Stu­dent com­mence­ment speaker MJ Paradiso’s fondest memory of North­eastern took place in a rural vil­lage in eastern China, more than 7,000 miles away from the university’s Hunt­ington Avenue campus.

On a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions in 2007, the inter­na­tional busi­ness major spent a day playing with chil­dren in China’s Anhui province, an inland sec­tion of south­east China.

Though Par­adiso faced a lan­guage bar­rier, the oppor­tu­nity to bond with the young­sters exem­pli­fied his global tenure at North­eastern, during which he spent as much time com­pleting inter­na­tional co-​​ops and studying abroad in Ger­many, China and Brazil as he did taking notes and preparing for exams in Boston.

The way we con­nected and the fact that we didn’t speak each other’s lan­guage was some­thing very spe­cial,” Par­adiso recalled. “It was an unfor­get­table moment.”

Paradiso’s wide range of inter­na­tional expe­ri­ences, as well as his role in stu­dent life on campus, made him the per­fect can­di­date to inspire the future leaders of the world, said Ed Klotz­bier, vice pres­i­dent and dean of stu­dent affairs.

A com­mittee com­prised of fac­ulty and staff chose Par­adiso to deliver the address to his fellow stu­dents after viewing a video of his per­for­mance of the speech.

Paradiso’s speech focused on the unique oppor­tu­ni­ties for the Class of 2010 to explore the world through co-​​op, study abroad, Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions and other over­seas opportunities.

He’s got a lot of energy and a great mes­sage,” said Klotz­bier. “He embodies the stu­dent who’s expe­ri­enced it all.”

Indeed, Paradiso’s resume reads like that of a busi­ness exec­u­tive with years of expe­ri­ence in the industry. He studied abroad for two years at Reut­lingen Uni­ver­sity, in Ger­many, through Northeastern’s Bach­elor of Sci­ence in Inter­na­tional Busi­ness (BSIB) pro­gram; com­pleted consumer-​​marketing co-​​ops for Gen­eral Elec­tric, in Cleve­land, and Procter & Gamble in Frank­furt; and par­tic­i­pated in the Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in China and Brazil. He speaks fluent German.

He got involved in stu­dent life from Day 1 on campus. From 2006–2007, he was the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Association’s vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs. In 2006, he helped found NUCALLS, a free, peer-​​taught lan­guage pro­gram that pro­vides stu­dents with an outlet to share their knowl­edge on dif­ferent lan­guages and cultures.

He’s rel­ished every minute of his expe­ri­ence at North­eastern — espe­cially those more poignant moments among his peers, who impressed him with their ded­i­ca­tion to shaping ini­tia­tives, such as NUCALLS, and his co-​​op job man­agers, who trusted him with large-​​scale projects.

Speaking on behalf of the Class of 2010, he said, “We’ve had all these oppor­tu­ni­ties to meet people in the com­mu­nity, across the nation and around the world. They are ordi­nary people, but their sto­ries have truly inspired us. Now it’s our oppor­tu­nity to go into the world to serve as inspi­ra­tion for the next generation.”