Northeastern Looms Large in the Life of Robin Devereux (DMSB ’82)
Robin Devereux was having such a great experience as a Northeastern University undergraduate that her sisters decided to transfer from their colleges to join her. What was so appealing? Among other things, co-op.
“Co-ops at Northeastern were the linchpin for how I got into the business,” says Devereux. “My co-op at Emerson Hospital taught me how to be a working accountant, how books worked, how financials were presented. My co-op at Coopers-Lybrand was invaluable, too. It gave me a huge advantage over my peers when I started working at Touche Ross [now Deloitte Touche].”
Devereux used her co-op experience and classroom credits from Northeastern to become a Certified Public Accountant 18 months early. Now she’s the managing director and chief financial officer at Summit Partners, a Boston venture capital firm that has raised nearly $15 billion in capital since its inception in 1984.
Although Summit Partners is well-established — the firm has invested in more than 385 companies — Devereux appreciates the importance of helping students who are just starting out. That’s why she has been mentoring Northeastern business students for the past four years. “The kids I see from D’Amore-McKim School of Business just blow me away,” she enthuses. “They’re more focused, more mature, more savvy.”
Out into the Real World
Devereux praises Northeastern’s emphasis on getting undergraduates out into the real world and helping them find the experience they’ll need to succeed after graduation.
“D’Amore-McKim School of Business really has a focus on jobs from the very first year as you prepare for your first co-op,” she explains. “The training for interviews and everything like that starts earlier. The School brings that forward quite a bit. They’re focused on the experience you can get while you’re still an undergraduate, unlike other schools, which focus on what you’re going to get after you graduate.”
Devereux’s belief in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business mission prompted her and her husband John Devereux (DMSB’80) to issue the Double Dare Challenge: If 4,000 alumni made a gift to Northeastern by April 10, 2014, the Devereuxs would donate $100,000 to the university. (The goal was surpassed.)
And Devereux’s still finding new ways to be involved in the university. She recently joined the board of IDEA, the university’s student-run venture accelerator. Proof that the alumni connection with Northeastern can last a lifetime.