Stefan’s Tale: A 17-Year Journey to McAfee
By Stefan, Senior Security Consultant in Melbourne, Australia.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a policeman and help stop bad guys. As I got older, my dream career evolved into wearing a different kind of shield to stop a different type of bad guy. And in a 17-year tale spanning continents, I finally landed at the company I wanted to work for – McAfee.
I now sport the McAfee shield as a senior security consultant working with customers across Asia Pacific to keep them safe from cyberthreats. How did I know McAfee was where I wanted to be and why did it take me 17 years to get here? Let’s go back to the beginning.
I loved working with McAfee’s products from the start. As an endpoint security specialist for a managed service provider, I got my first taste of McAfee with one of its now world-famous antivirus products. The product impressed me, but what impressed me most was how the company operated.
I noticed how the UK support team I worked with listened. It was a two-way street of communication that resulted in product updates. With customer input, I watched it evolve into the awesome Endpoint Security product we have today.
I knew then I wanted to work for McAfee. I became skilled with ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), the most advanced security management software in the industry, and found myself very passionate about it. I eventually became the go to person for both Endpoint and ePO across my entire company and carried the tag ‘McAfee guy’ for years.
I never doubted my passion and skills would one day lead me to McAfee. I just needed an opening.
As luck would have it, around the same time my family and I decided to embark on a life-changing adventure and emigrate to Australia, the McAfee’s UK team approached me with a position. The timing wasn’t right and I reluctantly turned it down. But I never lost sight of my goal.
After a few years in Australia, the plot thickened and I got involved with the creation of a new managed security services SOC using McAfee’s SIEM solution. I immediately felt at home with the product. Like my first encounter with McAfee, the product was easy to setup and easy to use. But more importantly, it introduced me to some of the amazing McAfee employees within Australia and North America.
While building rapport with those employees, my desire to work for McAfee grew stronger. I noticed how they supported and encouraged each other, as a team. And my conversations with them reinforced that McAfee wasn’t a company that feared innovation. All over again, I realized everything McAfee could offer me and my career.
Eventually, I saw another opening to be part of something amazing. The perfect position was available. After a long chat over a beer and some encouragement from an awesome friend and (future) colleague from North America, I pursued a role with McAfee’s Professional Services.
After 12 months and a move to the other side of Australia, I can say with my hand on my heart, the wait was worth it. I have never loved a job as much as I love what I do for McAfee. Every day I wake up excited for the day ahead in Professional Services. Primarily, I work on our SIEM product to detect threats and then help organizations prioritize, investigate and rapidly resolve any cyberthreats.
So, I am now the one listening to each customer. How we implement our product depends on the nature of the customer’s business, which means each day brings something different. I must think quickly and adjust my way of thinking. One day I may be completing a SIEM assessment at a bank, another helping customers set up a new MSSP SOC for a retail business or the next running a training course teaching our products and methodologies to the next budding generation of security analysts. And the best part? When a customer asks for me to return. That’s when I know I achieved my goal of making the customer 100 percent happy.
I am living my childhood dream of keeping the bad guys at bay while working with an amazing team in both Australia and worldwide. In fact, I’ve reconnected with the colleagues I met 17 years ago in EMEA, who are still with McAfee. How’s that for a testimony!
For those still at the beginning or maybe in the middle of their own story, I encourage you to be patient, follow your heart and when you have the opportunity, grab it and go for it. And for me, this isn’t really the end of my tale. It’s the beginning of my next 17 years where I’m supported by an amazing team at an amazing company, McAfee.
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