Co-op illustrates Northeastern’s strong Silicon Valley presence

As Northeastern University grows its presence in Silicon Valley, co-op students such as Samantha Kim, DMSB’16, are already benefiting from experiential learning opportunities the university has cultivated in the area.

Kim, a business major, is on co-op with 10 other Northeastern students in the marketing department of VMware, a Palo Alto-based global software company that offers cloud and virtualization services. The group is among nearly 90 Northeastern students on co-op in Silicon Valley this semester. The region is home to some 4,200 alumni, bolstered by nearly 370 job placements over the last three years.

As the Global Segment and Audience Marketing Co-op, Kim works with a team that architects and packages marketing campaigns and programs for VMware’s marketing operations around the world. Her role includes activities to facilitate communication and collaboration between the global and regional marketing teams. Kim says she has found this role to be an extremely valuable learning experience in understanding the nuances of working in a global environment and all of the challenges that entails.

“I help the entire marketing team cross functionally,” said Kim, who started her co-op in January. “I am immensely grateful for this opportunity.”

Co-op is the cornerstone of Northeastern’s experiential learning mission and gives students the chance to integrate classroom learning with real world work experiences.

Being in Silicon Valley, Kim said the level of expertise and intellect of the people who live and work there is inspiring. “They have created an amazing environment here where they don’t accept anything less than leading innovation in technology,” Kim said.

Northeastern University announced on Monday it is partnering with industry leader Integrated Device Technology to open the first in a series of education hubs in the Bay Area to help meet a demand for more professionals educated in science, technology, engineering, and math—particularly women and minorities.

Last month Kim attended Northeastern’s Women who Inspire Speaker Series event at Intel headquarters, where three female tech industry leaders based in Silicon Valley discussed future trends of disruptive technology. Kim said she was very excited to meet representatives of several companies, many of whom were women.

When she first arrived at Northeastern, Kim said she had little understanding of how transformative technology could be to the world of business. Her co-op experiences and coursework at Northeastern have exposed her to the realm of virtualization and cloud technologies and the endless possibilities that come when businesses successfully leverage the technology available to them.

“It was incredibly eye-opening to see how transforming technology can be in business,” Kim said.

Now that she has seen how a large, global company develops and implements its marketing operations, Kim said she hopes to take what she has learned to build and execute robust marketing strategies in her own career .

“It’s been an amazing experience working for a company that’s one of the leaders in the tech industry,” she said.

Founded in 1998, VMware was acquired in 2003 by EMC Corporation, a multinational data storage corporation founded by Northeastern alumni Roger Marino and Richard Egan.