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Volunteers help showcase cybersecurity careers for students

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By: Megan Wilson, Global Client Lead

Our Auckland team hosted  more than 50 high school-age students in a fun and educational event that highlighted career pathways in cybersecurity and technology.

The event involved Palo Alto Networks and Vodafone NZ, in conjunction with Fibre Fale and The Rising Foundation. Using role models at our organizations, we helped show the students—all of whom were from Maori and Pacific Islander backgrounds—that similar careers in cybersecurity and information technology were possible for them.

Opening with a panel session featuring our own Rogan Mallon, the students heard first-hand how the panelists got into the industry, what their jobs were like and why they enjoy doing what they do.

The students then broke into four groups and did rotations through break-out sessions. Palo Alto Networks hosted two sessions, with the first talking about the company and how we keep our customers secure, as well as showcasing what opportunities there are in our kind of organization. The second session was a Cyber A.C.E.S. module which had the students thinking deeply about their own online behavior and safety. 

The feedback we received from Fibre Fale and The Rising Foundation was extraordinary. The students LOVED the day and were buzzing the whole way home. They also were really pleased that we helped to change some perceptions the students had and a number of them closed the day out saying they would consider this industry as a career path. 

Our New Zealand team was just awesome and the energy they brought to the day couldn't have been better. A massive thanks to Vasely, Rogan, Sabrina, Antonia and Mark for giving up their day to spend with these students. 

There was no hesitation from any of the parties that this style of event is something to repeat in 2023 with some small tweaks (naturally).

We are also finalizing The Rising Foundation's enrollment in Benevity/MySmile so all of the Palo Alto Networks volunteers can log their hours before the end of the calendar year.

Such a great story and outcome. Well done team!

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