Bellevue University Graduate Student Sets Sights on Security, Intelligence Career
Bellevue University graduate student Armand Stan is not the kind of person you can describe just one way. He’s skilled in auto repair and information technology, fluent in Romanian and fascinated by current events. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology, law and society with a minor in intelligence studies. Now, as he hones in on his career, he’s found the perfect fit earning a Master of Science in Intelligence and Security Studies. He’s also currently completing the competitive Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Internship, which only accepts up to 20 students nationwide.
Finding Opportunity, Flexibility in a Graduate Program
When Stan set out to pursue a master’s degree, he was intrigued by the possibility of a graduate program focusing on both intelligence and security.
“The combination of both degrees opened my eyes to the possibilities of continuing my studies in intelligence while also leaning towards cybersecurity,” he said.
The Virginia native also found that, after extensive research, Bellevue University checked off all the boxes.
“Bellevue University was one of the few that had an intelligence master's program that was also remote and allowed me to work at my own pace,” he said. “I was also welcomed with open arms from the first point of contact. From the moment I spoke to my advisors and staff, I realized they were honestly looking to help me and accommodate me. You don't see this from many colleges, at least from my experience.”
That positive impression has continued throughout Stan’s program.
“I have amazing classmates who are already in the intelligence field, and I learn so much from their perspectives and experience,” he said. “My professors are amazing, as they always provide feedback and assist me in bettering my skills to apply in real job environments.”
Building Real-World Experience
In particular, Stan said, his professor Dr. Seagle shares multiple job opportunities each semester to help students. This is how he learned about his internship.
“I immediately took notice of this opportunity and reached out to Dr. Seagle, who helped me right away, despite knowing me for only one full semester,” he said. “Again, many other colleges and professors do not always drop everything to help a student start a career so I was very blessed.”
The eight-week paid internship opportunity is offered through a partnership between The National Security Agency, the Maryland Innovation & Security Institute and the GBC MISI Academy. Already, Stan is seeing his graduate studies and his internship work hand in hand.
“Last semester, I had an assignment to work on how policy was lacking in the health care sector, which resulted in many cyberattacks,” he said. “Currently, in my internship, we are setting up our own cloud computing company, which needs the policy to be compliant to DoD standards. Immediately, I was able to connect my research from my policy course and apply it toward my internship.”
Stan said this is just one of several examples.
“I see this pattern reoccurring where I apply research and knowledge from the assignments in my class toward my internship and future job,” he said.
Preparing for a Promising Career
Stan said he is well prepared to move into an intelligence or cybersecurity career, and would recommend Bellevue University to anyone who wants to go into government or a related field.
“It is a very in-depth program that covers every aspect of intelligence, ranging from cybersecurity to understanding each aspect of intelligence and how other nations use it,” he said. “Overall, it is the best combination that also allows you to see which route in intelligence fits best for you.” Part of this, he added, are the opportunities professors continually share that empower students to build experience.
Beyond the course content, he said the culture of Bellevue University is unique.
“It is the best – plain and simple,” he said. “Every semester my advisor will reach out to me to ask me how my semester was. There is no other university that has treated me with such open arms and respect.”