Daneille O’Neil is a member of WISC (Women in Infosec Caribbean), a Jamaican in Japan, a teacher of English, a developing Cyber Security professional, tech blogger (Memoirs of a Techy Teacher), a creator and budding entrepreneur. She operates Saryuu Creations, her crochet and knitting business in Japan, where she makes various creative pieces for her clients. We interviewed Daneille to help you get to know her, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. The conversation was filled with smiles and laughter throughout. Interviewer: Gavin Dennis.
WISC is a non-profit initiative of The Gavin Dennis Foundation Ltd, a registered non-profit organisation in Jamaica. If you’re a Caribbean woman or girl interested in a career in Information Security, please join our group on Discord by visiting wiscaribbean.org and clicking a “Join Now” button. Also Please visit Saryuu Creations on IG & FB: @saryuuco
PS. Daneille is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems Management from University of Salford, Manchester and likes the different functionality IOT devices have and how they can be applied to different industries such as health. She will be starting her career in Cyber Security once her Master’s degree is complete. She initially migrated to Japan from Jamaica through The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.
Who is Daneille O’Neil?
I became really interested in Cyber Security, once I started a course in university (current Master’s program), which required us to create a business application (concept). Mine was an online international bank and executing the project to create payment cards helped me to learn about the different security requirements that would be needed.
Right now, I’m happily living the college lifestyle, well more of a hermit-based college life due to COVID-19 (the pandemic) and currently pet sitting a friend’s dog. When things get stressful, I love to cook. I grew up in a family where my mother also loved to cook. Christmas feasts were special, and I remember them fondly.
IT has always been a passion. I initially wanted to attend The University of Technology (UTECH), in Jamaica. Still, as life would have it, I was one of a few persons who didn’t get the text message for the entrance exam until 2-3 days after the exam happened. I ended up studying Psychology at UWI (the University of the West Indies), and while there, I studied one (1) year of Japanese. I learnt about the JET programme during that time and was successful on my second application. While I was working with an international gaming company in Jamaica, I received the notification that I was accepted to the JET programme, and I chose to accept it.
While in Japan, after about four (4) years of teaching, I decided to pursue a career in IT (with a focus on Cyber Security). Now, pursuing Cyber Security is like going to one of my favourite movies. IT is so diverse, and you can have an interest in one area, and that interest can cause you to branch off into something else.
What do you think of the lifestyle change between Jamaica and Japan?
I grew up in a big family in Jamaica, and my house is never quiet, so being here, the place (Japan) is generally quiet. The atmosphere here (In Japan) is more liberating. It’s much easier to get into university to study in fields outside of your previous field of study. I think there is too much focus on requirements in Jamaica. More companies (in Japan) are willing to take chances with people who don’t fit ideal pre-requisites.
Any plans after completing your degree this year?
Yes, I want to target the CompTIA A+ and Network+ exams.
What’s your advice for other women and girls interested in InfoSec?
- Don’t be afraid of change.
- I’m still afraid but happy I’m pursuing something I’m passionate about.
- Even though with change, there is a bit of uncertainty, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong, and you’re literally opening doors for yourself once you embrace that change.
PS. I believe we should target women before college if we want to fix the gender imbalance in IT (Primary school, preparatory, high school).
What are your final words of encouragement?
Be your authentic self. – Daneille O’Neil.
You can connect with Daneille through:
- The WISC group on Discord – discord.com/invite/Fffu9xJ
- LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/daneille-oneil/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/odaneille/