Getting Out Of Your Own Way

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“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?” — Jon Kabat-Zinn

cutest-baby-animals-1Everyone has that one friend who we perceive has it all figured out. For some people, a path to their dream career is paved — they know what they want to do and how they’re going to get there. For others, like myself, the future is muddled and thoughts are murky; I have to keep reminding myself that’s okay.

When I get overwhelmed by the fear I’m going to work at my supposed-to-be-only-temporary retail job forever, I, first, literally tell myself to “shut up” and then I tear myself away from the anxiety about my seemingly already failed future to focus on the present moment. There are so many articles on Mindfulness (TIME magazine even released a wonderful special issue on it) you can find online, but here are some of my go-to methods for grounding myself.

Invest in the Process

You might need to rework how you frame your goals. My favorite TED talk is “Plug Into Your Hard-Wired Happiness” by Srikumar Rao. In those 18 minutes, Rao bestows upon us the wisdom that it is fulfilling to invest in the process of getting somewhere, rather than focusing on the outcome. The “If-Then” model of “if this happens, then I will be happy” is a failing one because if “this” does not happen, you won’t be happy; however, if you pride yourself on every step you take to reach the outcome (which exists only to serve as a guide), you’ll be content to succeed or fail, seeing the latter as the start of a new path that will take you somewhere unexpected yet rewarding.

Put It Out in the Universe

There’s something to be said for verbalization. Declare your intent to the universe! How else will it know what to send your way? I’ve kept a fortune from a fortune cookie in my wallet for years: “Greet the world every morning with curiosity and hope.” One mantra Northeastern career counselor Sabrina Woods suggested to me is, “I allow for my highest possible good.” You can also develop your own.

Get Over Others 

The only person who has the privilege of living your life is you. So why let anybody else decide whether you’re doing something wrong? Stop comparing yourself to others. Why let other people impact that way you perceive yourself? Don’t allow someone else’s successes to be a measure of your own happiness. In order to find happiness, you must realize that you, yourself, are worthy of happiness.

Even though you might not be where you want to, keep the faith that when you invest in the process, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.

 

A graduate of Northeastern with a degree in English, Ashley used to be 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 (http://www.linkedin.com/in/amjcbs).

 

 

Shredding Paper with a Smile: Administrative Tasks are Essential to Your Co-Op

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At the end of my first co-op experience, my team took the co-ops out for lunch to thank us for all the work we had done. At the end of the meal, our team members shared some of their favorite office moments with us. While I expected to be thanked for the hard work I had put into various projects, I ended up being surprised by the moments for which I was remembered (some highlights being my organization of twenty folders of paperwork before a team member’s business trip to Peru, another being my sixth sense for when one of the project managers was about to run out of tissues). Though I initially felt that those tasks were trivial in comparison to the hands-on work I had done, I ended up realizing that my performance in all tasks, big and small, equally contributed to my success in the workplace.

Co-ops are especially great because they’re designed to give students hands-on experience in their fields of choice, and they really deliver in that respect. Still, there are likely to be times when you’re asked to do some tasks that are more on the administrative side. While the vitality of ordering lunch for a meeting or making copies may be hard to see on the surface, the completion of tasks like these mean a lot to employers and help shape how you are perceived in the workplace. If you’re ever questioning the importance of shredding paper with a smile, consider the following points to put things in perspective.

attitude1. Attitude is key

Being a team player is essential to thriving in any workplace, and showing that you take every assignment that you’re given seriously goes a long way in an employer’s book. Also, if your position isn’t mainly administrative in itself, these moments are most likely few and far between. Proving that you can do simple tasks is also a handy gateway to being given more responsibility later on.

2. No job is too small

If your supervisor or your coworkers ask you to do something, it’s because it needs to get done; no one is going to give you work for no reason. At my current position, my supervisor seated me with the task of organizing and uploading some of her publications to various academic databases when I ran out of experiment-related tasks to do. Completing that project allowed me to learn a lot more about her research background, and the email notifications she now forwards me when her articles are accessed in Japan and Uzbekistan prove that the magnitude of a small task can be truly global.

3. Something can be learned from any experience

At my first co-op working in an office, I’d occasionally have to order lunch for meetings and field random customer service inquiries over email. I was initially uncomfortable talking on the phone and needed at least fifteen minutes to write an email; by the end of the co-op, my voice stopped going up an octave when I called Mrs. B’s to order wraps, and writing emails became a breeze. Those duties helped hone my communication skills, and the benefits of that spilled over into both my work life and my daily life.

4. It’s a taste of reality

In any job (and life in general), there will always be things that you have to do, regardless of how much you want to do them. Take homework, for example. All kidding aside, you don’t  always get to pick and choose which tasks you want to work on, which people you interact with, which deadlines you need to meet—the list goes on. Learning to embrace one’s obligations and putting what you need to do first, before what you want to do is key for success.

