Nichole Wardwell, Civil Engineering, ‘20
Applying for your co-op is like applying for any job. Here is how it works:
- Make up your resume and portfolio (if you are a design/architecture major).
- You will work with your dedicated CO-OP + CAREER Advisor on resume writing, job-search strategies, and interviewing techniques. You will have support to help you achieve your professional goals.
- Search and apply to co-Oops.
- Get a phone call or email saying you got an interview.
- Participate in the interview either over the phone, in person, or even over Skype.
- Get a phone call or email saying you got the job. *talk about signing papers
- Sign all pertinent paperwork and send them back.
- Go to your first day! *bring passport and other required documentation
Your resume is how your employer will learn about you. It contains a couple of basic sections: your name, your contact information, a summary about you and what you’re looking for, your education/related courses taken, skills, pertinent labs & projects, work experience, volunteer experience, and activities (like extra circulars). For your contact information, you will need your cell number, an email and your mailing address. If you are a design student, you may also want to include websites where examples of your work can be located.
A portfolio is only required if the company asks for it. Your portfolio will contain your best three to five projects that you have completed either in class or outside of class. This way your potential employer can see what you can do! You may find that once you “finish” a project in class, you may want to make it better for your portfolio.
There is one more item that some employers will ask for, a cover letter. A cover letter will explain why you would be a good fit for the company you are applying for. A LOT of companies want one so the best way to go about this is to make a base one and edit it slightly for each company.
Co-ops are full-time semester-long employment in your field of study that enables you to apply classroom learning to professional work experience. It is important to make sure the company you are applying to knows when your start date will be and when your end date will be.
Wentworth has their own great website to search for Co-ops called WIT Works. This is also the website that you will report your Co-Op to the school through. Don’t feel limited just to WIT Works, however, you can use any job application website, just make sure it says internship or Co-Op! Students must schedule an appointment with their CO-OP + CAREER Advisor to review their resume and gain access to WITworks.
Setup the Interview
Once the company has looked at everything you gave them and decided to give you an interview, they will either call or email you. If you are unable to currently travel to their location, you can ask for a phone or skype interview. During this phone call, expect the company to set up a specific time for the interview. Know your schedule or have your schedule available. Before your interview, make sure you look up the company and come up with some questions about the company and/or the position.
Got an Offer?
Great! The company really liked you and have emailed/mailed you an offer letter! Be sure to read this over thoroughly and if you have multiple offers, compare this to your other offers. The best advice I can give is to try co-ops in different concentrations of your major. Of course, if you really love your first Co-Op, you can return there for your second Co-Op.
On your first day, bring your passport or other paperwork in order to fill out a W-4 and get paid. Make sure you know the appropriate attire to wear to this company. If you are unsure what to wear, it’s always best to wear business casual. You can always change after you see/meet everyone. *If you go to an interview at the company office, try to take note of what style clothes everyone is wearing*
Lastly, on your first day it is important to:
- Be Yourself
- Work Hard
- Ask Questions
- Network/Talk to Everyone!