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Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 11 Feb 2015

By Rosalie Evans, Professor, Capitol Technology  University

Mikhail Gorbachev has been out of the public eye for years, but he turned up in Capitol Technology University's  English Communications I class this semester, along with such unlikely companions as Elon Musk, Woodie Flowers, and the Dalai Lama.  These folks were just a few of the subjects students selected for their final research paper on the obstacles and challenges that life presents.  

Often, it seems to the casual observer that successful people get all the breaks.  As the students shared the results of their research into the lives of these famous business executives, scientists, and Nobel Prize winners, there was surprise at the hardships, discrimination, financial setbacks, and political battles their subjects had endured.

We defined “obstacles” as barriers to success and achievement imposed by the outer world.  Obstacles could be physical limitations such as the ALS with which Steven Hawking was diagnosed at 21, and which has ultimately robbed him of everything but his mind; or the racially motivated hatred directed towards Ruby Bridges, the little black girl in pigtails in the iconic painting by Norman Rockwell. As the first black child to enter a white school in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision, Ruby appeared small but determined as she walked behind her two U.S. Marshal escorts.  The students who wrote about Hawking and Bridges concluded that they overcame their obstacles and were strengthened by the fight, not defeated.

“Challenges” we agreed, were self-chosen, not imposed.  Challenges were the driving force behind many surprising achievements, seemingly unpredictable from the subject’s starting point.  Observers were often indignant at  unpopular goals voiced by the subjects in their early years.  For example, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, popular TV personality and astrophysicist, was criticized for going into physics instead of becoming part of the fight for civil rights. Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Prize-winning scientist in stem cell research, found his chosen field of study unpopular with colleagues and universities.  Funding was hard to come by as the topic was controversial and the work was difficult. Students found that these challenges did not discourage Tyson and Yamanaka, who both succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations.

 Gender issues were challenges for two of the subjects studied.  Meg Whitman, current CEO of HP and former CEO of Ebay, was born in the 1950s, when women were expected to go to college merely to get their “MRS” degree.  Whitman’s challenge was to prove that she could work harder and longer and smarter than her male counterparts. Fortunately, that was not difficult for Whitman and her steady march up the corporate hierarchy has left many male colleagues in the dust.  Malala Yousfazi’s path to success was not so easy.  The 17-year-old school girl and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last year was the target of gender-related religious extremism that left her near death.  Shot in the head by the Taliban on a school bus in Pakistan, the courageous young woman recovered and carried her battle across the world for the right of Muslim women and girls to an education.

Our students have already overcome significant obstacles in being accepted at Capitol.  The challenge of earning a college degree is one they have taken on willingly.  Meeting that challenge will depend on determination, courage, and a reliable alarm clock to wake them for early classes.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 6 Feb 2015

By Sarah Alspaw,  Assistant Director of Career Services and Graduate Student Support

Most people do not just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon. Running a marathon takes dedication, practice, deliberate decision making, and the right tools to be successful. Career development and planning follow the same principles. If you want to find the right job, in the right location, with the right company, and the right pay and benefits, you need to start making decisions, as early as possible, that will affect your marketability when you graduate.

As you may know, we require that students attend the Career Fair every year to qualify for the Job Guarantee/Commitment; not just seniors looking for full-time positions. Students often ask why they are required to go to the Career Fair freshman and sophomore year.

We feel confident enough to guarantee that you will be employed within 90 days after graduation, because if you complete everything on the list, you are extremely marketable as a job applicant. I would like to encourage you to stop viewing attending the Career Fair as something that you were told you have to do, and instead, view it as the opportunity that it is.

Finding your first job out of school is one of the hardest things you will ever do.  Attending Career Day, the Career Fair, workshops, participating in clubs, maintaining a high GPA, and completing the other requirements will make finding a job less difficult.If you are seeking a full-time position, please check out our Spring 2015 edition of the Career Chronicle, and check out next month’s blog post for strategies for getting the best results.

What can you do at the Career Fair if you are not actively seeking an internship or full-time position?

LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE YOURSELF COMPETITIVE

You have the opportunity to speak directly to recruiters from major organizations.  This is your chance to ask questions.

A few examples:

  • What electives should I consider taking that will make me a more marketable candidate? 
  • How heavily do they weigh GPA when making hiring decisions?
  • What can I do now that will make me a more appealing candidate in the future?
  • Is it a good idea to get an unpaid internship?
  • What impact does volunteer work have on my candidacy?
  • What clubs or national organizations should I join?

