Northeastern University

Corrie Hunkler - Class of 2009

Why did you choose this major, and does/did it seem like the right major for you? Why?

I knew I wanted to be a Human Services major from the start. I wanted to help people help themselves and learn how to do it in the most effective way. I definitely chose the right major, the course load pulls from many different disciplines and the opportunities for hands on learning are endless.

Why did you choose NU? Was/is this the right school for you?

I chose NU to come to Boston and for its hands on approach to learning. I am from a very small fishing community in Maine so I wouldn't have learned about urban life, culture and diversity if the greater Boston area wasn't in my backyard. Also, I was someone hesitant about going on to college, the innovative style NU engages its students in learning helped me to connect and excel at my studies.

Did you complete a co-op? Can you list the companies and give a quick synopsis of what you did?

I did one co-op at Peace Games in a grant funded program as a Stride Rite Scholar. I worked for the national non profit, Peace Games in inner city schools. I taught classes on violence prevention there as well as coordinated family potlucks and CSL (Community Service Learning) projects. In the summer, I did trainings (at various schools) across Boston.

I became more confident and self assured, and used the connections made while on co-op to get me a job that I am still doing now.

Did you have any other "learning from outside of the classroom" (service learning, student leadership, study abroad, research, or volunteering) that also enriched your time here?

At Northeastern, I was able to get involved with numerous opportunities to "learn outside the classroom" including:

  • Human Services/Spanish trip to Mexico for a month
  • Service Learning in several classes
  • Senior Internship as a Guidance Counselor Assistant
  • Non Profit Job in Jamaica
  • Event Planning project
  • Community Service through work study

All of these opportunities taught me peoples/organizations different approaches to issues such as poverty, at risk youth and community development. I was young and eager to learn about the world around me, so was able to soak up all these experiences and form my own views on how to work with people who are involved with these issues. I have become more aware of the people and communities around me then most of my peers and have impressed my employers with my ability to connect and understand people where they are at.

Have you Graduated from NU? If Yes, please let us know what you are doing and if you think your co-ops and experiential education have helped you in your career path. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Boston, was drastically different in many ways from the place I called home, a poor, isolated fishing community off the coast of Maine. However, after I had been living and working in the inner city for five years, the more I was able to connect the roots of those problems to the same ones I grew up around in Maine. It prompted me to want to return home after graduation and give back. I have been working with University of Maine Cooperative Extension as a VISTA, doing capacity building work. Although, this isn’t a job my normally highly active, hands on personality would like... it has provided me with invaluable training opportunities and helped develop the skills necessary for facilitation, organizing and planning- ones I needed work on and will benefit me in my future career.

I end my VISTA year in September (2010) and am driving across country with my best friend Kesiah for an adventure. I have applied to Outward Bound and other jobs focused on working with at risk teens (my passion), and will hopefully start something new in January.

Best major ever and the people who work for it are great. (...Thanks for everything Lisa!!)

Questions Answered as of 06/18/2010