My name is Kendall Coyne and I am very fortunate to be a Double Husky (B.A.’15 & M.S. ’17) and a member of Team USA! My journey on Huntington Avenue began back in 2011 and on October 25th, I’ll be returning to Boston to compete against Team Canada in the women’s ice hockey Olympic Tour.
As a student athlete, my first two years at Northeastern were mostly spent on the corner of St. Botolph and Gainsborough – i.e., Matthews Arena. In 2013, the summer after my sophomore year, I was invited to try out for Team USA. I made it! I ended up taking a gap year between my sophomore and junior years to train full-time and compete in my first Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. After a heartbreaking loss to Team Canada, we took home a silver medal.
In 2015, Carlos Colon Raldiris, relocated from his island home in Puerto Rico to the vibrant city of Boston to advance his studies in project management at Northeastern University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Public Communication with Film and TV Production at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. Carlos reminisced about his last semester working as an intern at a small agency called Nostrom Images Group Corp. He assisted in the production processes for TV commercials. In addition, Carlos produced a short movie and a music video for his advanced film courses as a part of his final projects.
Upon starting classes for his degree in project management, Carlos discovered that the Public Relations concentration within the Masters of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication was more appealing. He decided to change his direction and pursue this new passion in public relations. “Even if you have an idea or mindset about something, that doesn’t mean that’s what you are going to end up doing,” explained Carlos. He was selected for a co-op offering the opportunity to use his public relations knowledge and broadcasting background.
Landing the Right Co-op
As the saying goes, “third time is the charm.” Carlos first worked at a public relations agency, then a marketing agency. Those two experiential learning opportunities helped to prepare him for his “favorite” and third co-op at American Public Television. Carlos was hired at American Public Television as a Business Development and Marketing Assistant. His role included but was not limited to composing press releases, notification letters to producers and creating marketing materials for international TV buyers at an annual convention in Paris.
Carlos shared, “Northeastern has a great way of preparing students for work,” as he highlighted ways in which he planned for his co-op. During the co-op preparation process, Carlos learned how to connect his personal objectives with his professional endeavors from his co-op course, Career and Development. He researched various organizations and job requirements to ensure they were in line with his career.
Not only had Carlos gained experience in storytelling, media and broadcasting, he also tapped into his acting skills by appearing in a few documentaries as a prop.
The Power of Co-op
The type of real-world experience Carlos attained during his co-op created a pathway for him to apply for a full-time position at WGBH Television. “This co-op helped me to target exactly where I wanted to go,” Carlos shared. His co-op encouraged him to hone his networking skills, cross-cultural communication skills, and gain work experience while completing his masters program. Carlos voiced, “It’s important to learn how to address intercultural differences in the workplace. I experienced this at the office, but I was never frustrated because Northeastern taught me how to deal with it.” He also mentioned how he learned to adjust to different organizational cultures while being cognizant of the various communication styles. One challenge he overcame was learning how to brand himself and network in a room filled with CEOs from popular television networks, such as PBS.
Carlos shared some advice for co-op and job-seekers:
Don’t let the opinion of others dictate where you go. “You need to taste the waters of wherever you want to go.”
Take your co-op seriously, be responsible. But, don’t forget to have fun as well.
“Doing a co-op/internship is the best thing,” exclaimed Carlos “everyone should do it if they want to have a successful professional life.”
Build relationships with your colleagues in the office. “Don’t always be formal. There are moments when the informal interaction matters.”
“Do your job at work, but also check other parts in the office where you can help someone.”
Carlos shared that his third and final co-op was incredibly rewarding. He was able to view the TV industry through different lenses, from co-op student at American Public Television to a full-time Broadcasting Scheduling Assistant at WGBH Television. Carlos will continue to immerse himself in the TV industry. His ultimate career goal is to become a writer/producer of short films and/or documentaries.
Wild Merl created the first virtual co-op within the Northeastern University College of Professional Studies to launch WomenVotes.org, a social platform focused on empowering women to share their voice and vote in the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m an advocate for women and passionate about civic engagement,” says Wild Merl, who knew her mentor, Thomas Cook, felt the same way. “I asked him, ‘If we can get approval to do a co-op around creating this platform, would you sponsor it?’ He was in the middle of doing an IPO but still said, ‘Yes, of course.’”
Read the entire article by Lauren Landry, digital content manager for Enrollment, Student Life, and the Global Network at Northeastern University.
Beginning this fall, new students in our program will select one of two 12-week experiential learning opportunities for their capstone course.
1. An online “co-op at work” experience in which a student can design a project initiative in her/his own workplace.
2. A virtual short-term consulting project with a sponsor in the private or nonprofit sectors within Northeastern’s Experiential Network.
These new capstone courses are designed to enable our students to apply the knowledge, skills, and best practices they’ve learned in their core, concentration, and elective courses. We believe this change in the curriculum leverages Northeastern’s reputation as a leader in experiential learning!