William Salisbury, AS’64

Whether he was working in a law practice, the office of the Governor of Massachusetts, or the administrative offices of Northeastern University, William Salisbury learned one invaluable skill during his co-op experiences: How to deal with people.

“I think that’s what I realized early on. You learn a lot about people and how they behave and how things worked in the real world,” said Salisbury, who recently retired as president of Fiduciary Services Inc., in Norwell, MA. “No matter what job you find yourself in, whether it’s a co-op job or one you get after graduation, you have to learn how to deal with people.”

Salisbury said the diversity of his co-op jobs allowed for a wide range of experiences. But it was the people skills he acquired that he feels have benefited him to this day.

“I was lucky that I had worked for some really good people when I was on co-op,” Salisbury said, “particularly [at Northeastern], when I worked for Ken Ryder, who was the dean of administration, and Bill White, who was the provost. They were dealing with people all of the time and I learned a lot from them.”

But sometimes a co-op experience can be valuable for swaying you away from a particular career path, something Salisbury realized after spending two terms working for former Massachusetts Gov. John A. Volpe in the early 1960s.

“It was a very interesting job,” Salisbury said, “but it probably cured me of elected politics pretty quickly.”