Episode · 1 year ago

15: Abertay University


In the first Christmas special by Dundeecast, Andrew talks with three students and alumnis of Abertay University, one of the best universities in the UK and Europe for their chosen subjects. 

Andrew speaks with India Lyall, Daniel Pukkila and Cheryl Tornao as they discuss their journey at Abertay and what amazing things they are doing now and for the future and the Vintage Girls provide the music backdrop for the special with their amazing new single, "Christmas is Here".


Intro - 00:00:00 - 00:00:28
Prelude - 00:00:28 - 00:01:19
India Lyall - 00:01:19 - 00:19:50
Daniel Pukkila - 00:19:50 - 00:36:30
Cheryl Tornao -00:36:30 - 01:01:43
Epilogue - 01:01:43 - 01:03:05
The Vintage Girls with "Christmas is Here" - 01:03:05 - 01:05:10

Christmas is he stackings of I just talk to borrow will befall the best of Jubas will be standing this Christmas time, the ones with the hello and welcome to the Dundee cast Christmas special. This is the first Christmas special of done for the podcast and I'm excited to be sharing this with you. That song, as our interduction, was from the fincher's girls, was Christmas is here and I want to thank them for letting me use the intro for this special episode. So what is a special episode then, you may ask. Well, today's episode will kind of focus on something that I arranged with Aberte University, and I talked with students and Alumini of the university and I can't wait for them to share their stories with you. So without for Lord, let's get into it. And so our first person that I saw, that I spoke to, was India Ale, and she is incredible. Await her explain more about what she does, but this is a story that is amazing. So I hope you enjoy it. My Name's India and currently studying mental healthner saying Aberta University in Dundee, I, loven't done thee yeah, that's that's what I do. Is Now, I was using your student blog from world mental health day and you were talking about like you're what you're doing in the course and that, and you talked, you opened up about depression. What was that wake for you? As somebody who has myself as anxiety and you know that sort of mental health problems, I was love to see how you got into that journey to your opening up about about what you said. I suffered from depression, can at all, all my life, as as long as I've known, and I general anxiety for so long. It was undiagnosed and untreated and I just kind of soldiered on and thought that this was just the way people fell and I kind of suffered alone as well. I wasn't open about my feelings. I was very closed off. I was very up for just being this kind of fun, go lucky person who, you know, to the outside world, seemed like everything was fine. But then when I was a Lord, I was, you know, and I really quite a dark place often, and not all the time, thankfully, but a lot of the time. So it wasn't until about three years ago now that I finally got to sadly, got to a place where it was just I felt the kind of darkest had ever been and even my own family members and stuff started to pick up on just how sad I was feeling and what dreadful place I was in. So it sadly it did take to a really, really dark place to finally reach out and and get some help. It was kind of prompted by my mom as well. She was one that took me to the GP and just said, you know, Indias, you know, and not coping. Well, she's quite suicidal, frankly, very suicidal. So the GP was lovely and he really he took me seriously and I never really thought from what I'd read or what I knew about mental health, and I didn't know much. I just knew about how I felt and that I felt. You know, you kind of feel like you're the only one when you're feeling that way, I think, and that's how that's how I felt anyway. So, but the GP was really lovely and he was really understanding and he got me involved in a team that really helped me. I meant a community mental health team, because I was I was having a mental health crisis and they helped immensely and after kind a months of talk, therapy and,... know, medication and treatment, I was finally going to set free and I felt like I was set free a different person to her was before. I was a person who was more selfaware and more aware of what was going on for me, which was an ellner like anything else, but it was just something that I hadn't really known about or educate myself on or was educated on, you know, growing up. So you know, and I accepted the fact that maybe, you know, taking medication or speaking to people something that I needed to do to make me better, just like, you know, an antibiotic would help tonslaus or something like that. And I learned to accept that. I learned to, you know, accept myself or for feeling that way. So, Kuld, I fast forward after, after, you know, my intensive treatment and coming to terms with who I was and what was going on for me mentally, I'm putting a lot more importance on self care and on, you know, checking in with myself and not trying to overcompensate and not trying to be someone else, just be myself and accepting who I was and accepting my own mental health. I was kind of working and I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with my life or what I wanted to do. I knew that I didn't want it. As much as I love my job. I work in a an optical boutique and in Dundee. It's one of the most amazing places ever, but I know that I knew that I wanted to do something else that was more of a career for me, that was maybe going to help me and hopefully help others. So that's how I came to the decision that I want to be a mental health nurse and study mental health nurse saying at Aberte, because I wanted to make a positive impact and I wanted to make a positive change in other people's lives, because I'd been at the other side of it and I felt like that gave me some form of maybe more empty towards people who were may be suffering and, you know, just a little bit more sympathetic towards it and a deeper understanding of how people might be feeling, you know, future clients maybe. So yeah, I think that that loved experience put me in the right direction and maybe realize what exactly I wanted to do, which was mental health nursaying and not look back since in my second year now, and I love it. I love people. I care a lot about people and fascinated by people. It's good that you open up about your journey from having, you know, having to your work with these problems, but then using that to, you know, doing the experience of you know, have that experience and apply it to be a part of your career. I wanted to know, get involved the mental health nurse and and what so, obviously that was a major influence on what you were doing and so, like, what was the process like? When did you decide you want to go to Alberta and, you know, why did you choose Alberty? What? What was that like when you were applying and what was you when you found out you got into do it? To Do the course? My direction into Aberta was a lot bit different to most people. My mom actually, she did a course Aberti. She's just finished your sociology degree, and the way that she got in, because she was also a mature student, was through the head course at Aberte, which is for people who haven't necessarily got the grace that it wanted at school. Maybe going in later, mature students, people you know, who are choosing to go to university after after working a few jobs or whatever. So then it was my mom that said, because I didn't I didn't get the grades necessarily at school. Wasn't necessarily academic. I was more, you know, wanting to hang out my friends and put focus on other things. So I applied for the head course and I got in, and that what that is. It's it's a one year course of night classes every Monday and Wednesday and it's a mix of cat of all of the courses that appert...

