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Student gets NSA job before graduation

By Bitania Yemane, News Editor

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     Bloomsburg University student Derek Berger landed a federal job with the National Security Agency (NSA) after he graduates in the spring.  His goal was to work for a government agency since his early years in college and he is now excited for the opportunity.

     “Ever since my Sophomore year, my goal after graduation was to work for a government agency using my acquired skills and education. I think I established this goal when I declared a second major in Arabic. I thought with my major in Digital Forensics, since it is growing tremendously and my major in Arabic, I could be a great asset to our government and their mission. I did not specifically have my eyes set on the NSA, but now that this opportunity is here, I am more than excited,” said Berger.

     Berger is Bloomsburg University’s first-ever federal Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program scholar.

     “It feels pretty awesome to be honest,” said Berger. “The publicity the University has given me feels great and the outreach I have gotten from people congratulating me and my hard work always feels good and I appreciate the support and all the people who have helped me get to this point. I also have talked to many underclassmen in my program about this opportunity because they are also interested in government work. I enjoy speaking about my experience here at Bloom to help the younger people below me reach their goals and dreams.”

     As an Arabic major, Berger believed that the study will help him with his career in digital forensics.

     “I believe picking up a second major in Arabic has really aided me in my education and my overall knowledge as a person. There are not many people that take the initiative to learn a second language, another culture, religions and people of a certain region or area of the world. Arabic is a critical language to our government and in declaring a second major in the field, I knew it would strengthen my chances in being considered by an agency. This major has opened by eyes up to the world around us in a different way than most Americans perceive MENA, I enjoy studying the language, the people, the culture, the religion and how all these things interact with each other in the Arab World. It is truly a fascinating subject and I would recommend to anyone to learn a second language because of the open-mindset you get from studying it.”

     The forensics program at BU helped Berger with landing a federal job and better understand the field more by extending student’s knowledge outside of the classroom.

      “Our forensics program is one to none in the country in my opinion. I have researched many schools with the program of Digital Forensics, which there are not many, and ours is pretty prestigious,” said Berger. “The faculty we have here at BU come from many different backgrounds and each of them bring something new to the table from many different areas of the field. Our program is also a designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance from the DHS and NSA, this is an excellent recognition and it shows just how solid this program is. From my first semester, day one, this program has gotten me on my feet quickly and made me grow extremely quickly. Not only are the classes structured efficiently but there are so many opportunities our professors give us to extend our knowledge outside of the classroom by attending conferences, challenges etc. I believe the network of people each of my professors know or communicate with, …really makes our program stand out and lets companies and agencies recruit from BU knowing they are getting excellent students.”


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Student gets NSA job before graduation