Student testimonials

Gilang, Indonesia, Intake 2018

How would you describe your SECCLO studies? My first and second year at SECCLO were really amazing. All SECCLO students experienced the first year together at Aalto University, which created a strong bond and friendships among fellow students. Aalto University also provided a very welcoming environment for international students, with many activities and student services. Meanwhile, my second year at EURECOM was also a great experience. The courses were beneficial and exciting. The professors and the universities also helped us to find an internship and thesis positions, which opened up lots of opportunities ahead.

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In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? We got to learn computer security directly from the experts. The professors at SECCLO are among the best in the field. The courses offered are beneficial and inspiring for the student, especially to pursue a career in computer security field, which is a very demanding field.

What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? If you are interested in software engineering, learning computer security can increase your bar higher than typical software engineers. Computer security is an important field, albeit neglected by most. Many people regard computer security as too challenging to learn. However, SECCLO programme taught the students all the necessary skills we need to know in well-delivered courses and classes. Hence, SECCLO is the best programme if you seek a tremendous future potential in the technology industry.

 

Akzharkyn, Kazakhstan, Intake 2018

In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? In my opinion there are both professional and social advantages to the SECCLO programme. The professional advantage is a broad career perspective. According to my knowledge, almost everyone from my batch got several internship and full-time job offers because of the emerging need for qualified engineers and researchers in the field of security and cloud computing. In addition to that, our professors and coordinators shared some good advice on securing a place for the Master thesis projects during the summer internship, organizing company networking events and preparing us for the Nordic work culture. As for the second advantage, I would say that I have never seen so many talented and interesting people in one programme. We worked in teams a lot, so after I spent a lot of time with my SECCLO classmates, I became friends with all of them!

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What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? Potential SECCLO applicants may worry about how demanding SECCLO studies are or what their job prospects are after graduation. As a recent alumna of the programme, I can say that they shouldn’t worry about either one of these issues! The education system is built in such a way that you don’t need to memorize, but rather think and understand. Of course, we studied a lot during the two-year programme, but overall, computer science and especially security are fields whereyou need to learn and develop constantly. After gaining such a mindset, there are no boundaries in finding a place to work after the SECCLO programme, because you will know your strengths, professional goals and dreams.

I am currently a Backend Software Engineer at Tink in Stockholm, Sweden. My work focuses on building a PaaS for financial institutes and banks across Europe. I can say I definitely benefit from my knowledge of application security at my work a lot, since the security in the fintech industry is significant.

 

Ahmed Beder, Egypt, Intake 2018

How would you describe your SECCLO studies? During the first year of SECCLO, there was a broad range of subjects, both security-oriented and cloud-related, which we needed to have a solid background in. While some courses were more challenging than others, I enjoyed every single course I took. I studied a lot during the first year. Still, I also traveled a lot and became friends with almost everyone on the campus. By living in Otaniemi student campus, I got to participate in the constant events and social activities organized by the student chapters (guilds as they are called in Finland).

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At the end of our first year, we had a chance to travel to the stunningly beautiful Trondheim for an intense summer school on blockchains and cryptocurrencies. It was busy, tiring, and very challenging, but amazing in every way. We all ate our meals together and experienced Norwegian culture. The best part was the never-ending sunshine. It was sunny all the way until midnight.

My summer internship took place in NIXU, a security consultancy firm, which helped me learn about the Finnish working life. I could really see the knowledge I gained translate into actual work in the industry. Also, I was lucky to be able to take part on their annual convention in Estonia. There I could see a lot of people as passionate about security as I am.

As for the second year of my programme, I went to KTH in Sweden and worked on my Master’s thesis project at Ericsson. Most of my courses in KTH were practical and hands-on, which let me do a lot of individual learning. The thesis took most of my time, and I found coordinating my work between multiple universities and an industry partner challenging but ultimately rewarding.

Overall, the academic curriculum, administrative procedure, and professional and personal growth from the program are incredible. I wholeheartedly recommend SECCLO to students with a passion for security and cloud.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying at SECCLO? In my opinion, the best part of the SECCLO programme is the deep industry cooperation and focusing on real-life practical challenges rather than teaching too much theory. We didn’t have any issues finding a summer internship in Finland due to the university’s broad network, referral of NordSecMob (SECCLO predecessor) students, and well-organized administrative processes. The studies are organized so that a person is responsible for their own tempo and can ask for help from professors if needed. Most importantly, professors at Aalto and KTH enjoy their work and are happy to provide students with more advanced materials. Moreover, after the end of my first year, I clearly understood if I wanted to focus on research or industry based on my personal and professional goals. That is truly an amazing aspect about this programme.