...offer. Can I condensed into, you know, a smaller course. And so we got a test of sociology, psychology, mental health nurse and kind of sports diens, all of that in this course. The reward is such that you get for completing this course and getting a good grade is that you get into university. You get into your chosen course in university. So I knew I went into that course knowing that I wanted to mental health nurse and that was at the end goal. So it just kind of prolonged my journey a little bit, but then not so much, because it's a good alternative to go and and get in more highers as well. So I just found that a really beneficial way and it, you know, introduced me to the university and just me to other students of robberty. And yes, that's how I got in to make health understing. But then we also had to do an interview with because with nursing you always have to do an interview. So you know, it wasn't guaranteed passing that course that you'd get in. And what go what I'm really interested to know, like what goes into the course. So what do you do? And you know, obviously it's really interested in the weakly. It's the learning and that how to, you know, work with maybe people who have got mental health problems and you of your look your chain to be like a mental health nurse and be really interesting to you getting insaive. What kind of things have you done in the course and we where you are at currently. So the course has changed a lot because of lockdown and covid and things, but last year we had classes kind of throughout the week which focused on general nursing because of course that's a huge part of you know, physical health a huge part of mental health, just even things like suspected heart attacks be, you know, a part of attack, for example, which were things I didn't really know about. So I found that really interesting. And obviously physical health plays a huge part of mental health and the sense of you know, physical symptoms come along with mental health. If you're neglecting, you know, your mind, then you're neglecting your body as well. So those two play a part. Or if you know, you're all on your mind. But we got a lot of general nurs and classes. We also got a lot of mental health nurse and classes and those are obviously more into you know, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post dramatic stress, disorder, a whole letter of different conditions which is fascinating to learn about. I think everyone should know, as I says before, when I was going through my own issues, I didn't have the whereabouts, didn't know enough about mental health to know that that's what I was suffering. So I feel like if it's taught more, maybe from a kind of younger age, that people be more aware because, you know, especially with what's going on right now, I think everyone needs to be a little bit more aware of their own mental health and how they're feeling and what they're feeling and know that it's never emphasized or or anything like that, or you over an overreaction. It's completely individual to who you are and to what you're going through. So we have a lot of mental health nursing classes. We also have there's a lot of in class. The would be a lot of debates about no certain ways of nursing stick. Now we battled a lot of stigma as well and within the class and when we get also got clinical skills, which is, you know, all the essentials for for nursing which you learn about. You know. You know, we've got manual handling and and all that kind of stuff as well. All compacted them to honestly, about four weeks and then then by November last year we were out on placement and I my...

