How does it feel to have been chosen for this co-op?
Caitlin: I still can’t believe it is really happening! It’s all very surreal but I’m glad the waiting is over. Neither of us knew they would pick us both, so we were quite anxious to find out who had been chosen. Awaiting the President’s decision with the whole school at the State of the University was nerve-wracking but so exciting! It is such an honor to have been chosen for this position. I’m beyond excited to start exploring the world with Matt and working with President Aoun.
Matt: It feels absolutely incredible. The opportunity I have ahead of me is something I believe will be absolutely life changing, and will give me the opportunity to help change the lives of others by opening doors for them to global co-op experiences.
When they said that they were taking both of us I was floored. When I was on stage my face was tingling and hurting from smiling so wide. That may have been one of the greatest moments in my life, without a doubt.
What was the selection process like?
Caitlin: The selection process was far from an average co-op job selection process. It started once we were notified as finalists and asked to produce a one-minute video with our elevator pitch for the job. We were then asked to submit a formal proposal including our goals, objectives, and deliverables with the means we would use to get there. Finally, we filmed pieces for the video played at the State of The University and interviewed with President Aoun. It was all very exciting, but nerve-wracking of course. I’m just glad he picked us both!
Matt: When we first applied we were asked to write a cover letter explaining why we wanted to be a Global Officer (GO) for Northeastern and present a high-level pitch on what exactly we were going to do. About two weeks later, we found out that we were in the top 15. The top 15 had to submit a 60 second video pitch explaining what they wanted to do, why it was important, and how it was going to be done. We had 24 hours to submit that.
A few days later, I got word that I was in the top six and I had about 36 hours to fill out a form explaining the project in detail: what were my goals? What was my purpose? What were the activities I was going to do? What were my deliverables going to be? How do we define success?
A few days after that I was told we were in the top four. We then had an in-person video interview in our own apartments within 48 hours and planned video interviews with President Aoun within 72 hours. We were then told it was down to a final two. We had to show up to the President’s office on Monday for some final video footage. And we showed up on Wednesday expecting them to pick one of us. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
What did you “pitch” to be your “job description” as an inaugural Global Officer?
Caitlin: The main objective of my proposal is to feature Northeastern social change makers around the world, promote their stories to the NU community, and inspire new students of all majors to join the movement for social change. A significant part of this will involve building connections with new organizations to create more opportunities for expanding our co-op program. It is also a goal of mine to foster connections with alumni to expand the Northeastern network and develop a presence in regions of the world currently lacking those connections – like South and Central America to start.
Matt: Northeastern is all about co-op, going global, innovation, and research and commercialisation of new technology. My proposal encompassed all of these aspects and put experiences for future students at the forefront of my project goal. Even if I can create just 25 new co-ops that are filled in the fall, that’s 25 more students who are making a dent in the future at the fastest growing, most promising companies across the globe.
Caitlin: There are still so many details to work out before we head off, but I ultimately hope to work with Matt to build a sustainable program that brands our school as a place of opportunity and social change. Northeastern has opened up so many doors for me, and I hope that I can use the tools given to me as a Global Officer to give back and make a difference for students.
For more information about the Northeastern Global Officer position: http://www.northeastern.edu/go/