For Lee Spinale Rea, UC‘72, her first co-op at Northeastern sparked a lifetime of trying new things, and seeing them succeed.
Lee Spinale Rea, UC’72, believes in living life to the fullest. This is why she transitioned from her 40-year-long career as a Senior Business Development executive in medical imaging, to owning a local Edible Arrangements franchise for the past 13 years. Lee believes that her Northeastern experience empowered her to reach goals beyond her expectations and personal limitations.
How did your Northeastern education impact you?
If it were not for Northeastern, I probably would not have had a career in medical imaging. Having grown up in a low income household run by a single mother, college was not on the table for me. Tuition was impossible, and I had to stay in Boston to work, and help pay the bills. All that changed when I realized that I could get a degree at Northeastern while still working. I got a co-op opportunity in radiologic technology, performing diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays and Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI). This offered me the opportunity to go to college, and get paid for my clinical training. Without this financial support, I likely would not have made it through the program. From there, the opportunities presented themselves. I was offered the chance to be the first computed tomography (CT) technologist in the country, established an open MRI facility in Waltham, and subsequently became an industry leader in medical imaging. None of this would have been possible without my first co-op. I owe much of my success to Northeastern.
One piece of advice for someone starting at Northeastern.
Work hard, think creatively, and always set your goals higher than what you think you’re capable of.
What’s next for you?
I want to continue working with Edible Arrangements as it is a fun atmosphere for myself and my staff, some of whom have been with me since day one. I also hope to continue my volunteer work at the different local Councils on Aging where I cook and give free lessons in arts and crafts. I am a water color artist and make and design hand-crafted jewelry, which I hope to continue doing.