A North­eastern stu­dent who came to Boston dreaming of a career with NASA dis­cov­ered a new pas­sion when a variety of work expe­ri­ences with com­pa­nies in the United States, China and the United Arab Emi­rates gave him an unex­pected appre­ci­a­tion for devel­oping effi­cient solu­tions and strate­gies for busi­ness and government.

Matthew Strax-​​Haber, a senior busi­ness and com­puter sci­ence dual major, did achieve his goal of working at NASA, on a research computer-​​engineering co-​​op at the agency’s Lan­gley facility in Virginia. Though it was rewarding and chal­lenging, he found that he pre­ferred using his com­puter know-​​how and problem-​​solving skills to find new ways of inno­vating in busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment, a dis­covery that was rein­forced on his sub­se­quent co-​​op jobs.

For example, he spent this past summer in Dubai working as a con­sulting intern for McK­insey & Com­pany, one of the world’s top man­age­ment con­sulting firms.

When I got there, the focused envi­ron­ment and great men­tor­ship pro­vided an amazing learning expe­ri­ence,” Strax-​​Haber said of the highly com­pet­i­tive job overseas.

Against the odds, Strax-​​Haber was part of the tiny number of interns hired out­side a tight circle of the Ivy League and other elite uni­ver­si­ties, some­thing he credits to his expe­ri­ences on co-​​op, help from career coun­selors at North­eastern and coaching from fra­ter­nity brothers in Beta Theta Pi

What North­eastern pro­vides more than any­thing is an oppor­tu­nity to get out in the real world and apply what you learn,” said Strax-​​Haber.

In addi­tion to his summer in Dubai, Strax-​​Haber spent time in China on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram and later worked in legal com­pli­ance and investor rela­tions as an intern for YGSoft.

China was a totally new expe­ri­ence for me,” Strax-​​Haber said, saying his time in Asia pushed him to fur­ther develop his Chi­nese lan­guage skills, which he was using to trans­late cor­po­rate doc­u­ments from Chi­nese to English.

In recog­ni­tion of his global busi­ness work, last month Strax-​​Haber was named one of Northeastern’s first Pres­i­den­tial Global Entrepreneurs.

Before his expe­ri­ences abroad, Strax-​​Haber worked co-​​op jobs in San Diego, where he was a soft­ware engi­neer for Intuit, and in Boston at IBM, where he got a first-​​hand look at how a major multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion works to best serve its cus­tomers’ needs.

His experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties “really taught me that I wanted to do some­thing in gov­ern­ment or busi­ness where I could really help people,” Strax-​​Haber said.