| 16 January 2023

Meet Lord Thabet, graduate member and network engineer

Lord is passionate about technology and network security. She chats to us about her pathway into cybersecurity and why volunteering has been an important part of her growth.  

What inspired you to study telecommunication (network) engineering?  

My family and I arrived in Australia in 2016. This was when I started discovering my real passion for technology and understanding how it’s becoming a major part of our lives. At the same time, my brothers were studying engineering honours degrees for the second time because my family was forced to leave Mosul in 2014 and they were about to finish their degrees.  

I saw the determination in my brothers as they studied for their bachelor’s degree twice to become professional engineers. I started looking in the fields of telecommunication and mechatronics. I discovered how important telecommunication is. Not only can we help people to get the best internet service, but we can also understand the fundamentals of networking to help secure and protect people’s data. 

You have had a few internships in the cybersecurity and network space. What have been some of the highlights to-date?  

In December 2020, I began a three-month internship with Optus, and from day one I loved how the cybersecurity team works day and night to keep everyone’s data secured. After one month, I discovered my passion in cybersecurity, and it is the field in which I want to continue my career.  

In February 2022, I began a role with Hearing Australia as ICT graduate intern. My role was in the security and network team, where I started developing my skills in these areas. A major highlight was when I was promoted to a security analyst (network) in December.  

I’m glad I took the cybersecurity intern role at Optus and I’m looking forward to many more years in the security and network space at Hearing Australia. 

What have you gained from volunteering with Engineers Australia’s student ambassador program?  

From the moment I started volunteering for Engineers Australia I felt welcomed, and I was given the space to initiate ideas and implement them. Most of my ideas were focused on networking, not only to connect engineering students but to the industry as well.  

Through volunteering I gained leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. Most importantly I gained happiness and satisfaction within myself while seeing other engineering students benefit from the activities we do.  

Why is it important for you to be involved in volunteering for the future of network engineering? 

In my experience, most school students don’t know much about engineering, especially network and security engineering. Therefore, volunteering to educate them about these disciplines will, I hope, prove useful for their future. I will be able to give students the opportunity to discover their real passions, but also give them the time and resources to develop their skills in this area. 

What advice do you have for other young engineers who may be in a similar position to yourself?  

I would like to give them the advice that I used to start my security career: don’t be scared to start a new field and to try something new because engineering is all about new things. Technology is developing rapidly and if we don’t improve ourselves in a short time, we will see ourselves being left behind. Engineering might be difficult sometimes, but it is important to remember nothing meaningful is easy.