A Cyber Sleuth

Ximena Cortez

Age: 25

Title: Jr.QA Engineer

Name of Organization: Kenna Security

 

Ximena Cortez is currently working towards her master’s degree in Cybersecurity at DePaul University and works as a Jr. QA Engineer for Kenna Security.

Ximena Cortez and her family immigrated to the U.S. in 2005 and settled on the Southwest Side of Chicago. During her last year of high school, Cortez was part of the first class of Urban Alliance Chicago – where she had a paid-internship with an investment company in downtown Chicago.

Cortez received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Aurora University. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Cybersecurity at DePaul University and works as a Jr. QA Engineer for Kenna Security.

She started her career as a software test engineer at a FinTech company in Chicago where she was the only Latina engineer out of 150 engineers. As she battled with imposter-syndrome, Cortez thought about different ways she could change the numbers of diversity in tech. She attended various community events and after getting the chance to share her own story as a “DACA” young professional, she became inspired to start making an impact. Cortez was determined to change the diversity numbers in tech by sharing her story and teaching others basic coding skills to get them interested in the tech field.

She has shared her journey and passion for tech with students at different schools and organizations. She led ChickTech’s first Spanish workshop on cybersecurity. She spoke at the University of Illinois at Chicago for the group, Girls Who Code. Recently, she shared her story with La Ley’s En Tu Comunidad morning show. Cortez also volunteers with Latina’s in Tech Chicago and Nuevo Foundation and serves as co-lead of AnitaB Chicago Chapter.

 

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” —Woodrow Wilson

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