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News & Events: Frederick Campus

What differentiates one individual from another candidate to make them appear a more desirable employee? As a current university professor and a former employee in Federal law enforcement, I am often asked this question. To be successful in this job hunt one needs to acquire requisite skills prior to employment that will demonstrate to the employer the ability to ‘hit-the-ground-running’ when hired. 

It is certainly no secret that law enforcement and analysis positions are highly sought after by a large segment of both government agencies and private sector businesses. Federal agencies report receiving thousands of applications for law enforcement positions and internship opportunities; even Disney World needs and hires intelligence analysts. In order to determine what specific skillsets these high level jobs require, I interviewed government and private sector managers to obtain the answer directly from the people who make the decision to hire.  

  1. Written Communication – Universally, each stated that the number one skill expected was that the applicant is proficient in communicating through writing. Managers cite arduous task of finding individuals who can prepare reports and other communications on a daily basis. 
  2. Data-Driven Policing – Modern policing strategies, at all levels, are extremely data directed.  Whether patrolling in a squad or hunting terrorists, performing the job begins with an analysis. Therefore, it is important that students learn various methodologies and techniques of intelligence/crime analysis. This includes skills such as flow analysis, spatial/geographic analysis, financial analysis, crime-pattern analysis, time series analysis, frequency analysis, and investigative (evidential) analysis, among others.
  3. Oral Communication – The ideal employee can deliver presentations to groups of concerned citizens, courtroom jurors, and colleagues at a COMSTAT Meeting. They are experienced in the presentation of facts and evidence, providing clear arguments for rebuttal, and responding to questions. They have performed media interviews, given 10-minute lectures, and responded impromptu to reporters’ questions.

Overall, a successful criminal justice professional is ethically and morally driven, living by high intellectual and moral standards, respecting the dignity of other persons, seeking to resolve the problems facing humanity, and committing themselves to live as responsible citizens. 

About the Author
Joe Vince is the director of the adult and traditional criminal justice programs at the Mount. He has been accepted as an expert in Federal Court with regards to firearms-related violent crime, often interpreting crime-gun and other crime data for both judges and juries. He is a nationally- and internationally-known crime-gun/law enforcement expert, being quoted in several publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, USA Today and other national and international publications. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS, as well as local television stations across the U.S. and internationally in Canada, Great Britain and Japan, commenting on crime and law enforcement. He is also the President of Crime Gun Solutions LLC, a private company dedicated to assisting and training law enforcement and other groups.

Though many professionals dream of a straight and narrow career path, many face twists, turns, bumps, and surprises along the way. What do you do when life throws you lemons, or onions, or whatever it throws at you? Switching careers may be a good option if you are seeking a better fit or a new challenge. A career is more than just an occupation – it is a culmination of your time and energy, and an opportunity to find purpose and fulfillment for yourself and those around you by combining your passions, values, and strengths. Begin your journey to fulfillment with these helpful tips.

  1. Reflect and Evaluate. Consider your personality. The more you know about yourself, and your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and personality, the better. Reflect on your past or current career to consider what worked well and what didn’t. Ask yourself how you can leverage your skills and accomplishments from the former career and direct them towards a new career. Also, how might you become more qualified for the new career? 
  2. Do Your Research. Learn as much as you can about your area of interest. Read articles, speak with industry professionals, and find ways to gain new experiences in the field.
  3. Make a Plan. Set realistic and measurable goals as you create a plan for the transition. Know what you will need to accomplish in order to make the change, such as earning a new degree or developing new skills. Work toward short-term goals and long-term goals one step at a time.
  4. Find Supporters. Know whom you can turn to for support and guidance. Find career mentors or individuals who care about you and offer support and relevant advice. Professional associations, networking groups, academic advisors, and faculty can be very helpful for making these new connections.
  5. Be Positive. Inevitably, family, friends, and others will ask questions about your decision to change careers. Craft a one-minute overview of why you are switching careers. Avoid negative reasons and concentrate on the positive – focus on what you learned, what motivates you, and how you are directing your efforts. 

Although career changers can face a wide spectrum of challenges, the payoff comes once you begin a new way to make a living and build a life. 

