helping them implement affects them and how I’m able to convey that to them in a way that is important.
The BICS Business Computer Information Systems program at UNT is pretty general in that it didn’t focus on one thing. They introduce you to various aspects of IT. And I like this approach because. When you’re starting out, you don’t really know what you want to do specifically, and once you have that solid foundation, it’s easier to narrow things down a bit and start focusing on a few that you want to specialize in and with any opportunity, it’s what you make out of it.
You just have to seek out the help and do your research to get the most out of your program.
How did you find your current role? I found my role through UNT’s Handshake Portal. I applied there as well as the employer’s external application site. And when I was going through that process, I was also part of the UNT Cybersecurity Club. And a few of the officers in there, they also interned in the exact same position that I was applying for. And so I got their advice, their tips on what to do and, you know, connecting with them really helped my application process.
What was the toughest question you’ve been asked during an interview? It’s no particular question stood out. They were mostly you’ll mostly be asked typical behavioral questions. And if you’re doing something technical will be a technical interview or a case study alongside or your interview process. And for me, those additional case studies or. Or technical interviews were more difficult than just the standard behavioral questions that everybody starts out with. In the case studies and the technical interviews, they’re not really looking for the right answer, they just want to see how you approach a problem and how you convey the solution.
But also, at the end of every interview, the interviewer is going to ask you, do you have any questions for me? And. That would probably be the hardest question, in my opinion, because it turns the table on you and kind of makes you. Basically, switched the tables on you and you have to be prepared for that. How has the career center helped you? Career Center helped me tremendously with my resume, specifically the College of Business Career Center.
They have a really nice resume template that a ton of interviewers have complimented me on. And of course, you’re going to take classes that will guide you through resume building. Those will help. But advice and guidance from the career center will be more tangible and beneficial. And your resume is really how you get your foot in the door. That’s how you land the interview. And the career center will definitely make sure that your resume can accomplish that.
Do you have any extra advice to share? I know the recruiting process in trying to get an interview, an internship or a job can be really tough and don’t be afraid to seek out advice, especially at the career center, or ask your friends about it. Getting additional information is really helpful, and people can give you feedback on what you need to do. Maybe they can take a look at your resume and kind of help you revise it.
Overall, I’d say don’t be afraid to seek out help during this sort of interview and application process.