Julia Seppä, Deloitte, Cyber Risk Manager
Master of Economics and Business Administration
Cyber advisory roles and business development of technology practices, including volunteer work related to cyber security matters and chartered accountants.
Yoga and reading business books.
Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.
Our April role model is Julia Seppä, a career changer who joined the cyber security industry four years ago. Following in her mother's footsteps, Julia started in finance. Over the years, she became a financial audit manager working on complex projects and leading a team of experts. Fast forward nine years. Julia was at a point where she had accomplished everything she hoped for and was ready for a meaningful change.
She was good at understanding key business processes across a variety of industries, including telecom and manufacturing in Finland, and had valuable work experience as a team lead and a project manager. She also knew how to apply risk management and corporate governance frameworks, as well as understood the roles and responsibilities of the audit committee and the board of directors that oversee a company.
For Julia, the business aspect and cyber risk connect naturally. Therefore, when she was asked to join Deloitte’s cyber security team she did not hesitate:
"I think that cyber security chose me. I was asked to join our cyber security team and I thought: Really, why not? This sounds like a great opportunity!"
For Julia, one of the key things in business is being able to connect with people to better understand the problems they face and solve. Julia emphasizes that tackling modern cyber security challenges requires diverse multidisciplinary expert teams. Unsurprisingly, she enjoys collaborating and problem-solving with her team and clients.
Sometimes Julia thinks of herself as a “cyber to business interpreter” when she engages with business and technology stakeholders such as software and security engineers. Depending on who you talk to, it helps when you are comfortable using both business and technical vocabulary.
Most of the people Julia works with are quite busy and multitask a lot. She admits that this creates certain challenges when it comes to ensuring the right things are prioritized at the right time and the necessary results are achieved. That’s why setting clear expectations, connecting them to a purpose everyone feels good about, and proactive communication with the team and clients is important.
Julia is optimistic and sees a definite move towards gender diversity since she joined the field 4 years ago – both inside Deloitte’s cyber team in Finland, and in the number of women working in cyber security globally.
Julia also shared that Deloitte launched a cyber program in Finland focused on addressing the cyber security talent shortage by re-skilling career changers. The program consists of intensive learning activities on cyber security foundations over the summer and on-the-job training for another 12 months. Julia is very pleased to say that the first successful applicants for this program were women.
Julia’s tip for someone considering cyber security as a career:
Greetings to our readers:
Yes, it is possible to change careers. There are many opportunities within the field of cyber security. Make sure you are connected to technology and cyber industry professional networks. For example, I am a participating in the events organized by W4CFI and Women In Tech communities in Finland. Use the power of networking and join events. Go and meet different people and learn what you can do. Ask someone, who you feel connected to and whose career inspires you, for a coffee or lunch. There is a place for everyone. You have the freedom and options to choose from. Pick up the role that best suits your interests!
A big thanks to Women4Cyber Finland. Keep up the good work!
To readers: I will be happy to hear from you. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.