Amanda Fennell was recently appointed as the Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Information Officer of Prove. With a background in improving security measures for various companies, Amanda brings a wealth of expertise to this position. In this interview, Amanda shares her motivations for joining Prove and her plans for the future.
1. There are a lot of great companies on your resume including Booz Allen Hamilton, Symantec, and most recently Relativity. What attracted you to Prove?
I thought really long and hard about what I wanted my next step to be for my career. Who I wanted to work for and with, what I wanted to help create, and the value I was best at providing. After many months of seeking the right challenge, it was a lot like dating- it just felt like this was the right place for me. It’s a fast-paced place where we are all moving to solve complex problems in creative ways. I knew I wanted to be a part of this and I knew it was something special. The best advice I ever got in looking for your next role is to go where you are wanted and needed. You are sometimes one without the other. Here? I feel wanted and needed. So I finally swiped right.
2. You’re currently a professor at Tulane University. What advice do you give to young people who are considering a career in cybersecurity?
First, only go into this field if you are a truly curious person. People who come into it to earn a paycheck as a goal will be miserable because there is always something new to learn or work on. It’s incredibly challenging and you will rarely feel like you have reached a point of knowing everything. To that point, embrace change. People who struggle with change will have a hard time in any tech industry role. Lastly, education is just one part of the pie. You should also be looking into certifications, training opportunities, and most of all– be FUN to work with! If you are, you will find you always have great jobs and teams you work on.
3. You live in New Orleans. What’s your favorite part of living in the Big Easy? What is the tech scene like there?
I do live here but I admit I have spent much of my tech scene time in Chicago these last 5 years. When in New Orleans I am typically focused on the food and music. The Chicago tech scene is very much developed and I am actually in a group that runs a free cybersecurity conference every year to bring everyone together for training and collaboration! (Chibrrcon.com)
4. What’s your number one priority in your new role at Prove?
Have fun. It’s horrible to admit but deep diving into everything and setting our technology strategy is fun for me and I hope for all around me. This is what we came here to do- solve complex things and have fun while we do it.
Thanks, Amanda, and welcome to Prove!
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