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Pictured is Daniel Mikulan, a 2013 intelligence and national security alumnus, cyber intrusion analyst for PNC and veteran. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Meet Daniel Mikulan

Job title: Cyber Intrusion Analyst
Employer: PNC Financial Services
Degree earned: B.S. in Intelligence and National Security, Point Park University, 2013; A.A. in General Studies, University of Phoenix, 2010; and pursuing M.A. in intelligence studies, American Military University
Hometown and current residence: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Avonworth High School
Hobbies/interests: Exercising, traveling, cooking and eating good food

As a veteran, what factors made you choose Point Park's intelligence and national security program?

Career advancement was the most important factor in choosing Point Park's intelligence and national security program. I spent my time in the United States Marine Corps with the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group and followed that up with a few years in the private military sector. After five back-to-back tours in Iraq, it was a somewhat difficult transition for me going from the field to the classroom. I had gained a great amount of experience but I eventually saw myself hitting a wall. I absolutely needed an education to match my years of experience.

How did the Career Development Center help you land your current position?

Shortly after graduation from Point Park, I entered the federal government and was back with the Marine Corps as a federal civilian employee. I was in good hands at Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., and my future was lining up perfectly to enter the intelligence community.

Personal matters arose like they do, and I decided to return to Pittsburgh. I immediately reached out to Point Park's Career Development Center and began to discuss employment opportunities and internships in the Pittsburgh area. I needed to be strategic in my plan, especially because I was leaving an area where security and intelligence agencies thrive. It was then I chose to pursue a career in cyber intelligence and enrolled in a master's degree program with American Military University. The Career Development Center helped me obtain an internship with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance. NCFTA is where companies, government and academia work together to neutralize cyber crime. This internship led to my current position in cyber intelligence with PNC.

Who influenced you most during your time at Point Park?

It was a combination of fellow student veterans and professors. The intelligence and national security program consisted of veterans from all branches of the military and even those actively serving in the reserves. Some of the professors have decades of experience working within the intelligence community and it was their pre-9/11 knowledge that influenced me the most. It helped me understand why things were the way they were during my post-9/11 service.

What are your career goals?

I am currently a cyber intrusion analyst for PNC's SOC/CERT team. These types of fusion centers are commonly used in the security world to gather threat intelligence. I have seen my share of fusion centers while serving five years overseas and I am happy to be a part of this new state-of-the-art facility here in my hometown. My short-term career goals are to earn the respect of my team through performance and dedication. My long-term goals are to develop subject matter expertise in the cyber intelligence field and take on a leadership role.

Final thoughts?

After seven years of military service, I lined up the education and training, made the right connections and bolstered my experience with an internship. I did what needed to be done and came out reaching my end goal, which is going to benefit me the rest of my career.

To all the veterans at Point Park University and those coming home: Our time in service does not have to be our greatest accomplishment. Keep your standards high. I'd like to extend a special thanks to the intelligence and national security program, the Career Development Center and the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania.

More About: intelligence and national security, PNC, Avonworth High School, success story, veterans, Career Development Center, alumni