Monique Wilkerson, CPP, pursued and achieved her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice. Despite that,
she says, “I never really saw myself as a police officer.” When researching related career paths for which she might be better suited, Wilkerson kept in mind her strong desire to follow altruistic avenues to help people. And so, she set her sights on security management.
Today, Wilkerson is the security program manager for HSS, Inc., in the company’s aviation and government services division. HSS is one of the largest U.S. providers of specialized aviation security services. After 13 years of administering security programs in corporate, private, and aviation environments, Wilkerson makes a hearty recommendation to those who are considering the security profession. “Because of the wide range of employment opportunities and the job satisfaction that comes with the career, I highly recommend security management as an option for those who, like me, want to make a difference in the world.”
When describing her professional history, Wilkerson’s purview has shaped her perspective and her speech: she frequently uses the term “we” instead of “I.” It’s not surprising that Wilkerson’s most enjoyable routine task is working with her team. “Knowing that the people with whom I work have the same goal that I have—to secure the facility and the people that we have been entrusted with—inspires me.”
Wilkerson says that her most memorable moments are the occasions when she and her team helped someone in need, such as assisting those experiencing medical emergencies and reuniting lost children with their parents.
In the industry, Wilkerson faces varying information security and physical security challenges. Her most consistent challenge is personnel security. Every day, she says she ponders, “How do we get people to adhere to security and compliance best practices?” She meets this challenge with support from her corporate team members and clientele.
Of key value in Wilkerson’s career rise has been her active ASIS International membership. She joined in 2008. She notes two key benefits provided to ASIS member networking opportunities with a diverse collection of peers with niche knowledge and quality information resources. Wilkerson is also a volunteer leader. She has served in strategic leadership roles with the Greater Atlanta Chapter including holding the positions of treasurer, secretary, and vice chair; last year she was the chapter chair.
This professional’s career milestones include earning her Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) certification in March 2009. Wilkerson advises candidates interested in pursuing their ASIS certifications to reach out to local chapters for study group opportunities as she had with the Atlanta Chapter.
Wilkerson says of the value of ASIS certifications in the industry, “more and more companies are requiring ASIS certified professionals as members of the management team when proposing business opportunities.”