Little did Robert Matthews, BA’57, know that the mid-century advertising scene would become the plot for a wildly popular cable television series. He was just intent on working in New York City.

That’s Matthews (second from left) with fellow Northeastern business students Robert Gerrier, BA’57; Bruce Davis, BA’58; and George Tsoutsouras, BA’57, outside their New York apartment while all were on co-ops. Matthews and Gerrier landed gigs working at advertising giant J. Walter Thompson. The job allowed Mathews to conduct some market research, and gave him a glimpse of nearly every department at JWT.

Meanwhile, Davis went to work in the business office of department store Abraham and Strauss, and Tsoutsouras got a position at technology innovator Crucible Steel of America.

“J. Walter Thompson was a premier post among advertising students,” Matthews says. “All in all, it was a great work experience.”

It was also great experience for the ROTC student’s future military career. Matthews did two tours of duty in Vietnam, and retired as a lieutenant colonel after 21 years of service. For the next two decades he worked in the Department of Defense, retiring as a communications specialist.

“Co-op gave you a chance to learn independence and responsibility,” reflects Matthews. “Thanks to co-op, I was better prepared for my army experience and working for the DOD.”