Career Dreams Fueled by Northwood


Northwood students connect to an extensive network of support during their college years, and it continues even after they graduate. Our faculty, administration, and alumni actively champion graduates whether they are just beginning or evolving their careers. As Northwood alumni Megan Goucher ('14) and Sterling Adgate ('14) recently discovered, the "Northwood network" encourages graduates's dreams and fosters success. Scenes of Success

In 2015, Adgate and Goucher, along with fellow alumnus Ashton Grobbel (’14), jumped at the chance to be part of an exciting artistic challenge: the Four Points Film Project (4PFP). The online competition invites teams from around the world to write, cast, shoot, score, and edit a short film in just one weekend.

Eager to put their creative talents to the test, the team turned to Northwood for support. The University provided housing and space to write and work on preproduction, which helped fuel an invaluable and successful experience for this independent team of Northwood graduates. Their film, “The Scorpion Tail,” was screened by a panel of film professionals and won Best Musical Score out of the 200 films submitted.

“From day one, Northwood helped power my ambitions. The classes and faculty helped me grow as a creative professional and entrepreneur. An alumnus offered me my first job out of college as a video producer for a marketing agency. And after I graduated, the University kindly supported our 4PFP submission,” said Adgate. “Northwood’s network of support is still helping me as I reach for my ultimate goal of starting a video production boutique.”

Dreams at Work

This year, Adgate and Goucher decided to move their career dreams to California. Without any family or friends in Los Angeles, Goucher turned to Northwood alumni in the area and received a warm welcome to her new locale.

“Northwood emphasizes the power of networking. Meeting the kind of people who provide opportunities to expand your skill set is key,” said Goucher. “It felt natural to reach out to alumni, knowing the Northwood network is strong. I not only wanted to work with liked-minded people who were taught the same business morals, but I also found inspiration in their success.”

One of the alumni Goucher contacted, Brett Sutherlin (’95), had been looking for opportunities to support Northwood students and grads. As co-founder and CEO of fusionZONE Automotive, a fastgrowing and successful company in Pacific Palisades, Calif., that designs custom websites for automotive dealerships, Brett wanted to help others reach their goals now that he has achieved many of his own.

“I was happy to meet with Megan when she contacted me. I had a lot of confidence in what she could offer the company because of her Northwood education,” said Sutherlin. “I know first-hand that Northwood graduates are well-educated, bright, and selfmotivated. On top of that, they have a very strong career mindset. That’s a huge advantage for an employer.”

Sutherlin hired Goucher, who is now the Video Production and Digital Marketing manager for fusionZONE Automotive. She is building her career on the foundation of opportunity and inspiration Sutherlin and his company provided.

“If I’m ever in a position to help Northwood grads, I most certainly will,” said Goucher. “Of course it would be great to help out fellow Northwood alumni, but it is also a very smart business decision. Northwood graduates have a reliable business background and share important beliefs about ethics, integrity, and free enterprise.”