...placement was an over sixty five the Mani award. That was on I will treat people who were suffering from depressional anxiety and but I found the dementia awards really fastening and seeing the people there, you know, smile and be happy and and have enjoyment of their lives, you know, when they're suffering from such a kind of terrifying disease. Yeah, I found it a really special placement and I was really, really proud to have been there and to have learned so much. They're to have made such wonderful people and nurses and patients alike this year. So this year it's been a little bit more different with classes and things. But Yeah, we get another placement at the start of this year and then we've just actually finished another one now. The it's it's really interesting you talk about the course and what you do because, like give briefly touched upon there about covid nineteen and I was going to be at moment. Next question is, how was it affected, like your studies and that, and you know, how is it affected your mantal health as well? And because it has been quite big, it has been quite, you know, impactful for everyone as how, like I say, it's really really has raised the weirdness like like also, you see, it really has people thought about their mental health during the pandemic, and so I'd really be interesting annoying. How is it affected you and in terms of your study and your own personally, no health. So I feel I feel like all Kuld of students. I've felt the impact of covid and lockdown and all the things that come along with this. For me, I found if I locked down, really challenging. I'm the kind of person who deals with my own mental health by keeping busy and keeping you know, I quite social person, so I like to see friends and love seeing my family, and then, obviously none of us could do any of that. Then there was also the worry of anyone you love and know UK about getting this as well. So there was a lot of, I can of anxiety that was reintroduced into my life, that I kind of disappeared for a long time, and I know that I'm not alone in that. I know you know, millions, billions of people are feel belt, you know, some form of anxiety through this, because none of us know what's actually is going to happen the next day. coursepies. It was. It was challenging because it'll really enjoyed the core and you know, we were all taken off of our placements that we were on in early March because we were all first years and it was it was deemed a bit too dangerous to have us out on the front line. Feel we were all taken off. So that was that was quite challenging as well, because it was something like Oh, you know, it just the world as bean goes. We know it. It changed, but yeah, I feel like it should have locked down. so much emphasis was on kind of self care and you looking after yourself, checking in with loved ones through, you know, wonderful things like zoom and and things like that. I mean we had a really strong kind of support group within the UNI where it was you know, we had a weekly meeting of our of our group, where we set in discussed, you know, nursaying, but would also discuss how we're all feeling and what was going on in our own lives and know who was picking up maybe like bank chefts, you know, on the Narsing Bank and things like that, and what was going on for them and and things like that. It was it was really it was good to, you know, still be in touch with some people from Uni and still have that kind of feeling of normality and have, you know, just still discuss your course and still discuss things on that level. It was really good. I somebody who has suffered from anxiety myself. I got anxiety disorder and and you know, I've went... kind of coope with and like I have also like gotten helping advice and that, and I was really wondering what space would you get to someone who might be struggling and who would be in like who used to be in these curtly in the position that you used to be in, and who maybe are struggling with anxiety and depression? I think the biggest advice, don't know if you agree, but I think the biggest advice that I would give would be to just reach out to someone, you know, whether it's, you know, I paid in, a friend, a doctor, anyone. I think it's so important to reach out because, as I said to you earlier, I suffered in silence for so, so long and it was really detrimental to my health and, you know, to my completely detrimaut of my well being, and I ended up, you know, being completely crippled by this illness that I didn't know siens be crippled from, because you know there is medicine and there is your talk therapy and that there are things out there that can help. And I think it's a lot to do with battle in the stigma as well. I think you know there's a lot of stigma around around mental health and thinking all well, I just need to be tougher. I think, you know, the world demands us to be tougher and to be stronger and things, but I don't think it's not. I think the strongest thing you can do for yourself is reaching out and admit how you feel. And I think you know, admitting to yourself is an amazing, incredible thing, but admitting someone else is equally amazing and just finding someone that you trust. And I know that's not easy for everyone, but it wasn't easy for me. But once you do, you do feel a lot better and there is kind of Ei there is light within that darkness and there is a way of finding can a normality. As you probably know, once you've got anxiety kind of kind of lingers, you know, and it's just determine and what's healthy anxiety and what's, you know, unhealthy anxiety, what's going to affect your life in a negative way and not, you know, protect your crossing the road or whatever. Really it's really is your share this stuff, because it's important and you know it's really it's too obviously reason awareness of these conditions, especially during this time right now, and and it's really interesting to get your insight. You do and that and I was really wondering. Finally, what I was going to ask you is, once you've done this course Apparty, obviously you say you want to be a mental health nurse. What kind of steps do you hope to go in after you graduate? I definitely want to. I mean, I've saw a lot of placements to go so I'm still not entirely sure what I want to go down. But if I was to qualify tomorrow, thing and of that's going to happen. If I was, I think I'd probably want to work in dementia wards and work with them Altzheimer's and dementia and probably go down and more kind of research through it as well. I want to do a lot of research into Alzheimer's and dementia. So that's my big is passion right now, but as I think, it could change. I mean, I went in initially wanted to work with people with depressional anxiety and things in it. I was really interested and drug addiction and addiction in general, because that's again a fascinating topic and something that affects so many people in this world. And I think the after effects of Covid or, I think it's good to affect more and so yeah, that is something I'd like to be searched as well, but primarily, I think, to mean chaniel famers. Thank you very much, India and I wove talking to her stories absolutely inspired. And then that takes me on to my second guest, who is Daniel Pequila, and he is a computer arts student Alberty. He's been involved in quite a war stuff at the university. So, as...

