Young Professionals Rising: A Triple Crown at GSX+
Mark Joseph Vinculado’s introduction to security was as a cadet officer in college, when he was first tasked to work as a sentinel. As a self-supporting student, he then pursued jobs with a security firm, working as an executive protection agent while attending school. From there, he enjoyed several high-profile assignments, including protecting celebrities and music groups, while climbing the ranks.
Now, Vinculado is a corporate security consultant at McDonald’s Philippines, where he helps to increase the company’s profitability by protecting people, information, assets, and the brand. He also achieved his ASIS certification Triple Crown—the CPP, PCI, and PSP certifications—after being one of the first security professionals to earn the new ASIS International Associate Protection Professional (APP) certification.
To continue his professional development, Vinculado applied for the ASIS Young Professionals Council GSX Experience Award, which annually recognizes two professional volunteer members under the age of 40 who have exhibited strong leadership in the security industry. The winners receive a free pass to attend GSX.
“When I started dreaming about getting my Triple Crown, I eventually learned about the event,” Vinculado says. “I believe that GSX is the go-to place to meet top caliber security professionals, network with like-minded people, and update and increase your security knowledge. It’s part of my self-preparation, getting ready for the future by doing all that I can at the present time. My challenge at the moment is the financial aspect of attending the event, so it’s good thing great people push for this scholarship.”
Approximately 20 to 30 applications are received for the award each year, and Vinculado and Kelsey Carnell, regional sales manager, New England, for Axis Communications, were tapped for this year’s scholarship to attend GSX+.
Although the award usually enables a scholarship recipient to attend GSX in person, this year’s virtual experience makes professional development at GSX+ more accessible in the face of ongoing travel restrictions and COVID-19 challenges.
“It has been really a challenge for everyone,” Vinculado says about the effect of COVID-19 on professional development. “Everyone is affected as we try to distance ourselves to help prevent the spread. But this was also an opportunity for me to reimagine how to continue to improve myself and network with other security professionals. My ‘new normal’ looks like attending all the webinars that I can for my professional development and getting more of an online presence in LinkedIn to get connected.”
ASIS Connects has also been valuable, he says, calling it a “goldmine of great information” where security professionals can discuss risks, emerging challenges, and professional development with more than 34,000 global ASIS members.
However, Vinculado’s goal at GSX+ this year is to find a mentor, particularly someone who can help him expand his skills at storytelling and crisis management.
“I am a firm believer of the benefit of having a mentor,” he says. “I actually do have a diverse set of mentors where they actively guide me for professional development and career progression, which is something that I am really grateful for. But I have this person which really helped me both professionally and personally, he has made great contributions to what I am now and what I can become in the future. I also have a mentor who guides me to develop unique competencies that will serve as career differentiators and be holistic. For me, my mentors really have a great impact on my career.”
Learn more about Vinculado’s rising career in his 2019 Certification Profile in Security Management.