This month, I and several others from the University of Technology Sydney, Southern Cross University, Charles Sturt University, and many others attended the first inaugural NSW Police Force Cybercrime Think Tank. My team, CyberOne, supervised by Angela Huo & Priyadarsi Nanda, managed to reach the finals. Through this think tank, my team explored and provided several solutions to real-life challenges affecting individuals and society concerning cybercrime and how we can make individuals more resilient to such attacks.
Due to the end of lockdown, I decided to turn a new leaf and be more outgoing. In addition to this, I tried picking up many hobbies or tasks that I'd typically be reluctant to do, specifically public speaking and case competitions. After being introduced to this competition by my faculty head for my university, I decided to exit my safe zone a little bit and try something unique, if not enjoyable, case competitions.
This was my first ever case competition, while I initially thought they would be easy compared to a hackathon. I was definitely mistaken. In contrast, whilst I've done a fair share of hackathons over the past year, both in-person and remotely. Case competitions were an entirely different beast. Instead of competing against mostly other computer scientists/software engineering majors, I entered unfamiliar grounds. The land of investment bankers, commerce students, and shudders extroverts. Through this case competition, I was introduced to the importance of soft skills and how significant the differences of these skills are when demonstrated by industry experts.
Through this, I learnt that public speaking as a whole has a lot more nuances associated with it. In contrast, I can perform decently in university assignments & related society presentations with ease or not too much difficulty. This competition was different. Unlike every other public speaking event I've done this year, this one filled me with panic and unease. The competition consisted of full-time working consultants, some with multiple decades of experience, the keynote speaker, an ex-facebook executive and the judges, the head of the NSW police force with many other cybercrime experts.
For a first case competition, it is no exaggeration that I may have gone over my head and have had accidentally selected the final boss stage instead of the tutorial one. However, I still composed myself and presented the best I could. While there were a few "ums" and "errs" throughout the speech, it could've gone a lot worse. While it was stressful or anxiety-inducing, it was also enjoyable.
This event introduced me to a field that I was incredibly unfamiliar with which was also incredibly interesting and fun. While I initially thought this field was out of my reach and "not my style", through this case competition and hopefully many others, I hope to practice further and improve these skills. This competition introduced me to a place where public speaking is not just daunting but also fun. This competition additionally introduced me to the realm of consultancy. While I'm primarily a software developer at heart, consultancy has also piqued my interest, and it's a field I wouldn't mind exploring in the future.
Once again, I'd love to thank my team, Jennifer Nguyen, Derek Liu, Bao Hoang & Lachlan Lu, for participating with me; without your guys' support, I'm positive we wouldn't have gotten this far.
A big thank you to the NSW Police Force, Stephen Scheeler & Justin Cook, for co-hosting this event; it was truly a pleasure attending.