Discovering new possibilities through cybersecurity

August 09, 2022

Altrin Elmazi selfie at his desk with inspiring words on wall behind him

Altrin Elmazi MS ’22 had bright hopes for his future when he came to the United States to study computer science. With ambition and dedication, he was able to turn his hopes into reality.  

Working as Thomaston Savings Bank Systems' security officer, Elmazi worked his way up from systems security administrator to vice president and information security officer for 16 branches. 

After almost pursuing a master’s in business administration, Elmazi is now on track to earn his master’s degree this summer in cybersecurity at Quinnipiac.

“When I saw cybersecurity being advertised as a master’s degree at Quinnipiac, I knew this was the path that I wanted,” he said.  

He said his switch from business to cybersecurity was an evolution that didn’t happen overnight.  

“All banks are regulated, and the chief information officers were looking for people who would do networking and systems, but they will have some cybersecurity skills at the same time,” Elmazi said. “They look for security knowledge, so we can first protect the data, and then show in the audit how we protect the data. They want to see how we protect the assets of the bank.” 

To start his cybersecurity career, Elmazi worked on networking and systems. As part of the bank’s security process, he worked as a system security administrator. Since banks are heavily regulated, they’re audited routinely and data is highly protected, he said.  

“Imagine one day you go to work and you don’t have a computer,” Elmazi said. “You can’t do your work. Everything stops. cybersecurity protects that computer and it protects your data.”

Mastering cybersecurity took Elmazi some soul-searching and self-recognition. 

“I found that you have to know what’s important, but you have to be humble and willing to continue to progress and learn because things in cybersecurity are changing so fast,” he said. “You have to be very modest and say, 'listen, I know a lot, but there’s a lot to learn as well.'” 

One of the memories Elmazi cherishes the most while he studied at Quinnipiac was the strong relationship he built with the university’s Director of the Cybersecurity Program Frederick Scholl, who he describes as a very open person who will sit down and talk about what is going on in the cyber-world and beyond.  

“He has a near-perfect academic record,” Scholl said. “He has already demonstrated outstanding professionalism and leadership in the cybersecurity field and I look forward to his continuing success.” 

Elmazi is grateful for all the knowledge he’s acquired during his time at Quinnipiac.  

“The professors at Quinnipiac teach you how to view cybersecurity from different angles,” Elmazi said. 

To current and prospective students, Elmazi offers the following advice: 

“Take your time to consider what area you would excel in, whether it’s a cybersecurity professional, a cyber engineer, a penetration test, or in vulnerability management architect. Look at all possibilities, find where your strength is and become a subject matter expert.”   

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now