Experiential Learning A-Z
If you’re a Northeastern student you have the experiential learning elevator pitch memorized front to back.
Experiential learning integrates the classroom and the real world. Our programs engage students with the world through professional work, research, and service on seven continents. They learn how to transform ideas into impact and become global citizens with successful careers.
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You could say I’ve been taking experiential learning very seriously in Spain; living with a local host family, learning the native language, volunteering in a local school, and of course eating lots of local food… did someone say croquettes??? As you can see this semester my focus has been to develop my identity as a global citizen. However, at the same time it’s been important to stay connected to my professional development back in the states. Cue the co-op process.
Thanks to Co-op Boot Camp with Richard Conley, otherwise known as Professional Development for Co-op, I have been primed and prepped to apply to the workforce with confidence. Richard demystified resume and cover letter crafting, the unofficial interview uniform, and pretty much everything in between. Add me on LinkedIn! However, something I didn’t learn last fall was how to apply for co-op from across the globe.
My whole young life I was certain I would live to become an attorney. In fact, during my first co-op at Northeastern, I had the opportunity to work in a Boston based law firm. Much to my surprise, and my parent’s, I quickly discovered that my strong analytical skills in reading and writing were an appropriate skill set for the job, but my passion and zest for life lay in other avenues. Finding out what you don’t want to do is just as important as finding out what you do want to do.
Consequently, I needed to pivot in my professional development.
This past summer I joined the Mercury East Presents team at Live Nation in NYC as a booking and promotions intern. Working within a small team for a global company afforded me incredible hands on experience. I regularly interfaced with artists, labels, and management, facilitated the execution of promotional campaigns for over 56+ shows a month, attended shows at our venue at the Mercury Lounge, and so much more. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my supervisor who shared his years of industry expertise, trusted me to manage projects independently, and integrated me into the team in just a few months.
After this experience I had big dreams for my second co-op. It was hardly mid-way through summer that I began brainstorming for January 2020.
Applying early and often
I sent out my first applications in August, but the process really ramped up by the beginning of October when most companies opened up their postings. Luckily, I have a local cafe in my barrio to frequent where the wifi is strong and the coffee even stronger. I come to Copas Melior once if not twice a day for a cafe con leché and buckle down to get work done. By now, the cafe’s owner, his wife, and son all know my name, my order, and my table.
The aroma of freshly baked cakes coming in the windows from the bakery next door, Suitcake, sweetens the deal as well.
In Boston signs of co-op search season are all around you on campus. The guy in your marketing class dressed in a full suit, people waiting in line to pick up freshly printed resumes, your roommates typing away on their computers to craft the perfect cover letter for that killer co-op in the financial district. In Spain, these tell tale signs are missing so it’s been important to remind myself to stay on top of deadlines and in communication with my co-op advisor throughout the process. (Thank you Richard!!)
Hurry up and wait
“Have you heard anything yet?” I sent and received that text more than a few times this fall.
Once you’ve submitted your applications it’s time to sit back relax and wait for the emails to come in. Even though some co-op postings go live on NUCareers before Labor Day you shouldn’t expect response from employers until October. Patience is a virtue. A virtue I often struggle with as someone who likes to have things neatly organized and squared away.
Location, location, location! This is important for the interview stage of the co-op application process abroad. If you’re lucky your dormitory or homestay with have a strong wifi connection and you can conduct your interviews from the comfort of “home.” If you don’t have strong wifi you’ll have to do some location scouting in your neighborhood.
What makes a good interview location abroad?
Strong Wifi - I can’t stress this enough! Make sure you practice FaceTiming with friends and family in the space you intend to conduct interviews to ensure the connection won’t cut out during your interview. Interviews are stressful enough without having technical difficulties as well.
Quiet Space - make sure that the space is quiet enough that your interviewers can you hear you clearly during your video conference. Again, practice this on FaceTime with friends and family!
Familiar - I recommend spending time studying for classes and preparing for interviews in the same place that you’ll eventually have interviews. If you feel comfortable in your interview space you’ll feel more comfortable in the interview.
And finally… getting the job!
Once you’ve accepted a job offer you can start getting excited about the position! If you’re anything like me, the first thing you’ll want to do is call your close friends and family! The time change can be a killer in times like these because I’m six hours ahead of my friends in family back in the states. I had to wait for everyone to wake up to tell them!
Super excited to be joining the TripAdvisor team this January for my second co-op at Northeastern as a Social Impact Global Programmer and Events Coordinator.