John Medvenics

Cyber Security


I attended St Mary’s between 1998-2005. After leaving sixth form, I attended Bangor University to study History and Archaeology, which was great to do as a degree, but I didn’t want to pursue a career in it. As a result, I switched professions and studied cyber security, which I now have been doing for a while working in the public, private and defence sectors. Working in the cyber-security job allowed me to meet the British Prime Minister, as well as the President of the United States. I have also defended networks against some of the best hackers in the world, which has provided me with many stories to share at various conferences.

I would say that working in cyber-security has had its challenges, in the sense that I had to work hard to handle imposter syndrome, where I believed that everyone else around me was far better. However, realising that many in the sector felt the same way made me realise that the job wasn’t so daunting. The main challenge I faced however, was finding a career that I was passionate about. I had no idea that it was an option at school, so I’ve had to work hard and study in my spare time to retrain and succeed.

Looking back at my time at St Mary’s, I miss the simple things such as rushing from class at break time to get a sausage roll whilst it was still hot, or the lessons with my favourite teachers that were always interesting and challenging. There were numerous subjects that I enjoyed, but I was a particular fan of History and Drama. For those at St Mary’s today, my advice would be to not stress about picking the perfect course or career right now, you still have plenty of time. Life will always throw unexpected events at you, and you’ll have to learn to adapt to that, but if you pick something that doesn’t suit you then you still have the power to change it.