What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? The time that I spent during SECCLO was definitely a great time to grow professionally and personally. If a person is genuinely interested in applying to SECCLO, I recommend starting the application process as early as possible. Start preparing your documents from October. Write a genuine motivation letter. Follow the guidelines on the website and do not miss the deadlines. SECCLO is a programme worth the effort. If you are selected, you will have two wonderful years. You’ll meet amazing people and never regret it.

I am currently working as a Junior Site Reliability Engineer at SEBx, a part of SEB bank in Sweden. My work focuses on security configurations, so I bring a security perspective to my team with my understanding of threat modeling and network security.

 

Satenik, Armenia, Intake 2018

How would you describe your SECCLO studies? These two years have helped me develop a lot, both professionally and personally. And the best part of the journey has been the people: meeting some of the best experts in the field, getting to know people from other cultures and making friends for life is what made it unforgettable.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? The environment at the universities in general and among SECCLO students in particular is very diverse. My friends and classmates come from almost all continents and have different backgrounds. One has 10 years of work experience, while the other comes straight from their Bachelor’s, one enjoys competing in Capture The Flags, while the other has never done any hacking but has incredible math skills. I believe the programme has enough flexibility for each individual to focus on what interests them the most, gain the skills they lack, and strengthen their strengths.

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What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? To people hesitating about joining the programme, I absolutely encourage to take that step. You will have your highs and lows, but you will definitely grow a lot. At the end, the programme will give you an immense range of career opportunities, be it cybersecurity or software engineering in any country or an academic career at a top-rated university.

 

Max, The Netherlands, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? In the final year of my Bachelor’s, I became enthusiastic about many computer security courses. So much so that I wanted to delve in deeper in my Master’s. I had also always wanted to visit and live in the Nordic countries of Europe. SECCLO was the perfect fit.

How would you describe your SECCLO studies so far? For me, SECCLO immediately started off by forming great bonds with the other students. We went into the first semester eagerly, interested in all the topics we would discuss. And there was plenty to research and dabble in. Group projects, hackathons, and technical talks. The second semester was characterized by work from home. I finished up the last couple of courses and started working with Ericsson as a research intern. Now that I am in Stockholm, following courses and projects at KTH, I relive the same excitement for the topics I encounter and the research groups I meet!

In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? SECCLO’s main advantage is the amazing network of international students and researchers that surrounds it! I have enjoyed the feeling that I am becoming part of a top-notch world of technological and scientific advancement.

Hsin Yi, Taiwan, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? I’m interested in the security and cloud computing field, and the SECCLO curriculum looked super interesting to me. The scholarship was also really attractive because it helped me and my family to avoid the financial burden of studying. Having the opportunity to be surrounded by brilliant people coming from all around world is also a big motivation. Moreover, the partner universities all have high academic reputation which I believe ensures the quality of the programme (and it has been proven true:)).

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In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? I think one of the biggest advantages is that we have the chance to explore different cultures, either through meeting new friends from different countries, or by having the chance to study in two different universities. It has really broadened my horizons. Another big advantage for me regarding the courses is that most of the courses we had in Aalto were project-based, which means you learn by doing. I really liked it and learned a lot through hands-on practices.

What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? If you are interested in security and cloud related field, and you also love to explore the world, SECCLO is a great opportunity that you cannot miss.

 

Jack, Germany, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? Since starting my bachelor studies, I have been interested and engaged in system administration, cloud infrastructure and IT security. When I came I across the Security and Cloud Computing Master’s degree, I immediately knew this would be the right place for me. Additionally, the opportunity to study (and explore!) two different European countries was exciting to me.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? Studying in the SECCLO programme exposes you to cutting-edge research in the topics of systems and security engineering, bright minds, friendly people and two European countries!

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What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? If you are interested in IT security and/or IT infrastructure, SECCLO is the right place for you. Not only will you receive excellent teaching which is real-world relevant, but you will also meet new friends and experience new countries.

 

Quang Le, Viet Nam, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? I chose SECCLO mostly because of its specialization in cyber security and the well-built curriculum. Besides, the universities offering the programme are well-known in their countries, and I also had a chance to obtain the Erasmus Mundus scholarship to cover my expenses during the studies.

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How would you describe your SECCLO studies so far? The courses I have studied so far in SECCLO have been really interesting and have helped me to strengthen my academic background in different technical aspects. The academic staff have always proven their expertise during the courses and offered great support for students. Besides, the summer school after the first year was fascinating as I had the opportunity to work together with passionate classmates to solve interesting hacking exercises. Last but not least, the internship was an excellent opportunity that allowed me to experience the working environment in a Finnish company and learn valuable practical skills.

 

Eljon, Switzerland, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? I joined SECCLO because it had the most comprehensive computer security courses I could find.