Going on co-op has taught me that being willing to tackle every task with equal tenacity, no matter how big or how small, plays a key part in making you a co-op to remember. Plus, your color-coding skills could earn you honorable mention over “thank you” dessert.

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.

 

 

Beyond the Green Line: Washington D.C.

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BEYOND THE GREEN LINE is a blog series featured on the Northeastern University Career Development Blog, ‘The Works’.  Each post highlights a major city and gives you an inside look at the local food, culture, music scene, the industries that are thriving there, and some current job openings in the area.

This post written by guest author third year Northeastern student Molly Osmulski.

Did you know that aside from being home to the President, our nation’s capital is the headquarters for 15 Fortune 500 companies including Capital One, Marriott International and Discovery Communications? Business Insider ranked Washington, D.C. the #1 “Top City for Educated Millennials.” It has seen the largest growth in its millennial population of any major U.S. city since 2008.washington-d-c

D.C. offers culture, diversity and plenty of government, professional and technical jobs. Last year, job growth in D.C. outpaced the country’s average with almost 30,000 new jobs in professional services added last year alone!

In 2016 alone, over 65 Northeastern students have co-oped in D.C. and many alumni are thriving there too – you can connect with them through the well-established D.C. Alumni network.

Wondering what your fellow huskies think about D.C.? Ask Divya Erram, a current Northeastern student and DC co-op connector working at Advoc8, and she’ll tell you:

            “Advoc8 has given me opportunities I never imagined, including attending and working at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this past summer, participating in event walkthroughs with our team in multiple states, and help[ing] d-c-studentcreate and order merchandise for political campaigns and companies.  I am especially lucky to have a co-op supervisor who is a Northeastern Alum, Ben Adams (‘15), who has really made a name for himself in the District and has become a role model to me. Because of this relationship, I have been able to see firsthand what a Northeastern Husky can accomplish in the real world.

 

I am currently considering options that would allow me to move back to Washington, D.C. once I graduate.  I truly believe that I have found a home here. Almost everyone here is a transplant from d-c-student-at-marketsomewhere else whether a different city, state, country, or continent which makes the city rich with culture, cuisine, and events. There is not a day that goes by without something to do and is a great place for any young professional.”

 

 

 

 

 

Divya Erram enjoying Union Market, an artisanal food market

Some other perks to D.C.? See below…

Food and Drink:

  • Try a Half Smoke at the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl (even President Obama can’t resist)d-c-food
  • Grab lunch from one of the city’s many gourmet food trucks
  • Enjoy authentic wat and injera at an Ethiopian restaurants

Culture:

  • Welcome spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival each year
  • Explore the world during Passport D.C. when all the city’s embassies and cultural d-c-cherry-blossom-nations-capitalorganizations hold open houses and special programming
  • Enjoy an opera or ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • Museum hop for days and check out the National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum and the all the Smithsonians, among many, many others; if you prefer the less conventional, check out The Fridge, a DC gallery specializing in street art

Activities:

  • Go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or even swan boating in the Potomac River
  • See a Redskins, Nationals or Wizards game
  • Pay tribute to our founders d-c-nationals-gameand visit all the city’s many monuments
  • Explore Theodore Roosevelt Island – great for fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing
  • See a free Friday night concert every week from May – September at Yards Park

 

Divya Erram at a Washington Nationals game with fellow NU students RoseMarie Kay, co-oping at the House of Representatives, and Dayo Hall, co-oping at International Law Institute

Feeling convinced? Below are some jobs to consider while you anxiously await our next Beyond the Green Line post on Austin, TX next week!

Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

  • Capital One Associate, Commercial Specialty Underwriter, Healthcare Cash Flow
  • Defense Point Security Forensic Analyst
  • PublicRelay Media Analyst
  • National Public Radio Social Media Strategist
  • Advanced Simulation Technology Application Engineer; Embedded Software Engineer
  • Mapbox Mobile Support Developer, IOS; Information Security Engineer
  • American College of Cardiology Foundation Member Strategy Support Specialist; Senior Project Coordinator
  • Micropact Operations Business Analyst
  • National Cooperative Bank Credit Analyst, Commercial Real Estate
  • RAND Corporation Statistical Programmer
  • Social Tables Product Designer; Writer, Content & Editorial
  • RepEquity Account Coordinator; Business Development Associate

We want your feedback!

Leave us a comment if there’s anything we’ve missed or a particular city you’d like us to profile!  If you’d like to have your photos considered for the next post, send over your Austin photos now!

This post was authored by Molly Osmulski, a third year Northeastern student. Molly is working toward a degree in Marketing with a minor in International Affairs. She works part time at the Northeastern Career Development office and has previously completed a co-op at Travel + Leisure Magazine in NYC and has studied abroad at the London School of Economics. When she is not studying or searching for her next co-op, she loves travelling, thrift shopping and trying new foods. You can contact her at osmulski.m@husky.neu.edu.