What did I get myself into?

New challenges tend to surprise you sometimes. I was pleasantly surprised when I was recently asked to serve as the Interim Assistant Director of Information Security Services for Purdue University Northwest. I currently manage a team of seven full-time individuals and two student workers that make up the networking, infrastructure, and telecom team. The group isn’t that big, but I’d just found a great rhythm managing across the considerable breadth of IT services my team supports. The security team consists of a security engineer, analyst, and a student worker. I’d done work with InfoSec before, but I gave myself some time to think about the opportunity.

One thing that helped me make a decision was that I have an existing fabulous team. I’ve always set a model of allowing others to grow and empower individuals to take on leadership responsibilities without micromanaging. In the past, I served as interim for the server administration team while we went through a merger in the middle of an outlook and AD migration which was lots of work but was very successful. The networking team had also served in a security operations capacity until a dedicated security department formed two years ago. I believe these items were factored into why I was asked to serve as interim. It was a great honor and opportunity to be asked if I could help serve others and I have a passion for teaching, so I accepted the position.

Human nature kicked in, and I started to ask what did I get myself into when I accepted the position. Information security is no joke and there was lots of work to do, but I know that I’ve surrounded myself with supportive individuals that will help me along the way. It’s been about three weeks thus far. I’ve received lots of positive feedback and a long list of goals to accomplish. However, my primary goal is to promote teaming and collaboration across the division and the Information Security Services team. We have lots of smart individuals across the Information Services division, so together I believe we can accomplish anything. I look forward to diving back into an InfoSec support role and plan to share the journey.

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