Interview with Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli
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16 May 2024

Interview with Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli

It is our pleasure to introduce our Computer Science graduate Rina Basholli (BSc in Computer Science and MSc in Advanced Software Engineering graduate) a highly accomplished and renowned cybersecurity expert, who has made a significant impact in the industry through her unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise. Rina has established herself as a Woman Pioneer of Cybersecurity, recognised for her groundbreaking work and innovative approaches. Today, working as the Information Security Lead at KODE Labs, she continues to drive change and advancement in the field. She has earned herself various accolades, such as the Woman Game Changer (Albanian Cyber Association - ACA) and has been nominated for others like the ‘Global Cyber Woman 2023’. She also is a very sought-after public speaker. In this interview she speaks about her career but also about her student years at CITY College.


Why did you choose to study at CITY College? What studies did you complete?

CITY had the exact program and curricula that I wanted to pursue for my future career at that time.

CITY College offered the precise program and curriculum I was seeking to propel my career forward in computer science and cybersecurity. I completed my Bachelor's in Computer Science with honors. The comprehensive coursework encompassed areas such as computer security & digital forensics, information security, robotics, functional programming, data structures and algorithms, and system analysis and design, which then led to my desire to pursue a Master's degree in Information Security & Forensics laying a solid foundation for my future endeavors in cybersecurity.

Rina Basholli, InfoSec Lead at KODE Labs

Rina Basholli, InfoSec Lead at KODE Labs


What inspired you to pursue your chosen field of study, and how did it align with your career goals?

The ever-evolving landscape of technology and its vulnerabilities inspired me to specialize in cybersecurity. I aimed to contribute meaningfully to safeguarding digital infrastructures and data integrity. Pursuing this field aligned perfectly with my aspirations to become a trailblazer in cybersecurity, especially as the first woman in my country to do so. My studies at CITY College provided me with the essential knowledge and skills to embark on this path.


Where do you currently work? What has been your career path so far?

Currently, I work as an InfoSec Lead at KODE Labs - an American Kosovar Company that enables smart buildings worldwide. Some clients we enable are: Empire State Realty Trust, VISA, Ford, Oxford, Westbank etc.

My second job is actively contributing to the cybersecurity community in my country and beyond. I have been awarded and recognised from multiple international and national NGOs and Conferences for my contribution to the community including here:

Featured in:

  • What’ s Her journey - Women in Security Magazine, Issue 16, Australia;
  • Kosovo Women Leaving Their mark on ICT - Eddie Rabeyrin, PI;
  • RTK National TV - Carrier and Emerging Cybersecurity Threats;
  • Global Cybersecurity Woman of the Year 2023 Nominee;

Speaker of:

  • DISICON 2023 - USAID, NDI;
  • Is Disinformation the Next Big Threat Podcast - USAID, NDI;
  • American Chamber - Public-Private partnership ramps up national cyber security


  • Woman Game Changer - Albanian Cyber Association (ACA)
  • Global Cyber Woman 2023 Nominee

My career path has been dynamic, starting from specialized positions in banking, education firms doing threat analysis, incident response, security architecture design and compliance to progressively assuming roles of greater responsibility and leadership. Along the way, I've been fortunate to engage in diverse projects impacting Kosovo’ s National Security by contributing on policy making.

Interview with CITY College, Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli


How did CITY College support your academic and career development?

CITY College provided a nurturing environment conducive to academic excellence and personal growth. The faculty members were not only knowledgeable but also invested in their students' success. Moreover, the university facilitated internships, workshops, and networking opportunities that exposed me to real-world challenges and industry insights, which were invaluable in shaping my career trajectory.


In your opinion, what sets CITY College apart from other institutions, and how did this contribute to your success?

CITY stands out for its amazing academic staff, commitment to academic rigor, innovative teaching methodologies, and strong industry connections. The institution's emphasis on practical, hands-on learning experiences equipped me with the skills needed to excel in my field. Additionally, the supportive community and alumni network provided a solid foundation for my professional growth and success.

Interview with CITY College, Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli


Can you share a memorable experience or project from your time at CITY College that significantly contributed to your personal and professional growth?

One memorable project during my time at CITY College was the Industrial Project. The Industrial involved developing a comprehensive application for a local Greek Tech NGO. This hands-on experience allowed me to experience real life all the theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios, honing my problem-solving abilities and teamwork skills. The success of this project not only boosted my confidence but also reaffirmed my passion for technology and in particular cybersecurity.


How would you describe the experience of being a student in Thessaloniki? Your student lif e experience there?

Studying in Thessaloniki was a rich and fulfilling experience. The vibrant student community, cultural diversity, and historical significance of the city created a dynamic backdrop for academic pursuits. From exploring the city's landmarks to participating in student clubs and activities, my time in Thessaloniki was characterized by personal growth, lifelong friendships, and unforgettable memories.

Interview with CITY College, Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli


What life lessons did you learn from your experiences during your studies?

My studies at CITY College taught me the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and continuous learning. I learned to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and to remain resilient in the face of adversity. Moreover, I discovered the power of collaboration and mentorship in achieving shared goals and fostering professional development.


As a successful graduate, how have you applied the knowledge and skills you gained at our university to your current career?

The knowledge and skills acquired at CITY College have been instrumental in shaping my career as a cybersecurity expert. Whether it's conducting risk assessments, developing security controls, or mitigating cyber threats, the foundational education I received has been invaluable. Furthermore, the critical thinking and problem-solving abilities honed during my studies continue to guide me in navigating complex cybersecurity challenges effectively.

Interview with CITY College, Computer Science alumna, Rina Basholli


How has CITY College’ s reputation and network of alumni in Kosovo and the broader region played a role in your professional growth and success?

CITY College's strong reputation and extensive alumni network have played a pivotal role in my professional growth and success. The university's esteemed reputation opened doors to opportunities and collaborations, while the alumni network provided mentorship, support, and valuable industry connections. Leveraging these resources, I've been able to stay abreast of industry trends, forge meaningful partnerships, and make significant contributions to the cybersecurity landscape in Kosovo and beyond.


What do you cherish from the time you spent at CITY College the most?

The sense of community and the whole Computer Science Academic Staff at CITY College is something I cherish deeply. The friendships forged, the mentorship received, and the memories created during my time there are invaluable to me. Additionally, I am grateful for the quality education and opportunities that CITY College provided, which laid the groundwork for my professional journey.


What advice would you give to current students who aspire to follow a successful career path?

My advice to current students is to stay curious, remain resilient, and never stop learning. Embrace every opportunity to expand your knowledge, develop new skills, and challenge yourself. Build strong relationships with peers, faculty members, and industry professionals, as these connections can open doors and provide invaluable guidance. Most importantly, stay true to your passion and persevere in the face of obstacles, knowing that every setback is an opportunity for growth. With dedication, determination, and a willingness to seize opportunities, success is within reach.


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