Home / Explore our latest insights / A graduate's impressive climb to Quorum Cyber SOC Manager in just six years

Published: 15th May 2024 | In: Insights, People

At Quorum Cyber we’re passionate about nurturing and developing enthusiastic graduates to help them begin a fulfilling and rewarding career in cyber security. Here we hear from one graduate, Scott McManus, about his inspiring journey from university to being promoted multiple times to his current position, SOC Manager.   

2018 – 2021: University student and Robertson Trust scholar 

I studied Digital Security and Forensics at Glasgow Caledonian University for three years. I never really enjoyed my time at university which is why I was so determined to experience what working in cyber security was like so that I could be sure a career in it was what I wanted to pursue. During my time at university I had a scholarship through The Robertson Trust, an organisation that works to improve the lives of underprivileged people and communities throughout Scotland. 

This scholarship offered financial support and training and advice with studies and career progression. The thing that attracted me to the Robertson Trust scholarship was the offer to help source an internship at the end of my third year of studies. Through the Robertson Trust I was put in contact with Quorum Cyber, a cyber security company headquartered in Edinburgh. 

Summer 2021: starting as a Quorum Cyber intern 

In the summer of 2021, I was offered a six-week internship with Quorum Cyber, which was founded just five years earlier, in 2016. The Robertson Trust, through other contacts, were put in touch with the company which then conducted a remote interview. I was asked about my ambitions and why I wanted to participate in the internship. I outlined my intention to experience what working in cyber security was like and, if I enjoyed the experience, I wanted to find full-time employment following the internship.   

When the internship began, I met the other five interns who themselves had also started their careers at Quorum Cyber and are all still here today. We worked in the Advisory team on ‘Project FIRE’. This project required us to create a mapping system for different cyber security frameworks, and this would allow the Advisory team to easily identify the areas that customers would have to focus on to comply to these frameworks. We delivered this project by our deadline and presented it to the Advisory team, who were delighted with our work.  

When the internship ended, we met in person for the first time (we’d been working remotely until then) where the Talent Manager at the time recalled that in my interview, I mentioned I would like to start working in the industry at the end of the internship. This is when I was told about a role as a Cyber Security Analyst within the Security Operations Centre (SOC) team. 

October 2021 – December 2022: Cyber Security Analyst 

Following an interview process that included meeting the SOC Manager, analysts and senior analysts as well as the CEO, Federico Charosky, I started work as a Cyber Security Analyst. I went through a training period which covered all the basics of the job and the tools we use to deliver a high-quality service to our customers. After the training period I went onto our shift pattern in which I carried out all the tasks our SOC contains. This included investigating security alerts, communicating with customers, and helping to develop new cyber security analysts. 

December 2022 – October 2023: Senior Cyber Security Analyst 

During this whole period of working at Quorum Cyber, the company grew quickly, increasing its headcount as it attracted more and more customers from a wide variety of sectors who needed help defending themselves from a greater number of cyber-attacks.  

After about a year of working as an analyst I applied for a promotion within the SOC to become a Senior Analyst. Throughout the interview process I had to create a portfolio that showed the work I had done over the previous year and show I could fulfil the role of a Senior Cyber Security Analyst. I also had an interview that required me to answer scenario-based questions which gave an insight into how I would cope with the demands of the role. I passed all the rigorous tests and interviews and started in the new position just before Christmas 2022. 

The Senior Cyber Security Analyst role differed drastically from the Cyber Security Analyst role. I spent far more time speaking with customers trying to find ways to improve our service for them and giving descriptions on how we have dealt with security incidents and alerts on their behalf. In this new role I was also able to contribute to sales pitches for the first time. I would meet with potential customers and outline how our SOC team operated and what our standards were. I loved this part of the role as I was able to show the fantastic work our analysts do on behalf of our customers, who represent every industry in many different countries. I also worked closely with other teams within the business which I enjoyed as it opened my eyes to the work that goes on to help us provide the excellent services we offer. 

October 2023 – Present: SOC Manager 

Having spent almost a year as a Senior Analyst, I was able to work closely with the SOC Managers in our team. This helped me realise that this is the direction I wanted to push my career in. I enjoy working with people and helping analysts develop, and so a role as a manager was the perfect way to focus on this. In my time as a SOC Manager, I have helped the analysts who report to me navigate their training and progress onto shifts. This has been incredibly rewarding as I experienced that process myself throughout my journey in Quorum Cyber. I have also been able to get closer to the onboarding side of the company which has been fascinating as I now get to be involved in the whole process from selling our services to implementing them, to then delivering them. 

Advice for newcomers to the industry 

If I had to give any advice to anyone entering the world of cyber security, it would be that staying open-minded to new challenges and being confident enough to speak up about the things you want to achieve are crucial. I never anticipated wanting to stay working within a SOC beyond being an analyst. However, as I got more exposure to the roles within a SOC it quickly became the focus of my career. Once I had identified what I wanted to achieve I made sure that my managers knew about my goals and ambitions which allowed them to support me through this process. 

Find out more and apply today

If you’re interested in learning more about Quorum Cyber, please visit our ‘About’ page on the website. Head over to our careers website and click on ‘Apply’ in the top right corner to check out our current vacancies.