Student Perspective: Payton Beigler

Payton Beigler took a common path to higher education and started at a large university. After spending some time there, she made the decision to transfer to Macomb Community College to earn credits at a more affordable rate. After finishing her time at Macomb, Beigler was in the process of transferring her credits back to that large university when she decided to look at other options. She wasn’t sure what to expect at Walsh, but she liked that it was recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, was an affordable option, and provided a rigorous IT curriculum. Walsh also stood out because Beigler favors hands-on learning experiences with software over writing papers and taking tests about IT.

Beigler met with Angela Boesler Conard, Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Services, to plan her transfer path from Macomb to Walsh. “Angela was so helpful,” said Beigler. “She answered all of my questions and helped me figure out what classes to take to make my transfer process smooth.” Once the process started, transferring to Walsh was easy and Beigler believes it was one of the best decisions she has made for her education and career.

“Choosing Walsh was a no-brainer decision for me,” said Beigler. “I am learning everything I need to know to prepare me for the real world. We are pushed to do better because Walsh faculty knows we can be better.”

While her passion for IT led her to the Walsh Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) degree, her love of business prompted her to add a management minor.  “I’d like to combine cybersecurity with business, law enforcement, or government,” said Beigler. “The possibilities are endless.”

The Walsh Experience

Beigler has taken both online and on-ground courses at Walsh. Among Beigler’s favorite classes are the Digital and Network Forensics course and the Advanced Team-Based Attack/Defend Techniques course. The classes are drastically different – the forensics course gave her the opportunity to do a deep dive into dissecting files, uncovering threats and solving problems, while the attack and defend course requires students to think on their feet and quickly determine the next course of action.

Dave Schippers, Sc.D., CISSP, Assistant Professor and IT/Decision Sciences Department Chair, has stood out as one of Beigler’s favorite professors.

“Dr. Schippers is such a wealth of knowledge,” said Beigler. “His classes are very interactive and you can tell how passionate he is about what he does.”

In addition to pursuing her BSIT full-time, Beigler is a green lifestyle brand consultant, works a part-time job and has an internship at a large bank this summer, which she found through a career fair hosted by Career Services. With so much on her plate, Beigler is motivated by the chaos and time constraints.

Her advice to prospective Walsh students is to be open to different teaching methods and ways to receive your education. “Walsh brought my fire and passion for IT to life,” said Beigler. “I can’t wait to come back for my Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) and concentrate in cybersecurity.”

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