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!” Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies Master of Science in Leadership program was the standout choice for me because of its exceptional faculty and blended program of on-line and in person classes.
This program put the theory behind what I knew from my corporate experience. It was enriching to share perspectives with a highly talented and experienced cohort. As a result of the program, we all learned to think differently about the meaning of leadership and how we might use our talents. Our professor, Chris Brooks, stands out as one of the most challenging teachers I’ve ever had. He pushed us to think deeply as we explored the meaning of justice and the ethical dilemmas leaders face.
I’m passionate about being a voice for the Boomers; about rethinking how we can spend this next chapter of our lives, learning and growing. For my final project, I reflected on famous historical figures who did great work into their 70s and 80s such as Michelangelo who at 87 and still working, said, “Ancora imparo”—“I am still learning.”
Instead of another corporate job, I decided on a bridge career in teaching. Today I do HR consulting and teach leadership at Johnson and Wales University. The wisdom I gained from Chris Brooks is indelibly etched into all the work I do with my clients and students. And, I am still learning.
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 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.
LI'59, UC'62, H'89
After I received my engineering degree, I went on to University College and took a course in business law with Professor Victor Cohen. He was one of the toughest professors I ever had, but I must tell you, he would really put the law into you.
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.