Northeastern has a way of changing the lives of students six months at a time. Going out to Co-op in San Francisco, California, was surely one of those experiences. For my first Co-op, I was hired by Adobe Systems to perform the role of Digital Marketing Specialist. I was part of a team that resulted from the acquisition of Efficient Frontiers. My job revolved around managing the accounts of Fortune 500’s companies and optimizing their online marketing spent in platforms such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Part of my job also involved client interaction where I would meet with my clients in a once-a-week basis to go over performance, budget pacing and future projects we were working on like launching new products to the market.
Moving to San Francisco wasn’t easy at all. I would say my biggest challenge was relocation. The cost of living in the city is over the roof and my job would sometimes require me to go down to Adobe’s headquarter which is in San Jose; about an hour ride from San Francisco —if you took the bullet train, that is. I lived in a student housing hotel room for my first few days, which was reasonably priced for the quality of stay you get. It was, nonetheless, just in the heart of the city, right by Union Square. I lived there for over a month until I met some family friends who offered me a place to live for the remaining of my time in California. My commute to San Jose would sometimes take over two hours — using four modes of transportation.
People ask me how was my time in California and I struggle to find the right words to describe what an amazing and life-changing experience it was. Do I start by telling them about our trips to L.A, our bag-packing in Yosemite or wine tasting in Napa Valley? Or maybe about our drive to San Diego, the beaches in Santa Barbara and a crazy weekend in Lake Tahoe? I guess I should start by saying what an amazing job the Northeastern Co-op Connections office did by bringing the Co-ops in the area together. I made the best friends I could have asked for and they were all working for incredible companies from start-ups like Kicksend to companies like Tesla, Cisco and Apple. We toured the Golden State making every weekend a unique and unforgettable adventure. If it wasn’t for a music festival on a Sunday, it was a hiking trip through the enormous big basin redwoods trees south of Silicon Valley or a “death volleyball” match on the beach or perhaps just a quiet movie night. Whatever we ended up doing, we had the time of our lives.
Every Monday morning, my co-workers would ask me about the place I visited the past weekend and the story would unfold with the thrill of a couple of pictures. Building networks with my team at Adobe was truly priceless. They became my mentors in a professional and social setting and I am grateful for all the lessons I learned from them. Despite the struggles of relocation or the insane task of finding housing; doing my first Co-Op out of state has truly been the most extraordinary experience of my college career. To this day, I still wake up to the sound of the gentle ripples down the beach in Santa Barbara; I can still picture the mesmerizing scene of Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park; I can still stand in Sausalito watching the sun go down behind the Golden Gate bridge as it painted a tender sky using shades of light blue and purple.
Carlos Villalobos, Business Administration