Being Neurodiverse at GDIT: Josh’s Story

After college, Josh Nelson pursued several different job paths with none leading to the career he was searching for. Navigating the challenging job market with the added pressure of being differently abled was difficult for Josh.

“I was honestly adrift after college. I didn’t know what the next step in my career search was or how to find somewhere worthwhile that would take a chance on me. Thankfully, with the help of Melwood, I was able to find the perfect role for me at GDIT,”Josh shares.

Creating opportunities for a neurodiverse workforce

Melwood is a nonprofit, founded on the principles of innovation, inclusion, and social good. The organization focuses on finding employment for people of different abilities and assisted Josh in landing an interview at GDIT.

Josh was grateful for Melwood’s support in finding a career that fits him. “They find individuals like me, who are entirely capable of doing whatever jobs you may ask of them, but just have one difficulty or another that prevents them from getting hired the traditional way.”

Differently abled and ready to make an impact

Josh hadn’t previously considered a career in cybersecurity but was confident he had what it took if given the chance.

“I hadn’t thought about cybersecurity but I turned out to be pretty well suited for it. I’m thankful for Melwood helping me get my foot in the door at GDIT.”

After walking through the door, Josh found a helpful team and a supportive environment at GDIT. He’s been doing the job for over a year and excelling at it.

“I owe pretty much all of my job skills to my co-workers being willing to sit down in front of the computer with me and teach me,” he says. “In addition to being willing to give me a chance to prove myself doing the same job that everybody else does, GDIT also has various employee resource groups for people who do need more specific and detailed help, and a community in which to be comfortable in whatever their manner of neurodiversity is.”

Working as a cybersecurity analyst associate

Josh’s job primarily consists of using GDIT’s programs to monitor its clients’ networks to see if there is any suspicious activity.

He’s found a role that allows him to use his technical skills while serving GDIT’s customers. “I’d say that my favorite thing about my job is the ability to protect networks. Being a Cybersecurity Analyst Associate allows me to use my skill sets that both come naturally to me as somebody with Asperger’s and the ones I’ve developed over the years with technical training.”

The partnership between GDIT and Melwood is helping differently abled professionals find a career that's right for them. And Josh couldn't be happier with where he's landed.