IT Security graduate talks about overcoming gender discrimination and staying true to your passion

Lakshmi became interested in IT when she noticed a surge in the frequency and severity of data breaches. She chose to study MSc IT Security at the University of Central Lancashire due to the University’s ranking, student well-being services and excellent ratings in teaching.

Lakshmi Pulichari was born and raised in India. During her life she experienced a lot of gender discrimination. Having already achieved a bachelor’s degree, she would hear words like “that’s enough studying for a girl” and “there’s no need for higher studies”, but this didn’t stop Lakshmi. She said: “I had not considered any discouraging words. I worked as a security analyst in India and saved money to pursue my master’s degree. I then got a scholarship at UCLan which helped me to complete my studies.”

Lakshmi deeply enjoyed her time at University. She recalls many lasting memories which she’ll always cherish. She said: “One of the most memorable aspects was the sense of intellectual curiosity and the opportunity to explore diverse subjects. The course leader’s wisdom, encouragement, and the knowledge they imparted have left a lasting impact on my academic and professional journey.”

"The knowledge and skills I gained during my time at UCLan provided a strong foundation for my career. The curriculum was up-to-date, and the professors were highly knowledgeable, which prepared me well for the challenges of the IT security field."

Lakshmi Pulichari, MSc IT Security

During her time at UCLan, Lakshmi was fortunate enough to work as a Penetration Tester Intern at Edify Labs, where she continues to work after graduating. Her duties involve performing manual penetration testing on computer systems, networks and applications.

Lakshmi’s said her greatest achievement since leaving UCLan was receiving a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. She also gave talks to students on how to secure data accounts from phishing as well as raise awareness regarding phishing attacks.

In her free time, Lakshmi is passionate about painting and has received various awards for her paintings. She is also very interested in journalism, having published many articles in a number of Indian magazines. Most of her articles are based on her life stories which Lakshmi hopes many people can relate to.

If Lakshmi had one piece of advice for perspective students who wish to study IT Security, it would be: “Stay passionate. I can surely say that IT security can be challenging, but when you’re passionate, self-enthusiasm will drive you to your success. Stay curious and never stop learning.”

MSc IT Security Alumna Lakshmi Pulichari
MSc IT Security Alumna Lakshmi Pulichari