An Interview with ManTech Employee, Mindi

Title: Senior Systems Administrator

Purdue Global Program: Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management

Sector: Defense Sector

Time at ManTech: 10+ Years

What drew you to ManTech?

Mindi - Purdue Global Profile

I became a ManTech employee through a contract award, so I became a ManTech employee by happenstance.  But what has KEPT me a ManTech employee is a different story.  When my contract ended after 10 years, there weren’t any ManTech positions available at the base I had been supporting.  I chose to transfer to a job that required an hour-long commute, just to stay with ManTech.  I have had amazingly supportive management, and the best and most knowledgeable co-workers and employees for over 9 years.  A supportive and fun work environment coupled with great educational and personal benefits, I knew I wanted to stay a ManTech employee.

What do you like most about ManTech?

The thing I appreciate the most is the people, and a close second the room for growth.  Especially as a DoD contractor, opportunities for promotion and placement can be limited, just by the nature of the contract.  But ManTech is full of mentors who will help you grow within your profession, so that if an opportunity arises, you are prepared to jump on it.  That could include helping you broaden your skill set within your industry, helping you achieve educational growth, or assisting you to look at other branches within ManTech.

How have you balanced your career, school and home life? 

Starting something new and carving out enough time for family, work, and studies is always difficult.  Ultimately, I just needed to figure out a schedule that would support my new journey.  For me that looked like attacking discussion posts and paper research during my lunch hour throughout the week.  And then setting aside several hours on Sunday to dedicate to writing my papers.  Having a set schedule allowed me to move consistently through the content, not be overloaded, and also allowed my family to know when to plan family activities.

What was your motivation for enrolling in your Purdue Global program?

The program that I had been working on and managing was ending after 10 years.  While I had rich and extensive work experience, I knew I needed to legitimize it to be marketable to another program or employer.  ManTech provided me the opportunity to do this with their CISSP Cohort and Master’s program at Purdue Global.

What was the most challenging aspect of your Purdue Global journey and what helped you through it?

The biggest challenge for me came when my husband was 6 weeks from deploying, I was working on a large project at work, and my teenager was having struggles in school.  I realized that I could not enter my next term despite being three classes from graduation.  I contacted ManTech and Purdue Global and requested a 6-week sabbatical, which was graciously and easily granted.  During my sabbatical Covid-19 hit, and I was even more grateful to have the time to focus on work and my family’s wellbeing.  ManTech Advisors and Purdue Global Advisors helped me determine how much of a sabbatical I truly needed, and then contacted me throughout, to ensure I was on track for coming back for a successful completion of my degree. 

What advice do you have for someone thinking of pursuing a Purdue Global degree/certification?

Just Do It!  When I began my Master’s journey I was program manager and embedded rep with Active Duty Army Aviation.  I spent time in the field, I had incredibly long weeks with mission and contract requirements, and I had extensive professional travel.  By the time my journey ended, Covid-19 had taken hold and my husband was deployed.  ManTech administrators and Purdue Global professors were incredibly helpful and supportive through everything and made it possible for me to complete the program. 

Plus, as I keep telling my co-workers, you are probably much closer to a degree than you realize.  We all hold extensive certifications and the credits that Purdue Global acknowledges for those certificates goes a long way towards a degree.