Education is essential because it develops critical thinking besides equipping individuals with different professional skills. Therefore, I am at Oakton Community College to advance my critical thinking skills and acquire skills in my professional domain. Here, I pursue education in Network Security Administration, hoping to arm myself with skills pertinent to the most cutting-edge Information Technology (IT) today. Consequently, I hope to complete my College degree at Oakton Community College after successfully comprehending extensive network security concepts, features, and roles. In this way, I hope to acquire comprehensive knowledge of common Internet Protocols (IPs). Such IPs include Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Domain Name System (DNS), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), among others (Christen et al. 192). Furthermore, I hope to gain a strong understanding of firewall technologies to protect networks against cyber-attacks. Modern cyber-attacks include Structured Query Language (SQL) injection, distributed denial-of-service- (DDoS) attacks, phishing attacks, and other forms of attacks (Christen et al. 192).
Furthermore, I hope to accomplish further educational goals by acquiring packet shaper, load balancer, and proxy server knowledge. This profound command of IT infrastructure, including operating systems, networks, and protocols, is critical to my educational goals as it equips me with vital knowledge to my career interests and professional aspirations. Thus, my career interests include advancing in the network security administration field to become an expert and high-ranking professional in this domain. Therefore, my career interests are to become a highly competent network and cyber security officer or administrator at a franchise that is information-centric to provide me with the scope to deploy my expertise efficiently.
In addition, my professional aspiration is to become a White Hat Hacker for an information-intensive organization to help combat Black Hat Hackers from illegally exploiting the company’s information. A White Hat Hacker, also an ethical hacker, is a cyber security professional who uses hacking expertise to recognize security susceptibilities in computer hardware, software, or networks while respecting the law as it relates to hacking (Christen et al. 192). In this way, I have a professional aspiration of defending systems against illegal admittance, alteration, and damage. I also aspire to use my network security administration professional position to scan and assess networks for weaknesses, monitor network circulation for suspicious activity, configure and support security instruments such as firewalls, patch management systems, and anti-virus software. Furthermore, I aim to enforce network security strategies, access control, corporate data safeguards, and application security in my professional capacities. Finally, my professional ambition includes teaching my professional colleagues from other fields about security cognizance and measures and advancing and modernizing business endurance and disaster reclamation conventions.
It is critical to plan ways to meet my educational, career and professional goals as listed above. My plan to meet these goals is to first attain my educational goals by pursuing a course in network security from Oakton Community College. Acquiring this education will enable me to have the knowledge, skills, and expertise that I need to explore my career interests and professional aspirations. Thus, after attaining my college degree from Oakton Community College, I will seek to explore my career interests by getting into the network security field through an entry job to enable me progressively advance through the ranks to a chief network security role at an organization that deals with a significant amount of information. Furthermore, my professional interests in this field will enable me to attain my professional aspirations of ultimately safeguarding organizations’ data in diverse ways from unauthorized access from cybercriminals. In this way, my plan to meet my goals as listed above is long-term and progressive, starting at a crucial point of acquiring the relevant knowledge and skillset from Oakton Community College.
Tertiary education is relatively expensive to acquire today, as it often sees parents saving throughout their child’s lives before adulthood to fund their college education. Alternatively, students frequently accrue significant financial loans to fund their college education for professional benefit. In this way, financial help is a substantial aspect to ensuring many students, including myself, attain their tertiary education. Therefore, I require a scholarship to financially enable me to reach my educational goals of acquiring network security skills and knowledge. In this way, receiving this scholarship can help me achieve my academic goals by ensuring that I finish my college education without the significant barrier of finance. Currently, I face a challenge in financing my college education, a substantial stumbling block to my educational goals. This scholarship would ensure that I am more focused on my curricular activities in college rather than have an attention deficit in class worrying about my educational financial needs, hence helping me achieve my academic goals.
