Boston is My International Experience!

Hello! I’m Josie Aitken-Sheridan, a third year Business Management student from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. I have lived in Glasgow my entire life up until June of this year and am proud to call Glasgow my home!

My Business Management degree allows me to take an industrial placement for one year, which prompted me to apply to come and work for Northeastern University. My position is within the Employer Relations department, as well as working closely alongside staff from Career Development.

This role has been extremely insightful and worthwhile so far and has allowed me to grow the skills that I already gained back home in Scotland from previous jobs. Since I am classed as a student for the duration of my time here, I am also entitled to use the services that Career Development offer to expand on my own personal development.

All in all, it’s a wonderful place to work in. The reason I like it so much is because I get to work alongside hard working and supportive staff members who embody the values of Northeastern and truly have each and every student and employer’s interests at heart. In my previous jobs, I never experienced a good work environment and often felt that my efforts were never really appreciated. This job is completely different. I can say confidently that I feel like a valued member of this department and that I am the happiest I have ever seen myself in a full-time job. Result!
My time here in Boston is so valuable to me because it is allowing me to stand out from other students who don’t have experience working in another country. I have adapted well to Boston culture and society, which I hope that in the future will present more job opportunities for me. I also have a passion for traveling, so the prospect of working in different countries excites me!

More importantly, I have found that I have learned more about myself being in Boston than I ever did when I was back home. I believe that when you don’t have the support from your family and friends that you are used to having, you rely on yourself more than you thought possible. Your independence is really put to the test when you are alone with day-to-day life. My values have played a big part in how I have worked and lived in Boston, thus making it more important for myself to reflect on what I have learned whilst being away and putting it to good use when I eventually return to Scotland.

One piece of advice I would give to students who have been away from home for a long period of time is not to worry! Your family will always be there for you no matter what. If you work hard during your time here at Northeastern, the appreciation and respect from your family is the greatest reward you can get.

Lastly, traveling has probably been the most enjoyable part of my time here in the United States. So far I have managed to travel to Portland (in Maine, not Oregon), New York City, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Each state that I have visited has been completely different to the last, making each experience more memorable. I believe that any student who is studying at Northeastern must make time to travel outside of Massachusetts! Boston is an amazing city but there is so much to see in this country, so don’t limit yourself only to one place. Like I said before, I love to travel! It has had a great impact on my life and has made me more open to new things. Boston has definitely without a doubt strengthened my appreciation for travel and the joys that it can bring!          

     

 (Pictures from Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington DC)

Living in Boston has been an incredible experience thus far. I find it to be a surprisingly welcoming and friendly city. There is so much to do and appreciate in Boston and I am proud that I am able to call this city my temporary home.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions about my time here! I would love to hear more stories from other students.Thank you for reading!

Josie Aitken-Sheridan, Employer Relations Coordinator Intern
BA (Hons) Business Management – 2018, LinkedIn: Josie Aitken-Sheridan
Instagram : josieisabella_

A Global Experience in Husky Territory!

About a year ago I was sitting in a lecture theater back in Scotland learning about industrial placement (also known as Co-op) at Northeastern University. Today I have to admit that it is not what I expected, but so much more! And I realize that I need to take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves.

My international co-op (internship) at Northeastern is definitely a life learning experience. The past six months have been a tremendous professional growth opportunity. I came to that realization this past week as I have been participating in and helping with the interviews for next year’s incoming Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) intern traveling to Boston. It was at that point that I realized how much I grew as a professional, I recognize how much I have changed and how much this experience is shaping my future – and how much it will impact me, for the rest of my professional career.

Since the beginning of my internship I have been able to build stronger communication skills both verbal and non-verbal, to achieve this I have been assisting and presenting to different student bodies, information sessions, facilitated employers call and visit on campus. I have also been corresponding with different employers all around the globe on almost a day to day basis. The skills were further improved through the management of large scale event – 400 students attending and participating- and with the administration of the front desk of the Career Services department, a highly visible position with a lot of traffic requiring vigilance and multitasking. This part of my role was challenging at first as I wasn’t familiar nor had experience in business administration.

My work at Northeastern University over the past couple of months gave me a growth opportunity that I never expected to happen as no previous employment gave the opportunity to expand my understanding and abilities to deeply explore a business environment and its opportunities on a global scale as well as getting a deep and comprehensive knowledge of higher education in the USA. This will further help me to shape who I am as a professional as I will have experiences in different working culture. The American working culture is really different than any European working culture I have previously experienced. This hierarchical system made me realize the opportunities of growth that are available in the USA and therefore making think about different opportunities that coming back to the USA after graduation might offer me.

