Celebrating Nontraditional Student Week: Nick Mobilia

Nick MobiliaNick Mobilia entered the Army in 2015, where he served as a combat engineer stationed at Fort Drum. While on active duty, he completed a tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. In 2017, Mobilia was recognized at the Pentagon by the Sergeant Major of the Army as a representative for the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program at Fort Drum. As a representative, he was selected to travel to Washington, D.C. to represent the 10th Mountain Division and to escort Gold Star Families at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. “It was what I consider my biggest accomplishment to date,” says Mobilia. “It was an incredibly humbling experience that I will never forget.”

Mobilia retired from the service in August. In January, while still on active duty, he was accepted into the Bachelor of Professional Studies program (B.P.S.) at University College and began his coursework for a degree in cybersecurity administration. “I chose this program because the digital world has become an increasingly dangerous place with more threats than ever before,” explains Mobilia. “Enrolling in this program to learn how to lead and manage teams that work to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber-attacks was incredibly appealing.” Mobilia said that while in the military, he quickly learned that cyberspace is becoming one of the world’s battlefields and that gaining knowledge and expertise in this field is very important for the future safety of our country.

Mobilia now uses what he learned in the military to be successful student. “The skills I apply to my life and my education are discipline and goal setting,” he says.  When he entered the military, Mobilia was told to set attainable goals for his career and develop specific strategies to accomplish them. “I learned that writing down my plan and taking a small step forward every day was the best way for me to meet my goal of becoming Sergeant. Breaking down a long-term goal into smaller pieces makes the process more rewarding and a lot less stressful,” says Mobilia.

The Cybersecurity Administration degree is fully online with a synchronous component. The weekly live session gives Mobilia the opportunity to learn and connect with students and professors from across the country. “So far, I love the program and am excited about my future with University College. My favorite part so far has been the small class size with thoughtful professors who really want us to learn.”

Like many part-time students, Mobilia juggles his coursework with work and other obligations and admits that time management has been his biggest challenge. “Working full time as an active duty soldier and studying was not easy,” he says. “I would have to look ahead at our training schedule and figure out ways to free up time each night for coursework while still being an active leader.”

“I learned so much from my time in the Army. I plan to take everything I learned and apply it to my studies at Syracuse University,” he says.