Northeastern University

Krupa Asher - 2011 Outstanding Co-op Award

Krupa graduated in 2011 with a Human Services and International Affairs combined degree from the College Social Sciences and Humanities. She completed three co-ops and earned an Outstanding Co-op Award.

She completed the following co-ops:

  • Mayor's Office of Film and Music-City of Seattle: Film + Music Intern in the Fall of 2008
  • Parikrma Humanity Foundation:International Volunteer in the Fall of 2009
  • Freeman Indonesia Nonprofit Internship Program : Economic Development (in Indonesia)in the Summer of 2010
  • The following is an excerpt from her nomination paper drafted by Lisa Worsh, Co-op Faculty:

    Krupa successfully completed three co-ops, one working at the Mayor's Office of Film and Music-City of Seattle as a Film and Music Intern (Fa08), the second at the Parikrma Humanity Foundation (in India) as an International Volunteer (Fa09), and the last as a 4 month experiential co-op with me at the Freeman Indonesia Nonprofit Internship Program (in Indonesia) as an Economic Development Intern (Su10). Krupa has moved all over the country and the world to try new things and give back to the community. She is a brave and inspirational woman!

    Krupa’s first co-op with the Mayor’s office in Seattle was something she never saw herself doing. Yet, she packed up, moved across the country and helped them with their festival planning for a small stipend to sustain her. In her tenure there, she maintained and updated numerous databases, wrote and managed the weekly e-newsletter, and communicated with over 4,000 constituents within film, music and technology industries. She helped plan and coordinate an event with over 1,000 attendees, evaluated success, and created a plan for next annual event.

    Krupa describes the outcome of this experience best in her own words, “I never expected to land a job such as the one I did and I’m not sure that I was totally prepared for it going in… Often times I felt another person might have benefited more from this job but then again, another person probably would not have learned and gained as much as I did ... My international affairs background helped give me the big picture look at things and my human services background allowed me to see the city’s role in helping its citizens". The employer loved her, “Krupa tackled every job with a can do attitude and delivered the highest quality of work…consistently was beyond expectation…Within the first week she …was competently handling specialized projects on par with experienced staff…..(she is a ) quick study and (gave) careful attention to details…. Krupa proved to be an incredible asset to this office. In addition to daily assistance, she built new systems for doing business and provided us with resources that will undoubtedly help us in the future. …She …exceed(s) expectations".

    In her second co-op, Krupa helped create the Parikrma position (in India), build networks, and solidify funding on her own and through the Social Change Though Peace Games (SCTPG) club. (Krupa was denied one of the first international Presidential grants - she wasn’t deemed to have financial need. So, she earned provost and research grants to fund herself). The SCTPG club decided that they wanted to make an international impact. Krupa competed for, and earned, this competitive spot. She did an amazing job building the program from nothing. The Parikrma Foundation’s mission is to bring ‘top-class’ education to the poorest of the poor children in Bangalore. Krupa helped them meet that goal and brought them the innovative SCTPG curriculum. She faced many challenges while she was there, “I had a lot of questions for (Parikrma) regarding housing, hours, structure, logistics, etc…(I thought) everything would be figured out once I arrived there. The most important lesson I learned throughout this whole process is that things are done a lot differently in India … I learned that I should not be afraid to demand answers because otherwise I would not get them... I learned to be confident, assertive and self-reliant.”

    Her employer thought that her work was amazing and a true “positive change” for the students, “She always adheres to our ethical standards and is very sensitive in addressing the culture issue and customs of our school…She executed this project single handedly with great enthusiasum and zeal, there were many obstacles but she took it on as a challenge and completed the project….She accepts the feedback well and is always ready to modify things for the good.” Unfortunately, Krupa was the only student to do this co-op. Others were too intimidated. But, after the India co-op, SCTPG had two co-ops go to Belize doing similar work based on what Krupa did in India. Krupa still gets several emails from her students. Parikrma chose to continue the class, and students completed and implemented an action plan to help their school community after she left!

    Krupa learned through her experience in India that she was in the correct majors and she wanted to focus more on social entrepreneurship. All of this, she did on her third co-op (it was a student developed, experiential co-op). She found the Freeman Indonesia Nonprofit Internship program (FINIP), an opportunity for cross-cultural interaction and experience working at a nonprofit in Indonesia. Only ten American students were selected! The internship aimed to enhance cross-cultural understanding between young Americans and Indonesians to create stronger diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Krupa worked with an organization called, PUPUK (Association for the Advancement of Small Businesses). They strengthen the small business sector in Indonesia through a variety of interventions. Krupa and her partner came up with a creative business strategy to help PUPUK offset the costs of their social services. She learned to write a business plan, researched other ‘social businesses,” learned how to work with a language barrier, grew comfortable asking for clarifications, made mistakes, learned a lot. She also helped plan a successful event (for 200 guests) to ‘give back’ to the city. Krupa was so engaged by what she was doing there that she has been applying for a Fulbright Scholarship. I think she has a really good chance! Krupa is so grateful for her co-op experiences, “I feel so grateful that I have had the chance to go on co-op. Without experiences such as my challenging and inspiring co-op in India and my career defining one in Indonesia, I would honestly be at a complete loss at what to do for grad school”

    In the future, according to Krupa, she wants to get a Masters in International Development with a dual MBA. She has already impacted so many youth internationally; I believe she will impact many more!

    In conclusion:

  • Krupa devoted her co-ops, internships, and volunteering to serving others in the community in very creative ways

  • She has grown an amazing amount since her first co-op and is sharing this knowledge and passion with NU, the city of Boston’s youth, and internationally!

  • The University highlighted Krupa on their webpage, for her work in India

  • Krupa kept blogs during both of her international co-ops that my students regularly read (they are in her Student Spotlight on this webpage)

  • Krupa is also an RA on campus, a Service learning TA, a conversation partner for the English Language Center on campus, and she is the Co-Director for Local Community Outreach for Peace Games

  • She has exhibited unusual resourcefulness and courage in her pursuit of co-op experiences to further her expertise in teaching, Social enterprise, and civic engagement

  • Krupa’s evaluations from her first two co-op employers (the third was an experiential – so I was the employer) indicate that her performance on the job exceeded expectations

  • She has completed her education at NU with a GPA of 3.8, and has integrated academic and personal interests with co-op opportunities

  • Krupa has taken full advantage of the co-op program for redirecting her education and for career exploration

  • Page from the awards booklet