Sunday marks the UN International Day of Happiness which should also be celebrated every day by alumni teams. 

Most future and current donors want to first make an impact and help with something that is personal and speaks to them. Because few things are more important to us as humans to have a purpose, and to make a difference – the key to happiness is helping others

The connection below is a great example of that “fulfillment”, the opportunity to help with something that we care about, that’s relevant to us, someone walking in our footsteps. 

The student’s question is fairly common – especially these days we receive many location-centric needs for internships and jobs in “strange new places.” 

But the real magic here is the response. The accomplished NC State alum reflects on his time in the Boston area, his work with co-op students, the adjustment to life in the Northeast, and how he’d go about finding temporary housing (he probably used those same strategies as a new grad). 

It took a lot of time to write such a thoughtful response, and you can practically see him reflecting on that time he moved from NC to MA. 

I often answer the question of “so, what do you do” with “we are a happiness machine” because of interactions like this and the many other thousands we have powered. Alumni organizations are uniquely positioned to make alumni happy – which can be the best job in the world. 

Happy Friday.

The "ask"

I’m a second year Chemical Engineering student! My hometown is right outside of Raleigh, where I try to do a lot of community work.

I’ve been offered a Co-Op position with COMPANY in the spring and I’d love some insight on what that experience is like from a student’s perspective or otherwise. I’m also curious about figuring out housing in such a short period of time.

I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m hoping someone out there can help me overcome some concerns I have! Thank you.

The "give"

Please call me: 999-999-9999.

I graduated from NC State in Chemical Engineering in 1981. My first job was in Wilmington, MA, which is located several miles south of Billerica (pronounced Bill-rica by the locals). I lived and worked in the area until 1990. I’m sure a lot has changed since then. I’m also sure it would be an amazing learning experience for you, as it was for me.

Being born and raised in North Carolina, moving to the Boston area was a huge culture shock for me. The people can be friendly and welcoming, but somewhat skeptical of outsiders at first. Traffic is bad and rents are high.

The best housing situation would be to find an elderly couple that would take in boarders, or to find roommates to share a tenement house apartment. It may be a good idea to contact the University of Lowell to see if you can find any students who may be interested. You could also contact local churches in search of housing opportunities.

Don’t hesitate to express your concerns about housing to your contacts at COMPANY. I regularly supervise and interact with co-op students and interns in my job position. I am always eager to help them in any way that I can to get settled and fit in. The same goes for my co-workers and the company Human Resources staff.

Public transportation is excellent with buses, trains, and the greater Boston subway system.

During my time working in Wilmington, I lived in Salem, NH, North Andover, and Haverhill and commuted to work. Of those places, North Andover was the nicest.

If your salary offer is sufficient to cover your living expenses and provide adequate cash savings for your next school semester, I think you will find it to be a valuable and memorable experience.

The area has a rich history, and there is much to do and see in Boston and in the Merrimac Valley portion of New England where Billerica is located.

I would be happy to discuss my experiences with you if you would like to call me at the telephone number provided.

Best wishes,


Protopia’s artificial intelligence technology makes it simple for everyone in your community to connect. Without another app. 

Copyright 2023. All rights reserved. 

Terms Of Service | Privacy Policy