I've mentioned before, all way Daniel explain his amazing story and I look forward to let him share it with you. I hope you enjoy. I'm Daniel Pokila. I'm from Finland. I moved to down the two and a half years ago. I'm a published poet, Free Lance Journal least, and a strong writer and I'm, of course, currently starting at every day majoring in computer arts and am in my third year. So your you say that your child from Finland. What made you choose unde to what? We do want to come to Dundee? Well, it's a very funny story, or is Hey, I was thinking dy'll stay in Finland, but dude, y'all mishaps and what know, eventually got the opportunity to come to study in Scotland and then when I was going through the universities done, they called my eye, especially Abertay, because it's number one in Europe for like gaining, like game studies, and in Doofer. I feel it's being the best the season I've ever made to come to thendee because it's such a lovely city. Everything's like in walking distance. You have you have your shops, you have your problems, you have your this so much going on all the time. So originally I came because of university, but now, if anyone asks me, I'm like yeah, done, these the place to be and what? So you're and you're studying computer arts for the moment, and what made you choose that course and do it? What's your back crime than to you know, what made you want to, you know, like be where you are and in that study? And how did how did you come to love what you're doing an early age? Was it when you were younger or you know? And then how did you come on to think about doing computer arts? You know, over take? Well, my parents always say that as soon as I could walk and hold a pain I used to draw. So I always had a huge love to like drawing and just the arts and with the years it grew to a love of animation and films and as I was growing up and going to high school and all that, drawing was always there, especially like films and story to in general. And when I finally graduated from high school and was starting to choose what to do, it was only really wanting I thought I could do. It was like drawing in the arts and more so animation, and as I was starting to look into different stuff, I realized that animation is a huge part of games as well, and that's why I felt every day was the perfect place for me. It was I could still pursue my drawing, I could still pursue animation and films all together in one core course. So that felt amazing to me. and Luckily I met one guy back home stealing feeling, who had gone to a birthday and praised it so much to eventually applied and got here, and I can see why it was, why he was praising it, and it's it's obviously when the best universities to you know, Study Fidel game design and computer arts and this this is something that you know, Ab Tay has really taken a pray that and you know, and and what do you, what do you think of you know, the course is it? Is it like what you love about doing the course and computer arts and but what goes into it as well? I'm really interested to find that out. I think computer arts, what's so special about it is that, compared to like different universities and other modules, like other courses, is the usually you have like only animations and you have only maybe one aspect of game these night. Computer Arts. Well, all about it. Thanks everything. We started with life, join the going to illustration. Thank Jenny May. Now we've done like d models. So what so cool about computer or stuff? It gives you like, gives you be much to try out everything, see what you do. That so origin, when I went in, I always thought that no way could do d I'm only good at to the only drawing. Because Computer Arts it gave me the MPORTI... try out. I figured out that, Oh, okay, I'm not too bad at that. So May and you know a lot of students that when they came in they were like no, we jump want just to draw, but now they actually specializing in freating. So they've left the drum. So I feel, I feel that's something very special about computer arts. It's something that like no other university has. But Hell, game are a big part of abertee and it's something that the it's known for in the main because we've got you've got a lot of students, you know, coming to day. I mean obviously the students who some of the woman I from Aberte and could the people who you know, created grandpat all or it's something like I say, the UNPSON can be proud of engine what what's it like being like a student there? It's like you're studying out you studying like the sort of stuff I mean, like, I know you say video games are an aspect of the computer arts course. And what kind of things do you wear there, because I know video games, you know, can be a bit complex with code and you know that source of what how easy or how difficult can it be? It is, as you mentioned, is kind of surreal to think that you're in the same school, studying under the like same influence as some of the greats in the industry and to be a part of that is is quite it's quite crazy. It's very smart. I think Roberta does also is they break support like each course focus on something. So there are the people that code are the people that do the design fort and then there are us, like the Computer Art Students, and we do the art to the game. So slowly, which is very smart. Slowly, each year we kind of are introduced to more and more. So first you were just kind of introduced to like the mechanics on how to kind of build art for game. Last year we made a small game and this yere in thirty rehab like the big project. So it's slowly kind of introduced each part of what you can do and what you could do and even like the art. Were looking computer arts. Each student kind of focuses on something. So this year, in third year, you have the opportunity specializing something. So my friend specialized in tod a few of my friends specializing, specializing treaty, and I specialized in animation. So after you figure it out kind of how it works, how do you kind of build a game, you take one part of that aspect and kind of become really good at it, which is, in my opinion, very smart, smartly done. The course is very having a wall of like interesting stuff. That is partner that and and obviously all winks together with like, like you say, that animation that design in the code then and I like a say like what kind of things would when you do all the sort of stuff? What is the what do you think of the angels out of it, because it's very interesting to go you work on next so much and then you go on to like they say, like if you look back at what's awake when you've done what you want to do. I think, which is what's something very cool, is that we have a lot of like team projects, especially like in second and third year an it's interesting because we usually we get together, come up to a concept or game and everyone kind of we work together by a kind of takes their own aspect. So I might be focusing on animation for a real long time, maybe doing some drawings and that somewhere else doing the coding and slowly, with the weeks, you see the game starting to build up and starting to work. When you have the final you have like a prototyping and actually play. So it's gone from thought to actually it's manifested, your real thing. It's crazy and I remember last year we worked on a project, working fourteen weeks and we've finally got it done and it was like fully polished. Oh it's very warning. After like you've worked in front of a computer for hours upon hours, days after day's you actually have like a playable game and then to release it for other people to play and if they gain enjoyment. For me, all that's that makes all the difference. And at the moment we're in the middle of...

...a Google pandemic and Apper Kate has been quite effective because results locations at Parker House, not to want to go into faith to the wall students. Study House effected you and other students that you may know, and that what's a what's up, had an effect on with your work as well well. It's definitely a very different year because, like the first year and second year, I was so used to going every year, every day, university, meeting my friends. They're a lot, I feel what lectures also say. A lot of the learning comes from like from your peers. So we used to see in groups and while we're work, if we have questions, be us our friends or someone always hoped in. They used to be like a lecture, sometimes walking about thing and likes with you and work with you. So that's a new aspect. So you actually have to do a lot by yourself. So all of the lectures are being released online and then you do them. Of course that's still amazing that they can do so. It's it's still good, but it's definitely affected that, I feel the most, or that you can actually go in, in meet other people and work with them facetoface. Luckily we have one walking session a week, but even that's very, very weird, because you have to see apart from everyone. Well, it's very smartly done so to contain the virus, of course, but said here, yeah, it must be very difficult and you know all of the all being in fairsities in Scotland and I have got blamed the doern and knows you're doing half of half of the courses and in person and half of them online. Yeah, I, like you say, it's a different it's different. What do you think is a difference of you wearing an online and in of the wearing an in person? What's what do you feel like is difference? And do you think it's more effective? Do you think it's more but it's not really effective, and when you know, you know. I mean. So yeah, yeah, I think, I think this is where we're going more and more in the future. I feel all in teaching especially, and off to the after will come out of the virus and everything, because the results, I feel, are quite good. We still getting our work done. Me and my friends are all doing quite well. We're on track. There are like the lectures offer sessions online as well, so you can like talk like we are right now. And Yeah, I think I think it's there's something about like face to face taging, when the lectures right there and you can just ask them a question and they answer you like in class. They just come around and like help you. I feel that's more effective. But I think this is where we're going more and more and we'll go in the future as well, because as an alternative it's not too bad. It just it's a lot. It's more focused on the student, I feel. So you actually have to you actually have to do the work, because if you go into class every week and the lecture see is all right, you have not done anything, you kind of feel bad, but now no one's really breathing on your neck. So speed is just much more on you, I feel. Right now. And like, like you said, whence we come out with the Pan Dy make? What do you hope to do when you come out with this. What's the future going to hold for like what you planned on doing, like may being your next year, maybe, why should you plan on doing and not, hopefully, at the pandemic kind of comes down and do? So what you find out? What you're hoping to do that you've not been able to do now? Right now, I feel like my list is just growing and growing and growing. Day. I'm just waiting at the probably, wilop and like you'll be able to go like the social events again in university. I hope that will just be able to work in groups, face to face more and have like with lectures. Next year I'm going to have like a main like someone that's going to help me with my owners project, so I help to actually be able to meet them, facetoface, discussy, take notes and what know and like on the bigger picture. You, next year is my final year. One good will not good thing, but one thing that the pandemic you could see as a benefit is...

