If job interviews were graded, I would get an F minus.

So I’m trying to go on co-op next semester.

Or should I say, cooperative education. It’s when a school tries to integrate classroom learning with real-life work experience. Northeastern, which is built on the philosophy of “experiential education,” drives this point hard with its students. The majority of kids at NU get some sort of work experience while going here, whether it be an internship, volunteering, or, of course, the famous co-op.

In this context, co-op refers to a 6-month long time where a student doesn’t take classes and works full-time instead. There are a lot of variations of the co-op (like, 4-month co-ops, part-time co-ops where kids pick up a second job as well, etc.) I want the full shebang, though. 6 months. Full-time. Working in a company.

Last I checked, NU actually has the #1 Career Services in the nation. We’ve got lots of resources to help kids get jobs, not to mention a lot of connections to potential employers. However, this doesn’t mean that an NU kid will be handed a job on a silver platter.

Like with finding any job, we have to go through the whole process. Including:

That’s right. I’ve been interviewing. It’s been a, uh, terrifying process, to say the least. I mean, the only other time I’ve interviewed for a job was when I applied to McDonald’s. And that doesn’t even count as an interview.

So I went to my first real interviews last week. The company I was interviewing with happened to be a larger one, with several different departments. However, candidates were not told which branch they were interviewing with until the actual meeting itself. (The job description was just a very generalized “Research Assistant.”)  In other words, I went with really no knowledge of what exactly I was interviewing for.

Thus, I had an interview that looked like this.

This was off to a good start. And then it gets even better.

And to kick it off:

So I didn’t get that job.

(But never fear! I actually got hired for that company, under a different department. That guy seemed to like my rants about the importance of organization and how awesome research is. And I took the job. Coming in January: Vy is gainfully employed!)