Tracy Cariker, Synack Stands Program Manager 

Following a series of challenging weekly coursework modules, interactive presentations, and energetic meet-ups, we are excited to celebrate our participants’ successful completion of our first Synack Academy cohort program! The mission of Synack Academy is to provide emerging individuals from underrepresented minority groups access to future career pathways in technology and cybersecurity through structured, mentor-supported training programs. 

Through an extensive application and interview process, in partnership with Blacks in Cybersecurity, a diverse group of students with a variety of tech interests from Washington D.C., Virginia, and New York were invited to participate in a three-month cohort. The course content and themes presented were geared toward providing foundational technical knowledge necessary for a path into cybersecurity. Prior to the start of the program, each student was paired with a Synack employee mentor from a range of teams including Community, Engineering, Product Design, and IT. The one-to-one mentorship was designed to ensure each student received encouragement and daily support, as they aimed to complete a Google IT Fundamentals course offered via Coursera. 

In January, Synack Academy kicked-off, and with the guidance of their mentors, students boldly embarked on a weekly deep dive into challenging content. Each Google IT Fundamentals module covered a range of essential tech topics and skills-building related to hardware, operating systems, networking, and software. Every Friday, the week culminated in a lively and interactive Mentors-Mentees virtual gathering featuring a discussion in review of specific segments of the course content. Additionally, the Friday review sessions included a Security Corner segment, during which students were introduced to numerous cybersecurity focus topics and job roles presented directly by Synack employees! These featured guest speakers provided Synack Academy students with a glimpse into the day-to-day life of cybersecurity professionals, their career trajectories, and available educational pathways. 

To celebrate their success, our first cohort wrapped up with a virtual Pizza Party for students who had achieved key benchmarks. Our mentors and mentees gathered for an hour-long party which featured yummy pizza generously provided courtesy of Domino’s Pizza, interactive games, and light-hearted cybersecurity banter.

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Posted by Charlie