One of my personal goals in life is to help others, and I truly want to use my education and career to do that.
When I started college, I was completely unmotivated, and that showed in my grades. I attended Calhoun Community College right after graduating high school, but didn’t end up graduating for five years due to three major changes. Fortunately, my mother helped guide and direct me, and helped me choose a career path that was both motivating and stimulating.
I chose to come to Athens State as the next step in my education because my mother attended there and absolutely loved it! I had also interacted with some alumni before, and they were so genuinely kind and helpful. It was incredibly important to me that I attended a college where I felt surrounded by individuals who supported me and wanted to see me grow, and that is exactly what I found at Athens State!
When I started at Athens State, I originally planned to pursue a Business Management degree and specialize in something IT related. However, that changed when a Cyber Architect came to campus and gave a symposium on the landscape of Cybersecurity. I thought to myself that this must be fate because everything she talked about immediately interested and resonated with me. She also explained how there is a lack of women in the cybersecurity field, which motivated me even further to pursue cybersecurity as a career.
Immediately after the symposium, I contacted my professor and had my major changed the next day. I started my cybersecurity classes last fall and I have had the best time with them. I have loved every minute at Athens State. I genuinely enjoy the curriculum, the professors, the campus, and the friends that I have made along the way.
Right now, I’m a waitress at a local pizza restaurant and a work-study for Athens State’s College of Business. After I graduate, I hope to obtain a job in the cybersecurity field, preferably as a Cyber Analyst. I would also like to pursue my master’s degree and eventually my doctorate. I want to fully immerse myself in my career and continuously further my knowledge of cybersecurity because it is such a rapidly evolving field.
It is extremely important to me that I use my career to give back and show my appreciation for the help I have received during the duration of my college experience. I want to use my experience to promote equality and promote a deep kindness to all human beings. I also hope to inspire other women to follow their dreams because it is up to us to support and uplift one another to be successful and thrive. So many strong women have empowered and inspired me, and I would not be where I am today without the constant support of my family or the amazing University that I attend.
Kelsi is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and plans to join the Cyber Frontiers Club and Delta Mu Delta. She has earned her IBM Cyber Practitioner Badge, is a scholarship recipient, and recently made the President’s List. In addition to helping people through her work, Kelsi also dreams of traveling the world, adopting a ridiculous amount of animals, and building an animal sanctuary.