Alison Reggio - Class of 2008
Why did you choose this major, and does/did it seem like the right major for you? Why?
I chose sociology as my major because I was fascinated by how society is influenced and affected by various factors. I applied to Northeastern as a sociology major and it was definitely the major for me. I knew it was the right fit for me when I took Introduction to Sociology with Arnie Arluke. The stories he told excited and intrigued me and I've been a sociology nerd ever since.
Why did you choose NU? Was/is this the right school for you?
I chose Northeastern partially because I was considering also majoring in American Sign Language and NU has a great program for that. Although I decided not to pursue that major, I am glad that I chose Northeastern. I also chose Northeastern because I came from a high school where experiential education was really important and that transferred well to the Northeastern spirit and with co-op in particular. I also loved the campus feel that you get while still being located in a city.
How many co-ops have you completed?
Can you list the companies and give a quick synopsis of what you did?
My first co-op was as an Assistant Teacher at the Transportation Children's Center. It's a day care center in downtown Boston. The center was separated into five different classrooms based on age. I was a Float Teacher and I went to whichever classroom that I was needed in. I prepared snacks, helped kid with their activities, managed conflicts, and played on our playground. I loved working there because it's not every job that you get hugs everyday!My second co-op was at the Boston Research Center (now called the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue). I worked as the administrative assistant and I answered the phone, managed databases, researched info for future conferences, and worked with the other staff to coordinate events. I really liked working there because the people were very nice and I learned a lot of new things everyday. It also gave me some of the skills needed to get the job that I have now.
If you participated in co-op, what were the highlights/great learning opportunities you gained?
Through co-op I learned that a lot can be smoothed over if you just have a positive attitude, that it is possible to find a 12 inch Minuteman statue that can be shipped to Japan (i.e. nothing is impossible), and that co-op (and most experiences for that matter) is what you make of it.
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?
Study Abroad: I studied abroad in Chirstchurch, New Zealand. I loved in there and made friends that I still keep in touch with today. I had to take classes that would count towards my major, which was a lot more work than most of my friends were doing, but I really enjoyed learning the Kiwi perspective on sociology. After the semester was over I decided to stay an extra month and volunteer with Willing Workers on Organic Farms. I stayed with three different families, was able to learn a little about agriculture, and travel to areas of the country that I hadn't been to yet.International Student Volunteers: I volunteered with ISV in Costa Rica for a month after my sophomore year. It was a great experience because I got to help a family build their home (through my placement with Habitat for Humanity) as well as travel around that beautiful country.
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?
Yes I graduated in 2008. After graduation, I joined the Peace Corps and was placed as a Youth Development Facilitator in Azerbaijan. I was there for 27 months (3 months of training and 2 years of service). I loved my time there and my experience at the Transportation Children's Center definitely helped me in my relationships with my students.I am currently working as a Staff Assistant at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. My experience as an administrative assistant definitely helped me get this job. It took me a while to get this job and in this tough economic time, the co-op experiences on my resume were invaluable.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My brother told me that majoring in sociology would change my life because I would never look at things the same way. He was absolutely right in the best possible way. I believe that being a sociology major will continue to help me understand the world for the rest of my life.
Questions Answered as of 6/29/11