After completing his associate’s degree in information systems engineering at the Lynchburg Campus last fall, Robert Warrick, Jr. decided to maximize his education and take advantage of ANU’s progressive learning structure by immediately enrolling in the campus’s cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program. “ISE was interesting, but I felt like cybersecurity would give me a more well-rounded perspective on today’s computers,” Robert explains of his decision to continue his education. “More and more companies are going to need knowledge on how to secure their systems; I’m trying to get in the know on that.”
Robert came to ANU after retiring from 25 years of service in the U.S. Army. Computers were familiar to him as a part of everyday life in the military, so he wanted to pursue a career in technology. But first he needed to update his skills to get ready for entering the civilian job market, and he knew education was the first step.
Robert looked at several universities, both traditional and online, and was even accepted to one university based on his military experience, but his sister had graduated from the MBA program at ANU and encouraged Robert to give it a chance. After visiting the campus, he realized ANU was the right choice. “I felt like I needed the training more so than just a pass-through,” he says of his decision to pursue a career-oriented education. It also helped that he felt very welcomed by the campus staff, such as admissions representative Phyllis Carimi. “Phyllis is outstanding,” Robert exclaims. “She made me feel welcome. She answered all of my questions. She had a big smile on her face, and no question I asked was stupid; she took the time to answer everything I asked, and that impressed me.”
Now that Robert is pursuing his second degree at ANU, he is “having a ball.” He particularly appreciates the pleasant family atmosphere he’s experienced at ANU. “I haven’t had a bad encounter with any one person or instructor since I’ve been here,” he says. “All the instructors have been very professional and more than willing to help. If you don’t quite understand something, they’ll stay after class as long as you need them to. I can’t express how pleased I am with the way the college works diligently to help us.”
And he’s been pleased with the quality of education he’s receiving too. His courses have expanded on his prior knowledge of computers coming from a military background. “Going through the ISE course, and so far in the cybersecurity course too, I’ve realized I only knew the very basics, and what I knew about the very basics wasn’t complete,” Robert explains. “Now I feel like I’m a little more well-rounded, a little more complete.”
Robert is excited to earn his bachelor’s degree and put it to good use with a career in cybersecurity. “I want to try to help safeguard people’s information from the crooks,” he says. “We lose billions and billions of dollars a year to cyber-crime, and it’s not the Fortune 500 companies getting taken, it’s the everyday Joe that’s getting mashed by this crime.”
Robert Warrick, Jr. retired after 25 years in the U.S. Army and is now pursuing a career in cybersecurity.