Douglas King, BS'69

As a middler, Doug King, BS'69, could be seen racing his old pickup truck between campus and various work sites. The Milton, Massachusetts, native balanced working in the area's booming construction industry while attending business classes at Northeastern.

By the time he was 21, Doug was overseeing various large scale residential and commercial projects, had started his own development business, and was spending his free evenings working as a taxi driver to offset tuition. "I discovered what I wanted to do attending Northeastern, but learned how to work with people—by driving a cab," he says. "The key to success as a taxi driver is to listen, figure out what your passengers want, and always treat people how you want to be treated."

In 1969, Doug graduated with a bachelor’s of science in finance and insurance, and while most alumni his age were clouded by uncertainty of what the future entailed, the entrepreneur was already on the fast track to becoming an award-winning real estate developer. "I was lucky to know what I wanted to do at a young age," he shares.

Some 35 years later, Douglas A. King Builders, Inc., has built more than 1,400 single-family homes, condominium units, and rental homes, as well as commercial developments. These range from shopping plazas and luxury office buildings to historic rehabs and a medical center in Avon, Brockton, Canton, Easton, Mansfield, Milton, Norton, Raynham, Sharon, Taunton, Walpole and Quincy. "I definitely have the right job. I like it—I still like it!" adds Doug.

Still working 12 to 14 hour days, he finds time to give back to the community, mentoring Northeastern alumni and contributing to a variety of local organizations.

On his decision to attend Northeastern:
"When I went to Northeastern, I was not in a position to go to an expensive school. I had to pay my tuition and wanted to continue to work construction in the area. I was drawn to the co-op program as I could continue to do both."

On the value of co-op:
"I am most grateful that I got to learn what I did, and didn't want to pursue early on. After co-ops with an insurance company, a federal auditing agency, and a construction firm, I was confident that development was the best path for me."

Advice for students considering Northeastern’s co-op education model:
"It’s hard to say you don’t want to do something—until you do it. It’s hard to say what you really like—until you experience it. The co-op program allows young coeds to take risks, try out various careers, and explore what they like without big consequences. The more you can experience and visualize, the more you are prepared for the opportunity to do what you like best. Work harder, work smarter, work longer, get a job you like, and find what stimulates you!"