Making the most
An examination of industry growth sectors, student surveys and a budding Alumni Community, led me to begin my fall trip in Thailand. I kicked off the week co-presenting to a full house of alumni/ae, prospective students, co-ops and parents, overlooking the hustle and bustle of Bangkok city.
The room was abuzz recalling the past decade trajectory that Northeastern has enjoyed, as it has positioned itself as a global leader in experiential learning, attributable to our visionary leader, President Joseph Aoun.
What followed were many meetings with new employer partners, as showcased here where I met with the Taskworld management team, in what resulted in two new co-op opportunities – one in marketing and one computer science. Invited to Taskworld by the serial entrepreneur (as he commonly referred), Fred Mouawad, Chairman and CEO of Synergia One Group of Companies, was an honor to say the very least!
People along the way
At the conclusion of a full day of meetings in Northern Thailand, I came upon some new friends at a local Buddhist temple just outside the city of Chiang Mai.
I love this photo because it is one moment frozen in time that brought together two distinctly different worlds – in one lens. The vibrant contrasting colors uniformly focused in orange, green, and blue metaphorically reveal balance and warmth – a perfect stage on which to build new partnerships in Thailand!
When I learned was that a partnership I developed one year ago, placed third in “Northeastern’s Coolest Co-op” contest, I was needless to say ecstatic and proud. I hope you will take a minute to watch this brief Coolest Co-op award winning video, that was developed by our first-ever co-op student at East Bali Cashews.
Twist my arm
When I made my first trip to Bali in 2016, I visited two new companies – one a cashew producer (winning video) and the other a world-class green-energy solutions company, as seen in the photo here with requisite office setting, complete with pool and ocean view.
Both partnerships resulted in students co-op’ing there last year, and expanded offerings to Northeastern students for 2017 and beyond. There is a reason Bali is called a travelers paradise, couple that with gaining critical global experience and students would be hard-pressed to turn down these once-in-a-lifetime tropical island paradise..I mean.. professional opportunities!
I had the honor of meeting with the president of the largest construction company in Ho Chi Minh City, who also happens to be the parent of one Northeastern alumnus and one current Husky (photo below). It is through this loyalty to Northeastern and belief in experiential education that can make my job that more enjoyable.
Positioned well, Vietnam’s economy is an emerging market standout – second to India. The recent leadership transition in Vietnam has set the tone for economic growth and reform, positioning Northeastern nicely for future co-op and full-time opportunities here.
The Garden City
If you are not already convinced that Asia should be next on your travel bucket list, then let me tell you about Singapore. I think of this beautiful garden city akin to a ‘soft landing’ for westerners. My visits to several multinational companies included Novartis, NBC Universal and Young and Rubicam/Wunderman, to name a few, were very well received.
The concept of co-op and six month work rotations was set in motion prior to my meetings, and the goal was to firm up our agreements and move forward with a mutually-beneficial partnership. Pictured with me here is our esteemed alumna, Jacquelyn Koh and the management team of Faithful + Gould, a world-leading integrated project and program management consultancy firm. F+G has offered six NU co-ops for the fall 2017 cycle.
Our university exchange agreement with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has also proved to be a fantastic mutually rewarding collaboration. NTU hires between five and ten research co-ops each year. Photographed with me here is a co-op student along with NTU’s accomplished engineering faculty. Singapore can pass for a surrogate-city to Boston, for those students keen on the local market with added benefit of a global experience. High performing sectors include aerospace, clean energy, healthcare, financial services and biotechnology. I would encourage any student to step out of their comfort zone and co-op in Singapore!
My most recent trip took me to India. Our largest student population on the homecampus is made up of Indian students. As part of our over-arching strategy to penetrate this market for both co-op and full-time opportunities, I took the opportunity to meet with local institutions to better understand the recruiting landscape. While there, I visited three universities, IIT-New Delhi, IIT-Bombay and IIM-Bangalore, and met with various deans, directors and professors. Photographed with me here at the Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore are the Director of International Affairs, Dean of Programs, and Dean & Professor of IIM. This was a profitable meeting to learning more about IIM’s entrepreneurial center and discuss possible collaborations. A visit to IIT-Bombay resulted in a new partnership centered around their new Research Park, which houses companies on their campus and provide co-op opportunities. I should note that our first student to co-op at IIT-Bombay started in January 2017.
Entrepreneurship at its best
Wrapping up my visit in India, led me to one of our Young Global Leaders and newly-minted entrepreneurs (photographed below). Having the distinct honor to meet with our alumni/ae and help them develop ways they can give back to NU, through co-op, is extremely rewarding. As Young Global Leaders, these passionately committed Northeastern alumni/ae strive to be a catalyst in furthering Northeastern’s global footprint. This fortuitous meeting in New Delhi resulted in new co-op positions being developed at PostFold, a start-up that embraces the motto that every idea starts with a problem.
We are all very proud to see another Northeastern alum reach for the stars and achieve success in their career passion. PostFold was featured in Business Insider India, Vogue India and Economic Times India.
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