Career Notes 7.25.21
Ep 59 | 7.25.21

Ingrid Toppelberg: Knowing how to take risks will pay off. [Cybersecurity education]


Ingrid Toppelberg: My name is Ingrid Toppelberg. I'm Chief Product Officer at Cybint Solutions and Head Coach at the MIT Entrepreneurship Bootcamps.

Ingrid Toppelberg: I wanted to do everything when I was a little kid. Basically I went from journalism to teacher to President of the World Bank , all of them at the same time.

Ingrid Toppelberg: I really loved learning all my life and I've been doing like totally random stuff forever. I remember when I had to choose what to study in college, I was talking to my dad and my dad was like, well, you just, you can study anything and then go work for McKinsey. And then you'll just go into learn a lot from your colleagues. So that's when I decided that even try wanting to do management consulting. 

Ingrid Toppelberg: I did several years of management consulting, changing topics and countries all the time. And I learned to learn very fast and I learned to be very curious about absolutely everything. 

Ingrid Toppelberg: I studied at MIT. I did my MBA there and then I left and I started moving around the world. I was doing independent consulting, mostly focused on change management and helping organizations absorb new technologies and also working in an education and technology startup doing bootcamps in different parts of the world. I, for example, I spent a lot of time in Saudi Arabia, helping women get into the workforce. And I was one of the most amazing experience I've had in my life, uh, and prior to that I was, and I still am, uh, working for MIT bootcamps. We have like an entrepreneurship and innovation bootcamp that we've been delivering around the world and these days online.

Ingrid Toppelberg: I really didn't know what I wanted to do next, or I knew I wanted to work in, in high-tech and I knew, especially I knew I wanted something meaningful. I was in a MIT alumni event and I met one of my current colleagues who introduced me to his CEO. Um, it was fascinating. So now I'm working in the cyber education global company and I'm loving it.  

Ingrid Toppelberg: What I found fascinating about the cyber world is how important for absolutely everyone is to know about cybersecurity. I'm developing different kinds of training for different people in order for them to really understand how this affects them and what is it that they can do in order to keep themselves and their organization safe. And at the same time, we're also developing this cybersecurity bootcamp that's to reskill people into cybersecurity. In the next few years, there will be 4 million vacant cybersecurity positions in the world. So having the opportunity to give people this chance to reskill into cybersecurity and have like a future proof career, something super motivated for me.

Ingrid Toppelberg: Just do it. Find the right training for you and do it. There's a huge opportunity. There's a lot of jobs available in cyber, because in cyber, we're all the time trying to anticipate where the criminals want to do. We need different kinds of minds in cyber keeping us safe. And I think that getting more women into cyber more diversity in general, but particularly in this case, women is super, super important to make the whole security effort more effective.

Ingrid Toppelberg: I coach a lot of, you know, young professionals and they all think that like the first job is the one that's going to define them forever. And it's just your first job. I tried this and it didn't work out. It actually just enriches your profile. It's not that it takes away from it. So, really really experiment. Take risks as much as you can. The world is changing so fast that this skill like knowing different things and knowing how to take risks, it actually will pay off in the long term.

Ingrid Toppelberg: I really want to know that I, that I made a difference in people's lives. Like even, I, I always say that in training, when you're training people, there's this moment where they, their eyes sparkle, there's this moment where suddenly they got it and their eyes sparkle, and that that's priceless of someone that's that's training. But that moment, that "aha" moment that happens  and suddenly, their lives are different. It's, it's really priceless. I really hope to be remembered for those small things, but also for the impact in the people I work with. So I really want to be a good colleague for everybody around me.