Building Bridges to Equal Opportunities
Motivated by connecting with others and a keen interest in helping and protecting people and organizations from cyberattacks, Harshini Chellasamy is taking steps to provide underrepresented populations with a pathway to IT and Cybersecurity careers.Harshini Chellasamy (ITM/M.A.S. CYF 5th year)
As a guest speaker for the InteGirls Detroit Women in STEM panel, Harshini Chellasamy spoke with high school girls about her experience as an IT and Cybersecurity student at Illinois Tech. She answered questions about her on-campus leadership experience and provided students with resources to help them get started in cybersecurity.
“My academic experience provided me with great knowledge of IT and Cybersecurity issues and prepared me well for public speaking opportunities,” Harshini says. “From my experience as a panelist, I learned that I have the power to make a positive impact on others.”
She was recently accepted as a mentor for a nonprofit organization called iMentor, which aims to bridge the education gap for high school students in low-income communities, who may be the first in their families to go to university. Harshini has been matched with a high school student from Chicago Public Schools to mentor over a three-year period.
“It is so important that we all protect ourselves in this increasingly digital world” she says. “I am dedicated to spreading cybersecurity awareness and encouraging students to consider a career in this field."
Harshini is president of the Women in Cybersecurity student chapter at Illinois Tech, an organization dedicated to the advancement, recruitment, and retainment of women in cybersecurity. She has just launched a cybersecurity mentoring program on campus in efforts to spread awareness about cybersecurity and careers in cybersecurity.
Harshini has accepted a job with Deloitte as a Cyber Risk Analyst after graduation, and hopes to, one day,build her own business or nonprofit organization to provide services or products that make cybersecurity and internet safety accessible to all.