Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Thank You: Co-op, Belgrade

Serbian parliament, my favorite building in Belgrade
The past six months of my life have been some of the best.

While I began my co-op journey with many anxieties, I am ending it immensely grateful for all that I have been able to accomplish through this experience.

 Within my first two months in Belgrade I was given additional responsibilities at my co-op, learned enough Serbian to get around on  my own, applied and was accepted to a fall study abroad program, and traveled to two new countries.

Fast forward to the end of my co-op and I've traveled to eight new countries, continued to expand my capacity in my co-op position, received an excellent exit evaluation, and returned home to start an incredible summer job.

I read a tourist guide a few months ago that described the city as "lived in" and
couldn't help but feel that it perfectly encapsulated that
particular brand of comfort the city exudes. 
I miss Belgrade and the home I made there immensely and will forever be grateful for how much this experience has helped me to grow personally, professionally, and academically: my co-op allowed me to further explore my field of study, advance my professional and research skills, and to become acquainted with an area of the world that has enchanted me since I first visited almost one whole year ago.
Often described as "communist monstrosities" by my boss, even the
bloks of Novi Beograd bring a smile to my face. 

To say that this experience will be the cornerstone of my Northeastern career would be the understatement of the year so instead I will sign off, for the last time, with a piece of advice given to me before beginning my co-op application process: don't choose the easy job. Don't choose the position that's just like your last internship or in your hometown. Don't shy away from an opportunity because it makes you nervous- if it doesn't make you nervous it probably isn't worth it.

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