Certification Profile: Angela Osborne, PCI
When Angela Osborne, PCI, was an undergraduate, she interned in the corporate security department of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the global agribusiness company. But her future was really in the cards.
When she was about to graduate, Osborne met the CEO of an Abu Dhabi-based energy company, TAQA, in a poker game. She won the hand, and the CEO gave her his card with instructions to send him her résumé. After she had graduated in 2011, the CEO offered her a position in Abu Dhabi reporting to the CSO. “After the hottest summer of my life,” Osborne returned to Washington, D.C., and worked for TAQA remotely while completing an MA in security studies at Georgetown University.
After a stint with TAQA in Houston, Texas, Osborne returned to Abu Dhabi for another three years. “I spent much of my time traveling around the Middle East preparing threat and risk assessments for TAQA’s current and potential acquisitions,” she says. She also joined ASIS International during that time.
By 2014, Osborne was back in Washington working as a senior analyst for Interos Solutions, a supply-chain risk management (SCRM) company. At Interos, she led a team of analysts in completing 60 supply-chain risk assessments for the U.S. General Services Administration in six months, worked on the company’s NASA contract, and set up an SCRM office at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
No stranger to big assignments, Osborne especially remembers walking into a room of NASA engineers, auditors, and rocket scientists for a briefing at the Goddard Space Flight Center. “While we might not know the engineering behind star trackers and slips,” she says, “we are quite skilled in identifying cybersecurity, insider threats, legal issues, and other risk factors affecting their products.” She was especially pleased when the chief engineer stated that he learned a lot and was eager to hear more.
While her initial academic goal was to pursue a master’s degree in international relations, Osborne soon realized that she could study international relations “through the lens of security,” she says. “This is a great time to be in the security sector,” she adds, noting the convergence between information security and physical security as an exciting trend. “Security as a career offers an opportunity to continually learn new things and better understand the world around us.” To further that goal, Osborne recently accepted a position at Guidepost Solutions as regional director for its Washington, D.C., office.
Osborne believes her ASIS membership was a significant factor in her career trajectory. “In this industry, candidates are often sought from the recommendations of other practitioners rather than through responders to job postings,” she says. “Joining ASIS was the best career decision I made.”
Osborne added the Professional Certified Investigator® (PCI) designation to her credentials in 2015. “I have always had a strong interest in investigation cultivated from my time with TAQA,” she says, and considered the PCI to be a logical step in verifying her skills to fellow practitioners. While studying for the exam, she spent a lot of time reviewing the material while on the move, relying again on her card-playing acumen. “I carried different decks of flashcards with me to review on the Metro, the train, at Starbucks…you name it,” she admits.
Her recommendation to future aspirants? “Thoroughly review the material and give yourself enough time to digest it.”