From Waiter To SOC Analyst: How One Flatiron School Grad Turned COVID-19 Into A New Career Path

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photo of Jonathan G, a Flatiron School graduate who went from waiter to SOC analyst

Jonathan Rangel Garcia has done it all - from volunteer paralegal to real estate. Most recently, he had a successful, 15-year run in the service industry, working his way up to captain waiter at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan. But, like many others in the service industry, Jonathan’s restaurant was hit hard during the pandemic, and he lost his job. 

Unsure of how quickly the hospitality industry would recover, Jonathan decided it was time for a career change. He decided to try turning his hobby of tinkering with technology into a new career in cybersecurity after graduating from Flatiron School. 

We sat down with Jonathan Rangel Garcia to learn more about what sparked his curiosity in a cybersecurity career, and how he made it happen. Check out what we had to say...

Program: Online Cybersecurity Analytics, Full-Time

Location: South Haven, Michigan

Why did you want to get into cybersecurity analytics?

Like many in the service industry, I lost my job once the pandemic hit.  I decided I wanted to make the best of a terrible situation and use the time to pick up a new skill.  I was always a hobbyist when it came to technology, so I knew I wanted to do something in the IT field.  Thanks to some amazing people in my life, I was steered towards cybersecurity.

Why did you choose Flatiron School?

Initially I was going the self-study route, but I felt like I wasn’t sure where to start or what to focus on, and I needed more structure.  After some research, I decided to join a bootcamp. A friend of my girlfriend had amazing things to say about Flatiron School.

What were some of the highlights of your course?

So many highlights! My cohort was filled with wonderful people from diverse backgrounds (who I still keep in contact with). My cohort coach and SIEM instructor were very knowledgeable and supportive.  I was able to interact with many tools I will need in my new career. But, best of all, I was once again motivated to learn - something I had been missing since college.

Where do you work, and what do you do there?

I was recently hired as a SOC analyst with Security Risk Advisors.  I will be on a team tasked with securing various client organizations using a variety of tools. This includes monitoring for threats and responding to alerts using SIEMs, Network Security Monitoring, and Endpoint Detection & Response tools.

How did Flatiron School help you find your current position?

Besides providing me with the skills necessary to get my foot in the door, Flatiron School has an amazing career services program. I was assigned Rick Dobbis as my career coach, and he was pivotal to my landing a job with Security Risk Advisors.

How do you feel about your current career path? Was a cyber security career what you expected it to be?

I don't think enough time has passed for me to answer this question, but I'm very excited to start my new career and continue learning. Cybersecurity was more than I expected. It was a very difficult bootcamp, full of long, frustrating hours, but it was all worth it. In the long term, I see myself managing a team like the one I'm about to join at Security Risk Advisors. 

Are you looking for a career change like Jonathan? Check out the Cybersecurity Analytics bootcamp at Flatiron School. You can choose to learn full-time (12 weeks to graduation) or in one of our flexible pace programs (complete in 20, 40, or 60 weeks). 

Book a 10-minute chat with admissions or download the syllabus to learn more about the program. 

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Blair Williamson

Content Marketing Manager

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