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While ASIS helps security professionals at every stage of their career, ASIS recognizes that our next generation of professionals represents the future of the profession. Each month, the ASIS blog features a Q&A with a NextGen member within our membership and share their unique perspective on a range of topics ranging from industry trends, and the value of ASIS membership to professional development. This month’s blog features Ashley Hatker.

Learn more about the ASIS NextGen Community and get involved today. 

Q: How did you get started in security management? 


A: Getting started in security management was an interesting journey for me. When I was still a student, I wanted to make transition from the healthcare industry to a role more aligned with my field of study, which was Criminal Justice Administration. Believe it or not, it all started when I stumbled upon a Human Resources Assistant job posting on the local Craigslist job board. Little did I know that this opportunity would lead me down the path to security management. 

With a sense of curiosity and a thirst for new experiences, I decided to take a leap of faith, applied for the position and I got hired! That was a significant moment in my life, as it marked the beginning of my career in the security industry. Looking back, I can confidently say that taking that job 12 years ago was one of the wisest decisions I've ever made. It opened doors for me, allowing me to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in security management. It set the foundation for my professional growth and provided me with the opportunity to make a real impact in the field.  

Q: How has your involvement in ASIS International helped your career?  

A: In my short experience being involved in ASIS International, I can already tell how it will greatly benefit my career in numerous ways. ASIS has a vast network of security professionals that I can connect and engage with. This network is invaluable for someone looking to meet industry contacts, exchange ideas, or explore potential career opportunities. 

One of my favorite ASIS resources is their flagship magazine, Security Management, which covers a wide range of security-related topics and ensures that I stay up to date on the latest trends, best practices, and case studies. This access to current and relevant knowledge has allowed me to enhance my expertise and stay ahead in an ever-evolving security landscape. 

I also appreciate the ASIS mentorship program that pairs experienced professionals with individuals seeking guidance and career advice. Having a mentor has been an invaluable asset in my career journey. A mentor can offer valuable insights, support, and guidance as you navigate your chosen career path.  

I highly recommend young professionals to consider joining ASIS International and take advantage of the resources and opportunities it offers for career advancement! 

Q: What is an interesting story about your early career growth in the industry? 

A: I started out in Human Resources at a local security company, where I was able to learn the ins and outs of the company. Always wanting to grow, I decided to take a leap and transition to operations. I loved the fast-paced environment and having the opportunity to increase efficiency for my department and the company as a whole. I eventually transitioned yet again to a sales enablement support role, where I work to bridge the operations and sales teams. 

What is interesting about my career growth in the security industry is how seamlessly I was able to transition between these different departments. The industry is so interconnected that the knowledge and experience you gain in one area can easily be applied to another. 

So, whether you're starting in HR, operations, or any other department, don't be afraid to explore and take on new challenges. It may be a little scary, but it’s all about embracing change, seizing opportunities, and being open to new adventures. Step out of your comfort zone to explore the various roles and utilize your skills in different ways. You may be able to untap skills you didn’t even know you had! And with the right mindset and a thirst for growth, you can navigate those transitions and carve out an exciting and fulfilling career path. 

Q: As a young professional, what do you think the future of security holds?  

A: Security is becoming increasingly reliant on technology. Young security professionals should familiarize themselves with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, biometrics, cybersecurity, video analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These new advancements are changing the game in security, making it way more efficient and effective. Working for a company like Prosegur that is laser focused on innovative technologies has really opened my eyes to what this industry has in store for its future. 

I feel, as the digital world continues to expand, the importance of cybersecurity grows. Young security professionals should develop a strong understanding of cybersecurity principles and practices. This includes knowledge of network security, data protection, incident response, risk management, and compliance with regulations and standards. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to remain high, providing excellent career prospects. By embracing these trends and focusing on developing relevant skills, young security professionals can position themselves for a successful and fulfilling career in the ever-evolving field of security.