Meet Magdalena, Cybersecurity Program Manager at Sigma Defense. Born in Spain, Magdalena came to the United States on a postgraduate scholarship. After several years in academia and as an independent contractor, and upon earning a Master of Science in Information Management at Syracuse University’s iSchool, she started a career in IT and says, “It’s been a great ride. I have lived in various beautiful parts of the country—northern Virginia, California, and now Florida with a couple of overseas stints in between.”
What is your role at Sigma Defense?
I am the Cybersecurity Practice Lead, which means I’m responsible for developing and overseeing the cybersecurity as a company-wide competency.
When did you join Sigma’s team?
In April of 2017. The company has undergone a significant transformation since, and I have been lucky to be a part of it.
How has your position evolved from the time you were hired until now?
I started as a cybersecurity engineer, supporting one government customer where I was one of a team of only two. The team started to grow and with that the scope and the responsibilities of my position, first to those of a team lead and then manager.
What training or cross-pollination opportunities were you provided to help you transition into a new role?
Cybersecurity functions are intrinsically tied to all programmatic areas, and I was naturally exposed to invaluable embedded learning, and I capitalized on it. When the company experienced structural growth in 2021, there were opportunities to contribute beyond the specific program I was supporting. I was included in leadership sessions, and I am appreciative of having been given an opportunity to shape that transformation as part of my career progression.
What has your experience been with our company culture?
If we think of culture as patterns of behavior and interaction, I have always felt a general sense of professional intimacy, a focus on people and on relationships that foster closeness and trust. Despite the fact we are a geographically dispersed workforce, there is a concerted effort to maintain the human connection and that is foundational to performance.
What are you most proud of accomplishing at Sigma Defense?
First, building a team of cybersecurity professionals that are not only motivated but also motivating – good people attract good people; and secondly, raising the visibility of cybersecurity as a cross-functional discipline through dialogue and relationship building, always focusing on the ‘why.’
Why do you recommend Sigma Defense as a choice employer?
Sigma is exemplifying its core values every day by putting the individual at the center of the company activities. Communication is deliberate, transparent, and welcoming, as seen in our quarterly All Hands sessions, our Bits and Bytes newsletters, and New Hire bulletins. Learning and talent development are also placed at the forefront. We are regularly invited to learn about from each other, through in-person gatherings or on virtual platforms such as Learn-to-Win’s Storytellers. There are Teams channels specifically focused mentoring. We even started a virtual book club recently. In short, Sigma, as an employer, has fully embraced the fact that the degree of success and happiness of each employee will transpire into what we bring to our teams and to our customers. I know the word ‘synergy’ is overused, but it really describes what our company is about, which is to produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. And who does not want to be part of something bigger than themselves?
Where can others connect with you on LinkedIn?