Northeastern University

Julia Judge - Class of 2012

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

I want to go to grad school for social work, and sociology is a great foundation for that. It is a little more research-based than I anticipated, but it still seems like the right major because I'm getting exposed to a lot of different ideas and theories about socialization that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to learn.

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

I chose NU because of the co-op. It is definitely the right school for me, and I was vindicated in my choice because the co-op program has helped me network and gain experience in my field, and given me more confidence to pursue my goals.

How many co-ops have you completed?

I have completed two coops.

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

My first co-op was at the Autism Services Association. I was a job coach for autistic and mentally disabled adults. I brought them to job sites and supervised them so they could gain work experience and become more independent by earning a paycheck, managing money and gaining job skills and confidence. I also brought them on recreational community outings (parks, library, etc).

My second co-o was at Rosie's Place. I worked as the social work intern. I got to work in almost every department of this sanctuary for poor and homeless women: advocacy, food pantry, kitchen, development, front desk, and many more. I got to experience every facet of the organization, from working with the wealthiest donors to serving our guests in the kitchen. I learned the ins and outs of how a nonprofit operates, while gaining direct service experience engaging and helping the women who sought Rosie's services.

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

I gained confidence in dealing with populations that can be unfamiliar or intimidating (i.e. autistic adults and homeless women). I learned how to set boundaries and relate to people on a level I never thought possible. I also learned to some extent how nonprofits operate on a fiscal level. Interacting with people of all walks of life has increased my empathy and desire to help out those in need, and the learning experience I had makes me sure that I can do it in a much more effective way than I knew before.

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 volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children, which allowed me to basically play with homeless children for a couple hours a week while their parents got a break to relax or go to programming that helped them improve their situations. I also volunteered with Headcount, a nonprofit that goes to concerts and registers voters.

Have you Graduated from NU?

Not yet - soon...

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Co-op is great - even if you hate it, at least you learn what you don't want. Also, it's a great opportunity to try new things! I didn't know anything about autism, but after my first co-op I am considering working with that population in the future. Your co-op is not the be-all end-all of your professional life - it's a great time to explore, make mistakes, succeed or decide to change your path.

Questions Answered as of 11/18/2010