Highlights From Five Sessions You Shouldn’t Have Missed at AcceleRISE 2020

AcceleRISE 2020 happy hour screenshot

AcceleRISE 2020 – a virtual conference hosted by the Security Industry Association’s RISE community for young professionals in the security industry – was an essential experience for tomorrow’s security leaders. Hosted as a virtual event taking place July 27-31, this year’s AcceleRISE event featured high-impact sessions on issues like corporate culture, disruptive tech and what companies look for in young talent, along with lively virtual networking happy hours and trivia.

If you didn’t attend AcceleRISE 2020, you missed out! Here are key takeaways from five of the top conference sessions. Attendees can relive AcceleRISE 2020 with the session recordings available here.

Day 1: How to Use Storytelling to Grow Your Personal Brand

Jennifer Lynn Robinson, CEO of Purposeful Networking, kicked off AcceleRISE 2020 by sharing how storytelling can positively affect your personal brand and can create stronger connections with clients and colleagues. In her dynamic talk, Robinson highlighted how young professionals looking to create and expand their personal brands can look to social media and see the presence of those whose personal brands shine through, such as Dr. Brené Brown, Simon Sinek and Joanna Gaines. Jennifer noted that it is up to each person to weave their personal story into how they do business.

Top Takeaways:

  • Be aware of your online presence and message. Social media is now an extension of our lives.
  • Brand yourself through sharing genuine stories, connecting, showing your personality and being consistent.
  • Sharing your journey and story can help others and make you more relatable. Your personal story sets you apart from the crowd.
  • Life will throw you curve balls; learn to adapt to change.
  • It is never too late to take on a new challenge.

Day 2: How’s That Deadline Working Out for You?

David Fortune – a longtime RISE member and a security program manager at Amazon Web Services – opened Day 2 of AcceleRISE with a key question at the core of project management: “How’s that deadline working out for you?” In his presentation, Fortune shared helpful project management techniques that are sure to assist in managing attendees’ workflows. He also highlighted how time and quality control affect an overall project but can be managed appropriately with strong leadership and by leveraging some project management technologies. Fortune encouraged young professionals to continuously assess how their deadlines are working for them and to rely on their teams and leadership.

Top Takeaways:

  • In time management, first address the biases within yourself. What is realistic?
  • Remember that meeting scheduled deadlines fosters trust.
  • Look to prior projects. How long did it take to complete the task?

Day 3: Your Career in the Security Industry – Mindfully Maximizing a Calling

In an engaging panel discussion led by Rebecca Bayne, president of Bayne Consulting & Search Inc., experts explored embracing the higher calling that is central to all that we do in the security industry and addressed some frequently asked questions about career planning. Bayne, along with panelists Bobby Louissaint, technical operations solutions manager at Facebook; Stephanie Mayes, vice president of Americas Sales at Synectics; and Becca Rausenberger, vice president of human resources and corporate services at VTI Security; covered topics such as getting uncomfortable, learning to adapt, dreaming big and how to make those dreams attainable by keeping yourself accountable. The feedback from industry veterans was invaluable, and the panelists encouraged attendees to reach out to them for further conversations and questions.

Top Takeaways:

  • Set the bar high. Reality versus expectation matters, but it is still important to aim for your best work.
  • To ensure growth, you must learn how to adapt to change.
  • Give back to the industry. mentorship can be one of the ways to help the next group of security industry professionals.
  • You must learn how to adapt to change in order to be successful.
  • Be honest; it is easy to remember the truth.

Day 4: Managing Your Career as You Grow Your Responsibilities

In the Day 4 opening session, Tim Eckersley, president of the Americas for Allegion, shared his personal story about growing into the industry and how his life experiences provided him with a solid foundation to start his career in security. Eckersley emphasized that through life lessons and diverse experiences, you can gain a multitude of skills that can help you do what you really want with your career. The presentation emphasized that society is always changing and encouraged looking within and taking inventory of one’s strengths and areas of weakness. Eckersley urged young professionals to remember to always show up, work hard to be good at what they do and make an impact on others.

Top Takeaways:

  • Make an impact on those around you. Leave a legacy.
  • Create your foundation, build on the skills you have acquired and leverage your ability.
  • Learn from industry experts. Seek out discussions with leaders.
  • Build trust through vulnerability.
  • Develop the skill of empathy. Great leaders possess this quality.

Day 5: The Future Security Leader

In the closing session of AcceleRISE 2020, attendees enjoyed a dynamic panel discussion on what young professionals are really looking for from their employers featuring Brittany Galli, chief success officer at Mobohubb; Jon Harris, senior security consultant at Guidepost Solutions; and Tim Wenzel, program manager, special security projects at Facebook. With such a large-scale topic to cover, the panelists administered a survey and found that young professionals are looking for help with developing their careers and hoping to work on meaningful projects, be listened to and valued for their input and be introduced to others within the industry. Galli, Harris and Wenzel made it their mission to “Get Security Done” by creating an inclusive environment that fosters learning and openness.

Top Takeaways:

  • Manage up. Ask questions like “How can I learn more?” and “What can I do to improve? “
  • Be a little uncomfortable. Confront the fact that you must learn more.
  • Always live with gratitude.
  • Each path to a security career is different – never stop learning.