Alumni Spotlight: Glenn Andal
“Computer security is about solving hard problems that not a lot of people are able to understand – that’s what inspires me,” says Capitol Tech alum Glenn Andal. As a cybersecurity professional, he realized that he would be the first-in-line to tackle these issues.
Glenn currently solves some of the most complex and important problems facing the field as a Senior Cyber Security Engineer at MITRE, a research development center for the U.S. government. Glenn explains that government agencies rely on them to provide unbiased, objective feedback. His work is classified and includes supporting the DOD and federal agencies with cybersecurity and systems engineering challenges. Glenn adds, “It’s a pretty unique position as opposed to your typical contractor.”
Another factor that makes his role stand out is the variety. “Depending on what the government sponsor or government customer wants, I have to adapt,” Glenn says. Sometimes this means pulling from his existing knowledge to work with fields that he has no prior experience with. He credits his comfort and ease in transitioning to new projects to Capitol Tech, describing his education as “gained a flavor in each area of cybersecurity.”
Glenn graduated from Capitol Tech in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Cyber & Information Security after transferring from Prince George’s Community College. At Capitol Tech, Glenn was able to dive straight into technical and focused coursework. This was something that he hadn’t done before. Going into community college, Glenn explains that he didn’t have much in-depth knowledge of computer security. “I was pretty raw and new to the field.”
Capitol Tech also helped him build the qualifications that would ultimately lead to his current job. He explains that he pursued CompTIA+ certification as he was finishing up his junior year. He adds, “that certification was one of the defining factors in me getting an internship with MITRE the following summer.”
Glenn adds that he regularly sees the relevance of his Capitol Tech coursework in his career. He recalls, “I took a reverse engineering course at Capitol Tech. Five years later, there’s work at MITRE that’s directly related to reverse engineering. That in itself is huge.” Having professors who were also working professionals in DC’s tech pipeline ensured that what he learned addressed the employer’s needs. “They were currently in the field of security, which is important – especially in a day and age where things change every day,” he adds.
Today, he’s confident in his abilities and feels secure about his career, as well as the role that Capitol Tech has played in his path. “It was night and day between when I started college and when I was closing out my undergraduate career,” he adds, “my education got me an internship, which led to a full-time position, which led to a senior position. I’m in a field now that isn’t going to go away, especially in this area.”