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Harrisburg University alumnus Nathaniel Clarke is already making an impact on his future cybersecurity career. He believes that his experiences from HU, as well as his internship, have prepared him for his future career ahead.

Clarke, 21 of Dillsburg, Pa., graduated in 2014 from Harrisburg University with a B.S. in Cybersecurity. He is now a full time Associate IT Analyst at Highmark Blue Shield. During his search for colleges, Harrisburg University really caught Clarke’s eye, offering a degree in his subject of choice: computer security.

“The part that made me really interested, was a class on Ethical Hacking, which looked like a blast, and it was by far my favorite class,” says Clarke.

Clarke believes that with the enormous growth in technology-based careers over the last several years, we need schools that are able to prepare students for this continuously evolving field. He thinks that Harrisburg University is just the college to help prepare students for the future.

“Harrisburg University is able to prepare students for this work area by having specific majors that will fill these gaps and practical classes that can be applied directly to the student’s career.”

Clarke worked as an intern in the Voice and Network Services IT department at Highmark Blue Shield in Camp Hill.

“I worked there for almost two years,” explains Clarke. “As an intern I have worked on several different projects. The most notable was taking a lead role in a voice over IP conversation of a 600 employee office.” He was able to work closely with the managers, assisted the employees, planning the dates and was able to set up an install the hardware.

Clarke enjoyed working as an intern at Highmark because he was able to gain experience than what he would have not received in a classroom. Interning at Highmark has also given him confidence that will help him with any future career path he chooses.

“Having a solid understanding of how the IT departments work together in a major corporation, and using the material I learned from leading the project, have made me confident that I will be able to adapt quickly to whatever future career path I might take,” he explains.

Clarke applied for Highmark’s two-year IT grad program where he would be able to work in four different IT departments closely related to his major in computer security. After he completes two years in the program, he would be able to apply for any open positions in those departments.

Clarke said will always remember the past four years he spent at Harrisburg as a valuable experience. He enjoyed the small class sizes, stating some were as small as four students. Small class sizes can really allow the professor to work one-on-one with students and focus in on what part of the subject you are really interested in.

“Unlike some of the bigger colleges where students are just a number,” he said, “at Harrisburg University, they want you to succeed.”