Veteran, UW Student Finds New Passion in Cybersecurity Career

UW Cybersecurity MS student, Sheilah Fondran has navigated an untraditional path into cybersecurity. Shortly after graduating high school, she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Then, Sheilah worked as a construction supervisor in the Army National Guard for 18 years. During this time, she completed two deployments to Iraq and earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University. Later, she worked as the victim advocate coordinator for the Wisconsin National Guard and then as the sexual assault response coordinator for the Wyoming Military Department. After retiring from the military in 2016, Sheilah’s career took her to various managerial positions at Amazon and in the manufacturing industry.

When health and family obligations made it clear that Sheilah needed to find remote work, she started looking into master’s programs that would help her make a career change from management to cybersecurity.

“I was seeing all the news reports about ransomware attacks, and I thought that cybersecurity was an underserved field,” Sheilah said. “I knew that I had the capabilities to make a transition, and I was looking for a career that was more meaningful to me.”

Read more of Sheilah’s story.

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