The Movie Scene that Led to a Career in Cybersecurity

Grace Fejokwu
Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity (GT ’22)

The 1993 movie Jurassic Park may have inspired a generation of scientists, but one scene in particular motivated at least one young woman to become a cybersecurity expert.

Grace Fejokwu, a security analyst with experience in the financial and telecommunications sectors, saw the possibilities for her future when watching the 12-year-old Lex, played by Ariana Richards, on the big screen restoring a security network. Lex’s computer wizardry on the park’s UNIX system kept the velociraptors from snacking on her friends. It also motivated Fejokwu from a young age to pursue technology.

Fejokwu is currently a student in Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity (OMS Cyber) program and works full-time as a security analyst at American Express. At her job she handles a very different type of threat than the one in the movie that first inspired her.

“The most exciting part of my work is learning about different security protocols and procedures to ensure that our applications are protected from data breaches and cybercriminals,” said the Dallas-based Fejokwu. “It is very important that security professionals stay up-to-date on their skills to protect and mitigate risks to their organization.”

Fejokwu has started her own platform, Route to Security, to provide underrepresented groups information and career advice about cybersecurity.

“One motivation for me is to empower young people and minorities to succeed in their cybersecurity careers or transition to one,” she said. “Who knows, perhaps I can be like Lex in some way and inspire others to follow their dreams.”

Georgia Tech’s new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy is using the experiences of Fejokwu and her peers to help build future educational opportunities, including new degree programs, for those looking to enter or advance in the cybersecurity and privacy industries.

Explore GT Computing’s Creating the Next Generation, a celebration of the black computing community in the College of Computing and beyond.

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Contact: Joshua Preston, Research Communications Manager