On February 17, Leon Y. Li, vice president of cybersecurity for Comcast, delivered a presentation to students in the Applied Science program. Li gave students an inside look into his industry and spoke about the exciting outlook of careers in the cybersecurity field.
Li holds a master’s degree in computer science and has received executive education from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his career, Li has served as a senior executive in Fortune 500 companies in financial, energy, and consulting industries. In his current role, Li is responsible for running a global organization that protects the entire Comcast network infrastructure, employee, and customer footprint.
When Sophia Cano ’21 asked Li to share the best piece of career advice he has ever received, he said, “If you have an interest, just follow that. Following that is not actually that easy because the world is big, and the field is very attractive and promising.” Internships, added Li, help widen students’ views of just how vast the IT industry and software economy are. “Learning on the job is much better than just reading a book. Your hands-on experience in the workplace will be very valuable.”
Although Li has always been focused on cybersecurity, the trajectory of his career has not been linear. “To get where I am today, I had several ups and downs,” said Li, who assured students that facing obstacles during one’s career is normal, and having a long-term career goal, or “north star,” will help them navigate challenges with resilience. “If you can always keep that goal in your sight, you’re going to be fine. The path from where you are today to that goal is not going to be a straight line.” Li’s advice was both motivating and inspiring to Pennington’s Applied Science students.