How To Start Co-op Strong

A new semester has begun and along with it, another cycle of co-op! Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking anywhere, but especially with co-op because you want to make a good impression and as many new connections as possible. Here are some tips on how to start co-op on the right foot:  

1. Dress to impress

                                                                                                                             Courtesy of Giphy

Whether it’s business casual or wearing a uniform, it is so important to dress appropriately for the job you have. Your outfits during the first week subconsciously say a lot about you to your fellow employees and coworkers, so make an effort to go along with the work environment. Remember, it’s always better to dress up rather than dress down.

2. Be friendly

                                                                                                                          Courtesy of Giphy

Making a good impression is really important, especially with all the introductions to random people you might see at work. Think about an average worker’s position: they go to a normal day of work and see a young college kid sitting at the cubicle next to them. I would be confused too. I’ve noticed that if you just greet everyone with a smile and a “Hi, I’m (name),” people will tend to think you are more friendly or outgoing, and will have a better impression of you.

3. Sit down and be humble

                                                                                                                   Courtesy of Giphy

As Northeastern students, we are lucky to have a co-op program that provides us with great opportunities for work experience. But with such opportunities, I’ve noticed that some can get a little cocky with the little they know about their intended work field. We learn a lot about our intended field of study at school, but we learn so much more when we experience things firsthand. You might know some things about the work field coming into co-op, but you leave knowing so much more. TL;DR: go into co-op with an open mind, be a little humble, and learn a lot.

4. Werk it

                                                                                                             Courtesy of Giphy

I thought I was always tired when I was in classes, but being tired on co-op is an entirely different kind of fatigue. At the end of the day, however, the point of co-op is to learn about a work environment that you’re interested in, so try your hardest when you clock in every day. The repetition of waking up early and a long commute can be tiresome, but at least you’re not studying for that crazy difficult midterm that your roommate is suffering over! Stick to the work grind, because it will be fulfilling in the end.