Alexis White attended cyber camps as a child at the Air Force where her mother was stationed. It was there that she picked interest in cybersecurity. A few years down the line, White has made history in the state of Louisiana as the first person ever to earn a degree in cybersecurity.
“My journey was not easy, but it was achievable,” White said, according to WLBT. “If you can get yourself to think positively, keep going no matter the opposition, and just do it, it can be done.”
White initially enrolled into Grambling State University’s biology program even though when she was in Ruston high school, she was part of the robotics team. Even in their freshman year at Grambling, she participated in Louisiana’s Tech’s Cyber Security Camp.
The university introduced its cybersecurity program along the line and knowing she had an interest in the field, White dared to transfer her major from biology unto the program knowing very well she would have to do twice the work if she intended on graduating.
According to the school’s website, the Grambling State Department of Cybersecurity offers “comprehensive undergraduate level training…[tackling] cyber-related endangers, [raising] the awareness of digital data security, and promoting responsible citizenship in a changing world.”
Her professors have been full of praises for her especially since she crammed the course in and graduated in two years. “Even though she transferred to this department, she worked hard and had internships in a lot of other places. She participated in many programs and actually took many of my classes. So, she’s graduating, I think we are proud of her for being the first graduate,” said Dr. Yenumula Reddy, Cybersecurity Professor at GSU.
The STEM lover put all her energy into her new program and went on work placements while on the program. She is yet to complete her Clinton Global Initiative internship classwork, which she nearly missed because of her grandmother’s ailment.
On the day of the interview for an apprenticeship as a cyber-analyst in governance risk and compliance at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, White was contemplating on canceling but decided to go and hopefully make her grandmother and family proud. She got the internship but got home to the sad news that her nan had passed away.
“So, the next day she actually passed away. So I didn’t get a chance to tell her but she knew what I was doing, and so after that, I got the email saying that I had gotten the position, the cybersecurity position with governance, risk, and compliance. So just to say, I am so happy that I was able to get that position and to make my family proud,” White told reporters.