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Lauren Failla

Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

What attracted you to the homeland security certificate at VT? 
I was coming out of the Army and wanted to try to learn as much as possible about all things related to federal government and policy. In addition, I was drawn to how the courses appeared to be very relatable to the current world events.  

What have you come to appreciate about the program since starting?
The certificate helped me change my entire career path and end up at my current job. After being in the certificate program and realizing I loved to work with policy related to homeland security, I started to look for jobs that would align with my goal to achieve that. I am currently in a position that meets all the dreams I had when I was a current student.

What work do you do now?
I am a management and program analyst with US Customs and Border Protection and actively get to work with policy and litigation related to homeland security.

How has the homeland security program prepared you for that goal?
The program gave me the foundation to start my journey into the homeland security policy realm. It also provided me with endless industry connections through colleagues, guest speakers, and professors to continue to build my toolbox.

Overall, how do you feel about your decision to pursue the homeland security certificate?
I would make the decision to pursue this certificate over again any day. It has rewarded me more than I can express, and I completed it wanting more.