Shawn Cogan '10
Class of 2010
Major: Behavioral Neuroscience
Shawn always found himself very interested in science courses and came to NU as a biology major. After being exposed to behavioral neuroscience, Shawn knew that he wanted to pursue to pursue the field of neuroscience. Shawn says "The NU Coop program was a huge part of my decision to attend Northeastern but I honestly do not think I really appreciated it until this coop cycle."
Seeing his friends graduate from traditional four year programs with no relevant experience and the tough time they are having to secure employment really made Shawn appreciate all the experience he has gained through Co-op. Again, Shawn reports "It is a great feeling for a potential employer to tell you that they are impressed with your background in the field, and that you were offered a position that more than 30 students applied for."
Shawn's first Coop was at a pharmaceutical company in Cambridge. He worked in the Life Science-Toxicology Dept and gained essential skills working with laboratory animals, as well as learning to perform a variety of behavioral studies. Shawn is convinced that this skill set is what set him apart from others when it came time to look for his second Co-op experience.
Shawn's second coop was at Beth Israel Hospital (BIDMC) in the research laboratory of a researcher who is also a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. It was Shawn's previous in vivo work that opened this door and ultimately secured the position for him. At BIDMC, Shawn learned to construct headstages that allowed for multiple single neuron recordings via tetrodes that were implanted into lab animals. He also expanded his knowledge of software applications used for data analysis. Shawn now understands that it is as important to be able to interpret data as much as it is to run experiments.
After completing two coops, Shawn realized that he preferred to work in industry vs. academia. Having had the opportunity to work in both fields through the NU Coop program, Shawn was able to narrow his search for a third coop, and with all of his relevant experience, he was able to choose and negotiate the best possible job - a position that matched his interests.
In Shawn's own words: "I firmly believe that the work experience I have gained through Coop will not only allow me to get a job after graduation, but will help me obtain the job I want."
Shawn's long term goal is dentistry. In pursuit of this goal, he has shadowed health care professionals, and is the Treasurer of the NU Pre-Dental Student Association. He is an active member of NEURONS, the student organization for behavioral neuroscience majors at Northeastern.
Shawn Cogan grew up just north of Boston in Lynn, MA.