Studying for the ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity exam is no simple task, but as Louise Esporlas, CC explains, earning the certification helped define education and career pathways.

Louise Esporlas, CCI've dreamt of a career in cybersecurity for as long as I can remember. The journey began with a simple fascination with technology and the internet, evolving into a passion for protecting digital spaces. However, the path was not always clear, and the obstacles often seemed insurmountable.

My first significant step was earning the ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity (CC) certification. This foundational credential is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a validation of my skills and knowledge, a stepping stone into the broader world of cybersecurity. It wasn't easy. I spent countless nights studying, balancing my learning with work, and often battling the creeping doubts and anxiety that come with venturing into the cybersecurity field.

Despite these challenges, CC opened doors for me. It provided a solid base to pursue more advanced certifications and specializations. With this certification under my belt, I felt empowered to tackle more complex subjects and advanced courses. I enrolled in programs that delved deeper into network security, information systems, and ethical hacking.

The journey was far from smooth. I faced hardships both personal and professional: balancing work, studies, and having a personal life was a constant struggle. But the support of my mentors and my reliable network was invaluable, providing guidance, knowledge, emotional support and encouragement. Their belief in my potential and strengths has been an important factor in my progress.

A significant milestone in my journey was the Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) Security Training Scholarship. This multi-stage opportunity was also a game-changer, providing me with access to advanced courses, classes, and certifications. During this period, I experienced profound growth. The structured program, combined with the support of a cohort of peers and mentors, helped me stay focused and motivated. We supported each other through the various stages, sharing our struggles and successes. The sense of community was powerful and uplifting.

Despite all the support and opportunities, I still experience moments of doubt like everyone else - but reminding myself of my goals and visualizing the path towards them helps. I remember that I dreamed of reaching where I am now. My journey in cybersecurity is ongoing, filled with continuous learning and growth. Every certification I earn, every course I complete, is a step forward in my quest to become a cybersecurity professional.

I’m now being recognized for my efforts, and that recognition is incredibly rewarding. The path may be challenging, but I am committed to seeing it through, empowered by the knowledge and skills I have acquired and the unwavering support of my mentors and community.