How would you describe your SECCLO studies so far? Joining SECCLO was the best decision I could make. My first year in Finland was full of pleasant surprises, and Aalto University is a great place to study. The second semester took place remotely due to COVID-19, but SECCLO and Aalto staff ensured we had everything we needed to follow the lectures. Besides, the remote summer school was (still) a lot of fun!

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In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? By studying in SECCLO, you will be surrounded by brilliant minds from all over the world. Besides, Finland is a beautiful place and you get to spend your second year in another European country.

What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? If you consider the partner universities, scholarships, internships, summer school, and if you want to study computer security in Europe, SECCLO is by far the best option.

 

Mala Devi, India, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? Studying Masters was always in the back of my mind but after my Bachelor’s, life happened so fast that I worked for 5 years. I was working in the security field, but always felt that I needed to learn more. SECCLO gave me the opportunity to study further and the scholarship just took the extra pressure off my mind. It helped me to further focus and concentrate in my studies. SECCLO was a game changer in my life 😊.

How would you describe your SECCLO studies so far? My first year was pretty smooth as every part of my move from India to Finland was helped by the SECCLO team. I was only left to concentrate on my studies and to explore the beautiful city. The various job fairs, the CV and LinkedIn clinics went in a long way to understand the market trends of Finland. Even when COVID happened, my studies faced minimal interruption and they always checked on us to see if we were doing ok.

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In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? The best part of SECCLO are the professors who you get to work so close with and my fellow students who come various parts of the world. The atmosphere created to engage in meaningful conversations is the best part of SECCLO. The support given through each stage of the semester either for coping with the study methods or in finding internships has helped me to cope with the different culture of the new country.

What would you like to say to a potential SECCLO applicant considering their choices? SECCLO gives you a great platform to learn and wide opportunities to practice what you learn. They offer assistance through each stage of the Master’s course and you’ll never be left alone to deal with any discomfort. (But discomforts are quite rare and I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience!).

 

Zhangchi, China, Intake 2019

Why did you decide to join SECCLO? It provides scholarships so that you can study your favorite subjects without financial concerns and you get to make friends from all over the world.

How would you describe your SECCLO studies so far? I am now in my second year of study. I had some difficulties in learning new professional knowledge, but there are always a bunch of fellow students who can study together and learn from each other. Indeed, I have gained a lot of knowledge far beyond the classes!

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In your opinion, what are the advantages of studying in SECCLO? My classmates are top students selected from all over the world and everyone has a different experiences. The majors at the partner universities are top in the world rank and you can get perfect education in SECCLO.

 

Zara, Pakistan, Intake 2020

What did you learn during the internship?
While working at Nokia as a DevOps trainee, I got the opportunity to work with the latest DevOps tools and technologies. It was an ideal opportunity to make use of the knowledge I gained from studying interesting courses at Aalto and implement it to solve real world problems. This experience made me familiar with the test automation for a large-scale telecommunication product. Furthermore, I got a chance to integrate automated security testing of the product into its CI pipeline and provide support to the testing engineer by fixing critical bugs. This internship not only made me familiar with the Finnish working culture, but also greatly enhanced my networking skills.

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Where are you doing your second-year studies and what are your expectations?
I will be joining KTH Royal Institute of technology for my second-year studies. I am excited to start off this new journey and experience living in Stockholm. I am also looking forward to learning interesting courses related to my specialization and gaining hands-on experience by working on a project that will help me grow personally and professionally.

What would you like to say to somebody who is considering applying to SECCLO?
Don’t spend too much time thinking. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will open multiple doors of opportunity for you. SECCLO is an ideal program if you have an interest in security and cloud computing. It offers a perfect balance between theorical studies and practical implementation. By being a part of this program, you will experience high-quality education from well reputed universities, get familiar with Finnish working culture, make new friends from different backgrounds, and explore many countries.

 

Sofia, Russia, Intake 2020

What did you learn during the internship?
My summer internship in a Finnish company was a great opportunity to experience what work life in Finland can be – engaging and peaceful at the same time. In my experience, Finnish companies were eager to hire a student from Aalto, so I could choose what company and field to work in. All in all, during that time I grew a lot, both professionally and personally, and I will definitely adopt some of the concepts of Finnish culture into my life.

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Where are you doing your second-year studies and what are your expectations?
I am doing my second year at DTU, Denmark. It is quite different from Aalto, and I am grateful for such an opportunity to explore different universities during my masters. This experience is indeed priceless, as it shows that education in Europe can be very different and everyone can find what they are passionate about. For me, courses and studying processes at DTU differ a lot from what I had during my bachelor’s and first year at Aalto, so I am looking forward to learning new concepts and growing professionally during this semester.

