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Ross Hepplewhite

Cyber security apprentice
Global Services

About you:

I am 25 years old and in the final year of my Cyber Security Apprenticeship within BT Security. I left high school when I was 17 and gained a HNC. I worked for 6 years becoming a chemistry research assistant before deciding it wasn’t a career path for me. I have always enjoyed technology and learning about networking, so IT was something I knew I wanted to get into. I saw a new programme advertised on the BT Apprenticeship webpage for Apprenticeships within Cyber Security. It mentioned gaining a foundation degree along with an NVQ\SVQ Framework. I am now a Global Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Security Analyst, working with commercial customers protecting them from DDoS attacks.

Explain why you chose an apprenticeship:

Throughout high school I knew University was not for me, and an Apprenticeship was my preferred path. For me working on what you are learning is the whole point of an apprenticeship, and really helps solidify your academic studies. I enjoy the balance of working and studying. I had no experience in the field of cyber security, and I knew an Apprenticeship would give me the time to develop the skills via on the job learning and education.

What do you consider your greatest achievements and future plans for your career?

My greatest achievement so far would be my Distinction grade for the Foundation Degree. I had initially set out to achieve a merit grade, but I enjoyed what I was learning and it showed in my results. I have just become a Global DDoS Security Analyst, therefore my future plans are to get established in my role within the team, and aim to be specialist in this area. I am also currently working towards certification of the CompTIA Network+ accreditation, to further enhance my skills and career.

Are you pleased you chose an apprenticeship?

Definitely! I have gained a Foundation Degree in Communication Systems, Security and Computing (without any student debt). I will gain an SVQ Diploma for Information Security Professionals, and currently doing an industry recognized networking training course. I have hosted an event for all cyber security apprentices in Scotland and the north of England, attended career fairs to share my story, and have taken part in helping students learn about cyber security. I’m looking forward to my future in BT, and furthering my career after my Apprenticeship.

Do you see yourself staying in BT?

I do see myself staying at BT. Before I joined my Apprenticeship I always saw BT as a company where employees had careers, and now I am part of BT I can definitely see it has a wide varying selection of job roles. Technology is always changing with new aspects coming out all the time, so I know there will be plenty to learn as my career progresses and the Cyber space evolves.

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