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Last-minute tips to help prepare for co-op

Winter break gives students the chance to rest, recharge from the fall semester, and spend some quality time with family and friends. For some 4,500 students, co-op is also right around the corner. We asked Emily Norris, a career advisor in Northeastern’s Career Development office, how students might use their time off to do some final prep for their experiential learning opportunities at home and abroad.

Norris suggests students do some additional research on the companies for which they’ll be working. While reading up on the co-op employer and industry is an important part of preparing for the job interviews, Norris notes that keeping abreast of the latest company and industry news since then is useful to students and demonstrates drive and work ethic. Students can also learn more about the cities and cultures where they’ll be working through Going Global, a resource accessible through NUcareers.

Norris also advises students to set goals for themselves before beginning their new jobs. “I’d say set goals for yourself, so you’re intentional from day one about the knowledge you’re seeking, the skills you want to gain, and the opportunities you want to take advantage of.”

She also suggests that students familiarize themselves with logistical details such as their companies’ dress codes, their expected commutes, and where to park if they’re driving. She adds that students should consider practicing their commutes ahead of time if possible. “It’s important to be prepared for that first day.”

Norris advises student to bring a notebook on the first day of co-op. “You’re going to be learning a lot, and being ready to take notes shows you’re engaged.” Bringing a planner can also be helpful, she adds.

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