A hands-on, real-world experience for creative-minded students
Northeastern is a world leader in cooperative education (or, “co-op”), the university’s signature experiential learning program where students gain up to 18 months of hands-on, professional experience related to their academic major or career interests. Co-op provides CAMD students the opportunity to explore potential career paths, make valuable industry connections, broaden perspectives, and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as future leaders—all while learning and growing outside the comfort zone of the classroom.
Breadth and depth of opportunities
What makes the CAMD co-op so unique? It starts with the opportunity for students to work in a wide range of creative fields across industries and around the world. From animation to costume design to model making. From small theaters to major studios to prestigious architectural firms. From Amazon and Universal Music Group to NBC Nightly News and the Boston Globe. From New York and Los Angeles to Spain, Switzerland, England, and Brazil.
These opportunities are built on strong co-op partnerships developed over many years. Many of our co-op faculty coordinators have worked at CAMD for over a decade, building close relationships with a diverse set of local, national, and global employers.
How co-op shapes our students
At CAMD, co-op picks up where the classroom leaves off. Most co-op students are employed full-time, taking a break from coursework to dedicate themselves to a professional environment and schedule. In turn, the new skills students gain while spending six months in the field is integrated back into their academic studies. The experience also informs decisions moving forward at Northeastern, where to go on their second or third co-op, and what type of career to pursue.
For many CAMD majors, co-op reduces some of the uncertainties of majoring in an arts-related field. Rather than waiting until after graduation to discover how to turn university training into gainful employment, we offer students the chance to build that pathway themselves.
From preparation to reflection, co-op coordinators are there
Preparation is an important ingredient to a successful co-op. That’s why our co-op coordinators work closely with students to get them ready, starting with a required Professional Development course and preparatory workshops that outline the co-op process while providing the tools to secure a co-op position. Coordinators collaborate with each student to offer personalized advice on everything from identifying the right employer to acing an interview to accepting the job.
Coordinators also help guide the final part of the co-op experience: student reflection. Students perform reflection activities, including guided inquiries and self-assessments, during and after co-op. These evaluation periods are critical to determining how much students have learned and grown over six months—and what the next step in their student path should be.