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Question about Co-ops (especially Goldman Sachs and the like)

catsarecatscatsarecats Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
edited January 2013 in Northeastern University
I HEAR great things about the co-op program and how kids are working with GS and JP Morgan and other big companies. Is this true that we do send quite a lot of kids to those companies? I don't want to end up going to NEU for its "great" co-op program if only one kid a year goes to a top company. Please tell me how this works! And I know that grades are a big part of where you are allowed to go for co-op.
Post edited by catsarecats on

Replies to: Question about Co-ops (especially Goldman Sachs and the like)

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 13,927 Senior Member
    There are coop positions at the companies you mention but they are of course limited in number. GPA is far from the deciding factor, although a minimum 3.0 is required by some companies to interview.

    Also, I don't believe that you understand how coop placement works. You review the list of coop jobs, submit your application/resume to the company, not to Northeastern, and hope for an interview. A 4.0 GPA student who comes across poorly in the interview will lose out to the 3.4 student who does and says the right things in the interview process. NU offers workshops in resume prep and interviewing skills to help you prepare.

    Also, prior work experience and, yes, EC's in college can help you get the interview and ultimately the job.
  • MichLoverMichLover Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    I thought it was through the school?

    What if no one will hire you?...
  • neuchimieneuchimie Registered User Posts: 1,562 Senior Member
    The school coordinates it all, hence having a co-op advisor. You have to do your resume yourself and make it look the best you can, but there are a lot of tools (advisors, co-op class, career services workshops...) that help with that. They'll process your resume and submit a batch of the best qualified candidates to each job, and then the company will decide who to interview. Some interviews are held on campus, where a co-op advisor will organize when and where, but most are just off-campus like regular interviews in the real world. Then it's entirely up to you to look good, say the right things, and get the job.

    If you have terrible grades and have never had a job before and act terribly in an interview, then you won't get a job. It's tough, but it happens. Just like people graduate from college and don't get jobs, or people are working for years and then lose their jobs and don't find new ones. But you'll have advisors to help you do your absolute best, and most people are supportive about helping with interviews.

    And it gives you incentive to NOT screw it all up.
  • laurenrplaurenrp Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    TomSrOfBoston doesn't know quite how the process works.
    Before going on co-op, you have to take a required co-op class where you learn how to interview and write a resume. Then, you get a co-op advisor who you meet with often. You have a list of jobs on a website through NEU that your co-op advisor helps you set up. You rank jobs based on interest, and click "Request to Apply" to 10-20+ jobs. Sometimes resumes don't go straight away, when they have to be cross-referred if they are in a different academic department. Sometimes, like for big companies like GS and the Hancock, batches of resumes are sent every week or so. Big companies often have on campus interviews where a bunch of kids go. If you're shortlisted, they second interview you at their building (this is how the business process works, at least. Other majors like science and engineering are different a lot more laid back).

    Depending on the company, they take 1, 2, 3, 4 students. Many companies with different sectors (part creative, part PR, part business) will hire one co-op per term, but that could be three total in the company, do you understand?
    Also, the bigger the name of the company, the more people have applied and are competing for it. I know one kid that got a job at the Hancock as his first co-op, and he had a 3.5. In the sciences, the major pharma companies are in high demand and grades are important to them. For a non-profit, grades are less important. depends on the company.

    Pretty much just keep your grades up, wear a fitted suit, interview the best you can, and if you don't get the job, you don't get the job. I know people who didn't get hired their first co-op cycle and took classes instead. It's disheartening, but it happens. There are too many students and not enough jobs. I didn't get a job my first co-op, at least, nothing I applied for. I got hired Christmas eve and ended up hating the job I had, and it taught me what I didn't want to do in my life and was very stressful.

    Tbh, the co-op program is wonderful but I feel that it's very informally done. No one really "checks up" on you. You're sort of free to go once you have a job. And (at least my experience with two diff advisors) your co-op advisors dont really do anything for you (email companies, push a resume though) unless you visit them and demand it.
  • neuchimieneuchimie Registered User Posts: 1,562 Senior Member
    Lauren, Tom's been on this forum for years. I can assure you that he does know how co-op works. He said a more simplified version of what you said.

    The only point where I believe you may have been confused is when he pointed out that resumes go to the company, not Northeastern. While technically, as I clarified before you, resumes go to advisors who pick the best twenty or so before sending them to the company, this often becomes a very confusing point for incoming students. One of the common questions we get is whether or not your advisors "gets" you the job. I'm sure Tom was trying to make it clear that regardless of how Northeastern coordinates or what your advisor does, it's between you and the company to "get" the job. You said it yourself, your co-op advisor doesn't do anything for you unless you ask them to do it.
  • momofbostonmomofboston Registered User Posts: 901 Member
    Some companies take more than 6 students...I know of one where there are 18 NEU Coop students each semester...the key is to really get to know your coop adviser and use their expertise to help land the interview. Then use all the other resources to do well on the interview ex: mock interviews, dressing well, etc. My D practiced with 6 mock interviews, got 3 real interviews and received offers for all three positions.
  • catsarecatscatsarecats Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I'm a bit confused... I hear kids receiving co-ops from companies in different countries like London. Do we...fly there? Or they actually have a dedicated person that interviews students for the company. The latter would be pretty impressive...big companies waiting for NEU students to apply.
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    Co-op is about getting real world experience and learning what a job is like and what job you might like in the future. The idea that the only worthwhile co-op is at Goldman or another top company is wrong.
  • mjl2142mjl2142 Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Some companies have recruiters go to colleges (Often for coop, full time, and internship positions), others pay for students to come for interviews. The lower budget or more distant places may use phone or skype interviews.
    This aspect of the process is really the same as applying for any other job. If you think of getting a coop as the same as getting a full time position, you will have most of the concept down (other than the end date, obviously). While there are some differences which have been explained in detail above, the point is to be similar to the "real world" process.
  • neuchimieneuchimie Registered User Posts: 1,562 Senior Member
    The main international co-ops do online/phone interviews, or they have someone domestic do the interview. Example- Goldman London co-op interviews with the Boston office.
This discussion has been closed.