Read our interview with Zeshaan Ahmed as the Security Industry Association (SIA) spotlights a young professional on the rise!
Are you a young security professional under 40? Join SIA’s RISE program. We’re a group of up-and-comers in the security industry trying to help each other grow our careers, expand industry knowledge, further professional development and have some fun together. Get started by filling out the form on the SIA RISE page, or contact SIA staff liaison Bryan Miller at email@example.com to get involved. While you’re at it, stay in touch with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.
SIA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Zeshaan Ahmed: I am a 24-year-old California native who went to California State University of Fullerton. I handle the business development and marketing for Maxxess Systems.
SIA: What first got you interested in security and safety as a career choice?
ZA: I was always fascinated by security even though I never thought of it as a career choice. When I had the opportunity to see what Maxxess Systems was doing to keep people safe around the world, I had to jump on board. With the solutions that Maxxess provides, it really makes me feel like I am doing my part to protect people.
SIA: What has your career path been?
ZA: I initially started off in telecommunications sales, and then I transitioned into network operations. It was later that I was introduced to the security industry through Maxxess Systems, who then brought me on board.
SIA: Who has influenced you or mentored you – either within the security field or outside?
ZA: I have been extremely fortunate to have been surrounded by a team who are considered gurus in the field of security. There are two individuals who have really made an impact in my career: Joel Slutzky, who is not only our chairman but also the co-founder of Iteris, and John Finamore, our director of sales and marketing. They both have taught me countless lessons about this industry and even in life. I admire everything that they are and what they have taught me.
SIA: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
ZA: I am a re-assembler, but I am not sure that is the precise word. I love to take things apart to see how they work and put them back together. There’s a sense of adventure in wanting to see how things work.
SIA: What advice do you have for young professionals just starting out in the industry?
ZA: As young professionals, we have a lot to offer this industry. Starting out, you have to ask good questions and ask them often. You should never pass up an opportunity to learn.
SIA: What do you think you need to enhance your career?
ZA: I think that to further enhance my career, I am going to have to continue to use and take advantage of the programs and organizations out in the industry like SIA and the RISE program. Through them, I believe I can continue to build better relationships with the right people.
SIA: What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?
ZA: I really enjoy knowing that we are at the cutting edge of security and that I am a part of something that has never been done in our industry before. Our new Maxxess InSite system is integrating security subsystems with human intelligence to help stop problems before they escalate into critical incidents. Everything that we do at Maxxess is to make life easier or safer for people around us.
SIA: What does the SIA RISE program offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership?
ZA: Access to tremendous resources to further growth in my field and the ability to meet and learn from individuals who are wiser than me.
SIA: How do you/your organization engage with SIA and in the RISE program? What are your plans for involvement in the next year (e.g., events, accessing member resources)?
ZA: I have gained so much from engaging with SIA and being part of the RISE program; I am going to continue to leverage and give back to the organization through further engagement and attendance at local events.