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Anahitha’s CyberEPQ Journey

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In 2018, Anahitha completed her CyberEPQ as an Independent Learner with her project specialising in Digital Forensics.

She is currently studying Digital Forensics at Warwick University and has now been accepted onto a Google internship this summer.

In year 7, Ana encouraged her non-coding friends to pick up new skills and led her team to win the Acorn Hacks Hackathon. From Cyber Centurion competitions, Cyber Discovery programmes to Grand Prize Winner of the Google Code-In competition, Ana keeps going from strength to strength.

Why not read about her cyber journey from an interview about her experiences on completing the CyberEPQ.

What did you hope to achieve with the CyberEPQ?

There were a lot of opportunities offered to us as CyberEPQ students and I wanted to make the most of these opportunities and of course to get a good grade.

There have been plenty of CyberEPQ Alumni that I am in touch with, and they have been very helpful to talk to along the way. I think that it is very valuable the network that the CyberEPQ has helped people form especially amongst our age group.

It is difficult to find people who form that bubble and who are interested in such things as cyber security. I found those who specifically share those interests and have similar experiences to me through the CyberEPQ which is great.

What was your favourite aspect of the course?

I suppose the learning style very much appealed to me, the fact that in your own time you could watch a few videos, fill out a journal and send it along. It was the case that sure you had to do independent
research and stuff as involved with ordinary EPQ's, but by the time you get to that stage, you feel like you are really well informed, and it takes a lot of the stress out of writing it. You feel like you have a very broad understanding of the subject matter and you come out looking at the whole subject holistically, despite the fact that you end up specialising in your actual essay. I think that is really cool”.

What did you find challenging about the CyberEPQ?

100%-time management. Definitely balancing it with all the other commitments I had as a student, but it was also really rewarding. (Anahitha is a bit unusual in that she studied 5 A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Computer Science and English) The CyberEPQ genuinely helped me understand what times I work best at.

Even though it was a struggle at first, I got quite organised and in terms of university it has helped me understand time management, and how to effectively organise my day so I know fully what I should be doing.

How did the CyberEPQ add value to your future cyber plans?

The opportunity of being at the National Cyber awards was a big one, but also it helped to understand that this is the industry that I really want to go into. At the start of year thirteen after finishing the CyberEPQ I did have a bit of a crisis because I had applied to do bunch of computer science courses and my fifth choice was open.

I wanted to go into the world of cyber security, but I was worried that it was too niche and eventually I realised that going to Cambridge to do computer science was not something that was right for me. It has really paid off. I still have the door open for me to go to another university and do research. The CyberEPQ helped reduce that crisis and cement it as a field that I did want to specialise in rather than spreading out across computer science and being bogged down by the sheer intensity of everything.

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