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Homland Security Master of Professional Studies

I am a security professional who seeks to answer the call to serve my country and the great challenges presented in our day and age in the area of cyber security. I am only applying to XXXX U for graduate study because your online intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS) in Homeland Security is clearly the leading online program in my area. It is most impressive that XXXX State has been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a “National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.” Since these are among the government agencies with which I would most like to work; your program is clearly my best shot at distinguished service.

I am firmly dedicated to lifelong education into how to better serve my community and my country. Now 50, I am not the kind of man who day dreams about pulling a camper from one trailer park to another in my golden years. Rather, I aspire to be of service to our national defense well into my 70s if not beyond.  I want to work long hours until I am no longer able to do so because this is what I most enjoy: battling cyber intruders, spies, hackers, con-artists, thieves, and, with the help of your program, terrorists as well.

While I enjoy my current position as Director of Security Compliance and Management for XXXX Hotel Group, I am applying to and highly motivated to excel in your program because of my thirst for greater challenge, on the one hand, and my desire to make a fuller contribution to our cyber-security on the other.

I have enjoyed my employment with XXXX and have had the opportunity to learn many important things about security during my time here. I have been in my current position for 1 year and 2 months.  Previously, I worked with them as an independent contractor for another 18 months (2010-2011).  The greatest challenge for me has been educating management and co-workers with respect to the need for them to comply with security measures. Often if not generally, enhanced security requires that members of an organization change the way that they do certain things; and this can be difficult, flying in the face of habit and established custom. My appreciation of diversity has been enhanced, my understanding of numerous cultural factors involved in the way that we perform our roles professionally.

With over 10 years experience as an information security and compliance professional, I have risen to top of my field as a respected consultant in the payment card industry.  I have had the privilege of leading the Security Compliance and Management Organization for XXXX, the largest franchisor of hotels in the world. Hospitality presents the largest threat to individual privacy and is a significant source of identity and payment card theft. Much of what I have learned in the hospitality industry has certain relevance for other areas of security studies as well. For this reason I am confident that I will be able to excel in your program.

 I see the privacy and protection of individuals’ information as fundamental human rights. Helping to foster privacy and to be an advocate against the collection and misuse of personally identifiable information is what I see as my greatest possible contribution to humanity. My long term goal is to serve in a position, corporate or governmental, where I have an opportunity to shape policy concerning how we collect, use, and protect individuals’ data. Most probably, I would find my greatest joy working for the Federal Government as the Chief Security Officer or Compliance Officer for a governmental agency.

Graduating with a Masters in Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Information Security and Forensics will enable me to move from a tactical problem solver to a strategic thinker and planner. I want to learn to see the bigger picture, from a law enforcement perspective, and to share in the creative march of ideas that will drive our greatest triumphs in cyber security into the next generation.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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