If you haven’t heard of Husky Ambassadors, you’ve definitely seen us—the tour guides who strut through campus with prospective students, parents shuffling behind. As a freshman, I landed a work-study job with Undergraduate Admissions and the Visitor Center. I began memorizing Northeastern facts and figures, and by spring I was trained to give tours. This was two parts terrifying, one part exhilarating—but I was hooked immediately. Three years later, I remain a proud Husky Ambassador.
But how did this experience empower me? By teaching me admissions statistics and Northeastern history? (Ask me anything.) Well, no. It was the people.
Let’s start with Andrew Cameron. A loud, second-year business major who always had a joke or a sassy remark, he offered tips for giving better tours plus advice on classes and co-op. Andrew is the comedian and helping hand at the Visitor Center who’s taught me to invest my whole self and heart into the Husky Ambassador’s role.
Then there are Jennifer Cordero, Michelle McDermott, and Leigh McNamara. These women worked with me that first year and showed me how sisterhood could be a positive force in my life. Charismatic and, like Andrew, helpful, their stories empowered me to go through sorority recruitment, where I found myself yet another Northeastern family.
There are others, too—Nyera Yousef, Rachel Weiss, John Leo, Ryan Gordon, Victoria Hanau, Hannah Becker—and so many more who’ve shared their stories with me. Husky Ambassadors have a mantra: “We all have stories to tell. What will yours be?” These people, all 300 and more, have shared their passions, background, and experiences with me, as well as with visitors on our campus tours.
It’s hard not to be empowered by Northeastern students. Like me, they have lived amazing lives so far. And, like me, they believe in the power of sharing.
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.
For Carla Oblas, director of Northeastern’s Balfour Academy, helping young people in underserved schools has empowered students in their quest for a college education—and it has empowered her along the way.
I worked in Northeastern’s dining services as a part-time dishwasher and server, and was eventually invited to be a co-op assistant manager. It was the start of an incredible opportunity that far exceeded the typical college experience.
Northeastern has been a part of my life from the beginning. My father, William Kneeland Jr., DMSB’67, worked at the university for nearly 30 years, and to me, he is Northeastern.
Due in large part to Dr. Heron’s guidance and belief in me, I finished my bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration while working full-time and later earned my executive MBA from Northeastern.
S'73, MA'75, PhD'78
I owe my career satisfaction to co-op and my adviser, Professor Nancy Caruso. As a Northeastern professor, I have hired many wonderful co-op students in the course of almost 25 years.
Growing up, I launched businesses from my parents’ basement. By the time I was a high school senior, I was running a thriving IT support company and building websites for dozens of customers.
My degree provided a new level of professionalism, required for advancement in nursing. Northeastern’s innovative Nursing Interim Program influenced my work as a caregiver, manager, and risk taker—and throughout my career, I encouraged creative thinking and educational opportunities for my staff.
Professor Adomdza has empowered me to take full advantage of global experiential learning and has helped shape me into the person I am today: a budding entrepreneur prepared through coursework, research, and co-op for whatever opportunities come my way.
When I arrived at Northeastern I had very vague ideas about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to go into medicine but I had no idea where to go or who to go to about getting that kind of mentoring.
At age 37, I was a stay-at-home mother of three young children and in the midst of a divorce. I knew I needed an education or I wouldn’t be able to secure a job doing much of anything. I am where I am today because of Northeastern and my family, and I’m forever grateful.
Balancing work and school, and being on co-op, has taught me how to live life as an adult. Northeastern’s career-oriented atmosphere changed me. It’s made me more mature.
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.
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.