Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

STCC student, grad land cybersecurity internships at MassMutual | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield Technical Community College student and a graduate alum have joined financial services company MassMutual in Springfield as interns as part of STCC’s new one-year internship program.

MassMutual hired cybersecurity student Michael Lavallee and recent grad Michael Buckley to work as information technology interns; they started last month as cybersecurity analysts.

The paid internships give the students real world experience and could lead to permanent positions, said Scott Duquette, their supervisor and director of the U.S. Security Operations Center at MassMutual.

STCC’s partnership with MassMutual comes at a time when cybersecurity jobs are in demand, and the college’s cybersecurity degree program is growing along with it.

The college recently received local, state and federal funding for a “cyber range facility” at Springfield Union Station. Scheduled to open next year, the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence will serve as a regional cybersecurity center for Western Massachusetts and beyond.

Duquette reached out to STCC upon hearing of the center announcement. As an STCC student in the 1980s, Duquette knew of both the college’s proximity to MassMutual and of its cybersecurity program.

“STCC is a stone’s throw away from us and their technology programs have been in play for about 15 years,” Duquette said of the business, which is 2 miles from the college.

Earlier this year, college leaders and faculty met with MassMutual to discuss a plan for hiring interns.

“Several (IT) graduates are already working at MassMutual, and they wish to build a pipeline of talent each year,” said cybersecurity Professor Brian Candido.

Candido and Professor Jason Alves recommended students for the new internship program.

Buckley, a Springfield resident and a May STCC graduate, said he “absolutely loved” the school’s cybersecurity program and the tools it gave him to begin his internship, where he could advance his knowledge.

“I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about IT until I started going through the education programs,” said Buckley.

Lavallee, the other MassMutual intern from STCC, said he was thrilled to receive the opportunity.

“The fact that it was even presented to me is a blessing in itself,” Lavallee said. “I couldn’t have gotten here without STCC’s program.”

Lara Sharp, dean of STCC’s School of STEM, said its cybersecurity program aligns with industry needs. STCC gives students the option to pursue a two-year degree or one-year certificate. Classes are taught online.

“Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field, and there are not enough trained professionals to meet the demand for these high-paying jobs,” Sharp said. “Our cybersecurity programs prepare students to work at companies like MassMutual. Thank you to MassMutual for giving our students this opportunity.”

“This is a really exciting time for our program,” Candido said. “Besides growing the relationship with MassMutual, we will be launching the cyber range at Union Station. Students will receive valuable training at the security operations center and could move into paid internships.”

Candido said 201 students were enrolled in cybersecurity in fall 2023, up from 123 students a year earlier. He attributes the 63.4 percent increase to the quality of the program and the demand for jobs. “Security is a hot topic now,” he said.

Earning a degree from the college is more attainable now than ever thanks to MassReconnect, a program for Massachusetts residents 25 years of age or older who meet eligibility requirements to earn an associate degree or certificate for free.

What’s more, college students interning at MassMutual will gain experience rapidly in the ever-changing world of cybersecurity. For example, they will take part in security investigations where they look for and respond to threats.

“Having that background from STCC will definitely help in running those investigations,” Duquette said.

“We are excited about the new internship program and continuing our relationship with STCC,” he added. “This is a great opportunity not only for students but for MassMutual.”

Interested in applying to STCC? Visit stcc.edu/apply or call admissions at 413-755-3333.

The commonwealth’s only technical community college, STCC offers higher education degrees in multiple areas in manufacturing, STEM, health care, business, social services and the liberal arts. Founded in 1967, the school seeks to lift up all students who face societal barriers.

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