Working with Big Blue across the Deep Blue

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July 16, 2010
Northeastern University and IBM are collaborating to launch an innovative co-op program that will place students in exciting, professional business roles across the globe.

The program is starting as a pilot, with six students working in three IBM locations in the Philippines, Argentina and Costa Rica. The group includes students pursuing a variety of degrees, such as economics, business, international affairs, and computer science. They will be involved in project management roles to help IBM teams respond to the company’s operations and delivery needs.

The program was spearheaded by Peter Lynt, a 1983 graduate of the College of Business Administration and IBM’s general manager of global business process delivery. The students will all work out of Lynt’s business group, and Lynt will serve as a resource to the students during his visits to the facilities.

As a Northeastern graduate, Lynt said he knows first-hand the value of the University’s signature co-op program, adding that students who are immersed in an international culture will have a leg up in a competitive job market that continues to become more globally focused.

“Cultural diversity is becoming a major component of the business world,” Lynt said. “How you deal with different cultures and get different tasks completed is a very different element of one’s education now.”

Lynt sees the program as an opportunity for students to gain international work experience at a globally integrated company, and for IBM to tap into Northeastern’s talented student body as a source of potential full-time employees.

Organizers of the program hope the students return with rewarding experiences, and that the program can expand to other countries and roles within IBM. Experiential learning opportunities, both in the United States and overseas, are a core component of a Northeastern education.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Frankie Gonzalez, a senior international co-op advisor at Northeastern. “The experience that the students will gain from just being able to work under Peter in three different locations will provide them with a better picture of how IBM operates globally.”

The new international co-op program builds on a strong partnership between Northeastern and IBM, which have worked together on several initiatives, including an innovative online MBA program for IBM employees in India and China.