Expanding Northeastern’s global footprint one city at a time..
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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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. www.linkedin.com/in/alanedeluca
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien