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Takeaways from ASIS Anaheim

Takeaways from ASIS Anaheim

Jairo Borja is currently the Director
of Business Development at
Berkeley College and has been on
the ASIS YP Council since 2012.

This year marked my third ASIS International Expo and it was
a great event. I got to see new products, new trends and
learned a great deal. One particular panel, What Security
Employers Look For & What Makes Candidates Stand Out,
stood out. The panelists each presented a unique perspective shaped by t
heir diverse backgrounds.

Law Enforcement/Military Transferable Skills
Some people think that after years of service in the military
or law enforcement they do not possess the skill set necessary
to transition into another industry. I’m here to tell you
that is not true. If your previous career had you interact with
the public and resolve tense situations without escalation.
you can communicate clearly and effectively, perfect for a
sales or customer service role. If you served in a supervisory
capacity, you have management experience. Leading others
in pursuit of a common goal is a skill, whether in law enforcement,
the military or business.

A critical factor in the job seeking process is translating those
experiences to skills on a resume. Recruiters may be searching
through hundreds of resumes; it is important to make yours
stand out. A mistake free resume explaining your management
and customer service skill sets may get you in the door,
but it is up to you to “close the deal” by being prepared for
the interview. Remember, learn about the company, its specialties and how it works before
your interview.

The panelists stressed the importance of volunteering and
networking. Volunteers are critical partners in society, community
and in business; whether you teach, tutor, mentor,
coach or financially support, it is important to give back.
Volunteers make possible the programs that teach today’s
youth that the value of leadership and teamwork. So they
can then be successful in the future.
If you are currently between jobs, volunteering can be critical
to your future success as well. Employment gaps on
your resume are a red flag for recruiters and employers,
volunteering is an excellent way to create an uninterrupted
work history, demonstrate community involvement and
project a high moral character. Once you are employed,
think of staying involved and help shape someone else’s

The importance of networking cannot be overstated. It’s
not what you know it’s who you know, and how else will
you be exposed to the people who may be able to directly
or indirectly assist you? If you are in transition or just in
between employment, now is the ideal $me to get involved
and participate in networking events both inside and outside
of the industry. Your local Chamber of Commerce
pulls from diverse industries and is a great way to get a
warm introduction to potential employers or clients. Once
you are well known within the group, you can ask for introduction
to specific companies or industries and they will
open doors for you.
Joining and becoming an active participant in industry specific
organizations affords you tremendous benefits. You
are exposed to emerging trends and technologies, allowing
you to stay in front of the curve and plan ahead instead of
reacting. It also presents partnership opportunities: your
company may have limited resources, either financial or
physical, and finding a suitable partner may be the difference
between closing the deal and losing it. If you are in
transition or currently looking for employment, these
events will allow you to get a better idea about a company
and its employees before joining, or your contacts could
introduce you to potential employers.

It was a great expo in Anaheim and in particular I loved this
panel. Thank you to the panelists and moderator. See you all in Orlando,
next year !

Majoring in Criminal Justice Studies Can Lead To ….  By Jairo Borja

I have been in the Career Services Department at Berkeley College since 2009 and started getting involved with our students majoring in Criminal Justice in 2011. The field can be fascinating but the question is often: what can I do with that degree? Where can I find employment? My first response is for students to look at the three sections where the degree will be helpful: public, private and non-profit.

Public Sector

Whether it is federal Marshal’s service, municipal police, school safety, court officers or any of the thousands of areas where sworn officers are on the job, a degree is a first step. Then, almost every position requires qualifying through a tough written exam; a comprehensive psychological screening and a rigorous physical test. Once qualified, people can expect in-depth training for the particular position and a fairly long probationary period.  If you live in the metro area, here is a link where you can check for upcoming exams in NYC:

If you are interested in federal positions and some that are overseas, this link will be helpful: and

I recommend that people be patient. You might qualify on a list that takes well over a year before people are called for initial interviews and initial screening. I always ask that students listen to all the instructions provided and follow them to the letter. What you do or don’t do can delay the screening process and eventually there will be a new test, a new list and new candidates being considered.

