A Face In The Cloud – Dominique West
Here at Cloudreach, we believe that the growth of a great business is fueled by great people. It is our talented individuals that make Cloudreach the success it is. Today Dominique West, Security Operations Engineer, tells us about her experience at Cloudreach and her involvement with the organization’s D&I initiatives.
Hey Dominique! It would be great to start with your journey so far. What drew you to the tech industry and Cloudreach?
I began my journey in technology at the age of 5 or 6, watching my father take apart and work on computers in his then job. I would watch him for hours, asking a ton of questions, and eventually was taught how to do the breakdown myself. I’ve been hooked into technology ever since – going on to take classes in high school, achieving my BBA in Computer Science, and now finishing up my Masters in Cybersecurity.
I was introduced to Cloudreach by a recruiter and after doing some research my interest was definitely piqued. What ultimately made the final decision was the very welcoming interview process. It was the first time I had seen, and heard from its employees, of a company that truly valued a positive culture and the thoughts of its employees.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Aside from having quite possibly the best team at Cloudreach, I enjoy the opportunity to learn and work on a wide variety of projects. This allows me the chance to interact with various Cloudreachers from all over, which is awesome.
What led you to join the API (Alliance for Partnerships & Inclusion) Council?
To me, inclusion and diversity is a very important factor when it comes to working for an organization. Having the API Council is an important first step towards progressing representation not only in the company, but in the technology field as a whole and I intend to lend my voice in any positive way I can.
We hear you’re also an adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, has this had an impact on your thoughts about diversity in the tech field?
Yes it has! I was reached out to by the University and at first was a bit hesitant since I had no formal teaching experience. My thoughts ultimately changed as I reflected on my own educational experience; I had not one women professor in any of my technology related classes, let alone a person of color. The lack of diversity and relatability stuck with me throughout the beginning of my career and as I progress further I aim to change the statistic in technology and more specifically the Information Security sector.
What advice would you have for students who are considering a career in the tech industry?
Be patient, be open, and be versatile. Those are the three most valuable lessons I have, and continue to, learn throughout my career. Patience because we (see I) tend to want to know – and do – everything at this very second. It is virtually impossible and prevents you from enjoying the moment/journey. Be open to new opportunities and versatile in your learning – get your hands on any and everything.
If you had to choose one artist/band to soundtrack your life, who would it be?
Whew, that’s a hard one. If I had to choose it would be Beyonce or BTS.