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Tori Birch

Technology graduate

Cyber security careers

Victoria ‘Tori’ Birch loves art and communications, and she’s now helping keep Australia’s biggest bank safe from hackers as a cyber security graduate

We know there’s a shortage of girls studying STEM, while often the ones who do choose it come from families of engineers or scientists. Yet Tori’s mother is a cellist and in high school Tori had her sights set on becoming a teacher.

“I wish someone had told 13-year-old me that I didn’t need to be a stereotypical computer scientist to study computer science,” she says.

“Stereotypes that they’re all socially awkward, energy drink-addicted, middle-aged men interfered with my ability to see myself – a young, creativity-driven female – as a computer scientist.”

Thankfully, a STEM event at her high school opened her eyes to what computer science careers could really be about: “I saw that there was, in fact, creativity and artistry in technology.”

Talking tech

Tori signed up for a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at UNSW Sydney through the university’s Co-op scholarship program, meaning she completed three industry placements during her studies.

“I found throughout my internships that I accomplished the most in roles where I was able to talk and discuss technology with my peers,” she says. “Although I wasn’t exactly sure where my career would take me, I knew I wanted a role where I could interact and communicate with my colleagues.”

After graduating, Tori joined Commonwealth Bank as a technology graduate (cyber), using her STEM skills, creativity and knack for communication to help keep the bank and its customers safe from hackers.

“For me, this is the perfect blend of the technical and non-technical,” she says.

Tori is passionate about inspiring more people like her to pursue careers they might think aren’t for them: “The STEM industry is one that thrives on creativity and originality. Despite this, the industry lacks diversity which, in turn, means there is less diversity of thought.

If I could give advice to students, it would be to not cut yourself off from opportunities simply because you don’t see yourself represented in that field or in its media.”

Tori’s pathway

This article is sponsored by Commonwealth Bank and was originally published in Careers with STEM: Cyber Security – the flip cover to Careers with STEM: Technology.

Careers with STEM: Cyber Security
Careers with STEM: Cyber Security

Order a print copy here or read the e-mag for free

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