Overall, my experience has been valuable and challenging, as I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.  You can read my weekly or monthly Vlog about my internship; as it will definitely shape my professional future.

Alexandra Wilcock, is a third year Business Management Student from Glasgow Caledonian University. Originally from France,she decided after high school to move to Glasgow to pursue her  dreams. After two years of theory and classroom learning, she was ready to experience the real world and get involved in a yearlong professional engagement.

 

Going Online with Confidence: How to Ace Your Skype Interviews


While it would be wildly convenient if co-ops and careers fell from the sky into our laps, that’s simply not how the world works. In order to be hired in any position, it’s generally a given that you’ll face a much-dreaded hurdle: the interview. Mastering the interview (and, for me personally, learning to rein in my awkward nature) is a lifelong endeavor that generally improves over time. However, while applying for co-ops abroad during the past two months, I had to grapple with a new beast: the Skype interview. While the thought of doing a Skype interview used to make me wish I didn’t have a webcam, after partaking in several of them, I have a better feel for how they’re best handled. If you have a Skype interview coming up and find yourself nervous to stop hiding behind your “do not disturb” status, consider the following tips.

Find a good interview spot

Before worrying about the interview itself, decide where you’re best suited to take your call. A good environment for a conversation builds the foundation for a seamless exchange. A quiet space with a neutral background and good lighting are ideal. Perhaps most importantly, flawless Wi-Fi is key. After having the call drop a few times during my first interview, which I took in my flat, I did the rest of them from my office after hours because the internet connection is much more reliable there. Nothing kills the flow of a good conversation like being cut off in the middle of it!

Take account of your account

Before sharing your contact details with a potential employer, evaluate how you present yourself on Skype. Is your screen name appropriate? Is the song lyric you last posted as your status unprofessional? Do you have a profile picture? If yes, does it reflect the initial image you want an employer to have, of you? If you don’t currently have a profile picture, consider adding one before your interview; employers generally appreciate being able to see who they’ll be speaking with beforehand, and it adds a personal touch to your profile.

Additionally, make sure you share Skype contact details with the employer before the interview. For good measure, change the generic “I’d like to add you as a contact” message to something more personal regarding looking forward to the interview, for example. Along with being an additional pleasantry, doing this allows you to confirm the identity of the person you add. If you get a confused response from someone you’ve accidentally added thinking they were your potential employer, you’ll find out right away rather than minutes before the interview. Another essential thing to remember is setting your status to “online.” I perpetually set my status as “away,” regardless of whether or not I’m in front of my computer, so I made a note for myself to remember to sign on before all my interviews.

Businesswoman with Laptop

 

Dress for success…at least from the waist up
Skype interviews are unique in that they allow you to present yourself to an employer from the waist up, providing the opportunity to tweak your bottom-half wardrobe strategy for the interview. While some people feel more confident dressed in head-to-toe business attire, I always feel a bit out of my element in such clothes because I wear them so rarely. So, being able to swap my dress pants in for sweatpants during an interview without fear of being penalized helped me relax. Plus, being able to say you landed a position while wearing your comfiest clothes brings a satisfaction worth experiencing.

Use the split-screen advantage

Another advantage unique to Skype interviews is being able to keep notes directly in front of you during the conversation. While you can obviously still use notes written on paper, I found it helpful to keep my résumé and interview notes in a Word document on one side of my computer screen while keeping the Skype window on the other side. Being the kind of person who holds notecards during presentations but never ends up looking down at them, I always feel more comfortable having a reference handy, regardless of how much I use it. If you use this strategy, take care to focus on the interviewer and not stare at your notes the whole time, though!

Regardless of whether you interview in person, over the phone, or through Skype, entering it prepared and confident always lead to the best results; for my fellow Skype interviewees, these tips are a plus. Good luck, fellow co-ops! May the Wi-Fi be ever in your favor.

Nicolette Pire is a junior Combined Linguistics and English major. She is currently pursuing her second co-op as a research assistant in the psycholinguistics group at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. An aspiring polyglot, she’s using her first international experience to immerse herself in as many cultures as possible while sharing her international faux pas along the way. Feel free to reach out to her at pire.n@husky.neu.edu.