Besides my desire and pursuit of education, I often engage in community involvement in various capacities. I am involved in community service since I believe in togetherness as a society and giving back to the community because I think the community has offered a lot to me. Besides, I am here seeking a scholarship, believing in the concept of people helping each other attain their goals. I am involved in voluntary service at Capital Caring Health here in Oakton, Virginia. In this service organization, I am a hospice volunteer, providing companionship and support to hospice patients. In this capacity, I help families in various ways, such as giving friendly calls, delivering flowers and birthday cakes, and spending time visiting patients. I enjoy this voluntary service to my community since I perceive its meaningfulness of giving back to the community, particularly to those who need companionship and support, such as bedside companionship for hospice patients. Besides, as a volunteer, I spend time with patients and their families to enjoy a movie, celebrate life moments, and generally provide much-needed companionship. This service is critical, especially due to the isolation in recent times following Covid-19’s impact on seniors of our community.
I have learned various aspects about community and the element of providing help to each other, based on my community involvement. For instance, through my service of companionship to those who need it the most while in considerably trying times of their lives, I have learned that we are all stronger when united. I have understood that one needs not stand alone when they are a member of a community since there is always something that someone can do to, at the very least, alleviate someone’s difficult times. Furthermore, this comprehension has led me to seek help from my community by seeking the aid of the Scholarship Committee to help me gear towards attaining my educational goals, which would be difficult to achieve without the financial help that I need at this time.
Further, I believe that the Scholarship Committee should consider my unique talents, leadership experiences, and service missions for this scholarship opportunity. First, I have a specific service mission which is to serve for the greater good of humanity and the people. I believe in doing justice at all levels of life since society is often corrupted with unfairness and oppression. Since my career interest is in the network security domain, I have set a particular service mission to ensure that I positively impact people or organizations suffering from technological injustices. Hence, I have a service mission to prevent cyberbullying, a common social conundrum in today’s society, delivered through the internet. I intend to accomplish this service mission by teaching society members about internet savviness to prevent such oppressions from befalling them. Furthermore, I have a service mission of preventing organizations from being victims of cybercrimes such as industrial espionage ransomware attacks, among other computer crimes which might infringe corporate rights such as copyright, patent, and fair competition.
Additionally, I possess strong leadership skills as I have had leadership experiences at various points in my life. For instance, I have previously led my group in computer science project competitions. In this leadership role, I spearheaded the project’s progressive advancement by structuring discussion sessions, delegating development tasks, and initiating brainstorming sessions that saw the group succeed in the competition. Following this achievement, my group members provided positive feedback as they commented on their satisfaction with my leadership through their appreciation comments in the group’s prize-collecting speech. Additionally, I have a unique talent of versatility across diverse domains since I have the ability to quickly adjust to different environments while learning the best I can from any situation I am in, including social and academic scenarios. This unique talent saw me pick up a lot about the internet, computers, and their interconnection at an early age. Consequently, this talent has led me to the IT field through the network security domain, since this field requires an individual to have a consistent learning skills as technology always quickly evolves over time. I believe that these unique talents, which have affected my unusual learning experiences in the technology sphere, coupled with my leadership experiences and service commitments, make me worthy of this scholarship opportunity since the opportunity will benefit not only me but also the wider society.
Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic impacts my educational experience and decisions. First, the financial impact of the pandemic influenced my educational decisions since the financial hit affected me. Following this financial challenge, I reached a point whereby I contemplated whether I should pursue a college education since it became apparent that I could not afford this education. However, following my discovery of the presence of scholarships, I decided that I should dedicate all my effort to finding a solution to this financial problem that could hinder my educational goals. Still, the pandemic affected my educational experience by stalling my education progression. As the pandemic hit, many students worldwide could not pursue education as various schools were closed down. This period of pausing educational activities gave me a different academic experience since I had initially hoped to proceed to tertiary education immediately following my high school graduation. Further, the pandemic affected my scholarly experience by introducing a new model of learning that was new to me: learning from home. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and its quick spread necessitated students to learn from home. This learning saw me experience new things such as virtual classes through video calls and not interacting with my classmates in educational capacities such as group discussions.
Christen, Markus, Bert Gordijn, and Michele Loi. The Ethics of Cybersecurity. Springer Nature, 2020.