(Lora Amorese, Class of 2000)
Lora Giampetruzzi was the first in her family to graduate from college, and she knows how challenging it can be to get ahead as a first-generation student. Northeastern University was the perfect place to prepare Lora for her future career. “I found the school to be big enough, yet small enough, for me to embrace all the opportunities. I was always really motivated by the caliber of students I was surrounded by.”
As a student, she took advantage of both co-op and study abroad and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs. She later completed law school and has worked for investment firms ever since. Today, she is a Managing Director, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer at an investment firm based in New York.
In 2016, Lora joined the College of Social Sciences and Humanities Dean’s Strategy Council, an advisory committee to Dean Uta Poiger comprising leading college alumni, parents, and friends who support the Experiential Liberal Arts. In her role, she has been a strong advocate for women’s educational opportunities and professional development, and has helped Northeastern expand its admission pipeline to recruit more students from underrepresented minority groups in New York City. She has also spoken at Women Who Empower events and helped create co-op positions for NU students along the way.
Generous scholarship and financial aid packages supported Lora in her path to graduation fromNortheastern. She received mentorship and advice from various people that helped her achieve her academic and career goals. She knows how valuable the support she received throughout her education was to her, which is why she is now giving back to the school and offering support to students in similar situations.
Lora recently pledged a generous gift to Northeastern to establish the Lora Giampetruzzi Experiential Learning Initiative Scholarship. This newly created fund will help give low-income, first-generation students the resources they need to pursue any co-op or internship they would like, regardless of the pay or location. “I know how hard those decisions were for me. I would have loved to have worked for an NGO, but I chose the co-ops that paid the most because that was the position I was in.”
The co-op program offers vital experience to students who are still deciding on their future career paths. Many unpaid positions in the public and non-profit sector provide important training and professional development opportunities that are not available in corporate settings. First-generation college students often lack the financial resources that are required to accept unpaid co-op positions. A stipend is critical to make these opportunities accessible to bright, ambitious students with high financial need.
Lora also believes in the importance of public service at a young age, and hopes her gift will open those doors for current Northeastern students that would otherwise be unable to participate in unpaid co-op roles. It will also help public and non-profit organizations secure the best talent to advance their mission. Additional funds will be provided to support grants for students participating in Northeastern’s global Dialogue of Civilizations courses. Global experiences expand the personal horizons of students and broaden their perspectives. Awards are especially important for students whose financial limitations have precluded global travel.
As a member of the Dean’s Strategy Council, Lora stays involved with the school that provided her with such influential opportunities. She hopes the Lora Giampetruzzi Experiential Learning Initiative will ensure low income, first-generation students can take advantage of all the educational opportunities that Northeastern offers and become future leaders who will expand opportunities for others.