Sister and brother Alondra and Arsenio Sarmiento hail from Nampa, Idaho and are both in their first year of the undergraduate Cyber Operations and Resilience (CORe) program at Boise State. This program prepares students to work in environments where anticipating, detecting, mitigating, and managing cyber, physical, and interdependencies infrastructure threats is crucial.
“I love the quality of education at Boise State,” Arsenio Sarmiento said. “My interest in cybersecurity began when I would watch movies about people hacking into systems. It just fascinated me that people could do that. I decided to pursue cybersecurity because I felt that it would be an exciting adventure to dive into the tech world. Especially in this age where people that have the skills being taught in the program are highly sought after.”
When asked who he most wishes to help with his cybersecurity knowledge, Arsenio Sarmiento replied, “My fellow Americans. The more you know, the more you can do to help protect the country from threats.”
Alondra Sarmiento discovered the cybersecurity degree while pursuing her bachelor’s in chemistry, when she felt she was losing interest in the subject and wanted to pursue a new field of study. When the pandemic hit and classes moved completely online, the new Cyber Operations and Resilience degree stood out to her, and she dove in headfirst.
“During the pandemic, all of my classes and learning got switched to online. I began to have a better understanding of my computer and how to use the internet. I had no idea what cybersecurity was, so I decided to enroll in some cyber classes. I discovered that I preferred the cyber classes to any of my chemistry ones,” Alondra Sarmiento said.
Despite being in their first semesters, the siblings agree that the courses so far have opened their eyes to a wide range of cybersecurity experiences and threats.
“The most fascinating thing up to this point has been learning about how the discipline has evolved, and the threats that are happening across the internet, that many people know little about,” Arsenio Sarmiento said.
While Alondra Sarmiento refers to herself as a “newbie in the cybersecurity field” she said her favorite part of her cyber classes has been reading about incident reports and how individuals in the field apply their expertise.
“I recently read about a voting app malfunction in Israel and Edward Snowden’s information breach. I like reading about what others can teach me,” Alondra Sarmiento said.