Career Notes 5.23.21
Ep 50 | 5.23.21

Michael Bishop Jr.: Good, bad or indifferent. [Security]


Mike Bishop: My name is Mike Bishop, and I am a Senior Security Officer at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the HIGLAS accounting section.

Mike Bishop: I am a Army brat. You know, growing up watching my dad, I always wanted to be in the Army. And then of course my granddad was an Army veteran as well. That's what I became when I, uh, graduated high school. I was in the Army for 12 years, joined right out of high school. I literally graduated on a Friday, and then that Monday I was in basic training.

Mike Bishop: I was an infantry man for at least 10 of the 12 years in which I deployed to Iraq in 2005 for a year. So that was Interesting time in my life. It kind of made me the person I am today, though. I don't fear as much as I might have when I was younger, I don't know. The people that I did get to meet, the younger kids, or even though we didn't always talk the same language, we had an interpreter, you know, you still got to meet other people in the villages. I'd buy, you know, Cokes or candy bars from the young kids. It was definitely different.

Mike Bishop: It was rough when I first got back. Um, it was a rough time. I resorted to the drinking a little bit and then eventually kind of sought help on it so it kind of helped me out. It's hard to explain, you know, I just, it was rough for me when I initially came back and of course I went through a divorce too shortly after I came back so that didn't help, you know. That was man, that was a long time ago. So I've grown because of all that experience. Though, it was hard going through deploying and the transitioning back, I've grown more of an appreciation for the world and the things that I do. So I try to make the best out of everything now.

Mike Bishop: It took me over a year before I finally got a job. But in between that, I had a very good mentor that I had met in the military. He was an officer and I was one of his enlisted guys and we had a good relationship. I actually taught Army ROTC at Johns Hopkins with him. And, he knew that I was kind of struggling after I got out, so he said you need to look into doing cybersecurity. I was like, computers are cool, but I don't know. So through him being my mentor and just being a great guy, he pretty much got me into the cybersecurity training or at least forced me to at least apply. So that, that kind of helped me to transition to where I am today.

Mike Bishop: It was a challenge, but I saw it as a challenge that I wanted to take on and I wanted to be the best that I could add it. So when I went to UMBC Training Center, they actually, since it was an intense program, they had us take like 11 different tests to judge us on if we're able to actually succeed in this course or have the ability to. And after I took it, I was like, man, I think I did horrible at these. I didn't even know what I was doing. And then of course they talked to me later and said, you actually did pretty well. That the ones that, you know, you didn't do well on, it's kind of expected because you had no it knowledge or any idea, but the stuff that you really didn't do well on, we're impressed. So, you know, they accepted me into the course.

Mike Bishop: My advice is to figure out which route you want to go, because you can get all the certifications you want, if you don't know which route that really you want to go in. So you've got your security, you've got your help desk, you got networking, you got to figure out what you want to do, and then go for those certifications or in that route.

Mike Bishop: CompTIA has lists if you want to go security, which security +, CYSA+, you got to figure out which route you want to go. It's sometimes hard for me to describe it. Cause I normally just tell them, "Hey, I create accounts, reset passwords, and I make sure that people aren't supposed to get into the system that shouldn’t get into it."

Mike Bishop: The things that I've gone through good, bad or indifferent have made me or gotten to me to where I am today. So I don't think I would change anything.