The Road to His Career Leads Back to Northeastern

Michael Parent

Michael Parent, DMSB'72

An avid fan of the "muscle car," Michael Parent, DMSB'72, was in his element during his co-op at the Ford Motor Company. Michael's Northeastern experience differs from many students because he discovered his co-op opportunity before he even got to Northeastern! From a young age, he was very interested in the automotive industry and identified it as a career path. When asked what inspired this passion, Michael smiles and says, "Two words, the Mustang," which he saw introduced as part of a Ford Company display at the New York World's Fair in 1964. As a high school student, he reached out to Ford and learned that they offered a co-op program—the deciding factor that lured him to Boston to study business.

Attending Northeastern late in the '60s was a tumultuous time in American culture, society, and politics. Between his co-ops at Ford and his academics at Northeastern, Michael witnessed the cultural divide as experienced in both the corporate environment at Ford and the campus setting—including student protests. By the time he graduated he remembers, "I learned there was more than one point of view out there."

After ten years at Ford, Michael moved on to a successful career in automotive marketing services. Now retired, Michael stays connected to Northeastern through the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. As a mentor to top-performing students, he shares his own experience and insights as a way to help them enter their own careers. He's impressed with the students, the growth and development of Northeastern, and its standing in the academic world.

To ensure that future students have the tools to pursue their passions, Michael has established multiple charitable gift annuities to support the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. By fulfilling his financial and philanthropic goals, he is generating steady income for life—and challenging students to develop a new lens for understanding issues of the modern business world. He reflects, "For those alumni who, like me, navigated successful career paths built on Northeastern's experiential and academic foundation, consider partnering with the university to ensure future students will have similar opportunities."