“I chose to pursue a degree in cybersecurity because I realize there is a great need to understand how to develop secure systems to protect our country’s infrastructure,” Chris said. “I have a strong desire to learn more about computer vulnerabilities and how to defend against attacks that exploit those vulnerabilities.”
Chris says he has had strong support from his professors at UTSA.
“They helped me gain a deeper understanding of programming, introduced me to a large number of cybersecurity techniques and taught me the intricacies of system security,” he said.
Last summer, undergraduates at UTSA had the opportunity to participate in an internship with the IT Security division of Hightower Advisors, which specializes in providing client investment advice, wealth management services, and financial planning services.
“I particularly enjoyed learning about a variety of programs and activities that I had never had before,” Chris said. “I enjoyed the hands-on work and got a taste of the actual business world.”
Chris recounts his journey at UTSA as a personal growth experience.
“My time at university taught me a lot about developing strong and meaningful relationships that demonstrated my interest in learning and honing my interpersonal and time management skills,” he said.
He adds that his coaching experience has helped him realize the impact that online students can have on the company.
“At one point, I was looking for system and network vulnerabilities for offices located in New York, Texas and California,” he said. “I am confident that my work as an intern has made an important difference at Hightower.”
Chris has also acquired leadership skills as an athletic competitor. As a freshman, he had the opportunity to play as a defender and compete in the UTSA Men’s Lacrosse Conference Championships.
“The team recovered from a huge deficit to win the match and scored in the last second with a limited list,” he said. “It was a very rewarding game that taught me the importance of good sportsmanship and to never give up no matter the odds.”
He added, “Our lacrosse coach, Matthew LundyShe played a pivotal role in developing my leadership skills. From the first season of my freshman year, he expected me to step up and lead the team, especially the less experienced players.”
After graduation, Chris hopes to land a job as a cyber security analyst at a large company like Amazon, Google, or Tesla where he can build a career and grow with the company.