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Future Security

October 1, 2021 Jim Warner

Ask College of Business student Alexus Maddox what inspired her to explore a career in cyber security, and the answer is simple, “I wanted to work in a career where I felt like I was making every day count.” Alexus’ passion for making a difference reflects both her commitment to academic excellence and building a better tomorrow for her community.

Humana’s investment

Alexus got an early start in her career path as a Humana scholar while still in high school. Humana guarantees Alexus a job every summer until Alexus graduates with the hopes of a job offer upon graduation. The scholarship—focused on Black student achievement—also includes a monetary scholarship that pays for her education. Her focus nearly from the start was cyber security. “I really wanted to engage in computer science because it’s a subject I love,” says Alexus. “In cyber security… being able to protect people’s private information and preventing data breaches means I get to help others.”

Alexus spent every summer from 2016 to 2021 with Humana, moving from computer specialist intern to cyber security intern. This past summer, Alexus interned with PNC. She has also paired this interest in cyber security with a dual major in CIS and Accountancy, focusing on forensic accounting.

As a young Black woman in a STEM field, Alexus wants to be an example for other young professionals looking to join the field. “I appreciate being a Black woman in STEM because I can reach out to others who may be unaware or uneasy [entering a workforce] that is predominately a white male population. It’s important that everyone feels included and making a positive impact in their 9 to 5 life.” In 2019, Alexus was a recipient of a Grace Hopper scholarship, allowing her to attend a women-focused-STEM conference in Florida. The experience provided Alexus a chance to network with over 50,000 female professionals and students exploring careers in STEM. It was a game-changer for Alexus.

Being a future leader today

Her drive to change the community around her is reflected in her extra-curricular activity on campus where she serves as treasurer for both the American Association of University Women (AAUW)—UofL and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Greater Louisville Area. Both organizations are geared towards personal and professional development through advocacy, engagement, and education—with an eye to extending those opportunities to women and BIPOC students.

Being in a leadership role in each organization underscores a desire to not only be a member but to be an active participant. Advocating for one’s community means tomorrow’s leaders need to understand the stakes when it comes to having a seat at the table. “Being able to provide professional opportunities to all ethnicities gives us something that we can call our own,” says Alexus. “[NABA] talks about financial literacy—which is really important for the Black community. It’s important for all of us to have access to these opportunities.”

Alexus graduates in December of 2022 and is ready to make her future a reality. “I’m going to do the CPA exam and the certified forensic accounting exam so that I can be able to practice professionally. In the meantime, I’m excited to intern again next summer. I look forward to being in forensic accounting, anti-money laundering, or a security department.”

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