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Media and Screen Studies Student Netra Venkateshwaran on Co-op in Mumbai

Netra (Second from Left) at Business Traveller India

Having lived in India as a child, Netra Venkateshwaran, a Media and Screen Studies major, knew she wanted to take advantage of Northeastern’s global opportunities to return there during her undergraduate career. With her interests lying in fashion and travel writing, Netra sought the opportunity to apply her writing skills in these areas abroad, embarking on a global co-op this spring at Business Traveller India, a magazine run by Panacea Publishing and based in Mumbai, India.

For Netra, having the opportunity to return to India has been the chance of a lifetime.

“I hadn’t lived in India for over nine years and hence felt I should come back to India for co-op,” she said, “It is so different living in India after so many years!”

While there have been some challenges, such as adjusting to the very hectic lifestyle of Mumbai, Netra has loved her time in the city, and has many positive things to say about it.

“The highlight of my day is the drive to work as I pass by iconic spots in the city, which make me feel like a tourist in my own hometown,” she said. “I love the food and everything about this place. Working in India is extremely fun!”

As for her day-to-day work, Netra is finding it challenging but rewarding. Some of Netra’s work is social media based; she manages all of Business Traveller India’s social media accounts as well as actively scans for content. Most of her work, however, allows her to directly write for and contribute to the magazine. Although these projects frequently come with tight deadlines, Netra has found her writing opportunities to be amongst the most exciting.

Recently, for example, Netra had three of her own articles published in the latest monthly issue of Business Traveller India. All three fell directly within her areas of interest: one article focused on places throughout the Middle East easily accessible via Qatar airways, while a second explored men’s fashion trends and popular brands in India.

Her favorite article, however, was her third, in which she wrote about a recent family trip she took to the town of Ooty. “I had a lot of fun writing about it and, as I’ve always loved reading and writing, this flowed with ease,” she said. “I also loved that trip as it was a memorable family holiday.”

While Netra had a personal connection to India, Northeastern has played a role in the success of her co-op thus far, specifically in helping her prepare for co-op. Netra attributes her interview success to the help she received from her co-op advisor, Pam Goodale.

“Pam has guided me through all of it,” she said. “I feel this is one of the reasons why I was able to crack my interview. I don’t have any public speaking issues but I tend to transcend towards an informal tone. She really helped me differentiate between Professional and Personal.”

As for what she’s gained from her co-op so far, Netra already feels that her writing abilities have improved greatly. In addition to working at Business Traveller India, Netra has also been taking an advanced writing course online through Northeastern. While the course has directly helped her improve her day to day writing, her co-op also interconnects, providing her with interesting and engaging subject matter for her final paper.

Her first-hand experience has, more than anything, been the greatest takeaway for Netra from her time in India. By writing for a real, major publication, Netra is constantly pushed to write on par with professional working journalists. This is a challenge she’s faced head on, and so far has been quite successful with. It’s also been perhaps the best part of her co-op.

“It’s such an amazing experience to get recognized for the work I’m doing, and also have it published across social media, websites as well as a print magazine.”