A Career in Cyber Strategy Consulting: Featuring Optiv and MSIS Alum Katherine Lin

The Master of Science in Information Systems program at the UW Foster School of Business in Seattle is a one-year, work-compatible, accelerated master’s program designed to train current and future business leaders in information systems management.

The Master of Science in Information Systems cybersecurity classes have been re-imagined to solve tomorrow’s emerging security needs. Our curriculum prepares leaders with the skillsets to detect and prevent cyber threats that occur at the forefront of business and technology.

Cybersecurity is one of the hottest fields MSIS students pursue and our graduates are represented in a variety of cyber roles ranging from engineering, to strategy, to consulting, across Seattle’s leading companies. 

Katherine Lin, MSIS Class of 2020 alum and Associate Consultant II at Optiv, is one of our many alums who have transitioned into a career in cybersecurity upon graduation. We are excited to welcome her back as a speaker for A Career in Cyber Strategy Consulting.

Read more about Katherine’s experience and join us on May 4th to hear from six Optiv leaders as they share more about who Optiv is, what their organization does, and what career opportunities they currently offer.

Can you share how MSIS prepared you for a career in cyber?

MSIS provides a comprehensive set of curricula addressing hot topics in the IT and business world, and I found security to be an indispensable component of them all. Each quarter I had the opportunity to explore at least one domain in security and learn about how these pieces combine to uplevel security posture. This helped a lot in shaping my way of thinking and approaching real-life security problems that I encounter at work. 

Can you share about your experience working at Optiv?

What does your day to day look like at Optiv? 

My main responsibilities as an Associate Consultant at Optiv include supporting the ideation, creation, and delivery of custom security solutions for client engagements. And, developing thought leadership and business development materials (Point of Views, Whitepapers, etc.). Based on my own experience, I don’t think there is a so-called typical or average day of being a consultant at Optiv. My work varies depending on what kind of projects I’m on and who I’m interacting with. But in general, flexibility is key because there are usually a lot of things going on at the same time.

Why do you like working at Optiv and what do you find most rewarding in this position? 

At Optiv, I experience the most supportive environment where people truly care about each other, embrace a collective culture, and strive for the better. I get to work closely with everyone in the team and it has always been a pleasure. The team makes effort to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and offers excellent resources for personal growth and career development.


What is your advice for students who are exploring a career in cybersecurity?

When I discovered my interest in cybersecurity, I reached out to many working professionals hoping they could offer me some insights, and that’s how I met my current team lead who brought me in for an interview [at Optiv].

Cybersecurity itself is a very broad area so no worries if you haven’t decided which specific domain you’d like to dive deeper into. My suggestion is to talk to many experienced professionals as well as doing research and self-learning. It’s also common to see people pivot into cybersecurity after having a few years of IT experience. 

Learn more about the Master of Science in Information Systems Program.

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