Looking Back, Shaping the Future

David Radivonyk

After trading the East Coast for the Arizona desert, David Radivonyk, CSH'80, finally has the time to reflect on his life and his long career.

"Northeastern was in my top three schools to attend," Radivonyk recalls. His brother was already a student at the university, and Radivonyk was interested in the co-op experience. A visit to campus confirmed his choice, and his decision to major in economics laid the groundwork for his career. "During my five years at Northeastern, I found the faculty to be outstanding," says Radivonyk. "The skills I learned, including interpersonal skills, brought it all together."

Radivonyk fondly remembers his co-ops as great jobs, from working at a law firm as a "gopher" to working at an insurance company handling claims adjusting. "I got to talk to people and listen to them and to make recommendations on different kinds of insurance claims," he says. "I enjoyed that."

Radivonyk's co-ops gave him useful professional experience, and he worked various jobs to make ends meet. After graduation he was offered a full-time job at New England Telephone, the company that later became Verizon. He joined a technical area called switch services then transitioned into marketing and eventually moved into finance. Northeastern had prepared Radivonyk to adapt to the quickly changing landscape and growth of the telecommunications industry, and, because of that, he had a long and successful 32-year career at Verizon.

Radivonyk did not slow down after retiring from Verizon, and he launched his own thriving wine and spirits shop. "The foundation of how well I succeeded, whether it was at Verizon or at my own business after I retired, was due to what I learned at Northeastern," says Radivonyk. He didn't fully realize that until after he moved to Arizona and had time to look back and assess how far he had come, what he accomplished, and how he wanted to thank those who had made it possible.

In addition to his five-year pledge to fund research opportunities for current students, Radivonyk wants to make it possible for future students to have the same opportunities he had. He has named Northeastern as a beneficiary in his estate plan, grateful for the impact it has had on his life and career. A recent visit back to Boston left him in awe of the many new changes on campus. "Seeing some of the old buildings brought back a lot of memories," he says. "I'd like to help make the same kinds of memories for other students."