Software engineer Christine Vinaviles has gone from tinkering and typing at her mum’s work, to keeping banking staff and customers safe from cyber attacks
Christine Vinaviles credits her mum, a senior SAP (Systems Applications and Products) consultant, as the biggest influence on her journey into STEM. She has always been inspired by her work ethic. The fact she got to visit her mum’s workplace when she was little and pretend to work and type random gibberish on the keyboard also helped!
This early interest led Christine to a 2016 mentorship program run by tech giant Cisco, and then to graduating with a Bachelor of ICT Engineering at University of Technology Sydney a few years later. With the right qualifications under her belt and ambition to match, Christine started work as a software engineer, and jumped into coding projects and creating online games with her friends.
Now, Christine says her cyber End User Experience (EUX) role at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is her most fulfilling yet. She explains her job as “helping reduce malware and cyber attacks by analysing the applications used and creating the group policy that gets deployed”. Plus, she gets to practice some sweet skills every day, like “problem-solving to find the balance between mitigating attacks and not disrupting an employee’s ability to complete their work requirements”, as well as education and communication skills – because “one of the most common cyber attack methods is social engineering, which exploits people psychologically,” she explains.
Christine’s career path has helped her over her biggest hurdle – finding her voice and confidence to speak up. “It’s not uncommon to feel imposter’s syndrome and doubt what you know and your abilities,” she says.
Christine is keen for everyone to know that there are plenty of opportunities in STEM, and “no one should be afraid to throw yourself in the deep end… that’s when you grow the most. There are also lots of other people in the same boat as you so don’t be afraid to reach out”. – Jonathan Nalder
Christine’s study and career pathway
- Cisco Mentee, Cisco Mentor Program
- Bachelor of ICT Engineering (Software Major) / Diploma in Engineering Practice, UTS
- Technical Support Officer, Studiosity
- Cyber security graduate, CBA
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- 5 minutes with a mechatronics engineer-turned-CBA grad
- Hang out with a digital solutions graduate engineer
Author: STEM Contributor
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