Michael Pertuit is an experienced cybersecurity expert with a passion for innovation. For more than a decade, his forward-thinking nature has allowed him to thrive in various professional roles.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Michael graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering. While his degree initially took him into hardware design, he soon realized there was no room for advancement and no encouragement to create.
Needing a change, Michael began venturing into the world of cybersecurity. Over the years, he has continued to stay on the cutting edge of technological innovations. He prides himself on his ability to see through the spoken needs to understand what is most important.
In his free time, Michael enjoys woodworking and watching sports. He also enjoys tinkering with the latest advancements in home automation.
What do you currently do at your company?
I provide a technical advisory role to our customers and our salespeople. Originally in my career, I was in more of a management role. It lacked any real growth potential or any genuine substance. I wanted more and I wanted to provide more for others. What I do now is teaching people how to secure their environment from a cybersecurity perspective. It’s about listening to their concerns and offering the best solutions. I also work with our account managers to make sure they are following up properly with all of our customers. My overall role is to make sure that everyone, customers and employees are being well taken care of. It’s an excellent job and I really love it so much more than anything I’ve done before.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
A lot of people drawn to electrical engineering are pretty introverted. They are knowledgeable and teachable, but they may not necessarily have an extroverted enough personality to talk to others effectively. I am able to bridge the gap between the two worlds. I love technology and all of the great things that it does for us. I also love to get out there and meet people. It’s a great feeling when I can give a customer the peace of mind that they are looking for. It never feels like I am at work because I genuinely love what I do. It’s such a great feeling. I believe in doing business in a very transparent and honest fashion. I don’t want to just propose a solution, I want it to be the right solution. I want to be sure I fully understand everything from the customer’s point of view. It’s not just about their requirements, but what ultimately the problem is that they are trying to solve. Once I have that understanding, I can put forward the solution that takes care of the real problem.
What keys to being productive can you share?
Time management is the most important key to being productive. Make sure that you are staying on task, especially when you are working on a deal. Each morning, before I get out of bed, I visually plan out the day. I take time to set my agenda so that I can work through it throughout the day. You have to have a plan so that you don’t waste time when you could be doing literally anything else.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career
My long-term career goal is to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry. Technology is always being upgraded and improved upon. Even more so on the cybersecurity side. It’s always evolving. Not year by year, more like week to week. You have to stay up to date on everything that is happening now and might come down the pipeline. My job is to help people. If I am not prepared with the latest options, I could be passed over. That is not something I want. So I stay on top of everything.
How do you measure success?
It’s easy to measure success with a smile in my opinion. So many people waste time thinking success is about money or status. Success is about overall happiness. At least, it should be. I look for a smile or a firm handshake when I close a deal. That is what shows me I have succeeded at taking care of the customer. Having a successful interaction leads to more. That is how you grow and how you get to take care of more people. Of course, money is a necessary thing in this world, but that isn’t what drives me. It’s those moments when I know I have really made a difference for someone that really drives me.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
Never get too big for your britches. With the way that things change, you always have to be humble. There is always room for improvement. It’s important to remember that. No matter how much you already know, or think you do, there should always be room to learn. Stay up with everything so that you can stay at the top of your game.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Anyone trying to enter into the cybersecurity field needs to be sure that they are not only capturing the customers’ problem. You have to capture the tone of the problem. They might throw out a list of things or requirements that they need. From that, you have to decipher the actual issues. Then you have to prioritize what is most important and what is less. That will guide you. Using your vast knowledge of all the technical aspects, you can propose the correct solution.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I am a huge sports fan. Anything related to sports and especially the NFL. I’m usually all about binging various shows on a multitude of streaming services with my wife. Living in Texas, there is always something to do. We like to visit the parks and different attractions. We just love being outdoors whenever we can be. A lot of people look to vacation in some far away exotic place. We genuinely enjoy what is local. We’ve got beaches and great hotels. There is always a ton of stuff to do. We like to spend time just exploring what is readily available.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
That is a tough one for anyone. I feel like I am still learning myself. I work hard to be as effective as I can be. It’s a bit easier now that I am working from home more, but you still have to ensure that you are being effective. It can get blurred sometimes so making sure that you have clearly defined areas of where you work versus where you don’t work. I created an office on our top floor, away from everything else. When I am in there, I am focused and working. When I come out, I close the door and put work aside so I can focus on my family. Having that space has really helped with keeping things separate.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
It may sound a bit crazy, but I would have to say a clock. It is still one of the most important pieces of technology that I use on a daily basis. It all goes back to the time management aspect. You have to create a plan. Plan your day and stick to the agenda. A clock is going to help you keep on track. If you are setting time-based goals, you’re more likely to stay on track.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
The best piece of advice I’ve gotten is to always be respectful. You never know what others are going through. You never know if they have more knowledge than you. My mother and father instilled this in me at a young age. Never burn a bridge. You can never have too many friends, but you can certainly have too many enemies. As I’ve gotten older, I find this advice has become even more relevant. These last few years have been so taxing on everyone. It’s better to always be respectful and honest.