Staffordshire University London Alumni Lands Analyst Role at Avanade

Explore the success story of Selestina Panzu who navigated her way to a position in a global technology consulting firm.

Selestina Panzu, Graduate of BSc Cyber Security

Selestina Panzu, Graduate of BSc Cyber Security

Even if you just apply twice a day and get rejected, keep applying anyway because down the line there might be a call that might change your life!

Selestina Panzu, Graduate of BSc Cyber Security

Staffordshire University London has been a stepping stone for many students, providing them with the education and experiences necessary to excel in their chosen fields. One such success story is that of Selestina Panzu, who navigated her way from the university's corridors to a prominent position in the global technology consulting firm, Avanade.

At the heart of Selestina’s success story is her association with Avanade, a renowned technology consulting firm, founded as a joint venture between the Microsoft Corporation and Accenture LLP with a global footprint. Avanade specialises in delivering digital solutions primarily focused on Microsoft platforms. Their services span business analytics, business applications, cloud computing, digital marketing, technology, and managed services.

Selestina plays a pivotal role in Avanade's security division, where the emphasis lies on implementing zero trust principles. This involves providing advisory services to evaluate and define cyber security strategies, developing governance, risk, and compliance frameworks. Additionally, Selestina is involved in cloud security services, utilising advanced security capabilities such as Azure Cloud and Azure Sentinel. Her responsibilities also extend to digital identity services, covering the full lifecycle of identity and access management, as well as managed security services to prevent, detect, and remediate security threats.

The journey from a Staffordshire University student to a cyber security professional at Avanade was not without its challenges. However, Selestina attributes her success to the solid foundation laid during their time at the university. Key concepts such as the CIA Triad and defensive security proved instrumental in securing a foothold in the cyber security sector. Engaging in projects related to AI, machine reinforcement learning, and phishing, as well as participating in hackathons and capture the flag events, enriched her practical skills and knowledge.

As advice for students following in Selestina’s footsteps, she emphasized the importance of soft skills, with communication and presentation skills being crucial in a consulting role, especially when conveying complex information to clients or colleagues. She found this incredibly important especially when delivering information to individuals who do not possess the knowledge or skills in the field. Selestina cited, “I was lucky enough to get the internship at Avanade and proved myself worthy through my soft skills, the hard skills such as cyber security was only the cherry on top!”. While her hard skills in cyber security were vital, it was their soft skills, such as communication and reliability, that truly set her apart. Selestina emphasised the importance of being not just knowledgeable but also a dependable and effective team member.

Reflecting on her journey, Selestina shared insights into how she achieved her goals. She advocated for the early pursuit of internships and placement years, encouraging fellow students to apply persistently, even in the face of rejection. Selestina recalled, “Even if you just apply twice a day and get rejected, keep applying anyway because down the line there might be a call that might change your life!”.

Attending career fairs, conferences, and showcases related to field, helped Selestina understand her career trajectory and establish crucial connections with prospective employers. Additionally, active participation in university-provided events, such as industry speakers and showcases, was also highlighted as a valuable opportunity to network with potential employers.

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