IL MEDITERRANEO: Convergence of Culture, Lifestyle and Endless Opportunity

Expanding Northeastern’s global footprint one city at a time..

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations


My fall outreach trip started in Lisbon, or Lisboa as is more commonly referred, where I had several meetings planned across different industry sectors.  After a quick flight from Boston to Portugal and little jet lag, I headed to Maden Parque, a science and technology park in the north of Lisbon and affiliated with The NOVA University of Lisbon – its most important stakeholder, whose mission is to interface between academia and start-ups.  A year earlier, it was a fortuitous encounter to meet the Director, Alicino Pascoal, at the Global Talent Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, and it was there that we decided to keep in touch and explore experiential learning synergies between our two entities.

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Lisbon, Portugal

During my three day stay in Portugal (which is not technically considered part of the Mediterranean), I met with two architectural firms, three start-ups, two universities, and one business incubator.  Here in the old city meeting with the Vangaurdscale team, we honed in on new co-ops for students in our own back yard.  From the collaboration with Promontorio Partners and our esteemed architecture faculty, students will now have the opportunity to work on restorations and renovations as far as Lisbon or as close as Harvard Square.

With a focus on the vibrant start-up presence in Portugal, I met with two unique groups – one a niche housing provider in Lisbon and the other a game designer closer to Porto.  Both organizations, have posted co-op positions and together have received over ten applications for the January to June cycle.


Making my way down the Straight of Gibraltar, brought me to magical Fez, Morocco.  There, I met up with an NU alumnus who has been working as an adjunct professor at the American Cultural Center.  As it turned out, the riad I was staying at in the medina was a

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Fez, Morocco

good friend and familiar with Northeastern’s experiential learning programs.  It was then that I crafted a proposal for the riad to host its first-ever co-op.  Now, fast-forward a few months, and the riad management team has offered a hybrid XN and co-op opportunity, to help create an oral history of the historic riad and the immediate neighborhood.  A Northeastern student will be paired with a Moroccan student; and together, they will go into the medina and interview descendants of previous owners and neighbors, record the interviews, translate them and present them on a simple website.  Ultimately, the riad would like to create an app that could be used for self-guided tours around the medina.  Brilliant opportunities for Northeastern!


Nestled between Northern Africa and Sicily, you will find Malta smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean.  Here, we have created a Northeastern hub for our pharmacy students,

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Valletta, Malta

where students have been co-op’ing in Malta for the past decade working in pharmacies across this bustling island.  It seemed time to expand our global offerings to include other disciplines, such as architecture and engineering.  With the assistance of our partner, Geovisions, we plan to integrate additional opportunities for students in these majors.  Photographed here is the Chief Architect of ARC Studio and his design team; just one of the new partners excited to learn about Northeastern’s array of experiential programs.


A good part of the Global ER team’s outreach strategy has to do with leveraging connections – with current co-ops, parents, alumni, admissions, development, and our

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Cagliari, Sardegna

university peers.  Traveling northwest from Malta to the much larger island of Sardinia, engulfed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, I was welcomed by our university partner, University of Cagliari (pronounced “Cal-yi-ar-ree”) or UNICA.  With regular-standing co-ops in civil and environmental engineering, it seemed a logical next step to broaden our partnership to include increased faculties.  After meeting with our current co-ops, photographed here, it became clear why this destination is increasingly popular among Northeastern students.  Not only are co-ops able to enroll in free Italian language courses, but they also work directly under designated research faculty, supporting their professional area of interest.  The mix of culture, career preparation, and easy access to traveling across Europe were some of the key factors atop their list.


One of the most rewarding parts of my job is when I meet with Huskies on the road.   Northeastern takes any opportunity to celebrate its thousands of alumni/ae – and, it is in

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Madrid, Spain

these moments we can say “thank you” back.  NU has established over 40 Alumni Communities worldwide, and it was with great pleasure to participate in the pre-launch of the Madrid community alongside the leadership team.  I saw first-hand the excitement and dedication from our Madrid alumni/ae; they have tremendous enthusiasm to remain connected to Northeastern.  The official launch celebration of the Madrid Alumni Community took place on October 25th, and with a lot of fanfare from near and far.  Go Huskies!