This information can help you plan future semesters.

NETWORK AND CONNECT

About 80% of jobs are now found through networking.  Getting to know the recruiters is the best way to make sure they remember you when the time comes for you to seek out a position.   

I was told a story about a student at another university that went to the Career Fair every year. He had dreamed of working at a specific company. First and second year, he introduced himself and expressed his interest in the organization. By junior year, the recruiter was then looking for him at the fair, and had already arranged an internship interview, since he knew the student was interested. By senior year, he had a full-time job offer in hand.

LEARN ABOUT WHAT COMPANIES ARE OUT THERE

The NSA and Google are not the only companies out there that are hiring your major. Did you know that the CIA hires Astronautical Engineering majors to design satellites? Business Majors, almost every company has a finance, human resources, or project/business management positions. There are smaller companies who may allow you more responsibility or a more dynamic work experience.

Career development is not a ladder, there is not only one way to get to where you want to go. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook describes in her book “Lean In” that rising in your career is more like a jungle-gym. You are not limited to going just straight up, but you can climb diagonally, sideways, and other directions to maneuver where you need to be.

INTERNSHIPS/PART-TIME WORK

The CIA is now accepting applications for clandestine internships for the summer of 2016, and the deadline is the end of March. Yes, they are accepting applications more than 1 year in advance, because they put all qualified applicants through the security clearance process.  Other internships will be posted in July. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply. We are also striving to offer more part-time local opportunities for students who want to work while they study.

RSVP IN ADVANCE

You may also want to find out ahead of time what companies are going to be attending the Career Fair. Knowing the companies that are attending gives you a reasonable amount of time to do your research on each individual company and find out which one best suits you.  Also, if your résumé is uploaded to your account, employers will have access to your résumé in advance as well.

To RSVP:

Click the Documents tab at the top of the page

Upload the latest version of your résumé.

Click the events tab at the top of the page

Select Capitol Technology University Career Fair 2015

Select “Upload your résumé and RSVP to the event”

Select the employers you are interested in, and confirm your registration (please note these employers are the only employers registered right now.  There will be additional registrations as we get closer to the event).

If you have any questions, please contact me by emailing Careers@CapTechU.edu

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 4 Feb 2015

By William H. Butler,  Chair, Cybersecurity Program, Capitol Technology University

As a result of Edward Snowden's disclosure of numerous National Security Agency (NSA) secrets to several media outlets, there are signs of change in attitudes across our society and globally. 

First, consumers seek more privacy protections for their smart phones from manufacturers and service providers. For example, the iPhone 6 and the latest Android O/S release have improved encryption over previous releases. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies that depend on the ability to conduct investigations by accessing data from smart phones are not supportive of this increased privacy.

Second, some federal agencies report that the simple transfer of data between systems or downloads to storage devices requires what is called “two person integrity” (meaning it takes two employees now when one would do before). The operational, financial and morale impacts within these agencies are obvious.

Third, foreign countries such as Germany and Brazil were outraged that their leaders' smart phones were regularly monitored for years by the United States. Brazil went so far as to threaten to award huge competitive contracts to anyone but U.S. firms in response. These foreign nations are saying that all U.S. high tech companies are actively working with the NSA, which is not true. In response U.S. companies are working hard to distance themselves publicly from any association with the NSA and the intelligence community to remain competitive internationally. 

Finally, citizens are investigating tools and techniques to remain both anonymous on the Internet and protect the privacy of their communications over their smart phones. This has resulted in increased sales of encryption, secure email products, and secure phones which are difficult to track and other emerging security products and services. There are even email products that can erase your email or attachments at a designated time set by you the sender.

The costs to business, government and our national reputation have been high. The American people must weigh in on the raging debate about the proper balance between our individual right to privacy and our governments’ first duty to protect the American people from all enemies (physical and cyber).

Related Information

Toptenreviews (2015). Email Encryption Software Review: REVIEWS AND COMPARISONS. Retrieved from: http://email-encryption-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

Cellphone (2015). Which Smartphone Is Most Secure. Retrieved from: http://cellphone2015.com/which/which-smartphone-is-most-secure.html

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 29 Jan 2015

By Dr. Michael T. Wood, President, Capitol Technology University

Happy New Year. As we near the end of January, Capitol Technology University is into its first calendar year as a full-fledged university. It looks to be a great first year. We expect to launch a new doctoral program to supplement the 100+ candidates in our original doctorate. Also on the near horizon are new master and baccalaureate programs. We are planning newer living facilities on our campus. Look for more and deeper partners with Capitol, from corporations, government agencies, and foreign countries.

