Alumni Spotlight: Faiza Faruque

CYBERSECURITY & DATA -This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumnae working in Cybersecurity and/or Data and Analytics roles.

Faiza Faruque (THF ‘20)
Information Security Analyst, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Hearst





Please describe your role.

I work as an Information Security Analyst in the Governance, Risk & Compliance team [at Hearst]. My role revolves around mainly Security Awareness & Training, and Metrics & Dashboard as well as 3rd Party Risk, Risk Management, Compliance and Governance.

What do you enjoy most about your company?

I love the versatility of being able to do and learn a variety of different things. Hearst and everyone here not only motivate me to grow in my position here but also as an individual which I also love.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?

In my last year of college, I took an introduction to Cybersecurity course which I enjoyed a lot so when I heard about the internship at Hearst, I was really interested. I ended up getting the internship and then Hearst extended my internship twice and by this time I fell in love with this field. Then once I finished college, Hearst offered me a full-time position.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?

Without the T. Howard Foundation, I would not have had the chance to explore cybersecurity as a career especially so early on in my career. I always thought I would end up in a developer position but T. Howard opened the door to much more opportunities for me. I am so thankful for the T. Howard Foundation which helped me land the internship in cybersecurity where my whole career changed.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?

There are a few personal attributes that helped me in my career. I am a very curious, analytical, and problem-solving person by nature, this helped me learn a lot in a small period of time. I wake up every day and learn something new, which helps me be even better at my position. Another thing that helped me is taking initiative. I tried to proactively find solutions and take the initiative to start projects that were needed. I try to think ahead, and this especially in this field. Teamwork and communication skills are another key attribute that helps me daily.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?

If I were entering this career today, I would have taken more courses and certifications in cybersecurity which would have helped me deep drive into things quicker.

In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.

Work/Life balance to me means to be able to be present and enjoy at work and at home while having time to do all the things you love and that brings you peace.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this show up in your working habits?

I am a night owl, so I always was able to be more productive later in the day. I feel like my brain works better starting 11am so I tend to work on the easier things in the morning and start the new things afterwards. And the days, I need my brain to function early, I know I need to get a lot of coffee which helps.

Do you have any of the following at work? a mentor, mentee, sponsor, work BF or work spouse? If so, which one(s)? What are the advantages of having these relationships?

I have two mentors, a mentee, and a work best-friend. My mentors help guide me in my position here but also helps me build myself individually. They help me make important decisions. Having a mentee is great because I get to pass on everything, I learned to someone, it is great to be able to do so. And having a work best-friend is amazing because this helps talking through everything with someone. It is like having a partner in crime.