...this actually made everyone think about what they want from life. Never have we really have like such a quiet time of like a time of contemplation. So I think it's definitely change my view. That I why I want from life. I want to work, you know, like what I'm doing now, like enjoy my work, and I'll go back to a mundane routine, so speak. And when I kind of I think people after like being stuck inside. They want to experience life more. So I think we will finally come out of this. COULD BE A post. It's a good fact that people actually kind of embrace their passions and when you, once you finish, you know, your studies, appercate. What do you hope to do for the future? I mean all of the alumni for oberty going to create their own like field game companies, or they going to, you know, create their own business to do like like design and all that. What do you hope to do when you graduate from Abertay? Right now, as I mentioned beginning, I'm a writer as well, so I have a book coming down next year and right now working on another one that should come in a few years. As I kind of came to over day, mostly for animation and for the level films and storytelling. So I really love to start creating my own animations, maybe open a studio or maybe do a master somewhere then open a small studio. I would like to work on my own projects mostly, but if I could get work on something that feels special to me, I love to do that. But I think I'll go on an independent route after I graduate, and Ever Day definitely offers you that. So it kind of shows you what you need in a small studio, how to start make a start up. So I'm really grateful for that. Also at the moment, Dundee done, these going through a lot of change of the moment and we are seeing a lot of new opportunities and one of them is potentially getting an esports arena the city. Yet. What do you think about that? I mean, I was talking to Chris Frander Kol who's obviously the timing for for day studios, and I talked to him and were light so the of the podcast and he was he was speaking about how it could bring a lot of good opportunities to the city and he was expressing his own opinions. What is your thoughts on it? Since your study in and that kind of feel that you know in computer arts with video games in them fold, I think it would be such a great opportunity, not only for Dan day before like it be be a great thing because right now esports it's a it's growing, even though many people my not acknowledgy. I feel that he's the future of sports in many ways, and to have it in a city like Dand in pretty much the home of, I feel, the cradle of game design of Europe, I think he's done the right here because overtay easier so to have that and because you have so many students and so many people that a love games. So actually to have it in the city, I feel be I feeling would not always succeed here, by would draw more people in a mean I think it would be a great, great opportunity and I would be more than excited to have that here. When you're doing a lot of amazing stuff at the moment, like with this course and that. What would what place would you give to someone who wants to who maybe who had that same who have that same drive with you when you were younger, and what what place would you give them and they were or what place would you give someone who wants to get involved in computer art, so obtay and like? What steps would you say today? I would say Bush yourself, don't give up. That always, since I was younger, I always Kinda I feel I the honest and every every person downs there dolls their talents. I would say just keep going at a keep practicing, GEP, doing it. If you have a name. They if you really want to gain to computer arts, you will gain if you push yourself and if you'll do just be ready to be challenged and be always open to learn and take created like critique. So one thing we are thought every day is to be able to take critique and like work on it and kind of then you will help eventually our our work. I feel...

...a big port also is to be able to work in a team. Especially in the industry like this, you have to be able to work in a team. So my advice for like people that are sparring, just studying such a core so like pursue such a career, it's just to keep pep practicing every day. I know they eventually is going to pay off and you are going to get where you want. Thank you very much, Daniel, and it's incredible and amazing to see the work that he's done. Come with see what he does next and there further final guest is Sheryld Tourneo, who is an alumni of abertay university and she has done incredible work. Listener few that Hud was it was inspiring and I wanted to seeing what this woman has gone through and being the person that she's grown to be husband absolutely amazing. So I can't wait to share this one with you and I can't wait for her to share her story with you. So I hope you enjoy it. So, my name Sherlturan who and I'm a cyber security engineer up it solid. I was frutally warned to ask you, Chare ll, you opened up about your childhood on a blog on Aubert his website. Do you mean sharing that story with us and how it impacted you and how inspired you to be where you are today? As I was grown up, my mum was an alcoholic. Unfortunately, my dad wasn't in the picture much. My mom had a string of abusive relationships, shall we see, which brought domestic violence to the house so repeatedly. Myself and my sister and my brother, we were taken in to care from social services and thankfully I've got the best grandparents in the world to always took me in and looked after me fantastically. But unfortunately, when what I got to fifteen and two days after my brother's nineteen birthday he committed suicide, unfortunately. So like that day, that was that was my childhood over, essentially, and when I look back at that point I really had two options. I could have went off the rails even more than what already was due to like the home life and stuff, or I could a knuckled down, and thankfully, like the grief of loss and my brother, it kind of made me knuckle down. I wanted to finish school, like, set my exams, do things that he couldn't do anymore. So so, yeah, of course it affected me negatively, of course it did. But at the same time it's always just been in my head to live for him, to do the things that he can't do. So that definitely encouraged me and inspired me, without a doubt. But I mean, I can't see from a young age that I was into computers and to take anything like that. I left school with some basic qualifications and then went to work an office as an office junior, because at that time that's what girls done. They went to work in offices or here dressers or something like that. So I went an office through I worked in various office rules. Over the years, went from Allus Junger worked my way up to office managers. At that point in the office manager role, it was actually a printer. It was a god awful printer that it kept breaking and I just kept research and how to fix it and the more and more I was researcher and the more and more I got into take and just at that point of time I just realized that digital world was the way forward. Everything was going to be computerized and I thought I wanted to built to support my kids, to be able to give them a good life. Then I was going to need a good job that paid me decent money and I figured that tech was the way to do that. So when I was I think I was twenty six, twenty seven, e quit my job and I apply to go to college to study H...

