Alumni Testimonials

Ryan Paul

, Class of 2021
Ryan Paul graduation
Norwich has proven to be up to the challenge of teaching foundational concepts while ensuring content remains relevant to today’s environment.
Ryan Paul, Class of 2021

Q: “Tell us about yourself: your family, friends, interests/ hobbies, and professional experience.”

A: “I am from California and enjoy running and skiing with my wife and my 8-year old puppy. We have recently discovered virtual races during the pandemic, and we continue to participate in them as a way to do things together and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I have spent a significant portion of my professional life in the military and am presently employed in the cyber field. Currently, I work in a large organization as a Senior Systems Analyst with management responsibilities. I also oversee the assessment and training aspects of my cyber team so they are prepared to rapidly respond to any cyber threats or incidents our customers may face.”

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich?”

A: “Norwich’s long history as a reputable academic institution, as well as its designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education from the NSA/DHS, made it stand out from other academic institutions. One of the primary issues I had initially was choosing a school with a quality reputation and classes that interested me. I ultimately wanted to select a school that I can look back on and be proud to have attended.

I came back to Norwich for the Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance program because I was proud to be a Norwich alum of the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program. I was familiar with what was expected of me, and I knew Norwich could deliver on what I expected of them. I had full confidence that the master’s program would build on the technical foundation of the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program and assist me in continuing to achieve my long-term professional goals.”

Q: “Prior to beginning your courses, what were some of your expectations for an online degree program and how were those met or challenged based on your experience with Norwich?”

A: “My primary expectation was that whatever degree program I chose, the courses would be relevant and applicable to that particular career field. The courses I attended at Norwich met those particular expectations and have served as a stable foundation in being successful as a cybersecurity professional.

Another expectation I had was that Norwich would understand many of those who pursue online degree programs often have outside obligations. This expectation is especially true for those in the military who may find themselves out in the field for an extended time with little to no notice. Norwich’s faculty turned out to be very understanding of that as long as an extension was reasonable and requested in a timely manner. They have all been nothing less than professional and helpful in all my interactions with them. Norwich is not a school where you will get lost in the system after you have been accepted and commit to a degree program.”

Q: “How do you plan to use your degree in your career?”

A: “I plan on using my Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance to further advance my career in the field as a more effective cybersecurity analyst and manager. I want to eventually go beyond a mid-level technical position and be able to effectively transition into high-level management and leadership roles such as CISO/CSO in the future. The knowledge gained from pursuing a graduate degree from Norwich is nothing but beneficial in achieving that type of professional advancement. Norwich provided me with the academic and technical foundation needed to succeed in the cyber field and the networking resources that led to my current employment.”

Q: “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences at Norwich or the impact of Norwich on your life?”

A: “Having done both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Norwich, I have seen the school make continual improvements to the online delivery platform and course content, which has been great. Especially in the technology field, change is constant. Norwich has proven to be up to the challenge of teaching foundational concepts while ensuring content remains relevant to today’s environment. Many of the faculty are industry experts who can impart real-world examples of the latest cybersecurity threats and trends.”