Co-Op Europe Narratives

Leap of Faith

Story and photo by Monika Khatuja,

As a twenty-four year old girl from India, coming to the states for college was a difficult transition.  The decision was difficult for my family and friends to digest, as I have lived in India my entire life.  However, I tend to live by the philosophy that if it’s meant to be, it will find it’s way.  That mindset has followed me throughout my decision to attend Northeastern University, as well as my most recent decision to move to France for co-op.  I believe that my co-op as a GUI Test Developer for GE Healthcare was destiny.  

This may seem a bit crazy, and I am probably supposed to encourage others to work hard to find their way, as opposed to rely on destiny.  Although this is true, my experiences have taught me that often times hard work leads to difficult decisions, and sometimes you need to take a leap of faith to truly experience your destiny.  

After submitting hundreds of applications for various jobs throughout the states, I grew increasingly frustrated that I hadn’t heard back from any ideal companies.  Out of the hundreds of applications, one was for a position in France.  After moving from India to the U.S., my family and friends were shocked to hear that I’d be moving once again.  However, it was my leap of faith that led to what I now consider to be a wonderful co-op and international experience.  

At first, the position wasn’t exactly what I had imagined, however I was so eager to work for GE Healthcare in any capacity that I happily accepted their offer.  My expectations continued to be proven wrong as I began work.  I soon found that I needed to create work of my own, as opposed to waiting for assignments.  The structure of this co-op was difficult, as I was used to completing tasks, as opposed to creating personal projects.  However, with the help of various staff members, I was able to better define my time and purpose, which led to a more successful co-op.  

One of my projects was to create a socket connection between two different applications, Python and Java.  Due to the complexity of existing applications, it was a difficult project to start.  However, once we gained momentum, we were able to reach our goal.  I was able to create a test case without using any external third party software, an accomplishment I’m extremely proud of.  

As my co-op begins to end, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown.  My time at GE Healthcare has allowed me to grow as an individual, both in terms of career plans and personal development.  

France has taught me a lot. Especially due to the various culture difference.   At first, it was a little difficult to adjust on my own.  I found it difficult to manage work, friends, and family while living countries away.  However, I eventually became more comfortable with my job, my new home, and my new city.  

While living in France, I was able to visit many other countries and cultures throughout Europe, while continuing to learn a bit more French- which is a great asset for anyone looking to work in an international field.  As they say in French, “la vie est belle!”.  

Living in the city of love may have been more difficult than I had expected, especially since the company was unable to sponsor my visa, however it all fell into place with time.  The leap of faith paid off, and I am happy to have been along for the journey.  

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