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Sophos Community: Staff Spotlight - Kushal Lakhan

Our staff spotlight is our blog series where we get up-close and personal with our amazing team members at Sophos.

Up next is , Global Community Support Engineer.

Let's Talk Career

1. Can you tell us about your role at Sophos?
I started working in Sophos in 2017 as a member of the Level 1 Support Team. I considered transitioning into different teams throughout my tenure, but felt the Community Support role would allow for the most growth.

2. How did you get to the role you're in now?
My first IT job was for a smaller MSP. I switched over to Sophos a little under a year later to gain more specialized knowledge in the security field.

3. What inspired you to get into IT and security?
Originally, I wanted to be a doctor because they got to roll around on stools with wheels on them. But I also got to fulfill that goal in IT. My interest in the IT field came from my love of video games. Finding out I could get paid to work with computer systems all day was a childhood dream come true. My mom, who has worked all throughout her career in the Application Support field, also strongly encouraged me to get a start in the IT Security field.

4. What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm always met with new and unique situations that I've never seen before. It’s never a dull moment. The more I learn, the more rewarded I feel for being able to understand new things. Making sense of the "magic" that runs through the wires connecting us is always a great feeling.

5. What's something you've done during your time in the organization that you're proud of?
Onboarding newer engineers has been very rewarding for me. I have also worked on some video content to help with the onboarding process. Seeing their own knowledge grow and seeing improvement in their confidence makes me proud.

6. Describe a typical day in your Sophos life.
I typically start my day by seeing what inquiries have come in, and where my knowledge can be applied most effectively on the Community Forums. This is followed by researching the more complex issues and doing some project-related work to create informative content that will help all users of Sophos’ products.

7. What's the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career?
Do the things that others don’t want to do. Gaining expertise in a niche area that others don’t want to touch can help both you and your team in the long run. It sets you up as the go-to person who is willing to take on any task no matter how big or small.

8. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
Planting trees, vertical farming, something self-sustaining. Building a community to live off-grid, maybe?

Role in the Sophos Community 

9. What's a fun fact about you that you could share with the Community?
My name has a few meanings and I like to think “happy” is the most fitting.

10. Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community?
I have a Recommended Read in the works for self-service Sophos Mobile Enrollment and the following video contributions so far, with more to come:

Who is Kushal? 

11. What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to plan DIY side-projects or work on my car. I’m currently building sound-deadening panels for the home office. I also enjoy snowboarding in the winter and camping during the summer.

12. What's one thing you're really bad at?
I couldn’t draw if my life depended on it.

13. What's one thing you're really good at?
Instilling confidence in others.

14. Three words to describe you.
Charismatic, honest, easygoing.

15. Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable).
I was born on the island of Fiji where my parents were born and raised. When I was 5 my parents made the decision to migrate to Canada. I have since grown up in the suburbs of Surrey, and most recently, I moved out to Coquitlam with my partner.

16. What's your favorite thing about where you live?
I really like that there are lots of trees and open areas around me. I've tried to live in a more densely populated area closer to Vancouver for the convenience of a shorter commute to work. Shortly after that move, COVID forced us to work from home. Since the commute didn’t matter anymore, we decided to relocate even farther out.

17. What's your favorite restaurant/hang-out where you live?
There is a Korean-Japanese ramen restaurant close to my house by the name of "Ramengers". I quite like the way they combine in-house-made noodles with Korean soups, it makes for quite the dining experience. The exterior of the restaurant is quite old and run-down, but the quality of the food is amazing.

18. Any tips or interesting facts to share with people who want to visit?
I recommend checking out Mundy Park. There are big open fields for sports, a sand volleyball court, tennis courts, and even a disk golf course! I prefer to walk the trails myself.

If you're looking for a nice view, nothing beats Cypress Mountain's view over the city. For something a bit closer, check out Capitol Hill Reservoir Park.

19. Who's your favorite artist?
I enjoy all kinds of music. In terms of popular artists: Post Malone and The Weeknd. Lesser known artists: Gesaffelstein, Shookmusic, and Just A Gent.

20. Name one person living or dead – who would you have dinner with?
I would pick one of my great grandparents whom I know very little of. I would love to know more about the journey it took for my ancestors to have gotten my family where we are today.