D computer network and Internet technology, and so I applied or accepted onto it, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. A recently got into early a new relationship. Felt pregnant. After that the relationship ended. I was then left on my own pregnant. I had to like reject the college place. There was no way I could have went into college then due to circumstances ended up homeless. So at that point I had to my daughter, who was like seven eight of the time, and a baby. We were in homeless accommodation. So it took me a while to get my feet back on the ground. Basically managed to get us entire house and got the kids settled like school and nursery etc. And then I thought right, it's time for me to reapply to college. So in two thousand and thirteen I started the hind which went fantastically. After the H D I went into a summer job for three months because at that point I was unsure if I wanted to progress onto university. I from honest, I wasn't sure I was capable. I didn't think I had any to go to university. I always thought that was that was for rich people, that was for like posh people. That wasn't for a Dundee girl that grew up in Douglas. So Letsie, I went into the job. I don't really like the job much, so I thought, well, I could only try sort putting applications to a few different universities, and I was so shocked when I received offers from all the universities that apply to but the abertise ethical Hark and degree that just intrigued to me. I mean, for me it's not so much about the technical side of it, like building these fantastic things. For me it's about protecting and user protecting and incent people protecting kids online. There's so much that goes on online nowadays and if does a fit kids effects under the people and that is where my passion lies. So yeah, I went on to Alberty and did the ethical park in degree and I was just really fortunate throughout my time at Aberty that I was given a project to work on the which was essentially it was a kid's toy, it was a talking doll and the doll wasn't supposed to be able to swear or see any inappropriate words or doing anything in appropriate because of course it was a child's toy. So the project was to see if I cottack the doll, which I took the project on and successfully managed to exploit the doll removed a database by the end of it. It was it was amusing but scary as well to see this, this little cute blond doll, sweeten like a trooper because of course I'd exploited it. But to me it was such a valuable project because, I mean essentially, if I was a bad Harker, I can go outside someone's house with his doll and basically get the kids. Don't me tell someone's cadule the kind of all I'm talking I've got sweete's come outside like that type of thing to need. That terrified me that a child's toy could be exploited in such a way to use against the child. And so yeah, that project was fantastic. It made World News. That actually led on to me, when I graduated from Aberty, to be employed there. I worked there for a couple of years after I graduated before moving on to bright solid. So I mean in terms of what our pretty has done for me, it totally changed my life going to that university. Like our circumstances. By means, no, I'm not rich or anything like that, but we're comfortable. I mean we've got a roof over our heads, there's no more thrait. I've been homeless and the job prospects it just it really has it. It's changed my life definitely. When I look back to my childhood, there's no way that I would ever have imagined being in the possession that I'm in today. I mean the part of it was locked, but the Jorny of it was hard, hard work. I mean it...

