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The Experiences from Challenges
April 16, 2016

Today, I participated in a competition that will probably be the last in my undergraduate career. For years, I found myself taking part in these cyber-related competitions for fun whether it’s about offensive security, defensive security, digital forensics, or information technology strategy.

The thing I love about these competitions are the challenges that are put out in front of me. The first cyber-related competition I competed on my own was back in 2012, which pretty much leads me to where I am today. What I learn in class isn’t enough, so I go beyond the classroom and try to learn more about cyber security through these events. An awesome example would be the fact that if it wasn’t for these competitions, my first exposure to Kali Linux would be in fall of 2015 rather than summer of 2012 (when it was known as Backtrack). I am thankful for the opportunities that are given to me and greatly value them.

Experiences Gained

I am okay with admitting that I’m not perfect with my performances in these competitions. Though, it feels great to place! The overall experiences I’ve gained are valuable and are worth the effort I’ve put in. Here are some experiences I’ve gained from these events:

  • Team-building and leadership skills
  • Public speaking / presenting skills
  • The feeling of commitment and accomplishment
  • New and hopefully everlasting friendships (👋🏻👋🏻 sahil)
  • Knowledge of the topics covered
  • How to recover from not placing
  • Knowing what hard work feels like
  • How to properly write and format a report
  • Utilization of problem-solving skills
  • Exposure to important tools in the field
  • The satisfaction of knowing I did my best
Today’s Competition

For the past couple of weeks, my team and I worked on a case study regarding IT practices within a company. We had to create a policy regarding managing mobile devices within a company and address some key issues. At the end, we had to present our proposal to a panel of judges at school. My team did exceptionally well in all phases of the competition and I’m proud of all of us. I participated in the same competition last year, but in the computer forensics category.

Maybe I should go find energy for two more capture the flag styled competitions… 

10 Responses

  1. Aigis ☆ April 16, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Whose Sahil?

    • Nancy ☆ April 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Not you!! ?

      • Aigis ☆ April 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm


        • Nancy ☆ April 16, 2016 at 11:19 pm

          *Sees the sunset running away from Aigis*

  2. Amy ☆ April 17, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Aww, it’s sad that it might be your last competition. It’ll be so exciting when you graduate though – all that hard work is bound to have paid off, especially with your grades!

    They competitions definitely sound like a lot of fun. We didn’t have anything like that at uni, unfortunately. I wish we did!

    Congratulations on doing well in the competition!

  3. Tara ☆ April 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Aw, it’s a bit bittersweet that this will be your last undergrad competition. I think it’s great you took initiative to do competitions because you wanted to gain more knowledge and skills. And you have! You’ve definitely gained valuable skill sets you can use in the future. This is definitely a good advice to give to other incoming students — to have them do things beyond classes and to do things out of their comfort zone, even. I kind of wished I’d had someone tell me that in college!

    I’m glad you even mention “how to recover from not placing”. So many people believes they need to win something. I work with kids and just last week we had to talk to them about how we win some or we lose some because we had a lot of sore losers. They need to learn that it’s okay to not win as long as they try their best! So thank you for mentioning that! <3

    I'm glad your team did well! It sounds like you guys had a great time together. Who knows! Maybe you all can meet up again and do another collaborative project! ^^

  4. Georgie ☆ April 17, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    It’s really awesome that you are taking away a lot from your experiences with these competitions. I know quite a few people who enjoy competitions (like hackathons haha) outside of work and school/education, but personally I have never been that keen. I think it’s mainly because I like working in an environment where I know the people, so work is a good opportunity. I learn a lot from meetups and other groups but I think a competition would be something I need to drag a friend into. ? That’s just my feelings on it, but you are a star for going beyond. ?

  5. Pauline ☆ April 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I love competitions! I always try to participate in many during university and from the top of my head, I’ve entered two so far this year with another one coming up on a project-based competition in modern day Biomedicine.

    It’s sad that it’s your last one, but always look back at it positively! 🙂 It sounds like you’ve made great friendships; I think thats always one of my favourite things about competition and group work, i always meet the most fascinating people!

    Proud of you for everything you’ve achieved Nancy! <3

  6. Cat ☆ April 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    That’s awesome that you’ve been competing in these competitions! I always feel like classes in school give you the basics and foundations, but branching out gives you more practical skills, like participating in these events or having an internship. Those are all great experiences and skills to have!

    I’m glad your team did well! Even if it’s the last one in your undergrad, hopefully you’ll find more to participate in afterwards that interest you 🙂

  7. Claudine ☆ April 24, 2016 at 2:10 am

    It’s so cool that you’re into joining different competitions, it really helps you learn more about your field and teaches lots of valuable life skills as well 🙂 I wish I could be this keen too, but it’s kinda hard for me since I always get nervous during difficult situations like this! Haha!

    Congratulations to your team for doing well in the contest! 🙂

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