What do you get when you mix cocoa and hazelnuts?  Nutella!  Yes, you got that right!  As history goes, it was by sheer accident that baker, Pietro Ferrero, needed to stretch his

Alane De Luca, Director of Global Employer Relations in Luxembourg

chocolate supply and “mistakenly” created the “Pasta Gianduja” or chocolate paste as it were.  Due to World War II rationing, there was very little chocolate to be found in the Piedmont region and cocoa was in short supply, but, hazelnuts, on the other hand, were plentiful!  ..and so you could say, the rest is history.  Here, it was an honor to end my trip visiting Ferrero Headquarters, meeting with the talent management team, and learning about the Ferrero story.  The Ferrero-Northeastern partnership has deepened over the past year, and has grown to include co-ops in both Luxembourg and Barcelona.  Experiential learning at its best ~ how sweet it is!

Alane De Luca oversees the Global Employer Relations team and global lead-generation initiatives within Career Development and Cooperative Education.  She comes to Northeastern with 25+ years of experience working in the international education arena.  Alane’s passion for global experiential learning began when she was a Peace Corps

Volunteer in West Africa, where she worked alongside NGO’s and native Senegalese in rural parts of northern Senegal.  Upon returning to the states, she assumed a position funded by the United States Agency for International Development focusing on initiatives set forth by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and administered at Northeastern. She also has experience directing global and experiential learning programs within academia at Merrimack College, Salem State University, Suffolk University Law School, and Saint Anselm College.  She is a dual citizen of Italy, holds an M.Ed. from Northeastern University and a B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien







“Co-op” by Abby Duclos, Senior, DMSB- Finance

The reason I came to Northeastern was the co-op program. In fact, I even pushed myself to do NUin Costa Rica to come here – definitely one of the craziest but best decisions I have made to date. As the years go by, as I get older, NEU seems to get better and better. The students are better; the classes are better, the campus is better, the jobs are better, etc. And, honestly – I am not even entirely sure I would get in now if I applied again as a senior in high school. People want to come here – and why is that? People want to come here because Northeastern University graduates get Jobs.

You are almost guaranteed to get a job straight of college if you go to NEU… 92% of graduates are employed full-time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months after graduation

Little did I know before becoming a Career Fellow last month, the Co-op department and the Career Development office at Northeastern are two separate entities. Students have two separate teams of people whose jobs are to help them get a killer job. I also learned that Northeastern has one of the best Career Development departments in the country, which, to be honest, should not come as a surprise. From day one, students are taught to live and breathe experiential learning. There are pros and cons to this approach:

Pros: (speaking for myself) Students are EXTREMELY prepared for the real world in comparison to the majority of their peers at other universities
Cons: The NEU experience is not a typical college experience what-so-ever, which tends to turn people off

Without diving too deep into why I love experiential learning, (I am honestly so excited about experiential learning it gives me pain not to launch into a full-scale rant about how great it has been for me and why EVERYONE should have at least one experience before he or she leave University.) I thought I would use this time to give a high-level overview regarding what I have learned thus far about the Northeastern Career Development office as a Career Fellow.

(1) As mentioned above, the Co-op office and the Career Development office are two separate things. That means that students have two resources to help them through all aspects of the career development process. Students not only have a Co-op Advisor, but they also have access to multiple Career Development Counselors to help answer anything from “What is a resume?” to “What should I do with my life?” questions.

(2) The Career Development website ( is amazing. Students have SOOO many resources at their fingertips that they probably don’t even realize are available to them on the website. For example Need help to prepare for interviews but can’t find time to schedule a mock interview because the only time you have to practice is at 2 AM because you are either a varsity athlete, on the e-board of 7 clubs and also happen to have a double major in Finance and Biology? Have no fear! We have access to Big Interview, where you can practice answering interview questions on your own time.

(3) As a Northeastern student and alumni, you have access to the Career Development office, and its resources, FOR LIFE. This is pretty exceptional and rare. I know many Universities only allow you access, for a select number of years after you graduate, and in some cases, from then on you have to pay a fee… So this is an important thing to know if down the line you are looking for a career change, are in between jobs or need a couple of extra eyeballs to graze your resume.

