Cybersecurity Alumnus Shares His Embry-Riddle Experience
With more than 140,000 alumni around the world, Embry-Riddle offers a network of incredible contacts within top organizations across the aviation and aerospace industry.
Alan Tomaszycki graduated from our Prescott Campus in 2019 with a double major in Cyber Intelligence and Security and Aeronautics with a helicopter flight minor. He’s currently a Product Cybersecurity Analysis for The Boeing Company, Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Product Development. He’s also worked with current Embry-Riddle students as a subject matter expert for a project they are working on for The Boeing Company.
Has being an Embry-Riddle graduate impacted you since graduation?
Absolutely, I find that Embry-Riddle has a reputation for the amazing graduates and the work they perform. Embry-Riddle was small and had a very close student body, because of that I find that I know more Embry-Riddle hires at The Boeing Company. It’s almost like having a family member join the same company as yourself.
What was your favorite Embry-Riddle experience?
Having a great relationship with the faculty and staff at the college was my favorite Embry-Riddle experience. The college has a small class and I found it easy to connect to my professor and other staff around the campus. This really motivated me to be successful and gave me a lasting positive experience with the university.
How did Embry-Riddle prepare you for your future?
Embry-Riddle hires professors and staff that have been in the industry and have years of experience. The courses offered were tailored to future jobs in my degree path. I found this extremely helpful as projects were very realistic and homework was not always busy work. Having professors with connections and understanding of the industry was beneficial to my development.
Which class or professor influenced you the most and why?
Introduction into cyber security with Professor Jon Haass was most influential. This was the course that made me take on the second major and ultimately lead me to my current career path. This course was fun beyond imagination. It was like the first-time eating ice cream, after the first spoonful there is a desire for it never to end. The course was packed full of information a mile wide and a foot deep - just enough to get you interested in the topic. After that course I deep dived into the degree and immersed myself in cybersecurity. I do want to mention professor Krishna Sampigethaya as a huge influence that led me to my current company. Without both professors, I do not believe I would be where I am today.
Did you participate in any projects or competitions during your time? What did you enjoy most about it?
I participated in a few capture the flag (CTF) competitions as a cyber intelligence and security student. I found the competitions exhilarating and full of surprises. I enjoyed most being around some of the smartest and friendliest people I have ever met. Having many amazing and fun people around can really make a difficult competition enjoyable. The best part is that the bonds I formed with some of those students have developed into the best friendships I could ask for.
What is your advice for future students?
College can be challenging, stressful and feel pointless. These are feelings that all students have felt at sometime or another. Do not be afraid to reach out to your peers and staff for help. Creating those connections will simplify the challenges, help relive stress and give meaning to it all when you land your dream job. Most of all enjoy it, all of it!