Program of the Month Q&A: Homeland Security Alum Taryn Levy ’17

Taryn Levy

Taryn Levy ’17 graduated from the homeland security (HLS) program in 2017. She is currently going through the process of becoming a customs agent for United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The largest federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, CBP safeguards America’s borders and protects the public from dangers attempting to cross the border. 

Here, Levy speaks about her experience in the HLS program, and how it afforded her the opportunity to pursue her dream career. She also imparts some of the valuable lessons she has learned along the way.


What led to your decision to enroll in the homeland security program at Medaille?

The biggest reason why I chose the HLS program is because I've always dreamed of being in the law enforcement field. The second reason was because I wanted to start a career that could take my previous work experience (12 years in customer service) and build upon it.


Describe your experience in the program. What stands out? 

My experience in the HLS program was a positive one because it afforded me the opportunity to obtain my degree in my chosen field. It was challenging to try to balance work and school life, but it was worth it in the long run. I've graduated with my degree in HLS, and now I am pursuing my desired career with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

My favorite aspect of the HLS program was the fact that it is an online program. This allowed me the convenience of working full time while attending class full time.


What types of things did you learn about yourself and your career goals from your studies?

I learned that with age comes focus (at least for me), and that my career goals are achievable. Also, the HLS program affirmed that I chose the right career path. 


What is the best advice you received from an HLS faculty member?

Not to stress and to never give up.


How do you use the knowledge and skills you learned in the HLS program at Medaille?

My biggest takeaway from the HLS program is the importance of security and that it takes the participation of every citizen to keep us safe, not just law enforcement.


What advice would you give to current HLS students or those trying to decide on a major/degree?

Research, research, research. That is key. College is too expensive to not know what field you want to study. So, make sure it's something you are passionate about and can see yourself making a living from. Also, try to get a job or internship in your chosen field of study. During my time obtaining my degree, I participated in Buffalo’s Border Patrol Academy, which gave me hands-on experience in what I could look forward to in U.S. Customs or Border Patrol. That experience made it clear that my degree would help advance my career in my chosen field.  

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