Skip to Main Content

UNF student veteran prepares for a career in cybersecurity

UNF student veteran George Shannon George Shannon is a student veteran who served in the Navy for 11 years. The Oklahoma native, who says he's always enjoyed working on computers, is a sophomore majoring in information technology. During his Naval tenure, he was an aviation electrician working on the electrical systems of MH-60/S helicopters. Initially stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, Shannon transferred to Naval Station Mayport in 2013 and Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 2018.  

Why did you decide to join the military and what positive impact has it had on your life?
I joined the military because it was an opportunity to experience the world, immerse myself in diverse cultures and gain a broader perspective. In addition to the invaluable life experiences, it also provided a pathway to earn educational benefits that would support my long-term goals. The discipline, teamwork and leadership skills I developed during my service have been valuable in shaping my character and work ethic. I am also grateful for the strong bonds and lifelong friendships with fellow service members who have become like family to me.
What brought you to UNF?
When I was separating from the Navy, we knew we wanted to stay here in Jacksonville. Fortunately, UNF had the degree program I was interested in.
Why did you choose to major in information technology?
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was work with computers. I have always been fascinated by the way technology can be leveraged to solve real-world problems and improve people's lives. This field is constantly evolving, and I am excited at the prospect of continuously learning and adapting to new technologies.
What professional goals would you like to accomplish within the next 10 years?
My goal is to be a cybersecurity analyst. I also want to earn a master's degree so I can eventually become a professor.
What do you enjoy about the UNF MVRC?
I love their involvement in helping students navigate life after service and their commitment to answering any questions students may have about their educational benefits.
Do you have a favorite place on campus? If so, what makes that place special to you?
The MVRC is my favorite place. It has everything I need in one place. Study rooms, free coffee bar, free printing and a full kitchen. It is like my second home!
What clubs/organizations/activities are you involved in?
I am currently the treasurer of Student Veterans of America and I was involved in the Osprey Security Club last year.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies consist of playing drums, video games, building Lego's with my daughter and recording/editing podcast I host with some of my friends.
What’s the greatest bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be humble and able to take criticism. You don't know everything.
What is a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I'm a sucker for romantic comedies.