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Personal Statement 1 – MSc Computer Security and Resilience (Newcastle University)

After completing my BSc (Hons) in Information Technology, I was successful in joining


HP Enterprise Services (formerly known as EDS) on a graduate programme to train as an
Information Analyst. I hoped that joining the company would aid me in enhancing the
skills and knowledge I gained whilst studying at university. Through work-based
training, I have been able to enhance the skills learnt in university, and I have gained a
valuable insight into how the theory learnt in university is applicable to commercial
environment. For example, I have been able to use Structured Query Language (SQL) to
extract the data necessary for delivering in management reports.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the two years that I have spent with HP Enterprise Services.
However, after doing research into the options available to advance my career, and which
field of IT I would like to work in long-term, I have decided I would like to build on my
existing skills and knowledge by studying further.

Due to the exponential growth in the number of company’s conducting their business
over the internet, using information systems and various other applications, it is a given
that there will be individuals and organised crime groups that attempt to unlawfully
access information for criminal purposes. It is because of this reason I believe that there
will be a growth in the computer security jobs market. This is the primary reason for my
interest in studying for the MSc Computer Security and Resilience. I also feel that by
studying this course I would be able to acquire new skills as well as an understanding and
familiarity with Computer Security to allow me to fulfil an ambition of working within
the security industry.

In terms of my interest of Computer Security, it stems from previous study of Computer


Forensics in a Computer Systems module at university. Tasked with writing a technical
report on the subject, I discussed the background of Computer Forensics, computer crime
activities, computer crime methods and forensic technologies, and possible future
developments. This was my most enjoyed assignment whilst at university, and my most
successful. A second reason for my enthusiasm of Computer Security is reading current
articles on the threat of global cyber-terrorism, and the flaws of security in information
systems. I realised that I would feel fulfilled if I were to be working on the forefront of
aiding fellow Computer Security professionals in combating these threats. I would enjoy
the challenge of analysing systems and identifying how computer security methods help
to prevent and resolve malicious attacks on corporate systems.

I have chosen Newcastle University as I find the modular structure of the programme
appealing, given that it encompasses a variety of modules that bring together both
engineering and business. It leads me to believe that the programme offers the
opportunity to gain a distinct and unique insight into the field of Computer Security,
something that separates this university programme from others that I have researched on
my journey to finding a relevant Masters degree. In addition, it excites me that the
programme also gives the opportunity to complete either an individual project, or a
project in collaboration with an industrial adviser. This would be a great opportunity to
encompass all the other skills learnt throughout the rest of the programme.

I feel that I possess the qualities to complete this programme, which I have learnt through
life experience, university, and my career within HP Enterprise Services.
One of the skills I have, which I feel, is paramount to completing this course successfully
is my research skills. For every assignment I completed whilst at university I had to do a
great deal of individual research, most importantly I had to write a literature review when
completing my dissertation on the Use of Institutional Repositories. It involved me
having to look at several different mediums, such as scholarly peer-reviewed journals,
textbooks, and professional body publications in order to represent an unbiased literature
review.

Throughout my time at university, and now at HP Enterprise Services, I believe that I


have been able to demonstrate that I am a determined and self-motivated individual that
strives to complete work to the best of my abilities using the knowledge and skills learnt
both through studying and work-based training. This has been despite unexpected and
challenging events within my personal life, which I have had to deal with, in order to
complete my degree programme successfully.

Other qualities that I have gained through employment include the ability to work under
little supervision in terms of completing change requests, resolving incidents, and
producing management information on both a daily and weekly basis. In addition, I feel
that through my studies and career progression within HP, I have been able to
communicate effectively and demonstrate that I am adaptable to learning new concepts
and embracing them in order to work more efficiently.

I would like to finish off this, my personal statement, saying that if given the opportunity
to study with yourselves I would be a hard working, enthusiastic, and conscientious
student, and will always strive to complete every assignment given to the best of my
abilities encompassing life skills learnt through university and work. After all, it would
be the first step on the road to fulfilling my ambition of working within the Computer
Security field.