Leah Camp­bell, SSH’14, set high stan­dards for her first co-​​op expe­ri­ence at North­eastern. Her ideal posi­tion, she decided, would help her develop grass­roots orga­ni­za­tional skills and over­seas cam­paign expe­ri­ence while also fos­tering her per­sonal and edu­ca­tional growth.

That first co-​​op in Spring 2013 at Oxfam America—whose mis­sion is to create lasting solu­tions to poverty, hunger, and social injus­tice throughout the world—turned out to be the per­fect match.

Camp­bell, a third-​​year com­bined major in polit­ical sci­ence and inter­na­tional affairs, worked in the organization’s com­mu­nity engage­ment depart­ment, where she helped a team of four orga­nize the national vol­un­teer group, which is spread across 15 U.S. cities. Camp­bell assisted in choosing these vol­un­teer leaders, dis­sem­i­nated newslet­ters to help pub­li­cize its events, and pro­vided addi­tional daily support.

Her co-​​op, she said, inspired her to pursue polit­ical sci­ence and lobby for food jus­tice and gender equality. “The grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion work that I was able to do has made me excited to bring what I’ve learned—from orga­nizing efforts to com­mu­ni­cating with the public—back to the class­room,” she explained.

Now, Camp­bell has taken this invalu­able expe­ri­ence with her to the Bar­bara Lee Family Foun­da­tion, a Cam­bridge, Mass.-based non-​​partisan orga­ni­za­tion that seeks to advance women’s equality and rep­re­sen­ta­tion in U.S. pol­i­tics. Camp­bell exam­ines the suc­cessful strate­gies women can­di­dates have used to get elected for a team that edu­cates women run­ning for elected office throughout the country and coor­di­nates with non­profit part­ners. In her role for the Bar­bara Lee Polit­ical Office, she pre­pares a daily media sum­mary and assists the team by tracking sev­eral  can­di­dates’ cam­paigns, including: Michelle Nunn for Senate in Georgia and Wendy Davis for gov­ernor in Texas. She also helps update both the Foun­da­tion and Polit­ical Office websites.

Last month, Camp­bell told the Twit­ter­verse why she “hearts” co-​​op. “#iheart­coop because it helped me realize that there are still tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ties for young people today, even for human­i­ties majors!,” she tweeted.

These rewarding co-​​op expe­ri­ences have helped her iden­tify her ideal career path. “I would love to work in gov­ern­ment rela­tions for a non­profit or con­tinue with grass­roots orga­nizing,” she said. “I’m extremely com­fort­able inter­acting with people, so I’d love to be able to apply those kinds of skills to my career and work as an agent on the ground to get mes­sages out to the public.”

Not only is Camp­bell active in the com­mu­nity, but she’s also a trail­blazer on Northeastern’s campus. A former member of the North­eastern Choral Society and NUStage Musical The­atre, Camp­bell is a founding member of Pitch, Please!, Northeastern’s pre­mier all-​​women a cap­pella group, founded in the fall of 2012. She’s proud of the fact that since its founding, Pitch, Please! has since pro­duced an EP, per­formed at offi­cial uni­ver­sity events, and placed third in the Wild­card round for the 2013 Inter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship of Col­le­giate A Cappella.

Camp­bell has also taken advan­tage of other expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at North­eastern. Last summer she par­tic­i­pated in a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in Argentina, where she studied Spanish lan­guage and cul­ture. And this summer, she will par­tic­i­pate in a polit­ical communications-​​themed Dia­logue pro­gram in Greece.