How Four Young Professionals Chose Careers in Security
Beginning a career in security can be intimidating – what training did they need to achieve their goals?
Two security end users, a security consultant and a security vendor: four young professionals who all chose security as their first career. Get to know Mark J. Landry, Security Manager for the Northeast Region for FedEx Freight, Inc.; Kate (Chadwick) Johnson, Global Program Manager, Global Ethics & Compliance, Global Security for Harsco Corporation; Elisa Mula, Account Manager for Genetec; and Edward J. Batchelor, PSP, Senior Consultant for Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc., their backgrounds and the education and training they all underwent to secure their roles.
What type of training and education did you receive before your role?
Kate (Chadwick) Johnson:I have my B.S. in Criminal Justice and M.S. in Criminology and Public Policy, and completed several internships in the security arena during graduate school, including one assignment in corporate retail asset protection and another in metropolitan hospital security. Prior to joining Harsco, I worked for a local private security firm where I gained exposure to several different areas of security management. I have been with Harsco since 2009, and I continue to seek training opportunities in the areas of leadership development, Continuous Improvement (Lean Six Sigma), security management and enterprise risk management. No matter what level in the company or how experienced you feel you may be, continuing education is vital to keeping up with new business trends and building your knowledge base, as well as keeping yourself relevant, as a professional.
Elisa Mula:I recently completed my final two classes for my Masters in Protection Management from John Jay College. I also completed Counter-Terrorism training through the CUNY Research Foundation. I plan on taking my PSP this summer, along with several other ASIS Young Professionals in the NY City area. As the YP Liaison for the NYC chapter, I have been networking with other YP’s to create a study group for the exam. Prior to my role at Genetec, I have also worked for two security integrators and received a lot of on-the-job training. I will be completing several product certification courses over the next few months.
Edward J. Batchelor:I started my career in electrical design and drafting working with engineers on low-voltage systems, infrastructure and lighting designs at an industrial engineering firm. At the time my education was focused on engineering technology, architecture design and computer-aided drafting. “Security” was not on my mind, at least not in the context of what I do today, as I have always been a technology geek and avid fan of crime stories, CIA, FBI and military operations. After 9/11, my interest in security grew to where I moved on to an security engineering firm that specialized in developing unique and complex security systems for our nations critical infrastructure. Most of my training has been “head-first, on-the-job” where I took it upon myself to read, research and study security in any means I could. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by an amazing team of engineers, specialists and mangers who gave me challenging opportunities to learn and grow. After several years of working on physical security projects for a wide range of clients, I earned my Physical Security Professional certification. In addition I believe it is important to understand the business aspect of security which is why I returned to school and earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Security Management.
Mark J. Landry:I valued the importance of continued education and professional development from a very early stage in my career. I am very fortunate that FedEx has always supported their people development efforts. They provided a tuition assistance program, so I enrolled at Olivet Nazarene University and received my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2005. The reasoning behind the MBA was that, with my undergrad degree, I had a strong academic grasp on the security aspect of my job, but little business training. I thought the best way to learn and understand the business environment was through an MBA. Soon after my MBA, I, again, utilized the tuition assistance program and enrolled at Bellevue University and received my Masters in Security Organization and Management in 2007. Also pursuant to my professional development at FedEx, I underwent various other industry-specific training such as Wicklander-Zulawski, John E. Reid and Associates, Threat Assessment Group (TAG) Workplace Violence Training. FedEx has also been very supporting on my professional development when it comes to participation in various professional associations. I am a current member of the American Trucking Association, ASIS International, ASIS YP Group and ASIS CSO Roundtable.
Why did you choose security for your career?
Kate (Chadwick) Johnson:The industry “made sense” to me in that there are no “right” answers to questions about security and managing risk, just that you need to use the tools and resources you have in your professional tool belt to ensure the most reasonable and sound management of security risk possible in any given situation. It is a comfortable space for me to operate in in that I feel I deal well with the “gray” and devising creative security solutions and guidance, but challenging in that the industry and threat environment are ever-changing.
Elisa Mula:After my undergraduate degree, I worked as an executive recruiter within the financial services arena. I was soon approached by a privately owned security integration company who was interested in hiring me for their sales team. It took several years for me to accept their offer and switch industries. I didn’t think I was going to like the security business at first, but soon grew to love it! Once I started networking through organizations such as ASIS and ATAP, I knew this was the industry for me and decided to return to graduate school for a more formal education.
Edward J. Batchelor:I find security fascinating and dynamic as every project and client is unique and challenging.
Mark J. Landry:I never thought I would get into the private sector. I always saw myself working in the public sector. The decision to move directly into the private sector was a confluence of numerous elements. The first being my undergrad professor, Chris Hertig, extolling the virtues of the private sector and the second being the opportunity to work for an amazing company like FedEx. When I consulted with a few trusted law enforcement friends about the potential of working the private sector at FedEx, they all tried to strongly convince me to take the position. The decision to take the position was not an easy one: since I was a teenager, I always knew I would be in Law Enforcement and changing my mindset was a challenge. The traditional path into the private sector security is usually through the public sector. Most of my peers and the personnel I manage have a law enforcement background. Lacking that background has proved challenging at points in my career.