Category Archives: Career Skills

Need Cybersecurity Workforce Experience?

Students from community colleges, technical colleges, and universities can join the NCyTE Virtual Cyber Career Challenge!

The challenge is project based and designed to build technical and soft skills. Students will work virtually over ten weeks in small teams to configure, operate, protect, and defend a network of machines.

By completing the project, students will have demonstrated how they were able to plan, problem solve, work in teams, communicate effectively, write reports, and present findings. It is intended to be a real-world workforce experience students can put on their resume to gain future employment.

Eligibility 

Students need to complete the following requirements by March 2.

  1. An introduction to networking course
  2. An introduction to cybersecurity course
  3. Turned in a Cybersecurity Challenge Commitment Agreement (distributed at the information session)
  4. Attended a one hour information session (pick one):

Cyber Career Challenge Schedule

  • March 2 – Commitment Agreement due
  • April 10 – Workshop begins: Introduction to program work roles
  • April 17 – Introduction to the network requirements and team selection
  • April 24 – Network admin basics, Kanban, Gantt charts, Visio diagrams
  • May 1 to June 5 – Teams work independently and receive guidance on network management and pentest prep
  • June 12 – Pentest
  • June 15 – Team presentations
  • September 15 (Optional) Virtual Career Fair

Learning objectives

Students will work in teams of three to successfully complete the following:

  • Develop a project plan for an Information System that supports a fictitious business.
  • Utilize project management tools for communication and project implementation.
  • Operate a network of nine devices within the technical requirements specified.
  •  Defend their network against a penetration test.
  • Analyze the network for any evidence of attacks or compromise resulting from penetration testing.
  • Present their approach to operating the network and findings from the penetration test.

College credit – Students who are interested in earning internship or co-operative education credits by completing the CCC need to inquire with their institution. The CCC does not offer college credit. The CCC instructor, however, holds a similar role as an employer would in an internship. Students need to contact their program advisor at their institution to find out if the CCC will qualify and the process for earning credits.

Visit the NCyTE (National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center) website.

CLRI Celebrates Fall Graduates at Networking Event

The Fall Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI) concluded on November 17 at the Woodbridge Campus (at the site of the future NOVA Data Center Training Facility). NOVA IET students put their newly enhanced career skills in action to make industry connections at a final networking session, the culminating event for students before they receive their certificates of completion. This was particularly notable this semester as it was the first in-person CLRI at NOVA since it was established in 2020.

Through an extracurricular 5-week course, CLRI students were trained how to interview, create a resume that stands out, manage interpersonal skills in a diverse workplace, and more. Students were also treated to two tours of an IET partner, STACK Infrastructure Data Center.

The final networking event kicked-off with remarks from VP of IET and College Computing Dr. Chad Knights before students and IET professionals gathered for a round table discussion and Q & A on relevant experiences and pressing needs in the tech workforce. After the discussion, Executive Director of the NOVA Foundation Kelly Persons addressed graduates and presented them with completion certificates and a leather CLRI portfolio. Graduates also receive a digital CLRI badge that they can add to their LinkedIn profiles.

Following the certificate presentation, CLRI students put their skills to the test during a catered meal where there were opportunities to network with the industry partners from the roundtable discussions. One of the major draws of CLRI and especially the final networking event is that graduates obtain immediate internship opportunities and receive priority consideration for our paid summer internships. 2-3 students from the fall CLRI cohort have been offered winter-break internships at Digital Realty and 3 CLRI students have already been extended an offer of employment from various industry partners.


Feedback from CLRI graduates included the following:

“CLRI helped me to get professional skills, to meet people, to make connections, to build my network. I really learned how to rebrand my resumé to attract hiring managers.” – Kanyin, NOVA IT Major

“I want to get better, I want to be better, I want to do better, and I want an opportunity to come my way. This gave me the opportunity. It was a lot of fun and definitely built my confidence” – Elizabeth, NOVA IT Major

“The nicest thing about CLRI is that you get to know a lot of people who are like-minded, and industry professionals who give you really good advice. It’s definitely worth joining.” – Hamid, IST Major

“I would 100% recommend CLRI. The networking aspect was what I got the most from. Tom (Tom Gerencer, CLRI’s Technical Resume Instructor), who I was able to contact via LinkedIn, turned my resume from OK to fantastic.” Tim, ET Major

“Once [NOVA students] come into the program, they will feel how impactful CLRI is on their career journey.” – Tahiba, IT Major


For the Fall 2022 cohort, 34 NOVA students are scheduled to complete CLRI (make-up sessions are due Dec 15) and 52 students attended at least one workshop. Overall, since it’s implementation, CLRI has surpassed 100 completers.

Special recognition goes to M. Andy Chaves, NOVA SySTEMic CTE Coordinator, and Sedrick Settle, IET Career Advisor for their exemplary work in running CLRI with excellence and enthusiasm from beginning to end this semester.

You can reach M. Andy at machaves@nvcc.edu and Sedrick at ssettle@nvcc.edu


Industry Partners who attended the CLRI Networking Event:

Keron Taylor, Data Center Operations Manager, Google
Troy Hill, Director of Data Center Operations, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Jay Mitchell, Operations Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Scott LaCasse, Supervisor of Workstation Support, PWCS
Darlene Armenta, Director of Talent Acquisition, Red River
Koren Flint, Senior Director of Customer Experience, Red River
Christopher Lettiere, Director of Data Center Operations, Coresite
Rob Morgan, Director of Project Management, CompuDynamics
Sal Amado, Director of Learning & Development, Simple Technology Solutions


Spring CLRI Opportunities:

If you are a NOVA student and want to get ahead in your career, CLRI will continue in Spring 2023, with a kick-off event on Feb 16 and workshops beginning the following week on Feb 21. You can sign up for our Spring 2023 Interest Form at https://www.nvcc.edu/career-services/clri.html to be notified when applications are available. We will also keep you up to date through our monthly Newsletter, which you can sign up for at http://newsletter.novastem.us

Another good resource to keep up with IET and future CLRI sessions and feedback is the NOVA Engage App, which you can find on Apple and Google Play. Some CLRI students who received internships applied directly through the App.