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Co-op Spotlight: Katherine Costa

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“ This co-op experience was more challenging that I was originally anticipating but I believe it led to a lot of growth. Given that university for me is already an abroad experience, I expected co-op to be fairly similar, but it was unique and challenging in its own right.”

– Katherine Costa

Co-op Term: Fall 2023
Position: Research group member
Employer: Psychology Department of the University of Minho in Braga Portugal

Katherine’s third and final co-op was completed in Braga, Portugal working with the Psychology Department of the University of Minho. The research group she was a part of is called Grupo Universitário de Investigação em Autorregulação (University Investigation Group on Self-Regulation Processes) or GUIA for short. This co-op was a global unpaid experience that Katherine had her eyes on since previous semesters. Finances were easy for her to manage because she received funding from a couple of sources, primarily the Honors Global Funding bank and the Fung Scholarship. Since Braga has a significantly lower cost of living than Boston her monthly expenses were greatly reduced as well.

She found it very interesting to work on a team where mostly all the members had their own independent projects. Initially difficult to navigate as she was somewhat a free floater. Her duties evolved as she continued to get to know her team and understand the various projects that were being worked on.

The most exciting, meaningful, and interesting activity that Katherine got to participate in during her coop was assisting with data collection. There was a group within the lab that focuses specifically on climate change, and that was in beginning stages of a range of related projects which she was able to join pretty early on. She was able to visit different cities and lead some of the survey collecting sessions independently.

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