Since I started my degree at ODU, I have been working full time in systems administration and network engineering. I decided to enroll here in order to augment my experience with hands on management with a degree in cybersecurity to assist in moving into another role later in my career if needed.

The following is a summary of some of my work experience: 

When I was in high school I worked with the sysadmin at the school on basic tasks, and it was my first entrance into the career field I’m in now. I was responsible for supporting over 3500 teacher and student computer systems using tools such as Active Directory, Visual Basic and Powershell scripting, and SCCM to streamline and automate frequently used tasks to make work more efficient. I utilized a ticket support system to manage and resolve computer issues with end users and other schools in a timely manner. Primarily customer service focused, I learned how to interface with team members and leaders.

After I graduated, I initially enrolled at ODU in the CS program, and began working for the CS department doing basic sysadmin tasks, later graduating into design, implementation, and administration of the ODU CS Dept. network, including a small datacenter and multiple campus buildings worth of equipment. I also managed a fleet of around 400 Windows Server and *nix servers, utilizing vCenter and ovirt/libvirt to virtualize our infrastructure servers

Later in my employment I shifted to a leadership position where I managed approximately 10 system administrator employees and developed an internal curriculum for providing professional development in networking related topics for student employees. Responsible for researching & procuring equipment and maintaining relationships with department VARs

Currently, I work for a company name MAP communications where I design, deploy, and manage highly available data center, remote site, enterprise campus, and AWS VPC networks used for answering hundreds of thousands of VoIP calls per day, with approximately 600 concurrent calls at any time. Primarily utilized Ansible automation to deploy Fortinet firewalls, Cisco Nexus equipment, SD WAN equipment, and Cisco enterprise switches. I interface with system administrators to help manage virtualization and NAS storage configurations and design, as well as Linux and Windows administration when needed.

Recently, I have pioneered other automation projects to enable a more flexible DevOps pipeline to help developers augment their application to convert their legacy projects into a container focused model. Implemented a host overlay approach to connect a kubernetes deployment into a VXLAN EVPN fabric using calico and other automation scripts to allow for easier service deployment of applications.

Looking forward in my career, I would like to move into a “NetOps” role where I focus on network programming. My programming skills are not the best, and I would like the challenge of designing something that would be using the in the networking ecosystem. I hope that my degree in Cybersecurity would give me the proper perspective to execute this job in a secure manner.

Free time

When I am at work I usually spend my study time working on a homelab that I have as well as studying networking and networking history. Computer networking is my passion, and I enjoy seeing the evolution of where it is today.

I also run a blog named NatalieNetworks where I talk about the history of networking, and provide guides for many of the technologies I use everyday for my job. I created it using a VTuber persona in order to provide a more engaging experience, and work out some of my writing creativity skills. Most of my day is spent using terminals or programming, so having a chance to write scripts for videos and blogs is a change of pace for me that allows me to keep my writing sharp.