School of Arts and Sciences

Security Internship Leads to Full-Time Position for Intelligence and National Security Alumnus

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pictured is Ryan Howley, intelligence and national security alumnus and facility security officer for the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. Meet Ryan Howley

Job title: Facility Security Officer
Employer: Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and National Security
Graduated: May 2014
College activities: Honors Program and the Society for Intelligence and National Security Club
Scholarships from Point Park: Presidential Scholarship and the Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies Department Scholarship
Hometown: Cranberry Twp., Pa.
High school: Seneca Valley Senior High School
Now living in: Arlington, Va.
Hobbies/interests: International travel, camping, volunteering with animal rescues, hiking and history 
LinkedIn: Ryan Howley

How did you land your position as a facility security officer?

I met someone working for Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute during the spring semester of my junior year at Point Park. She recommended I apply for an internship with the SEI Security team. I applied, met the requirements and was brought on board. 

Following the internship, SEI hired me for temporary employment and eventually as a full-time employee. After a few years of working in SEI’s Pittsburgh office as a security administrator, there was an opening for a facility security officer position in Arlington. I was asked if I would like to take on a new position there.

Why did you choose Point Park to study intelligence and national security?

Having lived in Pittsburgh for most of my life, I love the city with all my heart. I had been considering a few other schools for their criminal justice programs, but when I found out about Point Park and its intelligence and national security program, I knew it was the school for me.

"Identifying threats and security vulnerabilities is an essential skill and many of my classes in intel helped me to develop the critical thinking skills needed to do that."

-- Ryan Howley


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How have your intel classes helped you in your current position?

The intelligence and national security courses introduced me to the various elements of the intelligence and defense communities that you need to be familiar with in this type of work. Identifying threats and security vulnerabilities is an essential skill and many of my classes in intel helped me to develop the critical thinking skills needed to do that. Our adversaries are incredibly patient and intelligent. You can’t go into this field of work thinking you know everything.  

What is your favorite Point Park memory?

The time I spent with my roommates during my freshman and sophomore year will always be something I remember. I lived with two other guys and we clicked right away. I always say that the stars had to align just right when we got matched up as roommates because we got along so well.

What are your career goals?

My main goal, from the very beginning, has been to make a difference in the world. I want the work I do to help people and I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.

Do you have a favorite quote?

"It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." — Theodore Roosevelt

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