‘Having big heart for computer science helped propell me to success’ – UG graduate

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When Jason Jacobs was younger, tinkering with the WI-FI at his mother’s office was something he loved doing, not knowing it would spark a love for computer science and later see him graduating from the University of Guyana with his Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in the field.

“I always had a big heart for computers and information technology from my days of being in high school.

“Those were the days when I would count the things such as reloading computers and fixing the Wi-Fi at my Mom’s workplace my prime activities; not knowing the best was yet to come,”  Jason said.

He was only 16 when he started UG in 2017 and his love for computer science blossomed further. Jason was encouraged to  join UG’s Cybersecurity Club by the founding members who saw his passion. Quickly, he moved up the ranks, becoming the Events Coordinator and later, a Club Executive. And that helped to further propell his success.

During his time at UG, Jason also passed on his knowlegde to younger students, and joined a team of passionate Cybersecurity practitioners to train students in the art of testing the defense of various computer operating systems to enhance their security from potential threats (also called penetration testing).

The UG graduate was also afforded a chance to tutor other students by his lecturer, Sandra Khan who is also apart of the Cybersecurity Club.

Commenting on Jason’s success, she said “ It was a joy to see the synergy of the Club and Course embodied in Jason as he developed his  understanding of the theoretical principles, the practical applications, and an understanding of the wider national and international cybersecurity policy framework. Jason performed beyond expectations as tutor for two consecutive years.”

Jason’s impressive work continued on a national scale. In 2019, he was part of the team that represented Guyana in the Organization of American States (OAS) CICTE’s Diplohack challenge event Washington D.C, United States, where Team Guyana competed against Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, Costa Rica and Mexico on drafting policies regarding the security of information systems and their efficient recovery from cyber-attacks.

“The Diplohack event was a big eye-opener for me after seeing our team feel the squeeze from Universities that were well versed and experienced with Cybersecurity Policy and Incident Response,” Jason said.

And then in the same year, he received an internship opportunity with The National Data Management Authority (NDMA) within Cybersecurity Operations to perform proactive monitoring and response to cyber incidents for the eGovernment’s network infrastructure.

Jason was also elected as President of the Cybersecurity Club for the year 2020/2021.

The UG graduate also worked remotely as a Cybersecurity Consultant with the G5 Cybersecurity, a Caribbean-based Cybersecurity organization.

While working with them, he took
part in projects for building an informational center to document the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy progress of all Caribbean countries for the G5 Cybersecurity blog.

The G5 Cybersecurity also built the Caribbean Cyber Team, an online group that provides resources and learning opportunities to upskill individuals interested in building a career in Information Technology and Computer Science.

And just last year, Jason joined other stalwarts from the Cybersecurity Club as Guyana’s only participant group in OAS CICTE’s International Cyber Ex 2021 Competition where Guyana ranked 36th out of 82 competing countries.

“Of all the achievements I have managed within my career, my greatest prayer was that my elders who were my all-time supporters would be there to witness it when it is all done and that I’m most grateful for,” Jason shared
His biggest supporter was his mother, Arlene Andrews who was an Accounts graduate of the UG, and now has a professional career in Management and Accounting.

“Long nights and sometimes many sleepless hours were what I have been doing to support my boy. Even the nights when I fall asleep while he is studying, I’m there to show my presence of support.

“Some nights it used to take the effort to remind him of work due, so he catches up on everything he had to do,” the mother stated.

(Extracted and modified press release from University of Guyana)

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