Meet the Team: McKayl Turner
written by Maya Guevara 12/18/2020
As our last Meet the Team article of the year, we are introducing McKayl Tuner, NephōSec’s Cloud Engineering Intern.
A junior in college, McKayl has already had a variety of experiences and is a great asset to the team. While she credits her start in the technology field to chance, it’s obvious that it is her talent and passion that has brought her to where she is today.
Read below to learn more about McKayl and her journey!
McKayl describes her introduction into the technology space as serendipitous. As a part of her high school student council, McKayl often did graphic design work. The high school student council teacher, who also happened to be their school’s computer science teacher as well, noticed McKayl’s work and put her on a team with computer science students participating in Future Business Leaders of America. While McKayl started out just making the presentations for the students developing apps and websites, she then began to present with them, since she had the presentation skills to help. Then, McKayl took it a step further. She was curious about the behind-the-scenes and wanted to learn what code was and how to do it. Thus, she decided to take a computer science course from that same teacher.
While high school was McKayl’s initial introduction into the tech space, it wasn’t until college that she truly found a career path she loved. As a freshman, McKayl entered Brigham Young as a computer science major. She then began an internship at the university’s Office of Information Technology, which is the reason she works in the cloud today. As an IT intern, McKayl first managed servers as a part of the platform team. When her boss left the organization, McKayl was transferred to the cloud team. At the time, she hadn’t even heard of the cloud, but her internship promised they would teach her all that she needed to know — and they did. Immediately after seeing the difference in managing servers in the cloud, plus the new technology that comes with such a fast-paced and evolving discipline, McKayl realized she wanted to continue working in the cloud and changed her major to Information Technology.
At BYU, McKayl continued to work for The Office of Information Technology for two years, where she started a training program to teach other IT professionals about the cloud and helped them develop their cloud strategy. During this time she also earned her first AWS certification, the AWS Solution Architect Certification. From there, she continued on to have another internship with The Church of Jesus Christ, then Amazon Web Services, and now works with us at NephōSec.
Joining the Team
McKayl joined the NephōSec team this fall. She had worked with a couple companies deploying DivvyCloud and met the NephōSec team during one of those engagements. Thomas asked if she wanted to come on board for an internship and she took the opportunity!
McKayl’s first three internships had been with larger companies. These internships provided her with a wealth of experience and set her up in her career, which she is grateful for, but she was intrigued by NephōSec for a few reasons. As McKayl worked with NephōSec, she was impressed with the emphasis on customer focus. She had just finished an internship with Amazon Web Services as a consultant, and she was intrigued to explore more of the consulting side and interact with customers directly. Additionally, McKayl wanted to experience working with a small team.
When asked what differences she sees between working at NephōSec and her past engagements, as well as what she enjoys about NephōSec, she responded that the size of the company intrigues her. As an intern, McKayl says it’s fun to be part of a close team which allows her to see all the parts of the company in action. Additionally, her work is flexible and Thomas makes sure to ask McKayl what she wants to work on. The internship is less rigid and really allows her to pursue her interests. McKayl says there is additional pressure that comes with working on a small team, but she’s grateful for the opportunity it provides to push her out of her comfort zone. Already, she has been able to lead two customer engagements, a rare opportunity for an intern, and she continues to take on more tasks.
Outside of Work
Outside of work, McKayl stays busy. Not only is she taking a full course load of classes, but she also makes sure to stay active and creative when she can. Thankfully, McKayl has learned time management and is able to keep up with it all.
From Reno, Nevada, McKayl grew up loving the outdoors, and believes the city’s nickname, “the biggest little city,” does not fail. Reno is a small city with everything you could need, but also all the outdoor adventures you could want. McKayl grew up hiking, skiing, swimming, paddle boarding, and more. Each year, her family would go to Yosemite and stay there for a week because it was so close.
McKayl also enjoys being creative and appreciates outlets such as painting and DIY projects. As she describes it, she enjoys doing things with her hands because after working on a computer all day, where everything is theoretical and abstract, it’s rewarding to work on something that she can actually see as she builds it. While she is currently taking a break on home renovation projects, her and her husband are hoping to renovate their bedroom next, and she has been surfing through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration (her favorite account is Studio McGee).
As her fun fact, McKayl lived in Chile from when she was three years-old until she was seven. Her father works in the mining industry, which provided their family the opportunity to move temporarily. While in Chile, McKayl attended school entirely in Spanish, so she learned both Spanish and English at the same time. Her family also was able to travel around South America, which introduced her to many cool experiences.
Looking forward, McKayl is excited for what the future will bring. She graduates in the spring of 2022 and is excited about working in the cloud. Currently, McKayl is studying for the professional AWS certification. To pass the certification, she has to show knowledge about building applications in the cloud within the different pillars of AWS. The certification is much more difficult than her previous one, but McKayl is determined. For now, she is happy to enjoy her experiences and all the growth they bring — and we are happy to have her with us!
The key takeaway? McKayls, and all of us at NephōSec, are passionate about what we do.
Click on the links below to learn about another of our great team members, or, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.