Dennis J. Picard is chairman emeritus of Raytheon Company, a major American technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security, and other government markets throughout the world. In August 1989, he became president of the company and in March 1991 chairman and chief executive officer. Dennis retired as CEO in December 1998 and stepped down as chairman in July 1999.
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Who Empowered You?
Behind every Northeastern graduate is a story of empowerment — often, a story about a formative personal or mentoring relationship. Please add your testimonial to the growing collection and share a favorite memory or anecdote about your empower source.
My father-in-law said if I was ever going to marry his daughter, I’d better go to college. Things worked out! Because of the people I met at Northeastern, I had a great career, and I and my late wife, Nancy—also an alum—were married for 37 years.
I had been a senior vice president of human resources with a successful corporate career. The day my job was eliminated, in 2007, I looked at my husband and said, “I’m going to start my own business and go back to school!”
I can still picture her: a petite college grad, not much older than I was—my co-op advisor’s assistant. When I told her I wanted a co-op with a Big Eight accounting firm, she just laughed. “With your grades?”
I was a Torch Scholar in this incredible program’s second year. My mentor at Northeastern—James Stellar, then dean of the former College of Arts and Sciences—introduced me to research and took me under his wing. I worked in his neuroscience lab.
As a junior at the business school, I managed to slip into an oversubscribed class on real estate finance taught by Steve Kursh. There weren’t enough chairs, so only the seniors were invited to enroll that semester. Somehow, I stayed.
It isn’t often that you encounter a manager who is both brilliant and extraordinarily caring, but that’s exactly what I got in Brenna McCarthy. I did a co-op at John Hancock Funds, where I assisted Brenna in marketing operations.
I was discharged from the Army in ’73, when the economy was faltering badly. I had no career direction. Joe Golemme convinced me to enroll at the Graduate School of Professional Accounting, which he both founded and directed.
I have wanted to attend Northeastern ever since I watched my dad graduate in Matthews Arena, when I was ten. It was my dream to follow in his footsteps.
As a “double Husky,” I’ve had some great teacher-mentors whose knowledge and solid advice have propelled my career successes. Professor James Ramos is one, though we’ve only ever met online.