Juggling a full time job with study is no easy feat, as Charlotte Greenall knows well.
The 24-year-old from Hutton, near Preston, has just spent the past few years holding down a job with the NHS and doing a degree at UCLan.
The IT whizz kid had already had a taste of battling a major cyber attack and now, with a first class honours degree in computing, she is ready to take on potential hackers.
Charlotte is a former pupil at Priory Academy in Penwortham and then went on to study at Runshaw College before landing an apprenticeship at the Royal Preston Hospital.
She said: “I’ve been at the hospital for five years, starting as an apprentice in IT fixing computers etc.”
She did a foundation degree initially and then ended up doing a full time course part-time.
Charlotte said: “Work gave me a day off every week so I could go into uni and basically I was working then going home and starting on my degree work.”
As part of her final year project Charlotte focused on the development of a cyber security dashboard tool for NHS Digital, where she works- and impressed her tutors with her determination to succeed.
She stayed behind late to make sure she didn’t miss out on anything by being there part-time
She added; “ last year there was a huge cyber attack and we, the NHS, was pretty badly affected and basically we were working 24/7 to get everything back on track.
“It was really scary but from that, we have developed a cyber security role and part of that involved working on making sure it couldn’t happen again.”
Although it was hard work getting through the course and holding down a job, Charlotte is confident it will pay off.
She said: “I haven’t had any free time. My friends who went to uni straight from college have already graduated but I was happy earning as I worked and I haven’t got huge debts.”
Charlotte, is now hoping to pursue a future in cyber security and IT management.