Alumni Spotlight: Monica Katzen

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While many of our students study computer science or computer engineering, those are not the only fields where cybersecurity knowledge and training is useful.

Monica Katzen ‘17 graduated last May with a BS in Math and a minor in Cybersecurity. When she was entering college, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. She said, “As a freshman, I didn’t really know what career path I wanted to pursue, but I figured cybersecurity would be helpful in whatever field I ended up choosing.” So she joined the new Honors LLP ACES.

“I was also drawn,” she said, “by how much attention each student would be given to help with future career development and networking, which can be hard to come by in any university.”

As a student, Monica spent her summers working at the CompSci Connect summer camps with Dr. Jan, and she interned with Parsons Corporation twice. She said, “Both of those experiences gave me real-world practice at working with people in a professional environment, and also constantly learning.”

Keep rocking the cybersecurity!

Monica Katzen '17

ACES requires each student to attend professional events throughout their time in the LLP and provides networking opportunities for students throughout their time at UMD. A combination of classes and experiential learning help students to learn and experience different fields and organizations before graduation.

Now Monica is currently working as a software developer and security focal for IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She is part of a team that is developing a product called API Connect. However, even as a developer, her cybersecurity experience is a part of her work.

She said, “In addition to the software development aspect of my job, I am also the security focal for the Analytics team. This means that I work to make sure our product is up to date security-wise, and we are being proactive with our secure development decisions. It's important that we prioritize security so our customers have an optimal, secure experience with API Connect and their data is protected."

Her advice for current ACES students?

“Keep up with your work, and make sure you take the classes that interest you the most because it will pay off. But more importantly, meet as many people as you can through ACES and otherwise because those connections will matter more than any class you took. Combine your technical skills with your ability to work with other people, and keep rocking the cybersecurity!”

Published November 16, 2017