Thomas said the hands-on classes he took at Alfred State gave him more experience than other job candidates.
From making lifelong friendships, to gaining leadership skills, to becoming well-prepared for the workforce, the ways in which Thomas Richards benefited from his Alfred State experience are many.
These days, Thomas is employed as a senior security consultant at Cigital, one of the world’s largest application security firms, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices throughout the United States, Europe, and India.
Working out of the company’s New York City office, Thomas conducts network and application penetration testing, and performs social engineering (phishing) assessments, as well as targeted Red Team exercises against other companies. He also helps organizations with creating secure development and coding guidelines to build software without security defects.
Looking back on his Alfred State education, Thomas acknowledges that the college played a key role in helping him get to where he is today.
“Challenging coursework and enthusiastic professors helped prepared me for my current career,” he said.
Thomas, who entered the workforce immediately after graduation doing IT support, said the hands-on classes he took at Alfred State gave him more experience than other job candidates, and allowed him to land positions at Internet service providers, non-profits, and health care organizations prior to joining Cigital.
Outside of academics, Thomas acknowledges he made some of his closest friends while at Alfred State. Also, joining the Mu Theta fraternity, he said, helped him with developing leadership skills and solving unique challenges.
Speaking from experience, Thomas encourages current students to follow their passion, and also to be sure to get involved on campus.
“Getting involved in clubs and organizations can give you valuable experience outside of the classroom to help prepare you for the real world.”