Thank you to our first group of Cyber Academy graduates

Thank you to the first cohort of our Cyber Academy

Always on, helping to educate the next generation.

Earlier this year Secon announced we were welcoming a group of security interns in their final year at St Paul University Philippines into our team to help them kick-start a career in cyber security. Now, we’re happy to report that our five interns have successfully graduated from the inaugural Secon Cyber Academy.

Throughout the programme, the interns learned about the fundamentals of cyber security from our team of security engineers, along with how each department works together to contribute to Secon’s success. 

As part of the course, each participant completed trainings around core cyber security concepts, emerging technologies, email threat analysis, case handling, escalation procedures, and more. The trainees also attended sessions that covered soft skills and communication to help prepare them for all aspects of their future careers.

Dr. Allan Peejay Lappay, St Paul University Director for Alumni, External Relations, and Advocacies, commented,

The Secon Cyber Academy is a future-proof programme which transcends university education. The classroom to industry bridged immersion is an enormous assurance that the interns will indeed start right in their chosen careers. We thank Secon for having St Paul University Philippines as a staunch partner and maiden recipient for this noble advocacy.

Mars Cacacho, Secon Academy Lead, has expressed that leading the first cohort has been an invaluable experience for him. “It’s a humbling experience to be instruments in bridging theory and textbook learning to actual industry application,” he said. “We didn’t just provide them an ideal environment for immersion, the coaching sessions with Secon employees became an eye opener for them to realise what career they really ought to pursue.”

April Agapor, Secon Learning and Development Lead, added that although there were a lot of challenges and lessons learned along the way, she feels “so blessed that I’ve been given the opportunity to train and mentor our first Secon Cyber Academy cohort. I cherished the times they were pro-actively participating in the exercises where I had to create live-like environments for them to learn, which pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone.”

A picture of the first group of our Cyber Academy graduates with Mars Cacacho
Pictured from left to right: Jonas Gabriel Rivera, Fritze Allen Rae Malana, Miguel Francis Gamiao, Alyssa Jane Villanueva, Mars Cacacho, Francis Prim Pagunuran

When talking about his experience, one intern, Fritze Allen Rae Malana, said, “as a person who had little to zero knowledge about cyber security, I have learned so much about it in my few months stay, from theoretical textbook knowledge to actual application and how the industry works. It showed me that I have so much to learn, and it’s never too late to continue learning. [Secon’s] shared experiences inspired me to strive harder, look forward to building my future and achieve my goals, not only career wise, but also develop as a person.”

Jonas Gabriel Rivera, another one of our interns, remarked that he is grateful for all the practical knowledge he gained during the programme, but also particularly enjoyed interacting with each of Secon’s different teams. “I was able to observe how the organisation functions as a community, as well as the individual differences that contribute to the community’s continued improvement and growth. I appreciate the fact that I was given the chance to take on substantial responsibilities, which allowed me to obtain a depth of knowledge that I would not have gotten from a classroom alone.”

Francis Prim Pagunuran thanked everyone from Secon for the experience and the lessons he’s learned, including “how cyber security and this company plays in the modern world, and in figuring out how we shape our own future.” He continued,

I hope that I and my co-interns have somewhat contributed to the company’s growth and paved way for the Learning & Development department. Training newbies like us is more than a corporate social responsibility; it is a blessing and a gift to us.

Thank you to every one of our interns who joined us this year and we hope you enjoyed your first glimpse into the world of cyber security. Also, thank you to our Learning & Development team and St Paul University Philippines who put in a huge amount of work to bring this initiative to life.  Hopefully this experience has had as profound an impact on the interns as it has on our own team. 

“Training is not my expertise but the interns’ willingness to learn inspired me, so I showed them that their decision to join was worth it,” April  Agapor said. “The best part is, I learned to channel the positive in them, making me push things forward and having the courage to take action for them because my success is their success. Seeing them go from being reserved to becoming confident, successful, and an essential part of the business is the greatest reward I could ever have.”

Ultimately, Mars Cacacho put it perfectly when he said,

The most heart-warming part of this programme is we get to listen to appreciations from the University, [the interns’] parents, and the community. We may not have realised it fully yet, but we have just changed their lives.

Secon is planning on launching the second Cyber Academy cohort in Q1 of 2023, giving us time to scout for new partners and streamline the Academy’s curriculum throughout the rest of 2022. If you’re interested in partnering with us for future cohorts, please click here to contact us.