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Using Adaptability & Grit from her Army Days, Shirley Becomes a Microsoft Security Analyst During a Pandemic

When we interviewed Shirley Wu for TLG’s Network Development Engineer Pre-Apprenticeship program, we asked her what skills she would use to help her succeed.  She said 8 years in the Army means grit, adaptability, and an attitude of working at something until a solution is found. We had no idea how much of this she would end up showing us.

It so happened that the Pre-Apprentice cohort she joined was destined to be put through the wringer.  They started class on the same day the United States received news of its first Covid-19 case, not far from where their class sat. By early February, she and her classmates had Network+ certification under their belts, but they had to move classrooms to make way for the Vice President’s Coronavirus Task Force.

By late March, they were finishing Linux+, but this time they were bringing their studies home while the state (and the world) headed indoors. In Shirley’s case, this meant returning home to study with her toddler literally underfoot as the daycare facilities became exclusive to essential workers. She adapted. Toddler underfoot or on her lap, she used what she learned in her class to write her capstone project in Python.

As she graduated in a remote ceremony at the end of April, Shirley was already midway through interviewing with top-shelf tech employers. One of those interviews was with a security team at Microsoft. Today, she is employed as a Security Analyst on a Microsoft team that helps keep us safe.

Shirley and her cohort have already demonstrated that they could overcome disruptions, ambiguity, and complications, and still deliver excellence. Just a small indication of the great things ahead of them in their new careers. We can’t wait to watch!