How I Broke Into CyberSpace Straight Out of Highschool

4 min read


Who am I? Am I an athlete? Am I a student? Or am I a cybersecurity professional? To be honest I am all three things in one. I am the first Cyber Athlete at CyberXE. Our goal is to bring the world of athletics and technology together to create the next generation of cybersecurity leaders. My name is Dominic Alegrete, I’m 18 years old, I love sports, my family, technology and being able to help my community thrive and succeed. Cyber Security is a non-disposable skill set that the world needs and depends on. At CyberXE, we provide a platform to help the next generation of cybersecurity leaders to develop the necessary skills to secure a future in cyberspace.

How It All Started:

My journey started 1 ½ years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2021 and I was heading into my senior year of high school. Like any other high school student, I was working out for the upcoming basketball season, as well as enjoying my last summer as a student at Mission Hills High School. However, I was still uncertain about what I would do after graduation. But that would all change after I met the Founder & CEO of CyberXE, William Sims.

William informed me about cybersecurity and the endless opportunities within the industry. What got me hooked was the “0% unemployment rate” and how this one skill set can help me change the trajectory of my family tree and create generational wealth. He also informed me that I would be able to use cyber security as a vehicle to help my community succeed in the age of information technology.

Humble Beginnings:

At first, I thought I would be hacking networks, and systems or stopping ‘ the bad guys’ but boy was I WRONG. I learned right away there is a lot more to cyber security than just hacking. There are multiple domains one can pursue in cyberspace including but not limited to Blue Team and Red Team, Cyber Threat Intelligence and more! William taught me the fundamentals of cybersecurity including the different types of malware, security protocols, and how to stay safe online aka cyber hygiene. From there, I was able to build on the foundation that I established and work towards becoming a cybersecurity professional.

At the beginning of my senior year, I joined the CyberXE cyber security and professional development skills training program. The program exposed me to the industry and what the everyday life of a cybersecurity professional consists of. The program provides a real team environment that allowed me to learn and educate myself amongst my colleagues. I learned the necessary hard and soft skills that are needed to become a professional in this industry From writing reports and sharing them with my team. I also worked hard to develop a solid fundamental baseline understanding of what cyber security principles are such as Threat Intelligence, MITRE ATT&CK framework, Kali Linux, Python3 and so much more. This program provided an ecosystem that allowed me to become a leader and a more confident person.

The Opportunity:

As I was progressing through the program, William gave me the opportunity to become the lead intern for the program. I took the title and ran with it. Day in and day out I showed up and put in the work. I focused on getting better by 1% each day. When we had a scheduled meeting, I was always early and stayed late to ask questions. I was just eager to learn and trust the process. Since August of 2021, I haven’t missed one meeting or skipped a day of writing a Cyber Threat Intelligence Report (Check my LinkedIn for proof LOL). I show up each and every day to put in work and perfect my craft. Because of my relentless dedication, I was offered a fully remote System Analyst position at a Fortune 500 company two months before I graduated high school!!!!!!!!

The Present Day:

As I look back on my journey into cyberspace thus far, I realize what I had to do in order to get to the position I’m in right now. I also realize the amount of work it will take to further my career. With the help of my family, William, and the CyberXE family, we’re shifting the dynamic for the next generation of BIPOC cyber security leaders. As a bi-racial minority myself, I’ve been working hard to pave a way for people who look like me in this industry. I’m focusing my time on developing skills that aren’t disposable, with the hopes that a company will take a chance on me and I can show the industry that application is more important than just a piece of paper that does not reflect my skillset or ability.

And yes, I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree online in Computer Science. But on the real, WHAT ARE THOSE!!!

I hope my story inspires someone to pursue a career in cybersecurity, as there are unlimited opportunities and earning potential for everyone.

Dominic Alegrete

#CyberXE #CyberLeadersStartHere

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