Layla (Xreach) – Youngest Tranchulas Certified Penetration Testing Professional

I am currently studying a Degree Apprenticeship which is a full Honours Degree delivered in partnership by UCW and UWE Bristol which leads to the awarding of a BSc (Hons) qualification in Digital and Technology Solutions alongside the incredible opportunity of being an apprentice with Xreach.

I joined the team in September (2018) and have been having a fantastic time! I knew that I was interested in the Cyber Security side of the business so being put on Tranchulas’s “GCHQ-Certified Hands on Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Course” was absolutely awesome and super exciting for me. I didn’t keep up to speed with everyone all the time, but Tranchulas team was very patient with me in the class and during the exam, and helped to walk me through anything I didn’t completely understand, which definitely was a massive help as I hadn’t done anything like the content of the course before joining Xreach.

The course was interesting and gave real practical opportunities and examples of the skills and tools required by professional pentesters, and tons of hands-on exercises were provided which allowed me to understand the content being delivered before moving on. I found the exam difficult both times I attempted it. Mostly because of trying to stay up for that extended amount of time and trying to figure out what was and wasn’t red herrings, which involved chasing cold leads for a few hours, but being able to access the online labs during and after the course was great, and definitely helped to play with those before taking the test, which I realised after failing it the first time around. Instead of trying to re-create your notes and sort out screenshots, record your steps for the report while you’re doing challenges as it saves time. Either way, the exam was both thrilling and frustrating at the same time which only makes you want to complete it even more! Completing the CPTP course/exam and being a part of Xreach’s Pen Testing team has been a fantastic way to apply what I learnt on the course and saw what these scenarios are like in real life.

I am super thankful to Xreach and of course Tranchulas and the team for opening these doors for me, and I definitely recommend Tranchulas and this course to anyone interested in developing their skills in security and penetration testing.

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