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.