Charleston Graduate Gets Head Start on Career

2020 Graduate Antonio Rivers and Career Services Advisor Jennifer Santoro

As a non-traditional university, most of ECPI University’s students are adult learners. With an average age of 28.5 years, they’ve tried a few things out and found they needed a skills-based education to have the kind of career that can help them reach their personal and financial goals. Still, a growing number of high school students are discovering that ECPI University is a great way to get a big head start on their careers. As one of the Charleston campus’ more recent graduates, Antonio Rivers has certainly found that to be the case.

Antonio graduated from Ridge Christian Academy in May 2017 and days later, enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science of Cyber and Network Security program at ECPI University. After he earned that degree, he went straight on to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cyber and Network Security. During that time, he had an externship with Tandem Cyber Securities and also helped out at cloud computing provider Blackbaud, installing PC’s and getting as much hands-on experience as he could.

As Antonio drew closer to his second graduation, he went to the campus’ Career Services Department and worked with his advisor, Ms. Jennifer Santoro, who was able to assist him in securing a summer internship program with the Charleston County School District. Once he completed that internship, he immediately applied for a full-time position and they hired him on the spot. While many of his high school classmates are still in college, Antonio is now on the job, advancing his career.

“Antonio is a very motivated individual who will make our ECPI family very proud,” says Ms. Santoro. “While he was a student, he said yes to multiple opportunities to build his professional experience. With each opportunity, Antonio stepped into the experience with a fantastic attitude. I can’t wait for him to become a guest speaker to our current students! He will be a great role model for inspiring others who hope to follow in his footsteps.” 

At ECPI University, Antonio not only honed his technical expertise, but developed strong soft skills as well. “Antonio’s personal strengths are as impressive as his intellectual accomplishments,” says Charleston Campus Computer and Information Science Faculty Member Helio de Castro. “He was an active, kind, and outgoing presence in class. Antonio was always ready to help his classmates.”

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