Speaking of corporations, have you ever thought about the genesis of great technology companies? Many are the products of creative and dedicated pairs of people. How about Microsoft? Bill Gates, the technology aficionado and expert, and Paul Allen, the entrepreneur, social visionary, and re-maker of the city of Seattle. Not into Windows? Okay, let’s try Apple. It did not fall off a tree. That firm, now the wealthiest in the world, was built by Steve Wozniak, the technology genius, and a fellow named Steve Jobs, who could market and manage like crazy. Who will forget the jeans and black turtlenecks of one of history’s most famous CEOs? 

Going back a ways, remember MCI, the telecommunications company, built in the vapor stream of the Bell monopoly? MCI was nurtured by Bill McGowan, a business savant, and a major contributor to our university. Bill fought long in the courts to enact his independent firm. Mr. McGowan also had technology-minded partners. Too “historic” for you? Then I’ll finish with The Facebook, or just Facebook, as it is now known. Mark Zuckerberg started with a business-minded partner, whom he rather quickly bought out. 

Gates also bought out Allen. But Mr. Allen is still there. If you were watching last week’s NFC championship game in Seattle, you may have seen Mr. Allen raise the “12th Man” flag over the stadium. Partnerships last various periods of time. Most are crucial to getting companies off the ground and into the American mainstream, as their seeds spawn between friends in garages, basements, dorm rooms, or coffee shops. If you think more about this or research it, you’ll likely find many more dynamic duos.

Is there a lesson here? Generative businesses are not products of just a great idea and some financial backing. They are the products of multiple great ideas, or diversely expert and interested minds, focusing on making the germ of an idea into a great new plant. How do we integrate the parts into the new whole? The futurist Joel Barker, who studies paradigms (more on those things in a future blog), would suggest that very few of us experience the joy of starting a total paradigm shift. However, we can make friends with the shifters, and bring our talents to bear on the great new idea as paradigm pioneers, putting change into practice. So, one way to integrate is to find a different-thinking partner who loves your idea, or whose idea you embrace, or with whom together you will hammer out the new idea from the various pieces you each bring to the puzzle.

A second way to integrate the technological and social facets of innovation is to develop some of each set of interests and skills in yourself. That is what we are trying to do at Capitol. Multidisciplinary curricula blend technology and business. Emerging technologists/engineers know the social context and business applications for designing and building new technical systems and solutions. Prospective business leaders know how technology supports their business, and how to lead and serve technology-driven organizations. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) professionals now have STEAM, as we put some Art into their equation.

So, I’ll suggest that YOU make the next Dynamic Duo, comprised of you and CapTechU. As a student, a staff/faculty member, donor, or partner, you can link with us to create and implement the next generation of technology-based or technology-supported innovations. We may not become Batman (you) and Robin (us)…or maybe we can? …We’ll still become a lot of Dynamic Duos.

Onward and upward.

Mike

 

 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 23 Jan 2015

A unique opportunity is available for undergraduate students in cybersecurity to design and conduct research under the guidance of expert mentors. Apply for the Science of Security Summer Internship  and you could be selected to spend eight weeks at the Information Trust Institute (ITI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, working with faculty and staff.

The resulting research will then be presented in a poster session at the 2016 HotSoS Science of Security Symposium.

The summer internship program, which is sponsored by the National Security Agency, will also include visits to companies, during which you’ll learn about the issues and practice of cybersecurity in the real world. Dates for the internship are June 1 through July 24 (subject to change).  Selected applicants will be provided with lodging, a stipend, and a meal allowance.

The application deadline is February 1, 2015. You’ll need to provide the following information: 1) five-page Research Project Proposal, 2) Resume, 3) Transcripts, 4) Names and contact information for three references. Selection of participants will be made on February 27.

Submit application materials here. Contact Andrea Whitesell at whitesel@illinois.edu if you have questions.

Science of security is an emerging area that emphasizes the methodology of research in cybersecurity as much as the results – an approach that is critical in addressing the fundamental problems of security in a principled manner. It approaches knowledge discovery in a way tha validates predications through logic or repeatable empirical experiments.

The field has broad applications, including development of mathematical models about which properties can be proven and/or predictions made, as well as empirical research that poses hypotheses that are tested by measurement and analysis.


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