Career Notes 5.30.21
Ep 51 | 5.30.21

Baan Alsinawi: Trust ourselves and be courageous. [Compliance]


Baan Alsinawi: My name is Baan Alsinawi and I am the Managing Director at Cerberus Sentinel, Chief Compliance Officer and the President of TalaTek LLC.

Baan Alsinawi: I was a young 17 year old who was looking at computers and thinking, those are so cool and I really wanted to understand how they work and I wanted to be, you know, a computer person, whatever that meant at the time for my inexperienced mind. But I just felt that this is something new and nobody else knew what it is. And I wanted to be the one who did. I went to an engineering school, control and systems engineering. And really since then, I have had any career you can think of and I would call it "IT" from the help desk and managing desktops and motherboards and VGA cards, all the way to systems engineering, Network engineering, managing a variety of aspects of cybersecurity for companies and businesses. While I started from a technical, you know, education and training, as a founder of a business and running a business, the technical side is maybe 20 percent of what my day-to-day looks like. A lot of it is more of managing the business, managing clients, managing teams, managing my time. A lot of growth in all these areas with the foundation of really understanding what the solution need to be and helping others get there. So it's a fun day, very busy day, and there's always so much more to do.

Baan Alsinawi: I think if I am successful, it's because I really made the right decisions about the team and the folks that I work with. I've been both fortunate and I give myself credit for picking the right people. And I'm not always successful in doing that, obviously, but it's really what I aspire to do and make sure people are allowed the opportunity to grow and do things that they find challenging. And I've had folks who've worked with me for almost a decade now, and it's just we've continued to grow and do new things. So that's sort of something I'm very proud of. Even when I started the business, I like I talked about, I was my background is mostly technology and I would characterize myself as a geek. I veered into more of a regulatory compliance focus for my business only because I realized that is a business opportunity and it needs there is a lot that we could do in that space from, you know, just pure supply and demand, if you will, but at the same time wanted to do it differently than others. Honestly, back in 2006, offering a managed service wasn't that popular. You know, it wasn't a cloud and people, businesses mostly wanted to have their own software on their own server in their own environment. In 2008, we offered a managed service hosted elsewhere and were we were able to get a small contract and built on that. And since then, we've been innovating and obviously the cloud and SaaS solutions are very prevalent right now. Right. Most people are moving to the cloud. So it's just the fun of doing something new and getting it wrong a lot and getting it right sometimes.

Baan Alsinawi: It is very important to me as a woman in tech everything, even when I talk about when I was a young kid trying to learn computers, it wasn't really necessarily the popular thing for other girls to do. And throughout my career, I, I cannot say that this is a female-centric career path, right? It's definitely male-dominated. I am currently part of a larger organization. I, I believe, you know, I am one of the few management roles who are females. And I have two young girls who I like to set, you know, help them find their path through the their career path and helping other women realize that there are opportunities, encouraging them, providing a community of like-minded women who can either provide role model or mentorship, even just to know that, you know, there's somebody to ask if you needed help. I think to me that was tremendously helpful to know that I could reach out to other women. And, you know, even if I just have lunch with them and just kind of brainstorm about what am I doing and what have they done, what worked for them, what didn't work, that that sense of community amongst women is something that I am keen about and I really would like to continue to do and nurture other women in this field.

Baan Alsinawi: I think I've held myself back so many opportunities and so many I would, you know, no regrets all that led to where I am today, but I certainly could have done more had I not been so unsure of myself and thinking, you know, I there's no way I could do this. I definitely need somebody else to help me and hold my hand. And even with my business, I spent several years, I would say almost six, seven years looking for a partner, thinking I can't do it on my own. And it just it took years for me to realize, wait a second. I've been doing it myself for the last eight years. Maybe I could do it myself. I really wasn't sure. It's it's just this realization that it took me years to realize. And I if anything, I want to tell my younger self and other young woman, you know, just we really need that confidence, that ability to trust ourselves and be courageous, honestly.