On her first co-​​op, Kate Pel­le­grino helped teach a course on entre­pre­neur­ship and co-​​led a new class on banking and finan­cial plan­ning as part of an ini­tia­tive that gives poor stu­dents free access to busi­ness school.

And she did it all a few thou­sand miles away, in Cape Town, South Africa.

It was an excel­lent first expe­ri­ence,” Pel­le­grino said. “I couldn’t have imag­ined a better experience.”

The third-​​year psy­chology major with minors in social entre­pre­neur­ship and inter­na­tional affairs opted to com­plete her first co-​​op abroad with the Ter­tiary School in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, which aims to foster a new gen­er­a­tion of entre­pre­neurs living in South Africa’s poorest slums.

I absolutely loved it,” said Pel­le­grino of her four-​​month co-​​op, which ran from Jan­uary through April. “I was imme­di­ately given a lot of dif­ferent respon­si­bil­i­ties and tasks because my office had only three other full-​​time staffers.”

Pellegrino’s work with TSiBA com­prised a number of short– and long-​​term projects with the university’s Igni­tion Centre, a training and men­toring facility for small-​​business owners and entre­pre­neurs from town­ships out­side Cape Town.

For one big project, she devel­oped the mate­rials for a training course in busi­ness plan­ning and finan­cial man­age­ment. She also oversaw online mar­keting for the Igni­tion Centre, using social media and a blog to high­light upcoming programs.

TSiBA is also home to entre­pre­neur­ship pro­grams run by the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness’ Social Enter­prise Insti­tute. Through the insti­tute, which is directed by Dennis Shaugh­nessy, an exec­u­tive pro­fessor of entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion, North­eastern stu­dents work with local start-​​ups to develop ven­tures that can help lift South Africans out of poverty.

After returning to Northeastern’s campus in Sep­tember, Pel­le­grino began looking for her next co-​​op. She hopes to stay in Boston and work for a larger com­pany, which, she said, would give her a new per­spec­tive on the working world.

My first co-​​op pro­vided me so many oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about myself and about what my career might be,” Pel­le­grino said. “And I am excited to see what the next oppor­tu­nity has in store.”