Alumni Profile - Sarah Al-Azzani

Security Analyst, Accenture

"I met the best people, was taught by the best lecturers, worked with the best colleagues and had the best memories. If there is one year in my life I wouldn't mind reliving, its my MSc year at Birmingham."  

MSc Computer Security (2008) and PhD Computer Science (2013)

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I realised I had to consider three things: the importance of the course, my passion for the course and lastly a strong reputation and high employability rates from my chosen university. I found what I needed with the University of Birmingham and I was successful in securing a job immediately after graduation.

What were the best points of your course at the University?

It covered lots of different critical topics within security, focusing on principles and building the foundations needed to do well in your career. In my career as a security analyst, I apply networking, cryptography and security controls, all of which stemmed from what I learned at Birmingham. Also there is a very high level of support within the School; for each module we had support lessons, frequent exercises to test our understanding and lecturers have office hours which are communicated to students.

What's the best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham?

  1. The University cares and listens to its students. I was a student rep and I have seen the University listen to students and take action. 
  2. The University takes extra care to build connections with industry to increase employability rates.
  3. They take extra steps to address student welfare, support students with disabilities and are committed to ensuring ethical conduct.

What was the highlight of your time at the University?

I met the best people, was taught by the best lecturers, worked with the best colleagues and had the best memories. If there is one year in my life I wouldn't mind reliving, its my MSc year at Birmingham.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying on the course?

If you like a challenge, are driven, determined and highly motivated then Security might be the right course for you. As a security specialist you are an asser for any company you work for, given the daily news on cyber attacks, your options are wide and employability rates are high.