Private Security

It’s a $350 billion industry -larger than public law enforcement and probably more diverse in the assignments available. It goes well beyond a guard standing at an entrance way. You even find contract officers in charge of initial visitor screening at many government buildings!

The private sector has security professionals working in IT-related services and the majority of about 2 million officers serving in other aspects of the private domain. This includes operations, investigations, event and special venue security, financial institution protection, plant operations, transportation and manufacturing centers -just to begin! According to some recent studies, private investigation is one part of the private sector that will grow significantly in the next decade.

For a list of some of the largest private security employers and more opportunities, check the following website:

In addition to your education, you will probably require your State’s security guard license and it is beneficial to also acquire a fireguard license for the municipality where you will be working. If you will be armed during your assignment, such as armored car operations, you will be required to qualify for the appropriate pistol license, taking the full training and refreshers related to that license.

For most private security positions there will be physical qualifications, some psychological tests and an in-depth background check focused on criminal convictions or pending litigation.


I separated out the non-profit sector because it doesn’t get as much emphasis as it deserves. We don’t always think of the shift supervisor over at The Salvation Army who collaborates with law enforcement over incidents at various locations or recruiting new clients at various jails/prisons for the Osborne Association.

Even being a Case Manager for the ‘Bridge Back to Life’ program can bring together what you learn in Criminal Justice with a wider perspective.

You will need more education than an Associate Degree in CJ. However CJ gives you a good perspective for careers in this area. Some titles include: Case Managers, Case Aides, Intake Coordinators, Career Coaches, Substance Abuse Counselors etc.

For a list of positions please visit: or even

In addition to a CSW or MSW, non-profit work often requires developing some special skills. To become a Career Coach or Job Developer for Osborne Association requires experience interacting with employers who can hire candidates that are ex-offenders. In the non-profit area you may be helping individuals making the transition from jail and prison back into with workforce or focusing on youth programs, shelter security, substance abuse recovery centers, etc.

Finally and overall, for anyone seeking to open doors to a security or law enforcement career, in addition to your college studies it can be essential to network with others already doing the work you see in your future. Join, ASIS International; create a professional on-line profile on LINKEDIN (with a professional headshot photo so you “look the part” to anyone considering you for a job).

Also, use LINKEDIN’s resources for reviewing new job postings. To join LINKEDIN go to: And, keep up to date on the latest technology in the industry; and stay in touch with former classmates and professors so you can ask for recommendations from them going forward.

Hope this helps.

Jairo Borja 

Berkeley College, NYC –

Tomorrow’s Panel

I promised to write over the weekend and I couldn’t. I apologize for that. Crazy few days!

Tomorrow will be important. Let’s preview all facets for tomorrow :

Securitas-need security officers. One of the best in the world with room to grow. There is much more than guard services. Branch Manager and Business Development Manager to name a few positions.

TSA-seeking management and agents for the area and then some. If you are a Criminal Justice major, you can’t miss this organization being on campus.

NYC Paralegal Association-great organization to volunteer for. It will help out build your resume. If you are a Paralegal major, it is a must to stop by the table.

Let’s talk about some of the organizations that are apart of this panel:

Daytop Village
Fed Cap

All of these are great organizations to be apart of. These are also great organizations in their own
respective right.


United Healhcare
Odyssey House
Keston Jones
New York Life
Brooklyn Hospital Center

Just to name a few ….

Some great representatives will be on hand. Great way for you to mingle with Justice and Health professionals.

At the end of the day whether you are a student, graduate or alumni, great platform and FREE for you to go to a networking/panel/recruiting event.

If you are a justice or health major,
can’t miss event!!!!

Thanks and see you tomorrow!!


I’m back, working in tiers

I am happy to be back.
I have been off since last week.
I apologize.

I am looking to print, so if I can
start in your local newspaper.
Please let me know.