A nice surprise: even though we are currently living in Corona-times, all the studies here at DTU are held on campus with no restrictions, so we are lucky to be able to meet the professors and other fellow students face-to-face every day.
And, of course, living near stunning city of Copenhagen and exploring it during the weekends is a huge plus! 🙂

What would you like to say to somebody who is considering applying to SECCLO?
If you like exploring the world and meeting new interesting and intelligent people, not afraid of learning, passionate about Cyber Security and IT in general – SECCLO is a great opportunity to get it all! Not only you will get to study in one of the most high-ranking European universities, but also gain a network of international students and professors all over the world.

 

Axel, Finland, Intake 2020

What did you learn during the internship?
In contrast to my peers, I had a very easy time receiving an internship position. I wasn’t some magical super-student but simply employed already at the Finnish company Smartly.io. Initially, and before SECCLO, I was hired as a full-stack software engineer. However, for my internship, I wanted to do something different and perhaps more in line with the studies at SECCLO. So I proposed to Smartly that I’d do an internal rotation to the DevOps team, which they excitedly facilitated.

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I can honestly say that the most important thing I learned from my internship was how helpful, flexible, and understanding Finnish tech companies are. I’m not the only one with a similar story, you’ll find plenty of students on campus with similar experiences with “the industry”. If you’re looking for a highly engaging and, simply put, chill working environment, then an internship in Finland is nothing to miss. (Quick remark: this is not to say that I gained no technical skills; quite the contrary, I learned so much about actual DevOps workflows and even got to work/lead a project affecting the whole engineering department at Smartly!)

Where are you doing your second-year studies and what are your expectations?
Currently, I am writing to you all from Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera. My second year will be at EURECOM in the technopark of Sophia Antipolis, where the specialization is Big Data Security. As a Northener, I am expecting it to be warm and sunny most of the time.

As for the studies, I am expecting high-quality classes from excellent professors within my field of interest, namely cloud services and security (as well as malware analysis and reverse engineering). I am also expecting a slightly different working culture and environment.
Having studied most of my time in Finland I am grateful that this program is partly abroad, I find that to be a great opportunity to learn about different cultures.

What would you like to say to somebody who is considering applying to SECCLO?
Aalto is a top university, and so are all of the partner universities. If you’re looking for top-notch academia, a great work/life culture, and some proper sauna then there’s nothing to be hesitant about! (If you’re afraid of the cold then don’t be; I already miss the snow here in France).

 

Angel, Mexico, Intake 2020

What did you learn during the internship?
I learned how it is to work at an international company and specifically, how the working environment in Finland is. The application process helped me get a better picture of what Finnish companies expect from candidates and what their selection processes are. During the work, I was able to apply previous knowledge in real-world scenarios, which is always a very good opportunity to further improve acquired skills.

Where are you doing your second year studies and what are your expectations?
I’m doing my second-year studies at NTNU in Norway, where I expect to learn a lot about cybersecurity, particularly for Wireless Security and Blockchain technologies. I also hope I will be able to travel around Norway while I’m here, so I can learn more about the country and it’s culture.

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What would you like to say to somebody who is considering applying to SECCLO?
I think that if you have computing background and are new to security, SECCLO is a very good option to get into the field and obtain hands-on experience. Most courses are beginner-friendly and you also get a lot of support from colleagues, teachers and staff. It’s definitely a good opportunity to advance your career.

Alazar, Ethiopia, Intake 2020

What did you learn during the internship?

My internship has taught me valuable lessons. The application process, the interviews, the exercises, and the challenges have become my assets. It has shown me that “GIVING UP IS NEVER AN OPTION.” My internship at Eficode exposed me to the Finnish working environment, and I had the chance to apply what I learned in my bachelor’s and master’s classes. I have worked with Robot Framework, Heroku, GitHub action, and Nodejs. I have seen the product I worked on go live and functional.

Additionally, Eficode helped me get my Azure-104 certification. Although some of the tasks were challenges, I have accomplished them with the help of my colleagues. Because Eficode has more than 200 technical personnel, there was always an answer for any question I raised during my internship.

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Where are you doing your second-year studies, and what are your expectations?
For my second year, I am going to NTNU. I expect to get hands-on experience and more advanced knowledge; I am excited to enjoy the mountainous nature of Norway and “Northern light.” Additionally, I am eager to meet more international students and experience the Norwegian way of studying and working by exploring the job market in Norway.

What would you like to say to somebody who is considering applying to SECCLO?
When God opened my door to join SECCLO, I knew it was for so many reasons. One of the reasons is to encourage others to join SECCLO. It is a place where I had new, challenging, and exciting experiences. If you think you are into Cloud or Security and like challenges, then SECCLO is a place to start. If you are interested in joining the Nordic workforce, SECCLO is a place where you can get both knowledge and exposure to the nordic working environment. Especially for fellow African students like myself, if you plan to change your country and have adventure, no-more thinking twice, apply for SECCLO, and have two years of exposure that helps you contribute to your nation’s development.