5 Steps to Creating a Self-Developed Co-op!

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Self-developing your own co-op might be more time consuming than the more common co-ops offered through Northeastern. You need to do a significant amount of research and reach out to companies. This experience, however, will be very rewarding, as it will be based on your academic and professional interests and goals. I have always been very passionate about working with children and in the field of social services, and therefore developed my own co-op, working as a Legal Guardian in Germany in Spring 2016. Here are the steps I took. I recommend keeping the following in mind when finding and developing your next co-op!

1. Inform your Co-op Coordinator about your interest in pursuing a self-developed co-op:

When thinking about your internship/co-op, you need to meet with your co-op advisor and discuss all the possibilities Northeastern already has to offer. Some things you need to keep in mind:

  • Areas of interest and passion
  • Location (in-state, out-of-state, or global)
  • Workplace environment
  • Finances (budget)

2. Start contacting potential companies and employers:

It is important to start contacting companies you are interested in as soon as possible. Since you have to do a lot of work yourself, you need to be very organized and plan your deadlines appropriately. There are some companies that are not  familiar with the co-op program that Northeastern has and the requirements for both the student and the employer. Here are the criteria the employer needs to be aware of when hiring and working with a co-op student:

  • co-op duration is typically 6 months in length
  • co-ops are typically paid a wage (determined by the employer)
  • The student is expected to work at least 35 hours per week
  • self-developed co-ops need to be approved and vetted through the co-op advisor to ensure the co-op is meeting Northeastern standards

3. Interviews:

Like with any other internship/co-op opportunity, you will most likely be asked to have an interview with the employer. This can be in the form of an in-person meeting, via Skype, by phone or email. It is very important to prepare for this in advance and to become familiar with the company you are interviewing for.

4. Confirm your position with your co-op coordinator and employer:

Students must confirm their co-op positions with their co-op  coordinator to ensure the co-op is suitable for them and their program (major/concentration, etc.)


5.  Now, you are ready to start your exciting self-developed co-op!





Christina Zupanc is a 3rd year English major with a minor in International Affairs. She spent her first co-op in Germany working as a legal guardian. She enjoys traveling, reading and cooking. Email: zupanc.c@husky.neu.edu




Beyond the Green Line: Charlotte, NC

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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 authored by third year Northeastern student Molly Osmulski.


Charlotte, NC is often thought of as the ‘city of bankers’ – hosting the headquarters of Bank of America as well as many major Wells Fargo offices, it is the second largest banking center in the country, trailing only NYC. But that’s not all it is. Charlotte also boasts large healthcare, insurance and energy industries. There are 14 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in North Carolina, with 8 in the Charlotte area including Duke Energy, Mctron Technologies, Nucor and Clariant Corp.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte has added over 30 jobs per day over the last decade. Not only can you find a job in Charlotte, but you can find an engaging career – Forbes ranked Charlotte #1 on its list of “10 Cities with the Best Employee Engagement.” Also, your hard earned money will go further in Charlotte – the cost of living is 1.3% below the national average, which is a welcome change from Boston’s rates.

Several Northeastern students have co-oped in Charlotte including industrial engineering grad student Sahil Shah who’s currently working at Siemens Energy. Sahil shared that,

“Charlotte has definitely been a great experience in terms of my co-op as well as the city experience. It is a bit laid back compared to the ever-vibrant atmosphere in Boston, but very peaceful…and the temperatures here are also very pleasant compared to Boston’s terrible winter.”

And if you’re worried about blazing a trail to Charlotte, Northeastern has a big presence there already with a Regional Campus in Charlotte that just celebrated it’s 5th anniversary. The campus offers graduate programs to serve the region’s unique industry needs in areas such as health informatics, project management, leadership, education, and business. Additionally, there is an alumni community in Charlotte which would welcome you with open arms.

So, why else should you consider Charlotte? Just a few more reasons…

Food and Drink:

  • Enjoy some famous Carolina BBQ and fried cornbread


    One of Mert’s Heart and Soul’s amazing dishes

  • Eat some Southern comfort food – Mert’s Heart and Soul is a local institution
  • Sample all the best fried pickles in Charlotte (this could take a while)
  • Explore the Charlotte craft beer scene at one of the many breweries and cideries


  • See art from around the globe at the Mint museum
  • Check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame


    NASCAR Hall of Fame

  • Explore greek culture at Yiasou! Greek Festival, one of the largest cultural festivals in the city
  • Enjoy free jazz concerts in the summer at Freedom Park
  • Stroll along the Charlotte Liberty Walk and see 15 historical sites


  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens


    Crowder’s Mountain summit views

  • Hike Crowders Mountain – it’s a challenging hike, but the views from the Pinnacle are worth it
  • Visit the Common Market
  • Root for the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets
  • Go rafting at the U.S. National Whitewater Center


Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers today to apply!

