Mount Cybersecurity grad earns tech job at West Point

July 08, 2020

Ryan Bellows of Mahopac, N.Y., a May 2020 graduate of Mount Saint Mary College’s Cybersecurity program, didn’t have to wait long to start working in his field: Bellows began his career as an Information Technology Specialist (Security/Systems Administration) at the West Point United States Military Academy on Monday, July 6.

Bellows landed the job after completing an internship at West Point during his time at the Mount, and he credits much of his success to the help of his professors. It was the Mount's Career Center and Sagar Raina, assistant professor of Information Technology, who alerted Bellows to the internship opportunity at the United States Military Academy.

“Professor Sagar Raina helped me the most,” Bellows said. “He was always there to motivate and help us.”

Cybersecurity is more than just a career for Bellows – it’s a passion. In this field, every day is a new adventure, he explained.

“I am mostly excited about the unknown. Cyber Security is a relatively new field of study,” Bellows said. “I have witnessed the field’s evolution over the course of my four-year college career alone. The ever-changing nature is what I believe keeps this career path interesting.”

Offered as both an IT concentration and major, the Mount’s Cybersecurity program provides theoretical and hands-on skills to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities in software, operating systems, networks, and more. A major or concentration in Cybersecurity at the Mount can lead to careers in technology, security software, defense, government, teaching, e-commerce, banking, finance, business, and more.

“My favorite part of the Mount’s Cybersecurity program was the non-stop challenge of learning the many aspects of computer/network security,” Bellows explained. “Each challenge was difficult, but rewarding.”  

What Bellows learned in the classroom was easily applicable in practical situations, he said.

“I was able to draw from the skills I learned in the Mount’s labs during my internships at Chester Union Free School District and West Point USMA. I was able to apply these skills to combat ransomware, analyze the spread of viruses, and help build access control policies for non-Microsoft applications.”

As he embarks on the next phase of his life, Bellows says he’ll never forget the contributions Mount Saint Mary College made to his personal and professional development.

“I am going to miss everyone’s positive demeanor – and some of the best views of the Hudson River,” he said.