Northeastern University

Amanda Golden - Class of 2011

Sociology

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

I started as a theatre major, but after a year in NU's theatre program I realized that it wasn't the right fit for me, and I wanted a career that would allow me to have a direct and positive impact on others. I tried being a biology major to go to medical school, but chemistry wasn't exactly my strength! I then tried psychology, and to fulfill some of my core requirements for the psych major I took a few sociology classes.

While in Intro to Sociology with Arnie Arluke, I realized that I was actually happy to get up for a 9:15am class and enjoyed going to it, and that was a big wake-up sign for me! A major reason why I ended up deciding on sociology, in addition to truly enjoying the classes, was that I had amazing professors. Professor Arluke was the first professor who truly showed me how interesting sociology can be, and how broad the field is, and he inspired me to do some research into the field.

I soon found out that a BA in sociology is the perfect foundation for an MSW, and after finding out more about social work, I knew that I had found the career I wanted. It involved working with children, which is something I've always known I'm interested in, and social workers help to make a huge positive impact on the people they work with. The more sociology classes I took, the more I fell in love with my major, and my passion for it has yet to stop growing. The moment I truly realized that I made the right decision about my major was in the fall semester of my junior year, when I was taking the sociology statistics class. I had hated math in high school and had been dreading the statistics portion of the sociology requirements, and I figured I'd end up hating the course. I found that I was completely wrong - I LOVED my statistics course and ended up getting an A in the class! Seeing that I could do well in, an enjoy, a class that I thought I was going to hate helped show me that I was 100% right in choosing to be a sociology major.

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

I applied to NU because my high school friend had applied there and said it was a beautiful school, so I figured, "why not"! I really didn't have a top-choice school when I started researching colleges, so when I got back an acceptance letter from Northeastern, I was excited, but I still hadn't decided which school I really loved. My parents took me (kicking and screaming) on college visits, and because I had been given an academic scholarship to NU, we made a weekend trip up to Boston.

I had visited two schools the week before (Allegheny College and Loyola College) and thought that I'd end up going to one of those schools. However, within minutes of arriving on campus at Northeastern, I had this gut feeling that I had to go there. I can't put it into words, but somehow, I just knew that this was the right school for me. I visited on admitted students' day in April, and the campus was full of school spirit! There were black and red balloons, Husky banners, booths set up to give out info about NU, chalk notices on the sidewalk with advertisements for clubs and events, and NU students were sprawled all over campus!

While taking my tour of the campus, I saw how gorgeous the buildings were, the art work, and there was actually grass on a city campus! I loved how there was definitely a college campus feel, and yet the school was right in the heart of Boston, so we got the best of both worlds. Throughout the day, I passed students studying in the commons, playing frisbee in Krentzman Quad, waiting for the T on Huntington Avenue, and I felt like I could really belong there. I knew that if I decided to go to NU, I would be happy for my entire stay there, and I would meet some incredible people. I was absolutely right in my decision - I've met amazing friends, fell in love with Boston, had some wonderful professors, and even became a Red Sox fan despite being from New York!

How many co-ops have you completed?

One

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

I am currently on co-op this semester and am working as an intern for the Education and Assistance Corporation. For my co-op, I am a social work intern and get to have tons of hands-on experience. I supervise non-custodial parent visitations, fill out case reports and send reports to court, conduct client intakes and fill out intake reports, teach and assist in parenting education classes, conduct workshops for children and teens on various topics (such as bullying), and perform various office duties including making/receiving phone calls, sending faxes, and organizing files.

I am still participating in my co-op for the semester; it has been a wonderful opportunity to gain hands-on experience in social work which will greatly help me with my future career. Having this co-op has reassured me that I am entering the right field and that getting my MSW is the right decision. I have been able to work with children by leading workshops and teaching parenting classes. For instance, I have helped to teach several cycles of "Bright Beginnings", a parenting class for parents and toddlers in which we focus on parent-child interaction by singing songs, playing games, holding brief discussions with parents, etc.

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?

Yes, I will be going abroad to study at the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece for the fall of 2010 (next semester).

Questions Answered as of 04/16/2010