Congratulations to René Mengel, winner of the 2023 iCSS Cyber Security Conversion Prize

René Mengel has won the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) prize as he achieved the highest final average mark of the MSc Computer Science (Cyber Security) – a conversion course – designed for graduates with little or no prior knowledge of Computer Science.

Interview with the iCSS Prize Winner

What was your background before the masters?

René MengelI completed my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Law in Germany. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I acquired diverse experience in Finance, Supply Chain Management, Marketing, and Consulting through various internships and part-time positions. Additionally, I gained foundational IT knowledge from specific modules during my undergraduate program and Computer Science studies in school.

Why have you selected the conversion cyber security course at Kent?

In pursuit of transforming my passion for Cyber Security into a profession, I sought a comprehensive education to ensure a solid foundation. Kent’s recognition as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research assured me of learning from the best in the field.

Could you tell us about your experiences studying at Kent?

Following a progressive start, the program’s content and coursework really ramped up quickly. The modules presented diverse and challenging assessments, which meant it barely got boring.
Beyond academics, the campus provided countless opportunities to fill the spare time and make friends for life. My favourite moments were spent unwinding in the gym or playing intense badminton matches with friends after the lab classes. Additionally, Canterbury’s great location made for some fun trips to the seaside or London on the weekends.

What are your plans for the future?

My future plans involve working as a pentester, contributing to the protection of companies by assessing vulnerabilities and improve the capabilities of companies to defend against the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. While I navigate the job market, I continue to study Offensive Security techniques and prepare to take the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) in the coming year.