An Arab native’s interest in computer technologies started him on a path that has led to a unique opportunity to work as an intern for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Vince Berrey graduated from Snead State Community College in May with an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science. His plans are to transfer to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and a contact he made at UAH led him to apply for the DoD internship.
“I plan to transfer to UAH in pursuit of a cyber security degree and diverse myself by interning at several different places before ultimately obtaining a Master degree. I learned about my internship through my scholarship point of contact at UAH, and this seemed like a great and fun place to work,” Vince said.
Because of his interest in computer technologies, Vince enrolled at Snead State. During orientation his freshman year, Greg Randall, the Career and Technical Division Director and Computer Science Technology Instructor, told Vince about a scholarship called CyberCorps SFS. To qualify, students must complete an application and had to include letters of recommendation and an essay with the application. Applicants are also interviewed as part of the selection process.
“The rewards…seemed like it would pay off a lot, and so far it has,” said Vince.
Vince made the most of his time at Snead State by enrolling in a minimum of 16 credit hours each semester. A typical credit course is valued at three to four credit hours, and students are considered full time if they register for 12 credit hours. He completed most of his required courses by the time he reached his last two semesters at Snead State, so he opted to take additional technology courses, such as cyber defense and Linux I, to build his skill set.
“It has been a pleasure working with Vince. His dedication and exemplary work ethic has paved the way for a bright future in the computer sciences career field,” said Mr. Randall.
In addition to the knowledge gained while at student at Snead State, Vince credits his self-motivation with helping him earn the DoD internship, which is based in Huntsville.
“I did so much self-study that put me in the position I am in now,” he said.
While he could not share specific details about his internship, he is excited about the training he’ll gain during the 12-week position.
“I hope to gain a substantial amount of experience that will hopefully give me an idea of what type of work I could be doing in the future (with a computer technologies career),” he said.
To students who hope to follow the same path, Vince offered two pieces of advice that have served him well.
“Always try to be at least one step ahead and never stop learning. Teach yourself something new every day, and you will see your success start going forward at a faster rate than you may have ever seen.”