Andreen Anglin’s career in cybersecurity started with a minor epiphany. After studying English and religion in college, she realized that her intention to become a teacher no longer held much appeal. Instead, she had a growing desire to complement her strong liberal arts background with an equally robust set of technical skills.
Following that realization, a career path fell into place. Andreen enrolled in the U.S. Army to acquire the technical expertise she desired, then earned an M.S. in cybersecurity and joined Booz Allen’s civil government business. Today, she helps federal agencies manage their growing number of cyber risks and serves with the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion of the Virginia National Guard.
A member of the class of 2020 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) Modern-Day Technology Leaders, Andreen has already distinguished herself as one of the brightest minds in cybersecurity. At the same time, she maintains her love of the liberal arts—the Armed Services Art Partnership published two of her poems in their A Common Bond II anthology—and describes her job using the language of right-brain thinkers: “My creativity allows me to solve the problems our clients face.”
What brought you to Booz Allen?
I wanted a job where I could do creative work and grow professionally, and Booz Allen empowers me to do both. My team and I develop strategy guides that help our clients remedy critical cyber vulnerabilities. We support intricate government agencies with equally intricate systems that require careful and creative problem solving in addition to technical skills. I thrive off being challenged in both ways.
How has your liberal arts education influenced your career?
Studying liberal arts pushed me to think outside the box and taught me how to formulate compelling arguments. People call those soft skills, but I’ve found them to be invaluable in the professional world.
What does the BEYA Modern-Day Technology Leaders award mean to you personally and for other racial and ethnic minorities?
I’ve never sought the spotlight but certainly appreciate the recognition. The award signifies how much my team supports me and shows that minority teammates have an invaluable impact on our collective ingenuity and success.
What advice do you have for people working in STEM careers?
Always consider the culture and psychology of the end user, because at the end of the day, an actual person is going to be using whatever you design or build.