Ahnaf Rahman is a football and car enthusiast who prefers YouTube to textbooks, and he helps keep Australia’s biggest bank cyber safe
Ahnaf Rahman says he was always a visual learner at school, so he turned to YouTube over “thick textbooks” when learning how to use computers, and by Year 10 he had built his first website for a science project.
“Little did I realise then, but the STEM Gods must have smiled upon me – just a few years on, I now have the opportunity to work on unique cyber projects,” he says.
Ahnaf studied a Bachelor of Information Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) through a Co-operative Scholarship Program, which has a focus on work placements, internships and industry experience.
It was through this program that Ahnaf was able to land his current graduate gig at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), where he is employed as a cyber security test engineer.
“Testing is a crucial role as it ensures potential bugs are captured, documented, and fixed prior to a project going live,” he explains. “Often, I am the only person standing between a crippling software bug and a flawless project deployment.”
Ahnaf – who is a football enthusiast and car lover when he’s not working in cyber security at Australia’s biggest bank – says one of the highlights of his CBA grad role has been all the opportunities available outside his day-to-day work.
“One of my favourites is contributing to the monthly newsletter created by graduates called GradNote,” he says. “To date, I have written pieces about Eid [festival] and managing stress.”
Ahnaf believes tech – especially cyber security – is an exciting and welcoming space for young people to build their careers, bringing a range of skillsets. “This is an industry where wacky and unique ideas belong. If you are someone that thinks outside the box, has a growth mindset and has a clear vision of the future, this is your calling.”
Ahnaf’s study and career pathway
- Bachelor of IT Co-operative Scholarship, UTS
- Software engineering intern, WiseTech Global
- IT Security and Governance Associate, ASIC
- Graduate Cyber Security Test Engineer, CBA
- Meet a chemical engineer-turned-CBA grad
- 5 minutes with a mechatronics engineer-turned-CBA grad
- Hang out with a digital solutions graduate engineer
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.