Northeastern is a unique institution known for their co-op program. Before a student becomes an alum, they are required to fulfill ‘experiential learning’ credits. These credits can be anything from a study abroad, to a dialog, to courses acedemics dub adequite for learning which is experiencial. Most choose co-op. A cooperative opportunity consists mostly of a student and a company where, for 6 months the student will work at the company, learning skills and developing a network.
I am a senior at Northeastern and have spent 5 glorious years in the Computer and Information Science College. I am pursuing a degree in Information Science, with a concentration in Biology.
EverTrue will be my 3rd and last 6 month co-op through Northeastern. Only after 2 weeks, I have a good understanding of why working for a start up is so alluring. My first two co-ops differed greatly from my current, working for a large pharmaceutical company. Pharmas are burdened with government regulations, security, and lawsuits but are mostly well established in their infrastructure, workflow and divisions. EverTrue is much different. Instead of 600 IT professionals, there are 10. Instead of defined roles, their is collaboration to solve all the problems the company faces. At a huge corporation, you could work for 2 years, go to an outing, and meet 10 new people you have never laid eyes on. At a start-up each person is extremely important, and the group acts more as a family than a well oiled machine.
Helping to build scientific software was an unbelievable experience, but working for a company like EverTrue is a unique experience in itself. Because of the nature of start-ups it was far easier to assimilate. You have no choice but to become involved. Everyone is motivated and working towards a common goal.
It is easier to get things done outside of bureaucracies and the mentality of ‘this is the way it was always done.’
The biggest perk about co-op through Northeastern is the network you gain through your experiences. We get a leg up on most students graduating from a 4 year institution because most NU students graduate with a year and a half worth of work experience. I learned a tremendous amount during my first two co-ops, from java development to managing a global project. My hope for EverTrue is that my experience will be diverse, and that I will have the opportunity to be part of building a company that values the importance of networks like the ones that have helped me along the way.