Gain real-world experience at Northeastern University

29 Jun 2018 - Fiona Raleigh

Northeastern University offers its students a well-rounded study experience, fully preparing its graduates for the world of work and life after university.

For more than 100 years, Northeastern have done this through their co-operative education program (co-op), which provides students with full-time employment experience related to their area of study and exposure to real businesses and professionals.

To complement its successful co-op program, the University has introduced a new initiative with similar aims: the Experiential Network (XN).

How does XN work?

XN partners with sponsoring businesses and organizations to create opportunities for Northeastern graduate students to gain professional experience alongside their academic work.

By participating in this initiative, you can work remotely on a short-term, 6-week-long project. You’ll interact with your sponsor organization via Skype, email and phone, so you’ll enjoy the flexibility of working wherever suits you.

Work wherever suits you

Projects are usually research-based, so your findings will provide your sponsor organization with essential information that will help them to make important business decisions. Your project might involve developing a communication plan to engage partners, or creating a marketing plan for a new product or service.

During your XN experience, you'll be enrolled in the appropriate non-credit or credit-bearing course, so you'll receive the right support and direction from your teachers. This includes coaching, mentoring and professional development, all of which ensures that both you and your sponsor get the most from XN.

What kind of company can I work with?

There are lots of different companies available for you to work with. You might choose a start-up, a Fortune 500 company, or a non-profit such as a hospital, school or charity.

Some example sponsoring organizations include:

XN staff work with sponsors to find relevant projects, and they will provide you with the administrative support to make sure your academic program and your XN project are a good match.

What are the benefits of XN?

XN is an incredibly rewarding way to see how you can apply your classroom knowledge to genuine business scenarios, and improve your professional skills in real-life situations. You’ll also have the opportunity to grow your network as you connect with potential employers.

As well as this, XN gives you a chance to experiment in your chosen field and work with a wide range of organizations on various projects, so that when you graduate, you'll have a clear idea of what kind of work you want to do.

Northeastern student, Bhavya Baxi
Bhavya from India studied MS Project Management at Northeastern's Seattle campus and participated in XN:

"You choose your project based on your interests and skills, and your role as a project manager is to communicate regularly with your sponsor to assist them with the project. It’s a great experience and helps you integrate what you learn in the classroom with the real world. You learn about different sectors like research and service, and you can build a useful network of contacts at the same time."

If you're interested in learning more about studying at Northeastern University in Boston, Seattle or Silicon Valley, or improving your employability through the Experiential Network, click on the links below.

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