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Co-ops shine in New York City spotlight during ‘Experience Powered by Northeastern’ event
in Manhattan

Hundreds of Northeastern students are currently working in New York on co-op. Many of them joined President Aoun at Thursday’s event to celebrate Northeastern and the impact of experiential learning.

President Aoun standing on stage in front of groups of people.
New York City-based co-op students take the stage with President Joseph E. Aoun during Thursday’s “Experience Powered by Northeastern” event. Photo by Karlie Louise for Northeastern University

NEW YORK — Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun took the stage to thunderous applause. 

With the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline as backdrops, Aoun welcomed a crowd of nearly 800 to the Glasshouse, a breathtaking venue on 12th Avenue.

The audience included hundreds of students, parents and graduates, as well as faculty, industry partners, community leaders and government officials.

They gathered at the university’s latest “Experience Powered by Northeastern” event — a celebration of the university’s mission and leadership in global experiential learning.

“Northeastern is a global university,” Aoun said. “But no university can claim to be truly global without a presence in New York City — and we have a very large presence here.”

Every year, the university connects thousands of co-op students with 4,700 industry partners in nearly 150 countries on all seven continents, even Antarctica.

Aoun pointed out that Northeastern places hundreds of co-op students in New York — currently over 250 — every year.

“We are experiential and we are the best at it,” Aoun said. “What we are doing is providing opportunities for our students to study in different contexts. And what better place to do that than in New York.”

Aoun said co-op, the university’s signature experiential learning program, is providing students in New York City with real-world experience at some of the world’s most largest companies — Scotiabank, Morgan Stanley, Priceline and Goldman Sachs, just to name a few.

On Thursday, many of Northeastern’s New York City-based co-op students took the stage with Aoun, who said they are blazing a trail of success for others to follow.

Their stories are a testament to the impact the intersection of classroom learning and real-world experience has on students’ and graduates’ professional careers.

Emily Shropshire, for example, is a second-year student in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. A native of Surrey, England, she’s working for Hermès, a Paris-based luxury goods company with a headquarters on Madison Avenue.

“I feel like I’m learning in an environment that’s super ahead of its time,” said Shropshire, an international business major who is working on the public relations team at Hermès.

“It’s an industry that I love and I get to work really closely with the collection,” she said. “I feel like I’m given a lot of responsibility within my position, especially as a first-time co-op, which I’m loving. I feel like it’s been everything that I hoped it would be.”

Matthew Wolff, a senior from Long Island studying music in the College of Arts Media and Design, is working at Sony Music Entertainment, his second co-op in New York City.

“It’s such a cool experience to work with these artists firsthand,” Wolff said. “Today, for example, I got to be in a meeting with the producer for Chance the Rapper and Justin Bieber.”

Wolff is often asked about his celebrity encounters at Sony. He takes those questions in stride.

“We were told at the beginning that if we see Beyonce in the hall not to say anything,” he said. “It’s so cool to just walk into an elevator not knowing who you could see.”

Victoria Manrique, a second-year international business major with a finance concentration, works at Scotiabank in New York City.

Manrique is working with stocks, loans, trades and settlements.

“It’s definitely been rewarding already, just gaining so much knowledge so fast,” she said. 

A New Jersey native, Manrique dreamed of working in the city.

“Northeastern University provided me that opportunity,” she said.

Noah Loehr, a junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is working at the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP. He’s part of the diversity, equity and inclusion team there.

This co-op is Loehr’s third. Last year, the criminology and sociology major in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities worked for Warburg Pinkus, a global private equity firm, also in New York City.

“I love the diversity and culture of the city,” he said.

Loehr said Northeastern has prepared him for the real world like no other university could.

“I’ve been able to really, really make connections,” he said. “Goodwin Procter has given me a lot of autonomy and responsibility.”

Anandi Ramnarayan, a second-year student in the College of Science, is working as an informational governance assistant for Ropes and Gray LLP, another law firm with offices in New York City.

Ramnarayan began her Northeastern experience as an student in Berlin. This summer she plans to study in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the university’s Dialogues of Civilization program.

Ramnarayan would highly recommend the program to others interested in attending Northeastern.

“It was an amazing time of my life,” she said. “It was really nice to get to experience that. You would think that kind of transition from high school to college would be scary, but it was a real learning experience.” 

Northeastern students Nasyve Beech and Agatha Kim are both working in New York City for Fortune Media.

Beech, a third-year student majoring in politics, philosophy and economics in CSSH, is on the human resources team.

A native of Jamaica, he never saw himself living in a big city like New York, but he’s glad he took the leap.

“I think one of the beautiful things about co-op is that it forces you to try new things,” he said. “It forced me out of my comfort zone.”

“So far it’s been spectacular,” he said. “I’ve met new friends and done new things. It’s like a whole new chapter of my Northeastern experience.”

A second-year student from New Jersey, Kim is a business major with a concentration in brand management. She’s working on the consumer marketing team.

“We are focused on acquisition and growth of Fortune’s like audience,” Kim said. 

The co-op is her first, but she’s already looking forward to future experiential learning experiences.

“This opens up a lot of doors for me for the future,” Kim said.

Experience Powered by Northeastern launched in 2022

Experience Powered by Northeastern was launched in October 2022 across the university’s 13-campus global system with a goal of raising $1.3 billion in philanthropic support.

Thursday night’s intergenerational program included an interactive showcase of faculty research and exciting projects. 

In addition to Aoun, speakers included Richard D’Amore, chair of the Board of Trustees, and Diane Nishigaya MacGillivray, senior vice president for university advancement.

“It’s great to see how the Northeastern community rallies around the success we are having,” D’Amore said. “These events are always a celebration — celebrating where the university is, celebrating where the university has come from and celebrating where the university is going.”

D’Amore said Northeastern does in a year what other institutions do in a decade.

“We do in a week what other institutions do in a year,” he said.

The Northeastern community is intergenerational

MacGillivray said it’s the people who are at the core of any great institution. And Northeastern has some of the best, she said.

“What I love about our community is not here for just right now, just for the moment,” she said. “Our community is intergenerational. Each class, each decade is building on all of those that came before it.”

Aniyah Smith and Thomas Gross are two recent graduates who are giving back to Northeastern — a university they say has given them so much.

Smith earned her master’s degree in business administration with concentrations in marketing and analytics in 2022. She did a co-op at Hasbro, which she used to help build a successful career as a brand manager and consultant. 

One of over 20,000 Northeastern graduates living and working in the New York City area, Smith has worked with well-known brands such as Amex, Uber, Revlon, Nasdaq, Pat McGrath Labs and Danessa Myricks.

She was overjoyed to see the excitement on the faces of those in attendance Thursday.

“It makes me so happy to see Northeastern here in New York supporting its co-op students and all students,” said Smith, who is no stranger to big crowds.

Two years ago, she was Northeastern’s graduate student speaker at Fenway Park in Boston.

Gross earned a degree in finance and data science from Northeastern in 2021.

Currently a partner and analyst at Blue Sky Advisors, a company he helped found, Gross did three co-ops as an undergraduate. That includes working as a quality assurance engineer for Microblink in New York City.

He actually met the co-founders of his company while working at another co-op.

“None of that would have been possible if it were not for my Northeastern experience,” Gross said.

David Nordman is executive editor of Northeastern Global News. Follow him on X/Twitter @davenordman