The Career Center at Mount St. Mary’s University bridges the classroom to your career. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and motivate students and alumni to take an active role in their career development and to discover their vocation. We provide career counseling, educational programming, and employer services to enrich each individual's experience at the Mount.

It’s always a good time to consider how you are portrayed online. With today’s rapidly changing tools for communication, a professional must keep a meticulous eye on his or her online presence, especially if undergoing a job or internship search. Although many social networks are designed for your personal life, the information you post can still be readily available to professional contacts. Thankfully, there are several tools and settings that can help you put your best foot forward.

  1. Facebook – Facebook use is so common that when an employer receives a resume, they go to Facebook to learn more about you. First, consider your photos: A professional profile photo is a good idea if you are in a job or internship search. Also, consider a generic cover photo or no photo at all, and remember that cover photos are always public images. Delete and “untag” all photos that may show you in an unprofessional light. You’ll also want to lock your timeline from public view and reconsider your “likes” and group memberships.
  2. LinkedIn – A professional photo is a must on LinkedIn. Give yourself a title, which could be your current position or “Graduate Student at Mount St. Mary’s University.” Fill out a profile of your professional and educational activities, including tasks, clubs, committees, and volunteer experiences. Begin linking with people you know and those you would like to get to know professionally. Join groups in your field of interest to meet like-minded professionals.
  3. Google – Have you ever “googled” yourself? Try several combinations of your name with a city, state, university, or other affiliations to check your Internet presence. Be sure there are no questionable photos or information associated with you. To monitor this daily, set a Google Alert so that you receive an email any time something new appears about you on online.
  4. Consider your email address Your email address should be professional and generic, especially if you are including it on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Try something simple like

The Internet is full of tools and networks that can help you build or disassemble your personal brand by sharing appropriate/inappropriate videos, photos, articles, links, and information. Explore your options, like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Vine to find the best platforms to share your professional knowledge and get connected. Make these resources work for you – not against you.

The Career Center at Mount St. Mary’s University bridges the classroom to your career. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and motivate students and alumni to take an active role in their career development and to discover their vocation. We provide career counseling, educational programming, and employer services to enrich each individual's experience at the Mount.

On Tuesday, June 30, the Mount will kick off an 8-week highly interactive proposal development course that focuses on the major dimensions of winning Federal contracts and grants. Leading this course is Dr. Robert S. Frey, MBA, APMP Fellow, TOGAF V9.1 Certified.

Dr. Frey has 27 years of accomplishments and leadership, as well as 31 years of writing and publication related success. His experience includes proposal solution strategizing and architecture development; proposal management; end-to-end proposal design, review, and production; business planning and capture management; and business leader and executive consulting.

“We’re looking forward to the unique perspective and teaching style that Dr. Frey will bring to the classroom,” said Terry McCune, assistant director of graduate and adult programs.

Additionally, he brings broad technical awareness in information technology, engineering, scientific support services, and telecommunications. He is conversant in industry best practices such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) Version 9.1, PMBOK 5th Edition, ITIL V3, SEI CMMI ML 3, ISO 9001:2008, and Six Sigma.

Dr. Frey has assisted customers with winning awards amounting to $5.299 billion. Multi-year contracts associated with these accomplishments include:

  • U.S. Army and Navy
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Energy
  • NASA
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric
  • Decenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Department of State
  • Department of Labor
  • U.S. Air Force
  • Intelligence Community customers
  • California Army National Guard

Educational Achievements:

  • Doctor of Management, University of Maryland University College, 2009
         - Dissertation Topic: “Leader Self-Efficacy and Resource Allocation Decisions:
           A Study of Small Business Contractors in the Federal Marketspace”
  • MBA, University of Maryland University College, 2006
  • M.S., Management, Concentration in Marketing, University of Maryland University College, 2005
  • B.S. cum laude, Biology, Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania, 1979
  • M.A.S., Information and Communication Technology, University of Denver, currently pursuing

Those interested in the course can contact Terry McCune for more information at


On Friday, January 30, the biotechnology and management program hosted a monthly gathering of local professionals in the bio industry. More than 100 like-minded “bio-preneurs” gathered to network, while enjoying sandwiches from a.k.a. Friscos and beer from Barley & Hops Microbrewery.

