A Look Back at our Co-op Experience

As the last days of our Co-ops come this week in the Library’s Advancement Office, my Co-op partner, Sophie Greenspan, the Graphic Designer, and I, the Marketing and Event Planning Co-op, took a second to think back on our experiences and all that we have learned this past semester. Below are our experiences and advice that we wish to share about our six months working at the Snell Library. Tomorrow we will post reflections from other library co-ops. Sophie: As the spring semester co-op comes to an end, I’m grateful for the experience I’ve gained as the Graphic Design Co-op here in Snell Library. As the sole designer for all library marketing, events, and publications, the responsibilities in my job description fell all over the map. A key part of my time here was spent creating the posters for each Meet the Author event; each time we booked an author to speak in the library, I would research their work and use what I learned to develop a poster to draw an audience to the event. Designing the posters was one of my favorite projects since they allowed for complete creative freedom; the more ridiculous my ideas were, the more eye-catching the posters would be.  Other projects included everything from creating newsletters, brochures, and signage to designing custom bookplates and taking event photography. I’d say that more than anything else, this job has taught me to always push my work in new ways. If you’re not engaged in your own designs, nobody else will be either. Since there is so much room for creativity in the projects here, I used the opportunity to try out ideas I had been playing around with, like hand-lettering, collage, and illustration. My advice for future co-ops would be to use this time to develop your personal style and eye for design. Really challenge yourself to make work that you are proud of, and you’ll wind up with a great portfolio in the process. As I move on to future co-ops and, eventually, ‘real world’ jobs, I’ll keep the skills and lessons learned at Snell in mind. I’m going to miss my awesome team of co-workers who have made this such a great semester, but I will always be close by to visit!   Karly: Every day for the past six months, I have had the pleasure of becoming a resident here at Club Snell, but rather than coming in every day to study, I have been coming in every day to work. As the Marketing and Event Planning Co-op, I was given the opportunity to help with the planning of all the different events that the library had this past spring semester, such as the Meet the Author talks and the Places & Spaces: A Mapping Science exhibit. I was worked with the publishers and authors of the talks, contacting potential co-sponsors, publicizing the event, and doing whatever was needed to make sure that the event ran smoothly. If you ever saw a frantic person running up and down the stairs from Room 90, that person was most likely me, making sure everything was set up.  A part of my job was to also help with communications from within the library to the Northeastern community such as through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Yes, our twitter handle really is @ClubSnell!) From this co-op experience, I have learned to take responsibility and ownership for a project, whether it be a Facebook post or an author talk, and learning to not second guess myself with my decisions as I put my own thoughts and ideas into the post or event. I’ve learned that I should ask for help when I need it and to delegate responsibilities, so that I am not overwhelmed and scrambling at the last minute to make sure something is ready. From this co-op I have also now become a “professional e-mailer” since a huge part of this job is being able to communicate by email and through that I have learned patience, since sometimes not everyone will respond back in a timely matter and instead of taking it personally, I’ve learned to ease my frustration and try to come up with other ways to communicate my message, such as personal phone call. For future co-ops, my advice is to be organized, since there is always tons of email and documents to keep track of, take a chance to use your ideas for an event and don’t be afraid to take ownership of something. Be patient, but also know when you should be a bit pushy when waiting for a response, and make sure to ask for help. It has been a wonderful and rich learning experience working on the other side of Club Snell.