In the Land of Fairy Tale Castles and Game Designs

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Are you considering Germany as a destination for your global co-op experience? 

This country located in the heart of Europe is an economic powerhouse, hosts some of the highest ranking universities and competitive employers in the areas of research, banking, architecture and every else you might imagine.  A great location with access to many major European cities within a few hours.               

Neuschwanstein Castle

I trIMG_2056aveled to Berlin and Munich in April to develop co-ops with universities and employers.  Northeastern has already active partnerships with Humboldt and Freie Universities and the plan was to expand and include Technical University of Berlin, Ludwig Maximillian University and Technical University of Munich.  Amazing opportunities for research in many disciplines for the Colleges of Engineering (COE), College of Science and College of Computer Science (CCIS) and Information Technology.   Already two NU students are on their way to Munich to conduct their exciting research opportunities at LMU.

Additionally, Germany and Berlin especially is a hub for architects and game design professionals.  Names such as Behzadi, Topotek 1, Peters und Wormuth are among the well-known architecture firms already hosting Northeastern students.  My short visits to these companies were both profitable and enjoyable.  Our students, all from the College of Arts, Media and Design were fully immersed into the highly competitive and diverse teams.  The best part is that they socialize after work which makes life so much more interesting in a city such as Berlin and proves that the Husky network is always strong abroad.

The laboratory at SOPAT
IMG_1931 (002)Germany is also a popular country for COE students with a growing number of engineering firms offering co-ops.  I visited SOPAT, a company specializing in the analysis of particulate systems.  They develop and market an innovative measurement technology for real-time analysis of multi-phase systems.  Their technique is optimizing chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological processes.  Our contact has two ongoing positions for COE students and just created a new one for CCIS.

At Wooga

IMG_1909Wooga, is a true a playground for professionals.  My first and best game design company.  Mackenzie Denker, CCIS student, and my gracious host showed me the magnificent open space offices, employee dining area (they get cooked meals every day), employee nap spaces (yes, you read it right), conference rooms and waiting areas.  The game theme was everywhere and at the reception, a visitor can get freebies.  I ended up with an Agent Alice t-shirt and stickers.  An excellent employer for CCIS students interested in game design and also CAMD for graphic design and art/animation interns and UI/UX.

IMG_2017Linderhof Palace

The real no Disney version– fairy tale castles.  When you find yourself in Germany or any other country close by, you should definitely visit the castles in Munich, Bavaria.  The Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria are simply amazing.  During your visit, you can enjoy extraordinary Bavarian food, picturesque villages along the way and the grandeur of the Alps.

Business Co-ops with a flavor – did I mention the desserts?IMG_1893
Make sure you enjoy cheesecake and tiramisu while in Germany.  One of my employer visits included the best cream cheese and cappuccino from a small local coffee shop by the name of Café 93.  Julius Chichon, a D’ Amore – McKim graduate invited me over to talk about co-ops at his start-up company.

Stay tuned…


This blog was submitted by Aspa Papanastasiou.  Aspa brings over 15 years of job development and program management to the Global Employer Relations Team. Talented in recruitment and placement of diverse candidates she enjoys creating partnerships in higher education, business, and non-profit industries.  Aspa strives to maximize her global connections to develop new and exciting co-op opportunities for students of all Northeastern Colleges.   When she is not on Skype with an employer or university in some distant part of the world she enjoys biking and sailing at the Charles River. She can be reached at

Twitter! Your Networking Secret Weapon

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The pinnacle of my college networking experiences came in the form of tea in New York City with a writer from my favorite magazine. I slipped away from my final semester for a week to network while I could still use the whole “college student figuring out what I want to do with my life” excuse to ask for people’s time. What my career counselor found to be most miraculous about this particular informational interview was not that I was fortunate enough to have it, it was how. In retrospect, my request was quite long-winded and ridiculous. Journalists, I have found, are a laid-back, friendly bunch, though I was too intimidated at the time and could only muster formalities. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My first ever tweet had something to do with the frozen vegetable medley I made with dinner, complete with a hashtag I can’t remember. While that account no longer exists, I filled it with 140-character bursts of millennial genius while latching onto every word Bret Easton Ellis and Nikki Sixx tweeted, and used it to catch up with my internet friends. Everybody starts somewhere. When I got my own radio show on WRBB, I created a Twitter account to promote it and the local musicians I spun and interviewed on-air. Twitter continued to prove a worthwhile tool during an internship with ‘stache media/RED Distribution when I began using the same account to post content about larger/more well-known music artists, which were subsequently shared by said artists, venues, and record labels. Tweeting mostly about music, I began having some semblance of clout. And then one Friday, I tweeted #FF (for #FollowFriday, where the goal is to call attention to accounts worth paying attention to) and listed every writer I could find from my favorite magazine. Most of them ignored it, two of them favorited it, and one followed me back. After we started engaging with each other’s posts, I felt comfortable enough to ask him for his email address and sent a request to meet up for an informational interview the next time I was in New York. This was a few years ago, and his family and I keep in touch.

I share this now with the intent to provide basic guidelines for how one can create one’s own experiences and foster meaningful connections (that can turn into friendships) through Twitter. Social networks, after all, are called “networks” for a reason.

