Laura Packard
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My Story

Laura knew she wanted to study English when she first came to Northeastern, but she didn’t yet have a full understanding of the field itself. Her experiences conducting research, studying abroad, and completing two co-ops led her in a direction she never would have foreseen and showed her how she could apply her major and skills in the real world.

My Path
Choosing a Path in English

Laura has always had a passion for reading and discussing literature, so she knew before she even applied for college that she would study English. As an English Major at Northeastern, Laura wanted to further develop her skills as a writer and an analyst.

“For me, English is the study of the power of words and the history of how those words have shaped the world.”

Transformative Coursework

Laura found the following courses particularly transformative in her Northeastern journey:

 ENGL 3340: Technologies of Texts with Professor Ryan Cordell, which examines innovations that have reshaped how humans share information. Laura gained invaluable skills in several markdown languages and the programming language, R, which she would later apply in her co-op experiences.

 ENGL 2150: Literature and Digital Diversity with Professor Elizabeth Dillon, which focuses on the use of digital methods to analyze and archive literary texts, emphasizing issues of diversity and inclusion. As part of the coursework for her Digital Methods in the Humanities Minor, this course was important for giving Laura relevant knowledge and skills in the area where she believes her field is heading.

N.U.in and Dialogue of Civilizations

Laura started her Northeastern career in the N.U.in program, spending her first semester studying abroad in London in Fall 2015. While taking classes at the Foundation for International Education, Laura also volunteered at the Charles Dickens Museum. Access to the multitude of museums and libraries in London was the catalyst for her newly-found interest in archival work. Laura also participated in a Dialogue of Civilizations to France in May 2017. During this Dialogue, Laura studied French language and film which helped her complete her French minor.

Dragon Prayer Book

Throughout her time at Northeastern, Laura worked in collaboration with Professor Erika Boeckeler on the discovery and translation of Northeastern’s only medieval manuscript, the Dragon Prayer Book. In addition to digitizing the book, Laura created Decoding the Dragon, an exhibit on the project shown in Snell Library. Laura’s experiences volunteering in and visiting existing museum exhibits while abroad was influential in shaping her own exhibit. Laura and Professor Boeckeler have since been interviewed on national radio about their exhibit and featured in News@Northeastern.

“When you’re experiencing a museum exhibit, you don’t always notice what’s really happening. But when you try to create one on your own, you realize that you only get to put a few sentences on the wall, and they have to say so much.”

Co-op Experiences

Laura went on her first co-op at Cengage as a National Geographic Learning Intern in January 2018. There, she applied skills she gained in her English course, Technologies of Texts, as she used markdown languages to complete documentation and automate processes.

In January 2019, Laura started her second co-op at Smart Leaf as a Junior Technical Writing and Product Associate. She improved her documentation skills and created manuals while exploring her creative side by developing mock-ups for their website using Adobe Illustrator. This co-op experience furthered Laura’s interest in technical writing and heightened her understanding of how portfolios work.

Next Steps

Laura graduated in 2019, and her time at Northeastern expanded her skillset to include museum work, project management, and technical writing. As a recent graduate, she is interested in pursuing a career in one of these fields. Eventually, Laura plans to return to school to continue her studies in English.

This was Laura’s Northeastern Pathway... Where will yours lead?