Cybersecurity Pro and Adjunct Faculty Member Shares Lessons Learned
Scott Smart remembers exactly how he felt on that warm summer morning. It was late July in 2014, and it proved to be a turning point in his life. “I was at my lowest,” he says. “I just quit another dead-end job, had very little money, lost my girlfriend, and had no job prospects. I felt I was completely lost and realized that I had two choices: I can either run from my problems or learn from them.” Scott chose the latter.
The first order of business was finding a career that would stir his passions. Scott knew such a profession would likely require a college education. He began considering his options which led him to ECPI University’s Richmond/Innsbrook campus. After spending time with an admissions advisor, he became excited about a possible career in IT. He had always been intrigued by computers and thus, set his sights on a degree in Cloud Computing.
“I have helped to enroll eight people personally at ECPI thus far, and have helped seven graduates find IT positions. I will always be an advocate for the University and will always look out for my students any way that I can. ECPI helped me land a successful career, and for that reason, I now live a very comfortable life.”– Scott Smart – Richmond/Innsbrook Campus Adjunct Faculty Member and Graduate
Scott commenced what would become a demanding yet rewarding experience. “I would go to class from 8:00 am until noon, and then have to leave early to go to work from 12:45 pm to 11:15 pm,” he says. “I had no time for myself, which in honesty, was a good thing. It kept me focused on what was important, and I learned so much in terms of time management and self-sacrifice.”
Toward the end of his studies, Scott secured a highly-coveted internship at the Capital One IT Command Center. He then graduated summa cum laude and secured a full-time position with Capital One. Soon after, he would return to ECPI University to earn his Master’s degree in Cybersecurity and accepted a new position as Systems Administrator for Bank of America. He has also returned to the Richmond-Innsbrook campus, where he now teaches night classes as an adjunct faculty member and plans to begin work on his PhD.
Scott likes to share his journey with students to help keep them motivated. I always say that there is nothing wrong with failing as long as you give 100 percent, because in failing you can also learn, but don’t you dare quit,” he says. “The moment you become fearless, life becomes limitless.
“I have helped to enroll eight people personally at ECPI thus far and have helped seven graduates find IT positions. I will always be an advocate for the University and will always look out for my students any way that I can. ECPI helped me land a successful career, and for that reason, I now live a very comfortable life.”