Caleb Albornoz is a student in the Master of Information and Cybersecurity program and a full-stack software engineer at Wipro Limited. At the School of Information Caleb serves as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice (DEIBJ) student representative. Prior to the I School he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a B.Sc. in computer science and mathematics.
Why did you choose the I School?
I chose the I School because of the interdisciplinary curriculum that it offers, and the reputation of the high-quality alumni that have graduated from the program. The I School at UC Berkeley is the best online master’s program I found. Reading the stories of students who have found their dream job in cybersecurity or founded their own companies was really inspiring. I applied because I wanted to be one of the I Schoolers who constantly make cyberspace more secure. The immense number of opportunities and resources the program has to offer are truly invaluable.
What is an information or cybersecurity challenge that intrigues you?
What intrigues me the most is the adoption of cybersecurity best practices among the common citizen. For someone familiar with cybersecurity best practices, it is not trivial to remember a long list of multiple passwords, or to turn on VPN when we are connecting to a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi network, among others. That’s why we rely on applications that do all of those things for us. The challenge is to effectively educate the large majority of people who fall victim to cybercriminals, especially people in the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
What does Latinx Heritage month mean to you? Do you recognize or celebrate it?
Hispanic heritage month is important to me because we recognize all the Spanish-speaking immigrants who contribute to the development and achievement of the United States. I celebrate it by being a good citizen in my community, and by creating awareness of the value Hispanics bring. Happy Hispanic heritage month to everyone, but most importantly to all the hardworking people in the farming, maintenance, and food industry!
What was your favorite class?
I really enjoyed all the classes I’ve taken in the I School. They all have been really useful in my career. The class that had the biggest impact would be W200, Cybersecurity in Context. It was the very first class I took in the program, and I learned a lot from it. It gave me a great introduction and overview of what Cybersecurity is and what it entails. Learning about the history of hackers was the session I liked the most in that class.
What advice would you give your past self as an I School student?
I would say to learn as much as I can from the classes that I take. Perhaps, discussing with the instructor particular subjects to dive deeper into the topic or any current events. Time goes by so quickly. I wish I could have taken more advantage of the office hours offered in every class. Not only do students have their questions answered, but also get to know their instructors at a more personal level.
What is your favorite thing about the I School?
My favorite thing about the I School is the community. From the instructors, TAs, students, and staff, the I School is a welcoming place. It is a great place to network and make long-lasting friendships. There are various ways I got to interact with other students despite the distance. I really enjoyed the virtual 5K runs, the MICS Coffee House meetings, and the workshops given to better prepare us for the next job opportunity.