Utica College Television –  Nate French and Tom Grasso

UTICA COLLEGE - TV: How your Utica College degree can Help You Get the Job


UCTV host, Dr. James Norrie, Dean of Business and Justice Studies at Utica College interview Tom Grasso, VP Risk Management, Adirondack Bank and Nate French, a Utica College graduate recently hired by the bank. In this video interview, Nate describes his stellar education in the NSA designated BS Cybersecurity program, with a concentration in Digital Forensics and Cybercrime Investigations, and shares why he believes he was a strong candidate for the job. Tom explains why he needed an information security analyst for their asset management side, and why the bank seeks candidates who not only have the required technical background, but also have strong personal skills that make them a great fit for the organization.

Transcript: How your Utica College degree can Help You Get the Job.


Dr. Norrie: Welcome to another episode of UCTV. My name is Dr. James Norrie and I'm the Dean of Business and Justice Studies at Utica College, and amongst the many great programs we have, we have programs in Cybersecurity and Economic Crime, and we're here today with an interesting and unusual set of guests, both a graduate of our programs, Nate French and his employer Tom Grasso. We're going to talk a little bit about how Nate's education got him the job, what he's bringing to Adirondack Bank, and just have a little chat that might help our viewers understand the value of the kinds of programs we have.
Nate, I'm going to start with you. Tell me about your education at Utica College (UC) and how it helped you get the job.

Nate: Well, I think having a degree will open doors for you, but having a degree from a highly certified and accredited program like the Cybersecurity program will really open up quite a few doors for you. When I graduated I had a number of competing job offers to kind of choose from. So luckily, I went with Adirondack Bank.

Dr. Norrie: Well, I'm going to say maybe Tom would say lucky for him that you went with Adirondack Bank. I don't know. So Tom, what did Nate bring to the table, perhaps, as a recent graduate that the bank was looking for?

Tom Grasso: Well, we got to a point, as far as our assets side, where we needed someone to be responsible for information security at the bank. We have a good relationship with Utica College.

Dr. Norrie: Which we deeply appreciate.

Tom Grasso: Thank you very much. And we decided to interview candidates, and Nate was one of our top candidates. As a matter of fact, he was the top candidate as far as graduating is concerned that we were looking for in that field and it's more, not just the technical side, but the personal side, too.

Dr. Norrie: Right.

Tom Grasso: I've been in banking over 35 years.

Dr. Norrie: Oh, you poor thing. Banking 35 years?

Tom Grasso: 35 years, and I've interviewed and hired a lot of candidates. And I look at the personal and the technical side. I've always said to myself, if you have the personal skills, that this is something that I can't take away from you. I could teach you the technical side, but I can't teach you the personal side. So if you've got a blend of both, you've got the candidate that'll hopefully stay with your organization for a lot of years.

Dr. Norrie: Well, it seems to me Nate, that your boss really wants you to stick around for a long time. So what are the kinds of skills you learned in your program? First of all, what particular program were you in?

Nate: I did the Cybersecurity program with a concentration in digital forensics and cybercrime investigations.

Dr. Norrie: Wow. Those are hot majors.

Nate: Probably my favorite part of the job is helping, when we respond to incidents. I guess, helping out people who have found themselves in an unfortunate situation. So I'm getting to apply what I learned at school and in the business world, and actually helping protect people and recover money.

Dr. Norrie: That sounds like a great career choice.

Nate: Yeah, it's worked out pretty well for me right now.

Dr. Norrie: All right. If you were talking to our viewers and they were looking for a program, what was the single piece of advice you would give them in helping sort out whether they come to Utica College or someplace else?

Nate: I don't know if I can limit it to just one different fact.

Dr. Norrie: All right.

Nate: But, I mean, the program's very highly accredited and recognized. I think you've got three different certifications for the program. You know, we were exposed to a very broad variety of domains within Cybersecurity, which again kind of helps you figure out which direction you want to go with your professional career.
The professors and staff here are just unbelievable, very talented, and they have a lot of good contacts in the industry. I think having the crime lab here on campus, where you can do an internship and actually work on current, ongoing cases is a unique benefit that you probably don’t see in every other school.

Dr. Norrie: So one last question for both of you. I just want to make sure our viewers really understand this because this was a complete invitation. You haven't been paid to be here.

Tom Grasso: Absolutely.

Dr. Norrie: And you are real people.

Tom Grasso: Oh, we're not going to be paid?

Dr. Norrie: You're not going to be paid. I’m sorry. I know you’re a banker but...

Tom Grasso: I know.

Dr. Norrie: So a real vice-president from a real bank and a real former graduate now working at a bank, I want to thank you both for being here today in this episode. This is really helpful to our future students.

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