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Northeastern University

A global perspective on emerging industries

June 13, 2012

Lis­tening to top offi­cials from U.S. secu­rity firms dis­cuss the cyber­se­cu­rity threats facing the global com­mu­nity gave Elis­a­beth Fiu­mara an insider’s per­spec­tive on an emerging industry.

“From taking part in these meet­ings at a con­fer­ence in London, I learned an incred­ible amount about a growing industry,” said Fiu­mara, a third- year com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies major and emerging mar­kets and inter­na­tional rela­tions minor.

“We heard about real- world exam­ples of web hacking and email hacking, and even how to know you’re get­ting hacked,” she added. “To hear about the future of an industry like this is one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of.”

Fiu­mara helped orga­nized the con­fer­ence, which was hosted last month by the U.S. embassy in London and focused on leading U.S. cyber­se­cu­rity firms pitching their prod­ucts to inter­na­tional com­pa­nies. She is cur­rently on co- op there as a trade assis­tant for the U.S. Com­mer­cial Ser­vice within the U.S. Depart­ment of Com­merce, which sup­ports and pro­motes U.S. trade, invest­ments and exports in the U.K. market.

Fiu­mara per­forms market research on the cyber­se­cu­rity, tech­nology and renew­able energy indus­tries and makes arrange­ments with leaders at Amer­ican firms to attend trade shows and con­fer­ences to con­nect with inter­na­tional firms. For much of her co- op, she has helped orga­nize a trade mis­sion in the U.K. so that U.S. energy- sector firms can learn about over­seas mar­kets and dis­cuss the latest tech­nology break­throughs with poten­tial busi­ness partners.

The U.K. has com­mitted to pro­ducing 35 per­cent of its energy from renew­able sources by 2020 and cut­ting carbon emis­sions by 80 per­cent by 2050. The country is eyeing a tran­si­tion to smart- grid tech­nology that mon­i­tors, ana­lyzes, con­trols and com­mu­ni­cates with an elec­tricity delivery system to max­i­mize throughput while reducing con­sump­tion, cre­ating the most effi­cient, reli­able and cost- effective system possible.

“Meeting with CEOs and top offi­cials from these com­pa­nies offers me some insight into the best strate­gies for entering new mar­kets and set­ting up busi­nesses,” said Fiu­mara, who is inter­ested in pur­suing a career in change man­age­ment and strategy con­sulting. “It’s been incred­ibly rewarding and informative.”

Fiumara’s co- op in London marks her third inter­na­tional experiential- learning oppor­tu­nity at North­eastern. She began her col­lege career in London through the university’s NUin pro­gram and last year par­tic­i­pated in a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in Brazil.

“I’ve always wanted to have a global per­spec­tive on life and North­eastern has been instru­mental in offering these oppor­tu­ni­ties,” she said.

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