Listening to top officials from U.S. security firms discuss the cybersecurity threats facing the global community gave Elisabeth Fiumara an insider’s perspective on an emerging industry.
“From taking part in these meetings at a conference in London, I learned an incredible amount about a growing industry,” said Fiumara, a third-year communication studies major and emerging markets and international relations minor.
“We heard about real-world examples of web hacking and email hacking, and even how to know you’re getting hacked,” she added. “To hear about the future of an industry like this is one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of.”
Fiumara helped organized the conference, which was hosted last month by the U.S. embassy in London and focused on leading U.S. cybersecurity firms pitching their products to international companies. She is currently on co-op there as a trade assistant for the U.S. Commercial Service within the U.S. Department of Commerce, which supports and promotes U.S. trade, investments and exports in the U.K. market.
Fiumara performs market research on the cybersecurity, technology and renewable energy industries and makes arrangements with leaders at American firms to attend trade shows and conferences to connect with international firms. For much of her co-op, she has helped organize a trade mission in the U.K. so that U.S. energy-sector firms can learn about overseas markets and discuss the latest technology breakthroughs with potential business partners.
The U.K. has committed to producing 35 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The country is eyeing a transition to smart-grid technology that monitors, analyzes, controls and communicates with an electricity delivery system to maximize throughput while reducing consumption, creating the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective system possible.
“Meeting with CEOs and top officials from these companies offers me some insight into the best strategies for entering new markets and setting up businesses,” said Fiumara, who is interested in pursuing a career in change management and strategy consulting. “It’s been incredibly rewarding and informative.”
Fiumara’s co-op in London marks her third international experiential-learning opportunity at Northeastern. She began her college career in London through the university’s NUin program and last year participated in a Dialogue of Civilizations program in Brazil.
“I’ve always wanted to have a global perspective on life and Northeastern has been instrumental in offering these opportunities,” she said.