In high school, I attended a computer crime investigation camp designed to give students a foundation in computer forensics. I had a knack for looking for evidence and solving puzzles, and the professor running it said I should give the field some consideration as a career. He told me about Champlain College and how they had one of the best Computer & Digital Forensics (CDF) programs on the East Coast. When I looked at Champlain and saw the outstanding quality of the major, I fell in love.
My first class at Champlain was one in my major. I met other girls in the program, and now those girls are my closest friends at this college. The professors have been excited to see females in the field, and they're all encouraging and supportive. They've pushed me to do my best, and I've blossomed in this major and at Champlain.
Olivia, Computer & Digital Forensics MajorSharon Springs, NYDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Megan completed four internships. She's performed groundbreaking research and had her work published. Megan participated in two service trips and was a student speaker, peer advisor, student ambassador and tutor. She was also voted Student of the Year for Computer & Digital Forensics for two consecutive years. She was offered a full-time, high-paying job before her graduation date.
For Megan, success began on Day 1 at Champlain College and won't stop after her graduation.
Megan, Computer & Digital Forensics majorDresden, MEDIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Megh '14, Computer & Digital Forensics majorPhiladelphia, PADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
It was a good sign to Megh that Champlain Digital Forensics professor Jonathan Rajewski fielded multiple phone calls from him with questions about the program—before Megh even applied. And that a transfer admissions staff member helped him find a job on campus—before he started. That made Megh's choice seem all the more solid when he transferred to Champlain from a community college in his hometown of Philadelphia.
He was already convinced about Champlain on one front. "It has the nation's best Computer & Digital Forensics program with the best professionals in the field teaching us," he says. "The small classroom size allows a better faculty-student interaction. And it's great to study with professionals who use the tools and software in real life."
In addition to attentive faculty and staff, the Summer Bridge Program helped Megh's transition to Champlain. "It was the best way to transition into Champlain. It gives a taste of what it's like," he says.
Studying abroad made me feel more independent, and I learned a lot about myself as a person. I was able to visit new countries, see places that I learned about my entire life, meet new people and make new friends. But I also gained a lot of great experience that will help me in my field.
In Digital Forensics, you have to be able to communicate effectively with your client, and sometimes they can be from a different country. Most Digital Forensics employers look for people who can communicate well and effectively. Studying abroad definitely helped my communication skills immensely, and it shows employers that I'm independent, open to new situations, and can adapt to my surroundings.
The experience also made me realize how much I love traveling. This made me consider being a digital forensic consultant. Digital forensic consultants have to travel to client sites all over the country, and sometimes to other countries. Maybe one day, I can even work as a consultant abroad.
After graduation, Christine was hired as a digital forensic associate at Stroz Friedberg, LLC in New York.
Christine, Computer & Digital Forensics '13Braintree, MADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I came into college without a computer background. I truly have had the opportunity to expand on my experiences as a student and an individual. Already, I've learned so much in my second year of college through my classes, and I've gained experience through working in the LCDI and by attending the Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference in Las Vegas through my program.
I'm dedicated to helping people, particularly children, and in my second semester, I helped make a mobile application to assist investigators in the human trafficking sector and this semester, I'm working on a similar project at the LCDI. Everything I've learned in class I've applied to my work in the LCDI, where I've also gained new skills that I'll use in the field when I graduate.
Last summer, I interned with the Burlington Police Department where I got to see all of the inner-workings of law enforcement. I worked on projects from mobile cases to office tasks and ride-alongs with the officers. Through inquiring with the Burlington Police Department about an internship, when they didn't even have an internship program, I learned that I had initiative. If you asked me two years ago, I would never have seen myself in that situation.
I want to encourage other women to follow in my footsteps in my field or other male-dominated fields because I've learned so much about myself, and I've definitely become more confident.
Kayla, Computer & Digital Forensics & Criminal Justice Double MajorNorth Creek, NJDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I have a love for criminal justice and computers. When looking for possible career paths, I found digital forensics and I knew that that's what I wanted to pursue.
I have enjoyed my time in Champlain's Computer & Digital Forensics program from the start. You dive right into relevant classes with the Upside-Down Curriculum. We get a lot of hands-on experience using forensic tools that are used by professional digital forensic analysts, and all my professors bring their experience into the classroom.
While the classes at Champlain are great, I've used my skills the most in my work-study job at the LCDI. Learning is one thing, but putting what you learn into practice and attributing it to real life work is a necessity. In the LCDI, I'm able to apply what I've learned to help with case work that we get from State of Vermont investigators, local law enforcement, lawyers and digital forensic examiners. I'm using cutting-edge programs and technologies on a regular basis which allows me to familiarize myself with the tools being used by examiners in the field.
The experience I've received at the LCDI is the best part of Champlain College. I am confident that I will be able to go straight into the field right out of college and perform well at any job I get thanks to the LCDI and the classes at Champlain.
Scott, Computer & Digital Forensics MajorHinesburg, VTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES