Meet Mani Sundaram
For Mani Sundaram (MS ’99), attendance at Northeastern was somewhat happenstance. After getting an undergraduate degree in India, he was set on coming to the U.S. for graduate work. His father made something clear to his ambitious son: he only had enough money to support a one-way ticket. Due to cost of college applications, Sundaram applied to just four colleges. He got into Northeastern with a scholarship, though he thought he was applying to Northwestern, he admits now.
In the end, Sundaram could not be happier, as he credits Northeastern as a key factor in his professional achievements.
“What I learned at Northeastern gave me the foundation for what I do right now,” Sundaram said. “Without clearly understanding the foundations of computer science, it’s hard to be a security practitioner.”
After completing his MS degree, Sundaram was hired during an on-campus interview for Stratus Technologies, and later moved to Virtify. The bulk of his career, however, has been spent at Akamai, a web and internet security company. He is currently executive vice president and general manager of the Security and Technology Group, overseeing strategy and product direction for Akamai’s security solutions, as well as the business and platform security units’ core functions of engineering, product development, and product management.
Sundaram finds the security field very engaging because it is always changing and presenting new opportunities.
“The opportunities are boundless,” he said, noting that he’s approached each opportunity he’s been given with “the explicit goal of learning as much as possible.”
Since graduating, Sundaram has remained connected to Northeastern as an alumnus and donor. He and his wife Meena sponsor six students in the College of Professional Studies’ “A2M for Tech” program, which provides financial assistance to community college students continuing their studies at Northeastern. “It’s a joy to sponsor these students,” they said.
What I learned at Northeastern gave me the foundation for what I do right now. Without clearly understanding the foundations of computer science, it’s hard to be a security practitionerMani Sundaram, MSCS ‘99
In addition, numerous Northeastern students have pursued co-op opportunities at Akamai during Sundaram’s tenure.
“The one thing I have always admired about Northeastern students is they are very pragmatic,” Sundaram said. “They come in talking about how to get things done, something they are able to do on day one.”