What’s a Co-Op?

I’d like to start by proclaiming my love for my school, and for the city I get to live in as a by-product of attending it. I love Northeastern University (NEU), in Boston Mass, because they’re not just preparing you to work for amazing companies like Apple, or beautiful organizations such as the World Food Programme.

They prepare you to create those companies.

Do not be mistaken, this school is not for everyone. It’s for those of us with big plans – ambitious people who know we’re going to make a difference someday, somewhere, somehow. The school is just here to provide an environment for us to learn and grow until that day comes.Yes, perchance I’m a bit biased. But if I didn’t 100% love my school, I could easily transfer and pledge my allegiance to another university. There is a reason I’m setting up for a lifetime of student loans here at NEU (the only thing I don’t love) – I, like many of the students, feel that it was made for me. My mother’s objective is to keep me from calling Boston “home” as opposed to Rochester, NY (where I spent 18 years of my life prior).

Let us now debrief the mystical “co-op,” or cooperative education experience that makes Northeastern so unique. NEU is typically a five-year school, where students can take three co-ops during these years. Each co-op is a six-month period of time in which you stop taking classes and hop out into the real world to work in your anticipated field. This way, once you graduate you’ll have 18 months of work experience on your resume (or 12 months if you choose to finish in four years, like I hope to do). Magically, most co-op employers re-hire old co-op students once they graduate; why employ a stranger over someone who has already done great work for you?

Not to mention, NEU also has “dialogues” (six-week study and travel abroad programs) and service-learning classes (weekly off-campus volunteering to enhance a lecture style class). I’ve taken two service-learning classes already and have continued to volunteer at my locations long after the class finished because I’ve enjoyed it so much. It’s a great chance to see what you could be doing after graduation, or what you definitely won’t be doing!

In short, come to Northeastern if you want to live in an amazing city and take advantage of amazing opportunities. And hey, the people aren’t half bad either! 😉

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