  • The Allstate Corporation Infrastructure Engineer; Service Engineer
  • Aetna Manager, Medical Underwriting
  • American International Group (AIG) IT Project Manager, Corporate Systems
  • Red Ventures Software Engineer, Data Science;  Staff Accountant; Sr.Digital Marketing Analyst
  • Impact Financial Systems Business Analyst/Engagement Manager; Support Engineer
  • Pfizer Professional Healthcare Representative
  • Twenty-First Century Fox News Producer; Highlights Coordinator, On-Air Promotions
  • Tresata Data Engineer
  • Capital Bank Treasury Management Officer; Senior Commercial Loan Officer
  • Avidxchange Staff Accountant – Treasury
  • PassportParking Software Engineer; iOS Developer
  • Sonic Automotive Business Systems Analyst; Monitoring Engineer; Inventory Consultant
  • Command Partners PPC Manager; Website Developer

Coming up in early 2017: Beyond the Green Line – Denver, CO!

We want your feedback! Feel free to 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 Denver 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.


Conference Days and Cat Cafes: Three Days in Belgium

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As someone whose eyes used to glaze over every time she attempted to read an academic article, I never thought I’d co-op as a research assistant, let alone attend an academic conference and enjoy myself. To my surprise, that’s exactly what happened when I attended the Conference on Multilingualism in Ghent, Belgium last September.

I had the opportunity to travel to COM 2016 with my colleagues in the psycholinguistics lab I’m currently working at in Germany. Since I’m trying to figure out whether a career in research is a good fit for me, attending the conference was the perfect way to get a feel for the scope of work being done in my area of interest, while also providing the opportunity for me to network with professionals in the field. However, I didn’t realize how truly shaping the experience would be, on both personal and professional levels.

The sheer range of ideas presented at the conference was mind-boggling. While the conference was centered around multilingualism, the presentations given stemmed from educational, social, developmental, and medical roots, reflecting the wide variety of stances from which multilingualism can be explored. Additionally, even if some presenters discussed the same topic, there was often a large range of opinions that emerged. The conference actually opened with what was noted as being a “heated discussion” between scholars in the field who had contrasting opinions about executive functions and the role they may play in the bilingual brain. Four speakers with varying opinions on that subject presented their talks, and the discussion that followed the presentations was way more intense than anything I expected to hear at an academic conference. I find that I rarely question the contents of academic articles because I assume whoever wrote them knows better about the area in question than I do. However, interactions like this taught me that questioning the research of others can be instrumental to making new discoveries and creating relevant debates within a field.

Attending this conference also made me realize how such a forum provides the perfect opportunity for networking. If you are especially interested in what some researchers are studying, attending their presentations allows you to learn more about their work, and catching them during one of the countless coffee breaks provides a perfect casual opportunity to connect with them. Additionally, speaking to other attendees about the work they and their colleagues do can serve as a great way to create contacts for yourself. For instance, after speaking to a postdoc from the University of London about my interest in sign language, she gave me the name of someone in her lab researching sign so I could look up her work and potentially contact her, a connection I never would have made without attending the conference.

Perhaps the most important thing I got out of the conference was the heightened ability to connect with the authors behind the research being presented. Since I often have a hard time relating to academic articles on a personal level, having ideas that would fall flat to me on a page be explained by the authors themselves made complex studies feel a lot more accessible. As much of the research I’m currently doing on co-op involves second-language processing (a topic relevant to multilingualism), it was cool to flip through my abstract booklet and realize that I had already read the work of several of the presenters; hearing what I had previously read be discussed brought me to a new level of clarification, which I gratefully brought back to Germany with me.



Aside from all the insight I gained from this conference, it also afforded me the amazing opportunity to go to Belgium. Ghent was an especially charming city, as evidenced by the classic buildings and cat cafe I found while walking the streets. Plus, unwinding from a long day of presentations by eating a waffle on the edge of the River Leie became a go-to post-conference ritual. Both waffles and conference considered, I couldn’t have asked for a better three days in Belgium.


This blog was written by Nicolette Pire, 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.