I am Malick Fairoz, doing my Master’s in Information Systems at Northeastern University. I am also the Graduate Student Ambassador for IS.

I joined Northeastern in Fall 2016 and my search for a Co-op began in the middle of my 2nd semester. The initial step, I thought was to zero-in on a specific role, since I had more than one preferences, and upon a lot of consultation form different sources, I decided to focus on Business Intelligence as my priority. This helped me gain direction in choosing my subjects for the semester. Then, I did the usual of preparing resumes, cover letter and a convincing LinkedIn profile. The next step, was to go ahead and apply to the suitable positions. This is when I realized that, may be, I should have started my search process a bit sooner than I did. The reason was that, I didn’t find companies falling for my profile right away! So then, I decided to take a break from applying and reworked on my resume with inputs from multiple people across various positions including my co-op professor and my alumni friends from northeastern.

Co-op Image
© Northeastern University

Once I was content with my resume and other basics, I restarted my application process, through different job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor and more. My university had an exclusive job portal for its students called the NUCareers, which was very beneficial. On top of this exclusive job portal, another feature that Northeastern had was the information sessions held by different companies to present their requirements and interact with like-minded potential students. I was a regular to these information sessions to check out their different requirements and whether it matched my dream role, and at times they also allured us through free pizzas and goodies, which I enjoyed anytime. One interesting encounter I had during those times was, with the company Wayfair, who called the interested students of Northeastern for a special visit to the Wayfair Headquarters, to make the session livelier and more realistic. This gave us a better opportunity in reaching out to tech people and network with people from different backgrounds. All my info sessions were followed by a “thank you!” mail, by the end of the day, to keep in touch with all the awesome people I got to interact with during the day. It also gave me the confidence that my co-op search is progressive.

During one such meeting held by GMO, a very employee friendly company, I found an employer discussing about their requirement of the job opening that exactly matched my dream role. I was quick to greet him and expressed my interest for the role, spoke to him about my projects relevant to the opening and got to learn how their firm worked. To my surprise, I had a mail from the same person in my inbox the next day, asking for my availability for an interview. Although I had given a couple of interviews earlier, I knew this one was different, because, this opening had always been my dream role. This was followed by rigorous self-training on professional communication, technical knowledge and “how to impress the employer” tips from Google. The day of interview arrived and I am glad everything went well. I am thankful to my Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence professor, Dr. Richard Sherman, a man of more than 35 years of experience, whose teaching helped me to ace the interview gracefully. I appreciate the company GMO for its speed, because immediately the next day after the interview, I had a call conveying that I am selected for the role.

The feeling of finally being offered the desired co-op was great and once again proved the age-old saying that, “hard work never fails!”

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