Today’s topic is about understanding your work in layers. It is also about understanding items from both the macro and micro level.

Let’s begin with understanding about understanding layers. One of my great colleagues was talking about the layers of federal positions versus state level position versus local level positions.

At the federal level there are three types of positions: politics, contracts and law enforcement/military. If you are counseling someone from a career standpoint. The journey does not end once you obtain your Bachelors degree. It is only the beginning.

You can have to be mindful that It will take time. From a state level it is almost the same. Except there at state troopers to replace the military part as mentioned above .

From the local level, there are specific agencies that are tied into the court system. ACS, ACLU to name a few.

From the municipalities, to the prison reentry programs, substance abuse homes etc, be mindful of the opportunities in all three layers.

People know it but it is up to people like myself to shed light on the subject. It is my job to educate everyday!!

It is about understanding the issues from both the macro or broader perspective. It is about understanding the big picture. It is about thinking outside of the box. At the micro level is about understanding that for some of these roles, it is not about the money. It is about improving society and you are part of the solution. It is about understanding the industry, market, the product/service and the individuals themselves.

In conclusion, I have completed speaking about talking in layers. I also spoke about understanding items from both the macro and micro level.

Enjoy your weekend!!!


Maintaining organized

What has worked for me is Maintaining organized .

I am able to follow up (and have a great memory)

It is important to maintain organized in order to close the deal.

It is not just about the event and collecting business cards.

It is about what do you do afterwards.

You have to, have to, have to stay organized and follow up!!

I take it an extra step and find them
on LinkedIn. This way if I want to send them a message, I can.

Moral of the story, stay organized !!!!

Follow Up!

When I was working for Spanish Food Solutions, the owner’s father always used to say “follow it up!”

I understood what I meant but never understood why?

I understand now. When you call someone and when you schedule the appointment and it goes so well. It doesn’t end at that point.

It is about following up with a phone call to determine a purchase order.

Obviously, the industry is different but it is the same concept.

In the industry I am in, it is about the job order and getting someone placed at that organization.

Site Visits are useless unless you complete the process!!

That is today’s lesson!!


Pounding the Pavement 2

The reactions are so much different over the phone than in person.

Over the phone, there could be 1 million reasons to blow you off.

When you appear in person, I learned you have to be nice to the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper is what allows you to get in or just give you information for he future.

Whether I was out last week or even yesterday, realized how important treating the gatekeeper really is.

The individual gave me all of the information to follow up with personnel.

Now, had I been a mean guy,
It probably would have not happened.

Moral of the story, be nice to gatekeepers.



Pounding the Pavement


I pounded the pavement with one
of my colleagues. I made the last stop alone.

I realized that sometimes you have to go in person a few times before getting what you want.

It takes about 7 touches usually before you can reach the person.

You can’t give up!!

Also, you have to be strategic.
You can’t just go anywhere.

Pick the type of companies that you would like to be apart of.

Then speak to volunteer department and/or human resources.

It is the only way you will get in the organization in which you want to work with.

Moral of the story, never give up!!


Staying motivated

I know it is difficult to stay motivated while job hunting. Think of the end prize. Full time employment and to return to the workforce.

However, it is about staying motivated and knowing the payoff will be great. It is about thinking outside of the box when trying to seek employment.

Not just applying online. Talk to your alumni network, talk to your church. Speak to the individuals through LinkedIn. Your softball team, join and join a group.

There are always events that happen throughout the city every week.

Just have to be willing to think outside of the box.

Enjoy your day!!


Time Management

People ask me how do it do it?
How do I do two jobs and being enrolled online at Walden University?

I just do it. That is the attitude you need to have.

It is about not making excuses and just getting the job done.

Allocate time for school, allocate time for the gym, allocate time for work (obviously)!

It is about not procrastinating and getting the job done sometimes when you are at your weakest.

I call it “gut check” time! Call it whatever you want.

Moral of the story, there never is no time, you have to make time!!!

Enjoy your day!!!