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Sandra Escandor-O'Keefe, B.Eng.'10

(Electrical & Biomedical Engineering) | Working Remotely in a Connected World

Sandra Escandor-O’Keefe may be working for a San Francisco-area tech firm, but that doesn’t mean she has to leave home.

A Security Engineer with Fastly, she spends her days conducting security reviews for core infrastructure, and analyzing the design of the Fastly network to help ensure the company provides a secure edge for some of the biggest online platforms in the world. She has also had the opportunity to represent Fastly as a speaker at several security conferences, such as RSA, thotcon, and ShmooCon.

And she does it all from the other side of the continent, working remotely in her home office in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“Having a remote career is really advantageous in terms of quality of life,” says Escandor-O’Keefe. “You get to spend your life actually experiencing life, and not just sitting in a car for a third of the day on your way to work.

“When I got the chance to reduce my commute time to zero, I took it.”

Originally from Hamilton, the 2010 Electrical & Biomedical Engineering grad moved to St. John’s with her husband about three years ago, to be near his family.

She started her career as a software design engineer with Burlington-based Evertz, before joining Waterloo-based McAfee as a software developer. After several years, Escandor-O’Keefe took a position with Verafin when she moved to the east coast, before joining Fastly in 2016.

 “I chose to study Electrical & Biomedical Engineering because I thought I'd like to keep open the idea of going to med school,” says Escandor-O’Keefe. “It turned out that I liked technology more than biology, and chose the path that led me to work with computers.”

She encourages young people to be open to new opportunities and give themselves space to discover their passions.

“It's okay if you're not really sure what you want to do after graduation. Your time in undergrad is the best time to get to know your preferences, and to really get to know who you are.”