EvolveSec Online | December 2023 | Michael Kim

Music Producer to Red Team Operator: How Michael Transitioned into a Cybersecurity Career

Meet Michael Kim, a pentester with government clearance. Before beginning cybersecurity, Michael worked as a DJ/producer, making his own music. Music had become his safe haven. Right before the pandemic happened, Michael visited his family in Korea. When COVID-19 cases began popping up in the USA, Michael’s family encouraged him to stay since they thought it would only take a couple of months to resolve. Instead, it took a couple of years. Because no one could go anywhere and meet people, his music did not go anywhere.

Michael has always been interested in cybersecurity and hacking, but he never thought he could get into it. However, a few people suggested that he attend a bootcamp. Eventually, he decided to join the Evolve Security Academy bootcamp. Although he was initially skeptical, he had plenty of time to study during the shutdown, so he decided to give it a try.

During his time at the Evolve bootcamp, Michael noticed that almost everyone in his group was interested in doing red team (offensive security) activities together, such as Hack the Box. The network Michael developed with his peers at the bootcamp continued to benefit him even after graduating.

After completing the bootcamp, Michael shifted his focus towards his LinkedIn profile as he searched for job opportunities. Social media presence has become increasingly crucial regardless of the field you pursue or work in. Employers or applications often ask for LinkedIn or another social media platform link. Michael utilized his music and self-promotion background to optimize his LinkedIn profile, worked to build his connections, and posted regularly. He then turned his attention to his resume and worked on refining the language to sound more technical.

Michael's hard work paid off when a company hired him as a cybersecurity test engineer. After working for a month, the company started interviewing people for their pentest team, and they selected Michael to join it. Michael still feels connected to the network he built at the Evolve bootcamp, which helps him and other cybersecurity professionals deal with imposter syndrome on a regular basis.

If you're ready to start a career in cybersecurity, head to our website, www.academy.evolvesecurity.com, to learn how our #1 ranked training will provide you with the expertise, experience, and job preparation you need to succeed in the cybersecurity industry.