UCF Grad Finds his Dream Job through the Power of Networking

William Lusk PhotoWilliam Lusk, ’13, packed his bags with suits, resumes and dreams of finding a job after graduation as he headed for a maritime security conference in 2011. At the time, Lusk had already received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCF in 2009 and was working on receiving his master’s degree from UCF in political science. The relationships he forged at that event are his ongoing business partners today, one of them being his employer. His knowledge, ambition, and willingness to leave his comfort zone were some primary reasons why he was later hired by the company.

Currently, Lusk works as a contractor for Neak Media. Neak Media operates Homeland Security Outlook, a company that facilitates homeland security conferences and tradeshows, and Maritime Security Outlook, a website that serves as an information hub for the maritime security sector. Lusk is the Director of Operations at Homeland Security Outlook primarily facilitating conferences, and Publisher of Maritime Security Outlook writing and compiling relevant information as web content.

Lusk explains that working in this industry is amazing. Working at security conferences provides him with the opportunity to spread his name, collect business cards and constantly connect with leading security experts and government personnel from around the world. He also loves the opportunity to learn and experiment with the latest technologies that help law enforcement and government agencies secure waterways and port facilities.

Lusk’s BA and MA in Political Science from UCF have brought him to his dream job. Lusk explains that his degree from UCF says a lot about him as a person.

“To succeed in a large university is to stand out, make your own path, and work hard. UCF offers the tools to help you succeed, but your accomplishments are your own,” said Lusk.

Lusk provided more insight into his path to success and his current work:

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

Being from Tampa, I always joked that UCF was too far for my parents to give me surprise visits, but short enough to ask for help! In reality, when I visited UCF at open houses, I could close my eyes and envision myself spending some of the best years of my life there. That level of comfort and foresight convinced me that UCF was home.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?

Yes! I was a LEAD Scholar, an officer of the College Republicans at UCF, an officer of Rowdy Knights, a Student Government Senator, and a founding father of the Sigma Pi fraternity chapter. When an opportunity came for me to become involved at UCF, I seized it!

Have you stayed connected with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

You will find me at many UCF football and men’s basketball games – I am a proud Knight! I have also stayed in close touch with the UCF chapter of Sigma Pi, especially since they are “mentoring” the new Sigma Pi organization at USF, of which I am currently an advisor.

What is your best UCF memory?

I don’t have a single memory that stands out – it is a collective memory of all the laughs, tears, fun, adventure, and love with so many friends and connections I made at UCF. My best memory is the people I met at UCF.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

So far, my most memorable experience of my job was accepting an invitation to provide a security briefing at the 2014 Caribbean Shipping Association Executives’ Conference. Never would I have thought that at 27 I would be educating leaders and executives of Caribbean ports and shipping.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

When you see an opportunity, seize it! Whether it be a job offer, joining a club, a blind date, or attending a conference – take full advantage and expand your horizon. We only have one life to live, so live it to its fullest.

Here are some fun questions Lusk answered to help us get a feel for his personality:

What do you do for fun?

Travel is my biggest pleasure. Whether it is to the beach, theme parks, or a weekend trip to another state – I love exploring and seeing everything the world has to offer.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when people let their circumstances define who they are. Rise above your circumstances – let your accomplishments and moral compass define who you are.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Orlando is my favorite place to visit! It is the happiest place on earth – home of Disney World, Sea World, and Fiesta Bowl champions.

If you could witness any event – past, present or future – what would it be?

Fewer events have had a bigger effect and more gravity on modern civilization than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. How magnificent would it be to have witnessed or signed that sacred document?

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