Introduction to Cooperative Education
Graduating seniors at Northeastern routinely respond to employment advertisements that read "previous experience required," and you may too. Thanks to Co-op, when you go out into the working world as a graduate, you may already have completed up to a year of paid, professional work.
Northeastern's Co-op program, founded nearly a century ago, is among the largest and most innovative in the United States. The benefits to students are easy to see:
- A substantial number of new graduates who become employed full-time receive job offers from former Co-op employers.
- Students going on to graduate school have numerous work experiences, contacts and professional networks already established.
The Co-op Program offers you, the student, opportunities to:
- Clarify short and long term personal, educational, and career goals;
- Explore jobs in your chosen field;
- Integrate what is studied in classes with what is experienced when working;
- Enhance understanding and appreciation for the "world at work";
- Develop job finding, job survival, and career advancement skills;
- Strengthen your developing identity as a professional in your career choice, working with role models in your chosen field.
How Co-op Works For You
Your Co-op experience begins in the classroom and continues to resonate there long after your co-op job ends. Co-op is intertwined with your studies, beginning with a co-op course during your freshman year.
As a Co-op Student, you will be assigned to a specific Co-op Faculty Coordinator. Your Coordinator will work with you from your first year through your graduation year as a bridge between classroom studies and career goals, collaborating with faculty and co-op employers to match your interests, talents and objectives to the most appropriate Co-op positions.
In addition, your Co-op Faculty Coordinator will help you develop your resume, will provide training to sharpen your interviewing skills, and will help facilitate the integration of your on-the-job experience with your course work. As your academic and career interests evolve, your co-op faculty coordinator will help to guide you toward co-op experiences that help you achieve your personal and career goals.
Reflection is a vital part of your Co-op experience. When you return to the classroom from Co-op, you will be expected to engage in reflection activities to help you process your work experience.