Virginia Tech® home

Lynda Toumi

Meet Lynda Toumi, a student at Virginia Military Institute.

(Answers have been edited for clarity and length)

Where are you from/where do you call home?

The Northern Virginia area.

What drew you to the cybersecurity field?

My mother exposed me to the field of STEM very early in my childhood, from the USA Science & Engineering Festival to the Air Force Association's CyberPatriot competitions, to various cybersecurity and hacker conferences, like DEF CON, Black Hat, and BSidesNoVa. She taught me early on that no matter what my passions were, cybersecurity will have relevance. 

Describe some useful takeaways you learned from CCI events. 

The CCI Cyber Fusion competition gave really great exposure to some of the lower-level concepts in the cyber domain, like forensics and reverse engineering. 

It also emphasized the importance of being able to communicate well with others, whether it was with your team while working against a clock, or while networking with potential employers.

What do you hope to learn as an intern?

I hope to learn more about how to use my technical skills and apply them to intelligence or analyst work.

What’s the best advice you’d give to students or career changers interested in the cybersecurity field?

Cybersecurity is a field that has applications and importance in any domain. As a student, starting your career in cyber will open doors and create opportunities like no other. 

The skills you acquire while working in this field or while learning in your own time will be seen as an asset everywhere you go, and will keep you on your toes due to the nature of technology's growth.