I would also like to add a shameless plug endorsing the inaugural class of Career Fellows who will now be available on Campus weekly to help with Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn profile reviews. There are six of us, comprised of both undergrad and grad students of various majors and backgrounds, who are here to help anyone, whether you are looking to start from scratch or put the finishing touches on any of your co-op, internship, or full-time job recruiting materials. Check out the Drop-In Schedule (below) and come by – we would LOVE to help.

Come by across campus to have your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reviewed. Drop-ins will be held:
Sundays 1:30 – 3:30 Curry Student Center 1st Floor
Sundays 7-9 in ISEC Lobby
Tuesdays 4:00 – 6:00 Stetson East
Thursdays 11:30 – 1:30 in Shillman DD
Fridays 4:00 – 6:00 in Snell Library Discovery Lab (138A)
Saturdays 1:30 – 3:30 in Snell Library Discovery Lab (138A)


7 ways to start off the semester right

‘Back to grind’, sighed two college students on their last night before school re-opened that fall. It would be back to books, classes, assignments and may be even punishments for them and for so many other students who were returning to school. Lest we forget, and also for those freshman year students who were just going to start off with, for what might be still uncharted territories, the campus-life.

How many of us can relate to this aforesaid scenario? Haven’t we all been in this situation before? And some of us may still be at this crucial juncture. The times that we spend in college are eternally etched in our lives. So why not we do the best we can to create memories, moments and events that we can fondly reminiscent long after we’ve graduated. Given that, we’ve no or minimal control over most situations in our lives, there are some basic yet comprehensive steps that we can take that may guide us towards the “right direction”; and sometimes, just sometimes, even take us right to our destination!

So whether the semester has already commenced or not, whether you’re making headway towards your goals or you’re finding yourself in choppy waters, here are some of suggestions that may help you to steer your boat through high seas and low tides of what has always been, a roller-coaster campus-life.

1. Set a routine

It’s not as hard as it sounds, I promise. Fine, a tad arduous but definitely rewarding. It may be something as elementary as simply making your own bed immediately after waking up in the morning. One may say that it’s nothing so spectacular that could be added to a resume but it certainly is the first step to creating a solid one, going forward. Setting a routine will only give a boost to all of your succeeding tasks as you can get done with mundane tasks at lightning speed; clearing up the rest of your day to take on more important tasks.

2. Source books, notes, lectures materials early on

You can still manage to get a grade, probably, a C or a C+ by pulling an all-nighter the night before your exams. But how are you going to pull one off if you don’t have the study materials in place? It’s always beneficial to read through the syllabus in advance and raid the library before all those books are gone.

3. Mix-and-mingle with peers at school and outside

Your classmates are the best support system you’re ever going to get. Period. So collaborate and join forces to create your own support system. Try finding find common interests or even better, try finding mutual disinclinations; there’s no bond stronger than when two students jointly despise the same class. By partnering classmates, one is able to learn new skills from one another. And no sooner than later, what might have seemed like a tough class turns out to be a walk in the park.

4. Leverage campus resources

Students tend to overlook plenty of resources that are made available for students at school; ranging from curriculum based extra classes to clubs for fashion, sports, movies and tech. Students are encouraged to give these a try if not become members; for these play a key role in meeting students from different departments and learning about various on-campus and off-campus activities.

5. Volunteer

One the key aspects of making the semester worthwhile is to volunteer. It may be doing a task as plain as scooping ice-cream at a local festival to something more wide in scope like cleaning gardens or painting the walls of neighboring communities. This is really a trump card that students can use going forward in the semester. By volunteering, one gets to learn about aspects like bridging the community-college gap and creating an all-encompassing environment as well.

6. Take break, time-out and relax

Juggling classes, socializing and volunteering is sure going to overwhelm students. So, it’s imperative to take that much needed break from all these activities and let your hair down. Do things that make you happy. Anything, really!

7. Keep working on that personal brand

The laundry list of things above are mere suggestions. However, what’s most important is your unique, awesome personality that you and you alone can shape, nurture and enhance. Take classes or not, volunteer or not, connect with peers or not; your personal brand is that aspect of your personality that you wish to tap on which will open all doors of opportunity for you and widen your horizon. So take a look within yourself and ask what is it that you really want to achieve in this semester and pave your path to accomplish your objectives.

One may or may not get the best start to the semester but what is important is to finish strong. With this goal in mind, reach out to your peers, classmates and community today and experience the many possibilities that the semester will offer you.