Northeastern University student Christina Zheng completed her first co-op with the law firm WilmerHale, where she worked closely with lawyers and paralegals to prepare documents for intellectual property cases.
But the third-year economics and international affairs dual major would like to complete her second experiential learning opportunity in a consulting role with an organization that more directly aligns with her fields of study.
“Consulting lines up with my majors and with my personality,” she said. “The goal for my second co-op is to interact with clients on a face-to-face basis.”
To find her perfect professional match, Zheng attended Northeastern’s career fair last Wednesday, connecting with representatives for the technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and the global data storage company EMC.
Zheng was joined at the semi-annual event by roughly 2,000 students, who handed out résumés, honed their networking skills and exchanged business cards with more than 200 employers.
The fair, held in Cabot Cage, was sponsored by the University’s career services office, which has received best-in-the-nation accolades from The Princeton Review.
Employers at the fair praised Northeastern’s co-op program for preparing students for the working world and giving them an advantage over their peers when it comes to snagging top job choices.
Michael Kaminsky, senior manager of learning and development for Putnam Investments, called attending the career fair a “great opportunity to corner the market on talent,” which he said Northeastern students possess in spades.
“There is no substitute for doing the job,” he said. “Northeastern students are better prepared to be successful in the workplace.”
Microsoft program manager Rich Sgro, BA’07, echoed Kaminsky. He said he hoped to recruit as many as 10 students for full-time engineering and sales and marketing positions as a way to foster Microsoft’s burgeoning relationship with the co-op program.
“We want to grow our co-op program by showing how good Northeastern graduates perform in their roles,” he said. “Northeastern students who have completed one or two co-ops know what to do in the office environment.”
Computer science graduate student Shai Shav, who networked with representatives for the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers at the career fair, can attest to the power of co-op.
He has already been offered a full-time position as a developer for the software company Intuit, with whom he completed a co-op. “I have really matured as a developer because of my co-op,” said Shav. “I was able to apply the concepts and principles I learned in class and now I know what employers are looking for.”