BioBeers functions as a catalyst, designed to provide an enduring platform where those in the industry can gather to share ideas and knowledge, while cultivating lasting business relationships.

“This is our second time hosting the event,” said Matt Rittler, Ph.D., program director for the biotechnology and management program. “It’s a great opportunity to meet professionals working nearby, and also to provide more information about our new graduate program.”

The Master of Science in Biotechnology and Management began in August 2014 with a cohort of ten students. The cohort style allows students the opportunity to work together toward the shared goal of completing the program in order to advance their career.

“The degree program is really tailored for those scientists that are seeking greater managerial responsibility,” said Rittler. “It’s the only program in the area that focuses so closely on the importance of building a strong foundation for management by incorporating a business education in the curriculum.”

With the New Year in full swing, it’s time to put your resolution to work by continuing your education to advance your career! Before you can complete a degree or certificate program, you need to get accepted and enrolled in the program that is right for you. It can be overwhelming to begin program research, so we’ve compiled a top 10 list of things to consider that will get you started.

  1. Time. Whether it’s time to completion or time from application to enrollment, make sure the program fits your plan for the future. Regarding completion time, look into whether schools accept credit for prior experience.
  2. Format. Degree programs can be offered part-time or full-time, in accelerated sessions or traditional semesters, online or in-person, in large lecture classes or smaller interactive groups, during different times of the day and night, and several other differentiators. Ask yourself what format will best serve your needs.
  3. Resources. Make sure the university has adequate facilities, such as library access. Also, find schools with the resources you need, like student services.
  4. Curriculum. Not all degrees will help you achieve your desired outcome. Make sure the classes and other requirements align with the skills and knowledge you need to advance your career.
  5. Networking. Internships and career networking are especially important if your plan involves getting a new job after you graduate, versus moving up in your current company.
  6. Emphasis. If you’re looking for a certain concentration, make sure the program offers that as an option.
  7. Philosophy. Determine if the program is focused on theory or research application, and decide which is best for your situation.
  8. Reputation. There are many ways to tell whether a program has a strong reputation, including accreditation, rankings, and even word of mouth.
  9. Location. If you want to take classes in person, location can be a critical factor that can enhance or diminish your learning experience.
  10. Value. Cost can be a huge factor when investing in your education, but the bottom line is to make sure the program you select provides the value you need to justify the financial commitment. You can also research financial aid opportunities offered by the school or government that can help offset costs. Make sure when comparing programs that you factor in tuition, fees, and added expenses, like parking.   

Our top 10 list was compiled by a team of the Mount's academic advisors and program directors. Click here to request information about the Mount’s own distinct degree and certificate programs.

As another year concludes, congratulate yourself on your success in 2014! While you prepare for 2015, how will you challenge yourself to change your life in a positive way? The beginning of a new year is typically a time to set new goals, but more important than that is following through with your intentions – goals don’t work unless you do! If the next 365 days involve a complex undertaking, like earning an advanced degree, we recommend four tips to improve follow through.

  1. Plan for success. A yearlong commitment seems like a faraway destination; instead, approach your goal as a journey with checkpoints. Schedule time to accomplish short-term goals (checkpoints) that add up to create the long-term goal (destination). Remember to apply deadlines so you reach your final destination at a steady and intentional pace.
  2. Incentivize yourself! Like any road trip, schedule opportunities to refuel. Accomplishing goals is no easy task, so along the way you’ll need to take time to reward yourself for a job well done. Look for opportunities to incentivize and inspire in order to create the positive energy you need to keep at it!
  3. Develop helpful habits. Break your goal down into individual habits that you will cultivate in order to be successful. If your goal is to earn a degree, acquire study habits like reading one chapter in a textbook every night or sending an email to your academic advisor once a month to monitor your progress. By making your habits quantifiable, you can measure success more easily.
  4. Find an accountability buddy. Sometimes you need an extra push from someone other than yourself. Just like a personal trainer would push a client to choose healthy food options, find a study buddy, friend, or family member that will hold you to the habits and standards you set for yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the initial excitement of defining a goal. But the truth is, seeing a goal through to the end takes time, commitment, support, and a thorough plan. How do you keep track of your progress? Sound off in the comments section on the News from Frederick blog.

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