...was it wasn't easy at time, spot it's been so worth it really has. That's fair. That is an amazing background and you know, it's inspiring because a lot of the people who I talked to they've got an amazing background that they've kind of taken like like this is fine, as of like when they're starting up for their kind of you know, in a poo, in a very negative position, but then the turn it into a positive and it's sort of special to you know how came show that you can get out of that and get make a positive out of a negative and I feel it's a very inspair and aberty university is one of the best neversities to study this sort of stuff. It is ethical haken, Computer Games, the saying, all this sort of of what what went into the course, like in depth? What went into it? I know you mentioned briefly about like some of the stuff you don't but, like, I'm really interesting in find that. Was it difficult and hard? What was it easy? What was it like and when you kind of started preteen. What was it like for you? So, like I said earlier, I was really apprehensive about going to Aberty because I didn't think I was capable. I didn't think I was good enough because I've done the Hm d before and that gave me advanced angry. So I didn't start in year one of the course I started in the year too, which in itself was difficult because the lecturers expected you to be a year to level having previously done a year. So I mean the majority of things were fine, like I had good knowledge of network and things like that, but we're all really lacked any knowledge. was programming. I've never done any sort of code in before ever, and in one of my very first models are prety. It was we were given a program and task with no real teaching behind it. It was just here's a task, going and build this application. If you don't build it, basically you won't progress. So that to me with the hardest part of university. I had to learn to quote both in a very short period to be built able to submit that assignment, but thankfully done it. I got their signment done and there was various different modules that some of them were really hard, but the hard ones were intrigue, and so there was modules called Ethical Harken which, as you could imagine, taught your concepts on how to ethically harp stuff, which it was difficult, but because I enjoyed it so much, it made it left less difficult, if that makes sense, because it was so enjoyable. There was other modules. So there was a digital friends x model, which was one of my favorites. We were basically given a computer hard drive and we were told that it was a left a role playing scenario. So the computer hard drive been taken from a criminal and I had to investigate the hard drive to see what was on it. So, Alberti, they cleverly used it was photographs of birds instead of, as you could imagine, children etc. So I had to go through the hard drive and find all these like pictures of birds and stuff. It was so interesting. It was one of my favorite models and I could honestly say I will never look at a picture of a bird in the same way again. Definitely not. And so other models. There was a model as well called defense against the dark arts, and I must admit that I've been a Harry Potter farm. That model actually encouraged me to join the ethical hawking course, but again it just gave me like fantastic skills on what to look out for. Basically, the teach you how to think like a criminal. The idea behind that is it's to catch a Hawker, you need to think like a hacker. So we were very much trained to think how to exploit someone. Basically anything that would be deemed unethical, that would be an avenue to look up. And so yeah, it's said there was varied, varied modules. Some of them were difficult, but because I enjoyed... so much it made it that bit easier. And the staff Aberty, like the lecturers. I'm still in contact with them now, even for I gratuated a few years ago. They end up being more like friends than lecturers, I think, because Aberty is quite small, you do get on a friendly face to face, like name relationship with your lecture and you like if there was times, I mean I'm the type of person, but I'm like, if there's someone that's difficult or hard on my any help? Could someone please help me? And they were always very approachable that they would sit down and work through it with you, anything that was difficult. So between like the dedication and me that that are wanted to give my kids a better life, because, of course, by this point I two kids solely depending on me, so like one income, two kids. So I thought I've I've taken this time. I not work and be university where I need to do this. So that commitment from me, plus to support from Aberty and just the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the subject area it made it that bit easier, and also that hard work that you did to get to, you know, finish in the course. And what was it like when you finished it and, you know, graduation? What was it like? So I'll never forget the day when so it's submitted to my my final project, my dissertation, and of course you've then to go and defend your dissertation. So I've been in the university at defended it like it come to the end and like the literally said that that's it, well done, your passed, that, your degree finished, and I remember walking out of our bete university onto the street and honestly could have a jumped for joy theven then just that feeling of triumphlate, Oh my God, I've done it, like I'm going to get a degree like it was phenomenal. That feeling and then on the day of graduation, having my kids there, having my grand there, my Aunty, my sister, seeing how proud they were and then walking across that stage. That was it was a fantastic experience. It's something that I'll never forget and I felt mentally proud to be there. In all out ofsty I still had a touch of I felt like I didn't belong. I felt like like an outsider. How to keep reminding myself, like, you've earned this, you do deserve to be here, like it doesn't matter your background, you're a graduate the same as everybody else in this room. It was a bizarre but wonderful experience. That's very amazing and I love here. A lot of positive stories and it's very good and up. What was it? Of A kind? Me Of him wrong, but did you write a book about it's called the rise of cyber of Faber women of that correct? That's right. Yes, so I didn't personally write the whole book. There was I think the twelve of us and we trot a chap to each so it was women from cyber and beach. Just explain our journey into cyber every woman in the book. None of us had a linear journey into it and we just hope that by sharing I would experience as it would encourage more people, especially more females, and to cyber. And we're seriously under represented, women in Tech, women in Cyber, women in stem, but we just we need to encourage more, more women to get involved, like we can do just as good as the boys can. It takes a diversion mind set. It takes a diverse group of people to make a team work. So having a mixture of males and females, it does work. I mean, and the situation that we're in just now, everything, especially due to like the covid nineteen pandemic. Everything's moved on one businesses were forced to rush online, like to have the workers working remotely, etc. And some instance says security was like lapsed. They're just wasn't enough time and some in some cases, not enough resources... make sure that everything moved online securely. Even more so now we're desperate to get more people and deciber. We desperately need more people to come and defend anycent was the covid nineteen pandemic, and like going into that. How is it affected you with doing like obviously you've said that you work at break solid and that's a big Tech Company and done the and it's how is it affected you in terms of that? Are you working online? was with them or are you still going into the office? Obviously, also with social distance and and that. How was it effected you and your work, what you do? So because bright solid, it's essentially it's a hybrid cloud provider, but we do have a data center. So that data center we are classed as, I think it was level to key workers, meaning that we worked throughout. But before the actual government, and I'm still lock down, we were sent home. I think it was two weeks before the lockdown to ensure that we can keep that data center running. And mean bright solid, it's not an overly big team, so we really couldn't risk for any of us to get sick. I mean the data that we stored in the data centers is invaluable to a lot of places like that data center can't go down. So it was really, really essential that we were all still able to work. So we have now been working from home since March. There's no talk of US going back into the office anytime soon. We will continue to work from home to ensure that we can keep the data center going to shoot, that we can keep our customers infrastructure going, and mean the customer very much does come first. We need to ensure that we could still provide the services that those customers are paying us for. On a personal level, are quite enjoy working from home. It's got benefits. Actually. I get more piece and quiet or without the destruction of people walking past my desk and stuff, and I've gained an extra ten hours a week without commuting back and forward to work. Even just things like breakfast club and after school club, like from a little boy, I don't have to do that anymore. So I know I get to drop him off to school in the morning and I get to pick them up from school in the morning, which absolutely love picking him up after school because he's still the age where you'll run with as we arms and give me a hug, and I didn't get to do that before because I was working full time. So he would be at like an after school club, so I wouldn't get there to pack him up to my about half five. So I'm enjoying that side of it, but at the same time the longer now that it's gone on, is getting a it lonely. So even just like when you're in work, you would go to the kitchen to make a cup of tea or whatever and you maybe whole chap the colleague where is now that doesn't happen. When I got the Catchen, I'm just munching when I shouldn't be, shouldn't be eaten. I'm guessing clearly people will be in the same boat. Eating too much. Yeah, from working from home, I think we'll have. All of us have been eying too much. So yeah, yeah, but I'm really thankful. Like, I know I've got friends and family who have not been as lucky throughout this pandemic that we've been furthered. They didn't have incomes coming in, they had to watch what they would eat and it's been perfect for a lot of people. So I'm really, really thankful that I have kept my job throughout this. I do still have a salary coming in. I mean, for other people it's just it's so sad. It really really is, like the laws that people have been pushed into because of this pandemic. It's heartbreaking, I know, and it's it's going to end one day and it's going to be behind us, hopefully quite soon, with what's been going on with vaccines in that hopefully it will. It's a beginning of the end and it's it's something that I want to... with the beginning of the end came working like it will happen. What is positive is to see what's going to happen after the pandemic end. And what do you hope to do? Are you hoping to continue working with breaks alid and what's your aspirations for the future of what you do after the pandemic? It's always interesting to see what people do because it's always there's always a positive to to something. So would you hope to do when the PANDEM agains go out? I think he frames. Yeah, I think. I think with you know what's going on. Hopefully we can get back to doing and family, friends, like you say, and you know, getting to go back into work when you've when you've been at home quite a lot, and goes for everyone, and as it's going to be. It's going to be good once that happens, and but everyone who's been affected by this. It's really interesting. You'll get different people's perspectives and stuff so yeah, and from your perspective and super securities quite a big, big role in that as well. And, like you say, it's something that is that is quite important even during the pandemic because you make sure everything's fine and you know. Yeah, so it's very it's very good through this pandemic at so I also do mentoring and I'm involved in the Skills Development Scotland and as a stem ambassador. So a big part of that is going into schools mentor a young people, doing demos for them, talking to them about cyber security and Hawken, and unfortunately that's not being able to happen throughout the pandemic. We're not allowed in schools at the moment. There's talk of creating like virtual lessons for the startup it next year, which would be good, but it just is not the same as actually going and send down with a young person and chatting with them and I really enjoy that. I really inspired and enjoy inspired and the younger generation, even if they don't go into cyber to whatever it is that they want to do, I just enjoy encouraging them. So some of the young people that I've worked with by me sharing my story of my background. It's inspired them because they look and think, well, she grew up just like I did, and look at hard now. So I really enjoy shading that and even if I can just inspire even one young person to just to just go and do something that they didn't think that they were capable of doing, then that just means the world to me. So after this pandemic, yeah, I'm looking forward to getting back into the schools, back to talking to the young people, back to encouraging them to be the best self that they can be. You've really got a positive attitude and I'm proud of yeah, I'm proud of what you've done and it's I'm really happy and to hear your story and I'm one of the finals. Think one of the files things I was wanting to ask you is what I face. Would you give a young person who may want to be involved in cyber security and it's what would you say to them to get to where you are, because I always ask that all my guests who come on to the podcast. So I'd see anyone that's interested in cyber I would fully encourage it and support it. I am like an open book. If anyone is thinking about it. Aren't to shore, just wants a little chat, like reach out to me, add me on like ten or whatever. I'm happy to sit down and chat with anyone that wants to do it. There's various different options for getting into it. You don't have to go to university like I did. There are other ways to train. I mean the Internet is so much information now, so many tutorials. I mean you could train yourself at home. There's actually it's called the Mossy Cyber Security Institute and they are actually offering it's online train and for females and for high school kids and they're offering it for free for females and high... kids and for war veterans as well, free for them, and it's got great training on there where you could work your way through it and build up like your technical skills, your knowledge, and the good thing about it is it actually gives you like certification, so it rather than you just saying that you've done it, they back you up seeing this is the level that that I so it's it's a good way. I used it to bridge the gap from coming from university into the workplace because, as we always we know, it's always all you don't have experience. That's always like the counter for a lot of grads. You don't have experience. So I found that the online package was a great way for me to say, well, you go af done this and it was able. It allowed me to build up, like, my technical skills and reaching out to anyone within cybers I've found that the majority of people are the same as myself, like happy to have a chat, happy to guide you, happy to mentor you. So, like I say, if anyone is considered and doing it, reach out to someone that's already end the field. Ask Questions, research, ask other people questions. There may be times when you won't get the answers that you're looking for. What I would say is don't be disheartened. If it's something that you want, then go for it. If it's something that you're doubting yourself on, reach out and speak to someone else about a guarantee that the majority of people are felt and poster syndrome. I still get it now and when you think that you don't belong, I think it's a natural thing and a lot of people, whereas if we support each other and I think by talking through it with a friendly face, it really really does help. Thank you very much to share or and it is really inspiring to listen to these stories and like to for India, Daniel and share all the're just great examples of the amazing people who come to Living Dundee, who come to stay, who come to work, and I'm just I'm I'm honored and proud of of people like those free affiliated was the city and also Abertia. Firsty, I want to thank, as always, the three guests who who I had the honor of talking to, and I want to thank the fincher's girls as well, who will play us out on this podcast, and I can't wait to see you all in the New Year. So thank you very much as always. If you want to support what I do, remember to subscribe and on to Dune the Cultures Dundee cast pages on spotify, apple podcast and tuning. And if you want to support Dundee culture and the continue to work of Dundee cast, feel free to donate on our Kofee page. Any donation that can range from a month of donation or single donation, anything will be very much appreciated. So until then, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I'll see you in the new year. Keep safe and keep cool. Thank you very much. Christmas is he stackings of I just talk to borrow will befall the best of Jukes will stand in this Christmas time, the ones you. I missed you so bad, but nothing's gonna stop and snow come on and take my hand. She'll be dancing around the fight till the morning lights. No mistake. Can't be crism. This what's all lots of want to sing it sweet...

...songs with you in the eyes, light up face and makes it weeping sky. It's some rolls. Let me go again to stay by my side, on side snow, when the world feels right with you, Bill Dry with bill pay started snow and the world feels right, and the world feels.

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