Northeastern University

Marlyn Batista - Class of 2013

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

I chose this major because I really wanted to work with people, however I didn't want to be confined to on specific area. I wanted to be able to put on multiple hats and this major definitely allows you to do that.

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

I chose NU because of it's co-op program and if I had to do it all over again, I would make the exact same choice. As an incoming freshman, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in. My biggest fear coming into college was studying something for 4 years and then graduating and realizing that I was going to have to go to a job that I hated everyday. I loved the idea of Northeastern letting me test out the waters a bit.

When I was a freshman I decided that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and I became and education and psychology dual major. After declaring this major, I took a service learning course which required me to go out into the community and volunteer tutoring children. I needed to apply what I was learning in the classroom at my placement and when I did that, I realized very quickly that I did not have the patience required to teach children.

This was a very valuable finding for me because I really liked all the material I was learning in class, but when it came down to the practice of it, I couldn't handle it. If I were at any other school I probably wouldn't have found that out until I was student teaching during my 4th year of college. Northeastern definitely was the right school for me.

How many co-ops have you completed?

I am currently completing my first co-op.

If you participated in co-op, can you list give a quick synopsis of what you did?

I'm currently working for Northeastern University as an admissions counselor at the Admissions Visitor Center in Behrakis. As an admissions counselor I present information sessions, meet with families, answer phones, coordinate group tours, answer admissions e-mails, and greet visitors. It's a great co-op for students who are interested in working with people and sharing their experience at Northeastern. This co-op has also taught me a lot of information about NU and the many different opportunities available here that I probably wouldn't have know otherwise.

If you participated in co-op, what were the highlights/great learning opportunities you gained?

This job has helped me pick up new skills and sharpen skills that I all ready had. Working as an admissions counselor has helped me learn to speak with confidence in public to groups as large as 200 people. Recently during one of the busiest weeks of the year, 5 out of the my 6 coworkers went to training for the majority of the week. The only people left running the office were myself and my fellow co-op. One of the directors of admissions later came in to tell us that it was the first time in a long time that the counselors had felt comfortable enough to leave co-op students alone running the office. That was a very accomplishing feeling.

My boss also gave me a project to do that involved a lot of research. It took me a long time to do it, at times it was frustrating because I was not sure exactly what my boss was looking for. I worked on it for several days and a few days after I had handed it in, my boss said that I was the most efficient person he could have chosen for that job. Hard work pays off!

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?

I have done service learning for three classes. In my first service learning placement I volunteered tutoring elementary children at St. Katherine's. This is where I discovered that teaching elementary school children was not for me. In my second placement I tutored high school aged children at Squashbusters. This was closer to what I wanted to do, but it was not a perfect fit. My last service leaning place was project based, so the project was a lot of research, but definitely gave me a better look at the non-profit field, which is what I learned I would like to focus on after graduating.

Have you Graduated from NU?

No, not yet.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Whatever you do, LISTEN to the advice given in co-op class. If you apply it, it will definitely help you in the workplace.

Questions Answered as of 11/18/2010