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Career Story: Security Analyst And Software Expert For A Consulting Firm

Security Analyst And Software Expert For A Consulting Firm

Job Title: Security Analyst

Type of Company: I work for a security consulting company that provides consulting, investigations, security system design and training.

Education: BA, English, University of Florida. Job-related continuing education courses at Johnston Community College (Smithfield, NC) and Wake Tech (Raleigh, NC).

Previous Experience: I began this job after graduating from college. Before that, I had general customer service/retail jobs.

Job Tasks: Since I work for a small company, I wear many hats. I started as the receptionist and general administrative assistant, and my job responsibilities grew from there. I help write and edit every report or other consulting document we produce, and I am the primary person responsible for format and general layout. I also create or edit photos and graphics as needed. In this portion of my job, my main task is to take information from a subject matter expert and make it clear, concise, and understandable for the intended audience.

In another facet of my job, I assist with investigations as a licensed private investigator associate. This involves accessing a wide variety of databases including criminal records, civil records, driving and DMV records, credit history information, and other investigative sources. I am also involved in other investigations as needed.

For the security system design component of our business, I create or edit architectural drawings to illustrate our recommendations to the client or architect. I also create original scale drawings as needed. For training, I design and edit training programs using content provided by security experts.

Finally, I write and design marketing materials including brochures and proposals, and I maintain the company website by creating new pages and content as needed. All of these tasks require an excellent knowledge of MS Word and MS Outlook, an above-average knowledge of MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and AutoCAD, and a good working knowledge of MS Access, MS Visio, Dreamweaver, Revit, PhotoImpact (or similar program), and MS Project.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the constant variety. One day I will be working on a major embezzlement investigation, and the next day I will be drawing the layout of a new security system. Another "best" is working for a small company with a very flat management structure. There are only four officers of the company, and their doors are open at any time.

The worst part of the job is managing the tasks in the time available. In the security industry, certain projects are time sensitive and require a prompt response. In order to meet a deadline, it is sometimes necessary to give up some measure of quality.

Job Tips: My career is very specific and in a small niche, so my advice is more general. Be open and available to learning new things, and don't simply rely on your degree. My degree is in English, and I do spend a great deal of time reading and editing, but I spend an equal amount of time creating graphics in one form or another. Have hobbies and a broad knowledge or a variety of subjects, especially for investigative work.

Additional Thoughts: Know your resources and where to find the information you need. Tell people what you know, not what you think you know. If you have the skills and ability to do something yourself, do it, but also know when to contact an expert. Always take responsibility for your actions, especially if you did something wrong.

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