WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NORTHEASTERN
If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding academic experience and a chance to get your foot in the door at some of the world’s leading companies then read on.
Northeastern academics have evolved over time. From an early emphasis on practical fields like business, engineering, health sciences, etc, its focus now is on fusing theory with practice by combining pre-professional studies with a healthy dose of liberal arts courses. All my professors were excellent. Most profs try to make the courses interesting by using interactive teaching methods (simulations, class presentations, field trips, team research projects etc.). Most Professors also place a heavy emphasis on knowledge sharing. This is where co-op comes into play in academics. The majority of profs will know where students in the class co-oped and will ask them to share their experience with their classmates. For example, in one of my political science courses, the prof was discussing some legislation that was sponsored by a well known senator. It turns out that one of the students in class co-oped with the senator in Washington in the previous semester. This particular student helped work on the legislation. This keeps the classes real and makes them far more interesting than your typical boring rote lectures found at some other colleges (yawn!).
Northeastern has an extremely diverse student body (racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, and economic etc.). Chances are your will find people that share the same interests as you.
CAMPUS and FACILITIES:
The campus consists of approximately 70 acres and is mostly self-contained. For being in the middle of the city it has a suburban feel. Students can take a single path that winds through the campus connecting grassy mini quad to mini grassy quad. Also, many of the buildings are connected by an underground tunnel system which is a huge plus when the weather isn’t so nice.
Some campus shots:
Running routes near campus:
In the last few years, Northeastern’s administration has spent about $500 million on campus improvements (new buildings, landscaping, etc.).
The immediate walkable area around the campus is called the “Fenway Cultural District” In this area you will find the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston Symphony Hall, Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, The Huntington Theater, Prudential Center Shops, and the Christian Science Center, New England Conservatory of Music, and several cafe’s and restaurants. Here is a link to cultural district's website:
NEU students also have access to the public trolley system (subway) which runs along Northeastern’s campus (NEU has its own dedicated trolley stop). The subway will take you anywhere you need to go in the city. Subway info:
While the frosh dorms are what you would normally find at many other schools all the dinning halls were recently renovated and are really nice (wide screen plasma TVs and comfortable seating). The upper-class dorms are absolutely amazing (more like luxury apartments).Many of the rooms have amazing views of the Boston Skyline. Check them out here:
Northeastern has the best co-op program in the world period. As some history, Northeastern was one of the first schools in the country to develop a co-op program. Northeastern’s program began in 1909 with just a few employers. Today, there are over 3000 employers in the program worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Disney, John Hancock, Fidelity, Raytheon, EMC, and Reebok and major investment banks like Merrill Lynch. The majority of the employers are very loyal to the school and some have been participating in the program for more than several decades. Here are a few links to some of the more prestigious/interesting co-ops at Northeastern:
The White House:
Boston Red Sox:
U.S. State Dept:
MA State House:
Dept. of Homeland Security:
I was in the college of Arts & Sciences, so co-op was optional for me. But because I knew that I needed some work experience on my resume, I decided to participate anyway (completing two co-ops and graduating in four years). I spent my first co-op in working in Boston for an urban development corporation. The position was kind of exciting because I was able to work on a several interesting urban development projects (proposed building projects, historic restorations, city parks, etc.). Most of the work involved interviewing members of various constituencies, collecting and analyzing demographic information, and presenting the data at community meetings using PowerPoint. In my second co-op, I worked for a federal agency as a junior urban planner. Although the office was in Boston, I got to travel around the country to work on various federal planning projects. What was cool about this co-op was that I was able to get involved in some of the design work (learned how to use CAD, and various other design tools). However, the best thing about this co-op was that in exchange for accepting a permanent position (at a nice salary I might add), the agency paid for my entire senior year of tuition plus room and board, including a semester abroad in England. Several of Northeastern' co-op employers will pay for tuition if you agree to work for them after you graduate. Some of the other companies will reimburse you for a portion of your tuition.
I thought it would be useful to explain what the difference is between co-ops and internships. Co-ops are superior to internships because co-ops are treated like real employees rather than gophers which mean that they get to work on actual projects. Another huge benefit is that co-ops are paid a salary. At Northeastern, co-ops are paid anywhere from $14-$25 per hour (depending on major). This can really help defray tuition costs (or if your parents are footing the bill, you will have some nice spending money). More importantly, as the Princeton Review points out, some of the more prestigious companies hire only former co-ops.
From the Princeton Review:
One thing to note: unlike some schools that only offer five year co-op programs, most majors at Northeastern now have four programs with co-op included. Students who choose the four year option complete on less co-op. The choice is up to you. Also, students do not pay tuition while on co-op.
There is a good balance between studying and partying. The vast majority of Northeastern students either already know what they want to do in life or at least have a deep desire to find out. This largely stems from their participation in the co-op program. Spending time in the real world sampling different careers and work environments tends to make Northeastern students far more focused than their counterparts at other schools. But if you do need to blow off some steam, there is always something going on. It is nearly impossible to get bored in a city like Boston.
Some of the more popular activities include: going to sporting events (Northeastern hockey games (versus BU, BC, and Harvard), Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics); visiting the Museum of Fine Arts (across the street from Northeastern's campus); roller blading, running, or biking along the Charles River (15 minutes from campus); attending a concert on the Boston Common; going to clubs on Lansdowne street; hitting the bars at Fanieul Hall/Quincy Market ; and going shopping on fashionable Newbury Street (10 minutes walk from campus) or at the Prudential Center shops. Otherwise, there are parties in the dorms or at off campus apartments on Gainsboro or St. Stephens Street. These are two really nice streets near campus with gorgeous brownstones. Boston is really a fun. The entire city caters to college students. Here are some links to check out:
Clubs in Boston:
Museum of Fine Arts (across the street from Northeastern's campus)
Newbury Street Shops (10 minute walk from NEU's campus):
Prudential Center shops (10 minute walk from NEU's campus):
Fanieul Hall (15 minute subway ride from NEU's campus)
Charles River Recreation area (15 minute walk from NEU's campus):
Boston Red Sox (Fenway park is a 15 minute walk from NEU's campus):
New England Patriots:
Boston Symphony Orchestra: (two blocks heading east from NEU's campus)
Christian Science Center (two blocks from campus heading east from NEU's campus):
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (three blocks from campus heading northwest):
Museum of Science:
Getting into Northeastern is no easy task. Last year, the university received over 24,000 applications for 2800 seats in the freshman class. The acceptance rate was in the low 40% range. Northeastern is also showing in upward trend in the number of applications that it receives each year (increase of 30% in three years) Because of the sheer number of applicants, Northeastern is forced to reject many well qualified candidates. My advice is to you is to get your application in early. Your essay should emphasize how your would benefit from participating in the co-op program (sampling different careers, learning how organizations operate and how decisions are made, gaining real world experience and confidence). You should also emphasize how your participation in the program would benefit your classmates (i.e. knowledge sharing).