Jacson Ott is proud of the long hours and dedication he has put into completing his BS degree. “I will deeply miss the communities I’ve found here,” he says, adding that he plans to remain active as an alumnus. He graduated this spring with a BS in Cybersecurity with a focus on System and Network Security.
It was the quality and diversity of the Michigan Tech Cybersecurity BS program that drew Ott to Houghton, and the communities he found at the University kept him connected and engaged. He says he found the true value of his education in the program’s hands-on experiences and that the most valuable skill he gained is the ability to think critically and learn new topics.
Ott notes that the remote learning necessitated by the pandemic posed a unique set of challenges but in the end it was of benefit, better preparing him for the workforce. This summer he’ll pursue his third fully remote internship, this time with Palo Alto Networks Unit 42. He’ll be working as an incident response intern until August, when he’ll return to Michigan Tech to pursue a Master’s of Science in Cybersecurity focused on Network Security Management.
Applied Computing faculty member Tim Van Wagner was invaluable to Ott’s college experience. “He’s always ready to offer advice or talk about technology, and his passion for what he does is evident in every conversation,” Ott explains. “The deep care he has for his students and the quality of their education always made me excited to take his classes.”
During his undergraduate studies, Ott was involved in the Networking and Computing Student Association (NCSA), serving over the years as president, public relations head, and network team lead. He was also a competitor for the MTU RedTeam, achieving several high-ranking finishes in individual and team competition in National Cyber League events.
Ott is also a member of the Order of Omega and the Triangle Fraternity, for which he served as recruitment chair and brotherhood chair. He was awarded the 2022 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Outstanding New Fraternity Member of the Year.
“The members of NCSA and Triangle Fraternity have been of the utmost importance to my college career,” Ott says. “These groups have pushed me to grow as a leader, professional, and friend in ways I could never have imagined.”
Ott advises all students to find ways to apply their knowledge outside the classroom. “Joining student organizations that enhance your degree is one of the best ways to get the most out of your time at Michigan Tech,” he says.