Intelligence and National Security Student, Alumna Work Together at Software Engineering Institute
"For young intelligence professionals, many eyes are locked in on three-letter agencies for their first job. While this is a fantastic career choice, intelligence is everywhere. There are career opportunities at banks, universities, corporations and so much more."
Point Park University's Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies is committed to providing students with meaningful experiential learning opportunities throughout their studies.
For several years, the faculty have cultivated a valuable relationship with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, a nonprofit, public-private partnership that conducts research and development in software engineering, systems engineering, cybersecurity and other areas of computing to help introduce private-sector innovations into government. Point Park students majoring or minoring in intelligence and national security regularly intern with the organization, gaining hands-on experience and networking with professionals.
Intelligence and national security alumna Chandler Krelow '20 is now a contractor special security officer at the SEI.
"Working with current Point Park students at the SEI is very nostalgic and rewarding," Krelow said. "I enjoy talking with them and helping them learn the things I wish I knew at that age. Shaping the next generation of analysts is something I am proud to say I am a part of."
In the Q&A below, hear from Krelow, as well as a sophomore who interned at the SEI this year, about their Point Park experiences. The current student is speaking under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of their chosen field.
Chandler Krelow '20
College activities: Starting shortstop for Point Park Softball
Hometown: Renfrew, Pa.
High school: Knoch High School
Hobbies/interests: Coaching little league, spending time at the beach and traveling
Why did you choose Point Park University?
I mainly chose Point Park for the intelligence and national security program. Due to the unique nature of this major and the previous credits I gained from training in the U.S. Air Force, I needed a flexible school that would accept my transcript. When I was searching for a college, it was between Point Park and another school. I chose the local option, and I am so glad that I did. Point Park's program allowed me to shift from a war-fighting, operational view to a more academic, strategic view of intelligence. This changed my perspective in a lot of ways, allowing me to become a more well-rounded, well-versed analyst.
Which professors and courses had a significant impact on your education?
Sean Elliot Martin's Intelligence Analysis/Critical Thinking course is one I will never forget. The whole concept of the course is to allow students to react to an ever-changing scenario and make connections that lead them to wild conclusions. While I had been used to many simulated, war-based scenarios, this course forced the class to think outside the box and really enjoy the problem-solving and critical thinking processes.
What do you enjoy about your current role?
My job has countless benefits, but my favorites would be the people and the developments. Meeting and interacting with so many individuals who have a military background like myself usually leads to taking in helpful advice for my young career. The SEI is big on personal and professional development, which allows me to take courses and network to build strong connections in my field.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
In the intelligence field, location is everything. Having a University with a great program in the heart of an amazing city really seals the deal. There are so many places to find internships and employment. This allows students who have never entered the workforce to secure part-time jobs at companies that can bring them more experience than working in an isolated town. In addition to the location, the intelligence and national security program offers so much training and really sets up students for future success.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
For young intelligence professionals, many eyes are locked in on three-letter agencies for their first job. While this is a fantastic career choice, intelligence is everywhere. There are career opportunities at banks, universities, corporations and so much more. Like anything in the intelligence field, finding the best course of action is often a challenge, but a very rewarding one.
Intelligence and National Security Sophomore
College activities: Dance team, Society for Intelligence and National Security (SINS), Honors Program, WPPJ, Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Alliance (GSSA)
Dream job: DEA field agent, FBI agent or another role within the government
How is the intelligence and national security program preparing you for career success?
This program is led by professors who bring real-world situations into the classroom and create relevant simulations for students to explain these scenarios and issues. The program and Point Park as a whole have taught me a lot of discipline in terms of independence with schoolwork. Our professors have great teaching styles. They are always around to help in any way, and they want to know what your career goals are. Through the Society for Intelligence and National Security, we have the opportunities to find internships and jobs in the intelligence community, make networking connections and learn from guest speakers who share their work experiences and lend valuable advice on how to succeed.
Describe your internship at the SEI.
I work on various projects, and no day is the same. I can't say too much about what we actually do, but it involves a lot of attention to detail, and we get to work on some pretty cool stuff. What we do definitely benefits the safety of people in academia, but also will someday benefit our country as a whole regarding foreign threats.
I have learned what an analyst does in the intelligence community on a basic level and what my job might entail in the future. I now know that there are more jobs in the intelligence community than I ever thought. I have met some amazing people from this internship who bring a lot of interesting experiences and knowledge to the table.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
The location is perfect and provides opportunities for internships, jobs and cultural exploration. The degree programs are high quality, and the small class sizes allow for more one-on-one connections. Our professors care about their students, and there is a close-knit campus community.
Learn more about Dr. Martin in the video below:
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