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See Johanna's story

My Background

My last undergrad co-op at Northeastern—technical writing for a financial software startup—started me on the path to computer science. I then went to Akamai Technologies, where I wrote documentation on computer networks before joining Rapid7 to document their security automation product.

I found Align as I was forming my career plan: technology law focused on consumer data privacy. The program cares about people from a variety of backgrounds and leverages their diverse skills. That’s important. I knew Northeastern would get me ready for a tech career—not just give me a degree.


Dr. Leena Razzaq was my advisor for the Align Scholarship as well as my professor for CS5001. She really cares about what students are learning and comprehending. She’s very patient, which is a must because these are difficult concepts to grasp when you’re new to computer science. I never once felt like I couldn’t get help when I needed it.


Align is great because you get a master’s degree, but you won’t just code for the rest of your life. The technical understanding enhances your current experience. Everyone takes a different path into the program—but it’s not just one product coming out. The output is as diverse as the input.

After completing the Align bridge, I actually started relevant cybersecurity master’s courses. Without the content I learned through the bridge, I would not have been able to understand any of the material or assignments for these courses, let alone move on to learn concepts unique to cybersecurity. You truly can branch out and find your own path in computer science with Align.

My Future

I’ve since matriculated into PhD in Cybersecurity here at Khoury after falling in love with what I was learning in the master’s coursework. I never anticipated pursuing a doctorate program, much less in the computer sciences, and none of this would have been possible without what I learned through Align.

Student Stories

Each student takes a different path to—and through—the Align Master’s Program. Explore their stories, then start your own.

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