Tranika’s A Triple Threat: Marine Veteran, Mom of Twins, College Grad

With a last name like Threat, it seems only natural that Tranika Threat would pursue a career in the cybersecurity field.

Born and raised in Virginia Beach and Suffolk, young Tranika wasn’t thinking about computers, instead she had a unique love of playing football, especially with her cousins. She even thought of becoming a professional football player, and worked to hone her skills as a strategist.

“The Campus President and the instructors made sure I had as much flexibility as I needed.”

-Tranika Threat Cyber and Network Security Graduate, Richmond-Innsbrook campus

But in high school, Tranika joined the Junior R.O.T.C., a decision that led her to enlist in the Marine Corps. While in the Marines, Tranika worked as an Administrative Specialist in Arizona for four years until, pregnant with twin boys, she left that job while 35 weeks pregnant. At the time, Tranika was suffering from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, a condition that brings sudden, repeated attacks of severe nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, which was made worse by her pregnancy.

Tranika found herself at one of the lowest points in her life, both financially and physically. A week before her boys arrived, she bought a one-way bus ticket from Arizona to Virginia. Back home in Virginia, with the overwhelming responsibilities of being a single mom of twins, Tranika took a job with Amazon, and later Walmart.

A computer learning center that offered a boot camp certification program in information technology (IT) piqued Tranika’s interest in starting a new career. As a single mom she needed a program that offered the most options. She wanted a fast, hands-on program that offered a tremendous amount of flexibility. She chose ECPI University.

“I loved the ECPI Innsbrook staff in Richmond. The financial staff, advisors, all the professors, the librarian…they were amazing!” said Tranika. “The Campus President and the instructors made
sure I had as much flexibility as I needed.”

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While attending ECPI University, Tranika worked her 3 p.m.- midnight job at Walmart and attended classes from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. When she was laid off from Walmart in October 2019, Tranika started an internship in Richmond, through her ECPI University campus, called “IT 4 Causes”. She interned with the organization for 2.5 years where its owner, Thomas Anderson, strived to ensure Tranika acquired all the IT skills she needed.

Tranika formed important relationships with her professors, particularly her favorite business instructor Alvin Fowlkes. “The instructors come from all walks of life, but are all very personable. They treated you as a human being,” she said.

In February 2022, Tranika received her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Cyber and Network Security. ECPI’s Career Services helped Tranika connect with Endurance I.T. Services in Virginia Beach, where she landed a job as a Managed Services Engineer. Today she works as a Service Desk Analyst for DroneUp and is studying for certifications.

“I’m interested in becoming an Ethical Hacker,” said Tranika. “I want to counteract the bad hackers. It’s almost like a game of who can win first. Challenge accepted.”

The sky’s the limit for this college graduate working in her field. Tranika’s goal is to serve as an example to her children because when she grew up, she didn’t have a lot of people in her life to look up to. “I want to let my kids know they can be anything they put their minds to,” Tranika said.

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