By Varun Tarapore
I am a sophomore in an undergraduate business program, in the last ten months I have completed a summer internship at Citibank in Singapore, become the Chief Operations Officer of a completely student-run venture accelerator, and when I came to applying for my first co-op, I received interview opportunities at leading firms such as Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, General Electric, and Wellington Management. I do not go to Wharton, or any school in the Ivy League for that matter. I go to Northeastern. When my college counselor, Sue Luse, first suggested Northeastern would be a great fit, I must admit, I had never heard of it. However today, I am so grateful I listened to her.
I’m not sharing these accomplishments to boast about myself, in fact if it wasn’t for the people and resources at Northeastern, I couldn’t have accomplished any of it. If it wasn’t for the countless number of potential employers Northeastern attracts, there is no way I would have thought to do a summer internship instead of going back home to spend another summer working as a lifeguard at the local pool.
Another thing that I love about Northeastern is the drive and compassion of fellow students. Here is something remarkable that happened to me; in the fall of my sophomore year, I heard about a university program called IDEA. Upon further research, I realized the just how awesome of an opportunity this was. IDEA is Northeastern’s venture accelerator, we are a program available to all Northeastern affiliates with an entrepreneurial spark. In a nutshell, people come to us with a business idea; we provide support for these ventures by coaching them through the production of their business plan, connecting them to our service providers for queries in legal, marketing, PR, and accounting issues, and upon completion of their business plan and approval of our advisory board, we provide them a $10,000 dollar grant. Keep in mind; this is all completely student run. Now if it wasn’t for our CEO who took a chance on me by hiring a sophomore, I could have never been a part of this.
Finally, there is our career services department. Our career services department has consistently been ranked as one of the best in the country, and for good reason. They are extremely intelligent, kind-hearted people who very clearly want the utmost best for you. When it came time to apply for my first co-op, I was nervous. I had just spent one of the most dynamic and mentally stimulating summers of my life at Citi, it would kill me to have to do a typical “intern” job for six months. Well, my anxieties were quickly put to rest. By the end of my first meeting with my co-op advisor, where she told me all of the opportunities available to me, I was stunned. Within weeks, I was sitting in front of representatives from companies like Goldman, GE, and UBS. Don’t get me wrong, for all of you that have your heart set on the ivy league you’ve been dreaming of since you were five, and you’ve been working your butt off since then to get there, I’m happy for you. However, how many of those schools will have the faith to put you in front of the best of the best as a representation of their institution?
I also don’t want to portray that if you come to Northeastern, you will be set for life. What I can safely say however, is that if you are bright, ambitious, and passionate about your future, Northeastern can and will support you every step of the way.