Emma Seehousz, cyber analytics major: “I aspire to make a difference”
Data can be used for a multitude of purposes, from business strategy to draft picks in sports. For Emma Seehousz, now in her third year at Capitol Tech, some of the most intriguing applications are in the arenas of intelligence, security, and defense.
Cyber analytics is a relatively new field that combines cybersecurity with data analytics, providing new tools for preventing adversaries from carrying out cyber attacks. Data coming in from networks can be aggregated and then examined for patterns and anomalies that signal the presence of an intruder on the network – or a breach that is about to happen.
It’s a game-changing new approach to network security – and it requires an uncommon blend of skill sets. For Emma, who has a cybersecurity background plus an interest in data, it’s the perfect match.
Emma keeps a busy schedule, balancing her studies with her role as president of S-Lab, which co-ordinates student clubs and events campus. We caught up with her during a break between her classes and activities, and asked her to fill us in on her Capitol experience so far.
Cyber analytics is a new degree program at Capitol Tech. What got you interested in choosing this as your major?
Although I started out in cybersecurity, I’ve become very interested in working with data. This is something organizations really need now. They have massive amounts of data coming in, and they need people who can analyze, organize, and understand it.
What are your long-term career goals?
I’m interning with the Department of Defense right now and would like to continue pursuing my career there. I have a strong interest in counter-intelligence and would like to work with the military, perhaps overseas. I aspire to make a difference. I want to bring about positive change in the world, or be part of that change.
What motived you to choose Capitol Tech for your college education?
I made the choice almost by accident. At the end of my senior year, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Over the summer, I attended a cyber camp at Capitol Tech and loved it – the professors and the students, all the really cool, interesting things we were doing, the opportunities that were available to me. I thought “this is the best school ever – I’m definitely coming here!” It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I didn’t want to go to a school where I was just going to get lost -- especially knowing how I learn, which is by being hands-on. Sitting in a lecture hall with a hundred kids is not how I’m going to learn anything. The class sizes at Capitol Tech are small and you get to know all your professors.
You also get started in your field of study right away. I know a few people at other schools who are already in their third year of college and only now doing things that I was doing during my first and second year. At Capitol Tech, there isn’t that kind of wait. You start learning things that are directed towards your major early on.
What, so far, are some of the highlights of your university experience?
I’ve learned so much here and everything is so hands-on. After taking a course in computer architecture and construction, I ended up building my own PC. If you had told me, even half a year ago, that I would build my own computer, I would have told you ‘no way!’ I didn’t know the components or how to put them together. Taking the course changed that. And now I have in fact built a PC and that’s where I do all of my labs now.
You’ve been very active in student life here. What drives your involvement?
I feel it’s super-important to draw in everyone and make everyone feel included, so that they feel they are part of a community. That’s one of the benefits of a smaller school. At the big schools, people don’t really get to feel special walking around campus. It’s really nice to be able to walk around and say hi to everyone and know who they are.