Harsh Shah

I am always hopeful that good things will happen. I also believe being positive gives you the power to tide through tough times.
In the quest to land his dream job in the IT field, Harsh took up leadership roles in school and honed his workplace skills by working at a start-up. He explains how the little steps that he took led to bigger things in his strive towards his goal.

Fill in the blank with the adjective that describes yourself best:  I am optimistic

Please do elaborate on why you chose the adjective above.
I am always hopeful that good things will happen. I also believe being positive gives you the power to tide through tough times. What got you interested in digital systems science? I was always intrigued by the hacker community and how cool they seemed to be. This was pretty much the only inspiration that got me to join a Systems Security course. I also aced the programming modules back in high school and that sealed my decision to take it up as a career.

Why did you choose to come to SIM GE to pursue your degree?
When I was applying to study for a degree, the University of Wollongong was the only university which offered a major in Systems Security and it was something I wanted to expand my knowledge on and make a career out of. Additionally, this was the only course which didn’t solely rely on theoretical exams but it also had hands-on labs and assignments.

How has your time in SIM GE played a part in your personal development?
I was very active in the UOW Student Council where I became General Secretary and then President. The valuable experience that I gained while leading the Council and working with others in difficult and testing times allowed me to be better prepared for the journey beyond university life. It taught me to be positive, to work hard in order to bring change and inspire others to envision what they are striving for and I am very grateful for this.

What was your most memorable experience being in SIM GE?
I miss everything that I have learned in SIM and every day that I have spent there. The challenges faced, lessons learned, friends made and relationships forged are all very dear to me. SIM will always remain close to my heart.

What do you think was the key to helping you land the job at KPMG?
I worked as a web application developer for nine months in a start-up after graduating, before I eventually got the chance to work in the cybersecurity workspace in KPMG. I was eagerly waiting for this opportunity to work at KPMG, and with patience and perseverance, I eventually secured the job. I believe that my stint at my first job allowed me to stand out among the rest of the interviewees. Hence, I would like to say that it is always good to grab any opportunity when it comes to learning something new as it will definitely be helpful in the future.

Has the UOW degree programme at SIM GE equipped you for your current job?
Definitely! The programme has helped to strengthen my basic principles and added new skills to my armoury that enabled me to grow exponentially. The course has helped me to gain a wide conceptual knowledge base with the relevant hands-on experience.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I would say it’s the people. My colleagues are the best thing about my job. They make my job less of a chore and more of a fun wholesome learning experience. We are all learning, growing and backing each other up during the tough times. Secondly, I love what I do for a living - hacking for a living is a dream. It never seems like there is a dull workday.

What resume/career tips would you have for fresh graduates?
I would say keep it simple.  Don’t overcomplicate and overpromise in your resume. As fresh graduates, be open-minded, receptive to change and be willing to put in the effort to learn something new. Always take up side projects that are relevant to the industry you are eager to enter, as it will be a testimonial of your interest and curiosity in the field.

#IChoseTheSIMPathway #ThisIsMyStory

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Posted online, 02 May 2019