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Students share global co-op experiences

A photo of students talking at the global co-op fair

Some three dozen students were on hand at the global co-op fair Tuesday night to share their global experiential learning stories with their peers.

The Curry Stu­dent Center Indoor Quad trans­formed into a global co-​​op net­working portal on Tuesday night, when 130 stu­dents con­nected with some three dozen of their peers who con­vened to dis­cuss their recent inter­na­tional co-​​op experiences.

The young global cit­i­zens shared co-​​op sto­ries and advice at the event, which was orga­nized by Northeastern’s Global Expe­ri­ence Office.

Car­o­line Fried, SSH’17, a fourth-​​year stu­dent studying inter­na­tional affairs and his­tory, worked in China  ear­lier this year as a teaching assis­tant at the Dan­de­lion School, which serves hun­dreds of stu­dents from low-​​income migrant families.

FRIED’S ADVICE for her peers con­sid­ering global co-​​op: “Take every oppor­tu­nity that comes to you. Being immersed in another cul­ture makes you chal­lenge your assump­tions and learn new perspectives.”

Take every oppor­tu­nity that comes to you. Being immersed in another cul­ture makes you chal­lenge your assump­tions and learn new per­spec­tives.
—Car­o­line Fried, SSH’17

Mechan­ical engi­neering stu­dent Tom Boutin, E’17, also worked in China. For his second co-​​op, he worked for Eastek Inter­na­tional, a U.S. based con­tract man­u­fac­turer with an office in a small fac­tory town in Guang­dong. His co-​​op involved man­aging project sched­ules and working on busi­ness improve­ment projects.

Boutin, who spent his first co-​​op at iRobot in Bed­ford, Mass­a­chu­setts, said it was useful for him to com­pare the engi­neering and busi­ness processes he expe­ri­enced in the U.S. and abroad.

BOUTIN’S ADVICE for his peers con­sid­ering global co-​​op: “Just go for it. This expe­ri­ence will really make you stand out.”

His­tory major Will Shields, SSH’16, worked in the Nether­lands at the Inter­na­tional Crim­inal Tri­bunal for the former Yugoslavia, a United Nations court of law focusing on war crimes that took place during the con­flicts in the Balkans in the 1990s. It was a “dream co-​​op” for Shields, blending his interest in crim­inal law with a pre­vious expe­ri­ence he received while on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in the Balkans. On his co-​​op, Shields pri­marily focused on doing legal work and research for prosecutors.

SHIELDSGREATEST TAKEAWAY from this co-​​op: “I’d say devel­oping a legal mindset to be able to argue both sides of the same issue. This co-​​op made me realize that I want to go to law school.”

Stella Yun, S’15, a fifth-​​year biology stu­dent, spent four months last year working at Leibniz Uni­ver­sity of Han­nover in Ger­many. Her co-​​op, which focused on aca­d­emic research in bio­chem­istry, enabled her to work in plasma cloning and learn new mol­e­c­ular biology tech­niques for iso­lating and ana­lyzing DNA and proteins.

YUN’S LASTING THOUGHT on global co-​​op: “This was my first co-​​op in a research lab, and it was really great being able to apply what I’ve learned in a real-​​world setting.”

-By Greg St. Martin

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