(May 2, 2019) -- Meet Giovanni Serrato. He will be walking the stage this May as part of the first graduating class of UTSA’s nationally ranked online B.B.A. in Cyber Security program.
In certain ways, Serrato exemplifies the typical student attracted to this program, which launched in the fall of 2017 as UTSA’s first fully online degree program. He is from San Antonio, he already had a full-time job and needed the flexibility an online degree program provides in order to advance in his career.
“What stands out about Giovanni is his tenacious drive and grit to graduate as soon as he can,” shared Student Success Coach Kelly Pena Lint. “He has shown the ability to stand strong and succeed while being pulled in many directions, all while remaining driven to do more.”
Serrato’s interest in the cyber field started in high school, where he participated in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition on behalf of NISD’s Business Careers High School. Upon graduating high school, he started an undergraduate degree in computer science at UT Austin but felt a lack of direction in a program that didn’t allow him to advance his knowledge in cyber security. After three semesters he left Austin, returned home to San Antonio, and took on various part-time tech positions until he landed an internship in threat vulnerability at Rackspace in May 2016. This solidified his desire to work in the cyber security field. After Rackspace he won successive cyber internships at Frost Bank and Cisco.
Despite these incredible career-building opportunities, the fact that he never finished his degree lingered in the back of his mind.
In April 2018, he was offered his first full-time job as a cyber security analyst at PwC. Around that time, he heard about UTSA’s fully online cyber security degree. He knew UTSA’s strong reputation in cyber security and jumped at the chance to enroll.
“I was gaining momentum in my career and didn’t want to have to put it on hold to attend school, so UTSA’s online program was the perfect solution for me,” said Serrato, who now works as a staff consultant in the cyber threat management division of Ernst & Young. “The concept of doing the work on my own time was appealing both to me and my employer.”
Serrato and his classmates in the online cyber security program benefit from the same curriculum taught by the same expert faculty as students in the residential program.
“My experience in the program has been great,” said Serrato. “I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to have exchanges with the professors. They respond quickly to our questions and many of them are still working in the field so they bring a lot of real world examples into the classroom.”
In addition to advancing his career, Serrato is paving the way as the first in his family to graduate from college. Motivated by his journey, his younger brother and sister are now also attending college.
“Giovanni’s story perfectly illustrates how UTSA is serving a critical workforce need in and beyond San Antonio,” said UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “Just as expected, we are seeing that many more students, particularly working professionals, are able to access and benefit from UTSA’s formidable cyber security expertise.”
UTSA’s cyber security programs have been ranked No. 1 in the nation, and the program has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. With more than 150 students currently enrolled, the online B.B.A. in Cyber Security is offered through the UTSA College of Business and supported administratively by UTSA Online Programs in the division of Academic Innovation.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Roadrunner Days events welcome UTSA's newest students and helps our returning Roadrunners learn strategies for success in the new year.Various locations, Main and Downtown campuses
Join the UTSA contingent as we honor the memory and work of Martin Luther King Jr. in this citywide march. The City of San Antonio has sponsored this march on the east side of the city down MLK Drive since 1987.MLK Academy, 3501 MLK Drive, San Antonio
This exhibition, curated by Libby Rowe and Scott Sherer, presents the work of women artists who are compelled by their commitments to investigating and transforming social and cultural legacies and contexts.UTSA Art Gallery (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
UTSA will further honor King with the university's annual MLK Day of Service. Roadrunners are encouraged to participate in the service day, located in various locations, including helping to beautify campus.Various locations, Main Campus
Celebrating the Year of the Rat, the 33rd annual Asian Festival will feature a wide spectrum of Asian cultures with family-friendly events and performances. Enjoy authentic Asian foods with a menu including Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Pakistani, Chinese and Filipino cuisines. Vendors will sell clothing, artwork, dolls, silk items, jewelry and other exotic gifts.Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., San Antonio
Peniel E. Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at UT Austin, will discuss his book “The Sword and The Shield,” which focuses on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The Heart Walk will be held at all three campus locations starting at the same time. Support Go Red for Women Day by wearing red.All UTSA campuses
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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