Posted on September 9, 2022 by Rebekah Alegria

Joshua Speshock Playing an active role in student organizations and having the passion to invariably learn has helped Joshua Speshock succeed in his graduate student journey. With an impressive Technical Marketing Engineer internship with XSOAR under his belt, Joshua shares his knowledge as a leader of several study groups within the university while pursuing a M.S. in Information Technology with a Cyber Security concentration.

Favorite class
Security Risk Analysis Supply Chain Management

The reason I really liked this class is because it taught me the crucially important understanding that you must understand risk and how to deal with it in a very clear and concise manner. That really stood out to me. Also, the labs were excellent because of the excellent job they did of balancing the theory and practical aspects to help my group, and I better understand how to do risk analysis such as vulnerability management. Additionally, the PowerPoint presentation slides used for this class were very high-quality, and I made sure to save them for reference because of how well-structured they are. Overall, this is a course that is very important to understand and take the necessary time and effort to truly put into. The benefits of understanding how to do vulnerability management for a client and help them better understand what vulnerabilities are associated with them and how to articulate that in a very clear and concise manner was truly a lot of fun, and I would take this class again if I could.

Favorite professor
Robert Kaufman

Favorite place to study
JPL Library

What have you learned most from your program of study thus far?
I have learned that being truly passionate and excited about learning is a great trait to have in cyber security because you are constantly learning new technologies, trends, attacks, vulnerabilities, etc. in the field. So, it is very important to stay up-to-date, while also making sure to not burn yourself out.

Furthermore, I would say another thing that the program has taught me is to be active with different student chapters such as the CompTIA Student Chapter, Association of Computing Machinery, Women In Cybersecurity, and the Computer Security Association because they have really great events and members that truly want you to succeed and break into the field of cyber security. I can’t thank the student chapters enough for giving us the really great opportunity to network and be a part of this amazing community.

Another thing that the program has told me is to constantly tell myself that I can do it and believe that anything and everything you dream of doing is possible. It gives me that mindset every day when I wake up because I feel that I can accomplish great things. I want to share that really positive energy and overall excitement with the student chapters I’m associated with to help prevent imposter syndrome and help foster the growth mindset.

Any organizations or activities that you’ve been involved with in the college or at UTSA?
CompTIA Student Chapter
– Fall 2022: Current Digital Forensics and Incident Response Study Group Leader
– Spring 2022: Docker Security Workshop Presenter & Security+ SYO-601 Study Group Leader, and CyberDefenders x CompTIA Capture The Flag Competition Participant.
– Fall 2021: Network+ 007 Study Group Leader
Computer Security Association
– Spring 2022 : How Can Threat Intelligence Improve Malware Analysis Presenter
– Fall 2021: iCTF Guest Speaker
Association of Computing Machinery
– Spring 2022: Rowdyhacks Workshop Presenter, Devops Study Group Leader
– Fall 2021: Intro To Tech Docker Workshop Co-Presenter

What are you watching, reading or listening to right now?

I would say that I really like listening to Darknet Diaries, Threat Briefings by SANS, and reading threat reports from Crowdstrike and Mandiant because they really help me better understand what is happening in the cyber security industry. It enables me to understand what trends are happening, so that way I can stay updated about current events and help get a better idea of what knowledge and skillset is critically important to have in the cyber security industry.

I also try to watch content from time to time of different and very prominent cyber security content creators such as Heath Adams, John Hammond, John Hubbard, Black Hills Information Security, and Gerald Auger because they create really great content associated with cyber security, such as different CTF walk throughs, course material, etc.. The content is very clear, concise, and overall interesting to watch.

In terms of tech, my favorite YouTube Channels that I enjoy watching are Linus Tech Tips, MKBHD, UrAvgConsumer, randomfrankp, Chris Titus Tech, Computerphile and Cyberwox Academy, and David Bombal because the content is a joy to watch. Overall, I enjoy watching tech and cyber security videos because I enjoy lifelong learning.

Professional work experience or internships that you’ve participated in?
Technical Marketing Engineer at XSOAR from May 2022 to July 2022 with Palo Alto Networks.

What are your future career plans?
My future career plans are to become, hopefully, a content developer/instructor for either Tryhackme or HackTheBox because they are two of the most widely known, credible training platforms in the cyber security industry, and I truly want to share my knowledge with the community. I believe that this would be an amazing, fun experience and hopefully it works out, but either way I am going to stay passionate and have a positive mindset. The reason I mention this is because I really enjoy doing study groups, workshops, etc. for the student chapters I’m associated with. It truly is a great learning experience and helps improve my presentation/public speaking skills which is always really beneficial, but overall, I do it because I want to help people live their dreams and accomplish their goals in life. So, if my study groups do that and motivate other students to learn, that truly makes me happy and motivates me to continue on.

What advice would you give to other business Roadrunners?
I would say to constantly remind yourself that you are capable of accomplishing the great things you dream of doing because of who you are. Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and I want to help those who are dealing with it help overcome it because everyone has the desire for a career working for their dream company. I want to motivate people to truly believe in themselves to help them accomplish their goals.

Another thing I would say is to truly take advantage and reach out to your academic advisors, career center, etc. because they truly want to help you succeed and are very caring and passionate in doing that. I recommend taking advantage of everything UTSA has to offer in terms of services, communicating with your instructors, and don’t forget to take advantage of the student chapters offered at UTSA as well.

Stay passionate, stay curious, keep learning, and have fun and enjoy your time at UTSA

Also, make meaningful connections.

— Rebekah Alegria