Catilina Self Portrait

Catilina Self

Cybersecurity, Target Red Team

UWF taught me that I’m literally creating the field as I go forward—the pathway is what I make of it.

How did you become interested in cybersecurity?

I am a veteran, and previously I did contracting work. One thing I loved about the military is you had purpose—you kept people safe. I met a cybersecurity unit in the army and was able to see what they did, along with the skills that were needed. I realized this was a new battlefield I could protect people in.

What was it like being the first to graduate from UWF’s cybersecurity program?

To be quite frank, I knew I wanted to be in cybersecurity, but I had no idea what that role looked like. I was part of UWF’s creation of the program. I was the very first enrolled person applying and they were literally developing the classes right before I would take them. What I found is a very undefined field with endless opportunities.

How have the skills you gained at UWF impacted your career?

UWF gave me an extremely strong foundation in computer science. All of the skills I learned are separate; however, they all come together in the end. When I perform security tasks, I use every single one of those skill sets. UWF gave me the flexibility to fully learn and understand security, and how to apply it in this career field.

What is the best part of working with Target’s Red team?

One of the beautiful things about Target’s culture is they believe in lateral movement and finding the best fit. They want you to be excited about the work you’re doing—because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?