Understanding Twitter’s True Value

My favorite thing about Twitter is how accessible people are — the writers, the celebrities, the executives, the Forbes 30 Under 30. On LinkedIn, you need to be a certain degree to a person in order to message him/her, but with Twitter, you can reach out to anyone. Not only does Twitter provide an opportunity to engage with people on a more personal level, it allows you to keep up with industry trends and happenings in real time.

building-up-strong-connections-on-twitterFinding Ideal Contacts

Interested in working at a specific company?
Follow everyone you can who lists employment at your dream company in their bio. Engage with them about the professional content they post (taking interest in the personal life of someone you’ve never interacted with is creepy). As with anything, being overzealous isn’t appealing — liking or retweeting every tweet your ideal connection posts isn’t going to make a good impression. Instead, share a link to an article or video this person posted and include his/her handle at the end with “via @username.” If he/she wrote an article, tweet the link, tag the person, and write about the value it gave you.

Trying to break into a specific field? Find out who the influencers are by following industry publications and those who write for them. The more time you spend reading up on an industry, the more informed you are of real world applications, trends, and executives. When you engage with potential contacts, you’ll come across as someone who pays attention.

Establishing Your Voice & Rules of Engagement (Don’t be a sycophant)

  • Notice what your potential contacts tweet and how they do it. Of course, don’t curse or get political (even if they do), but, given your field, emojis can be acceptable here.
  • Be a human, not a robot. People like authenticity, not those who are all business, so don’t be afraid to intersperse personal tidbits in your posts. Big sports fan? Tweet about the game. Went to a concert one night? Share a photo.
  • When sharing content about your field, tag all those involved and always give credit when and where it’s due.
  • If you’re not knowledgeable about something, be resourceful and do some research. If you don’t know where to start, tweet to an influencer: “Not too familiar with this but would love to learn. Who are your favorite writers on the subject? What websites do you recommend I look at?” If you show an interest in learning, people are apt to respond in your favor.
  • Do NOT “troll” people, start arguments, rant about a bad day you’re having, or subtweet (passive-aggressive hints at a problem or frustration without directly mentioning the issue).

Twitter can be a great networking tool if you take advantage of the platform and create opportunities for yourself. Who knows who you’ll click with and where it could lead? Remember, you can’t control whether people respond to you, but you can control your approach.

A graduate of Northeastern with a degree in English, Ashley previously was the News Director and a DJ for WRBB 104.9 FM, the university’s student-run radio station. When she’s not working at Apple, she writes for music blogs and builds her marketing portfolio. Informational interviews, cooking and rock & roll are some of her favorite things. Tell her what you’re listening to via Twitter @amjcbs or connect with her on LinkedIn (


Daunted by the Career Fair? Don’t Be, Here’s Why

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top10top10The career fair can be pretty intimidating and overwhelming. With the long lines and what seems like an endless sea of students vying for employers’ attention, you may not be sure where to start. That said, don’t miss out on your chance of meeting with some great employers because you’re a little uneasy. With a little preparation and strategy, navigating the career fair can actually be much easier than you think.

  1. Review the employer list and pick out your top 10
    Review the list of employers and rank your top 10 from most desirable (#1) to least (#10). Then do some research. I only have 30 seconds to really talk to you, so the most impressive students are able to cite a specific job they saw or something about the company that is attractive to them.
  2. Talk to your #10 first and your #1 last
    It is normal to be nervous when talking to an employer for the first time, and you may fumble a bit your first few go-arounds. Be strategic and start with your number 10 employer and finish up with your number one. By the time you get to your favorite employer, you will be able to nail your pitch.
  3. Get to the point
     In any other circumstances, I’m happy to tell you about my personal career trajectory, but this is not the correct setting for that conversation. With so many students to meet, I would rather learn about your background and why you’re interested in our company. Ask pointed questions about an area of interest, interview timelines or a position you saw posted.
  4. I can’t answer “What do you have for me?”
    I’m well versed in the roles we have available for students, but I’m not well versed in what you’d like to do with your career. It is difficult for me to answer the question “I’m a business major, what do you offer for business majors?” without having a more in-depth knowledge of your skills, background, and interests. I’m happy to point you in the right direction, but I don’t have specific jobs just for business majors or just for psych majors. Most positions will consider all majors with the right level of experience, skills and a strong interest in our company.
  5. Dress the part
    You are at a professional event unless you’re coming directly from a track meet and there’s no time for you to change, make sure you’re dressed professionally and appropriately. First impressions do matter, and rolling in wearing shorts and an old band t-shirt is not the ideal.
  6. Follow directions AND follow up
    If I tell you to do something, then first do it and then follow up. Often times we have on-campus interviews, if I encourage you to apply via your school job board, make sure you do and feel free to send the recruiter you met an email that says you did. It’s a nice reminder for the recruiter to look out for your application and also affirms your interest in our company and position.

Whether you’re looking to chat with your dream company, or still exploring which industry will be the best fit for you, the career fair is a great place to get leads and practice your pitch. Best of luck next week!

Kelly Scott is a campus recruiter at Liberty Mutual Insurance where she primarily supports the recruiting efforts for Liberty’s analytical programs filling both full-time and internship roles. Prior to Liberty, she worked in higher education as a career counselor advising undergraduates, graduates, and alumni on topics spanning from job search through career exploration. She has a master’s in College Student Development and Counseling and a bachelor’s in Communication Studies from Northeastern University.