Business & Technology

Graduating from the Fortinet FortiVet Program: A Conversation with Robert Baryo

By Jay Garcia | November 11, 2019

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day is a great opportunity to feature a graduate of our Fortinet Veterans Program, a part of our NSE Institute comprised of programs aiming to help close the cybersecurity skills gap challenge that the industry is grappling with. FortiVet facilitates the transition of exceptional military veterans into the cybersecurity industry by providing professional networking, mentoring and training through our NSE training and certification program. Today, a number of FortiVets have already been trained, with many more currently enrolled or successfully starting their careers in cybersecurity at Fortinet or at our distribution and technology partners.

Today we spotlight Robert Baryo, a 9-year veteran of the US Army, FortiVet Program graduate and now an IT Specialist (INFORSEC) to learn about his experience in the FortiVet program and his transition to a career in cybersecurity. 

A Q&A with Robert Baryo

Can you give us a summary of your background in the military?

I was proud to serve as a Medic/LPN in the Army Reserves for nine years. I was part of some great teams and missions throughout my service and met some amazing people. I served with the 401st Medical Logistics Company most recently. Throughout my service, I was afforded many opportunities to lead and take care of soldiers - and that helped define the man I am today.    

What do you do now?

I recently began working as an IT Specialist for Ground Vehicle System Command (GVSC) at the Detroit Arsenal. It is an honor that I am working with the United States Army again; serving soldiers from the information security side of the organization. I am very thankful for the opportunities afforded to me and for every professional that has taken the time to invest in my development and career.  A main reason I am here today is because of the doors that the FortiVet program opened for me.

How did you get into the FortiVet program?

I was networking and looking for a career change. I began looking at programs that assisted veterans and talking to everyone I could meet to get guidance and perspective on a career in cybersecurity. Thankfully, I was able to find an amazing mentor who introduced me to FortiVet and put me in direct contact with the program lead, and the rest is history.    

Why do you think the program is important to help fill the talent gap in cyber security?

This program helps provide current professionals from ALL backgrounds with perspective and realistic goals to fill the skills gap in the cyber security industry. Additionally, it leverages the training and talents of our veterans to ensure the employers are getting disciplined and competent professionals willing to do what is required to get the job done. FortiVet is unique in that it not only provides mentoring and interview coaching, but the program actively connects you with employers who are part of Fortinet’s partner ecosystem. This greatly helped me in my job search and helped set me up on interviews.

What is the benefit of hiring military veterans?

Veterans, just like many other citizens, vary in skill set. However, veterans are reinforced with the values of the branch they served, in my case, the Army. These principles set veterans apart from other applicants. Companies can rely on the fact that these men and women will apply themselves to achieve the organizations' objectives.          

What would you say are the benefits to a company for hiring someone from the FortiVet program?

The best part about this program is the individual the company is hiring has been trained both by the branch of service (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard) and the team at Fortinet. FortiVet graduates get the most relevant and up to date cybersecurity education through Fortinet’s certifications training. Additionally, Fortinet’s extensive partner ecosystem and networks is a big advantage when looking for job openings in ones respective field. 

Learn more about Fortinet’s NSE Institute programs, including the Network Security Expert programNetwork Security Academy program and FortiVets program.