Getting the Most out of Your Sophomore Summer

By: Lauren Creamer

I’m a sophomore and I didn’t get an optional co-op this summer… what should I do?

The summer co-op deadline has come and gone, and you might find yourself disappointed that you weren’t able to find an optional co-op. I’m here to tell you that it is OK – there is so much time left in your summer. There is plenty to do to prepare yourself for your first mandatory co-op.

You can keep searching for co-ops. Our co-op reporting deadline is early because Wentworth operates on a trimester system – our classes end earlier than most other schools’. This also means that employers who are looking to hire summer co-ops might not have their recruiting cycles quite synced with ours. You can still find postings on indeed.com, engineerjobs.com, etc. And on the websites of employers. And you can still apply to these jobs! You just won’t be able to get co-op credit for them.

You can find a part-time job in your field, or a shorter work experience. Fun fact: if an employer comes to us seeking a co-op student past the deadline, we encourage them to post their position as a part-time role on WITworks. This will give you direct access to the job on the same platform you’ve been using to search all along. You can also use other job search sites to identify part-time work related to your field. Now that you don’t need to abide by co-op guidelines, you may find opportunities opening up left and right.

Summer co-op search

You can set-up some job shadows. You don’t have to commit to a new job to get experience and exposure in your field. Employers that wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire you may certainly be willing to have you in for a few days to a week, so you can learn about the work they do. This will help you build professional connections, too. Employers are impressed by commitment to the field outside the classroom, and this is an easy way to show you are dedicated to learning about your future profession.

You can do a bunch of informational interviews. Don’t have the time or transportation to commit to a job shadow? Consider using LinkedIn or your personal network to find folks with whom you could do informational interviews. This could be in-person, but over the phone works just fine. Similar to the job shadow, you would be learning more about your field and making connections you could later utilize.

You can volunteer at a non-profit in your field. If your technical discipline overlaps with the non-profit sphere, you should consider volunteering. This could be as little as one day per week where you would be exposing yourself to a specific work environment, learning about your field, and giving back to your community.

Volunteers

You can be intentional about identifying how your seemingly unrelated part-time job or familial obligations may be preparing you for a co-op. I know that, for some of you, the above suggestions are simply not realistic options. And that is OK. If you need to be working a job that pays well (but isn’t related to your field) or you need to be caring for family, we in CO-OPS + CAREERS understand. Your experiences are still valuable! Consider what transferable skills you are building. Are you honing your communication skills? Have you developed strong customer service skills? Are you utilizing your troubleshooting skills in a different environment?

Whether you spend the summer working in your field, setting-up professional development opportunities, or building transferable skills, the experience you add to your resume will be a strong asset you can bring to your mandatory co-op search.

As always, to speak with your Co-op + Career Advisor please stop by our office on the first floor of Wentworth Hall across from Admissions during summer drop-in hours 2:00-4:00pm or call our front desk at 617.989.4101.

Meet our Marketing Intern: Lauren Rodolakis

By: Lauren Rodolakis

Growing up, I always knew I had a passion for creativity. My favorite past-times were journaling, filming and editing footage of my family’s vacations, and blogging. By the time I was 16 I had taught myself how to edit HTML on Tumblr so I could customize my blog and had a Twitter account dedicated to the Boston Red Sox that amassed over 2,000 followers in 6 months. When my junior year of high school rolled around, I had decided on communications and public relations as a major because of the emphasis on all things creative.

LaurenInternPhoto

I spent my first two years of college taking public relations courses, joining clubs like the Public Relations Student Society of America, and securing my first internship. In the summer going into my junior year, I was given the opportunity to work as a social media intern for a national healthcare staffing agency. I created a full content calendar for each of their social media platforms, built them a blog and an Instagram account, started weekly employee spotlights, monthly office tours, and worked with the in-house graphic designer to create promotional materials for career fairs. This internship was my first look into the world of social media and at the time, I had no idea how instrumental it would be towards my future career.

Although I loved working as a social media intern, I had never worked in a real public relations agency setting so I left to peruse a more traditional PR career. My junior and senior year were spent at a boutique tech PR agency, a world-renowned PR agency doing consumer account work, and a mid-sized integrated agency where I did traditional PR for a consumer electronics brand. At each agency I went to, I kept hoping I would like the next one better. I always blamed my reasons for not loving the internship on the agency culture, the clients, or the tasks I was given. One day, I realized I just don’t love traditional PR. I missed the work I was doing at my social media internship and felt the tasks I was being given did not leave much room for creativity.

With my senior year spring semester approaching, I knew I needed to find a great opportunity that would expand my knowledge in the social media world. Finding my internship at the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s CO-OP + CAREERS department has been the perfect way to end my college career. I was given the ability to be more creative in a work setting than I ever have before and enhance my skills in graphic design, video editing, and social content creation.

LaurenInternPhoto

My experience at Wentworth was also instrumental in helping me land my job for after graduation. In May, I will start my career as a Social Media Community Manager at Reviewed, a USA Today company where I will focus on building engagement with our followers across our social channels. My career path has certainly not been linear, but I learned a lot. Through my internships, I was able to pinpoint what I truly love to do and what I am passionate about and now, I am lucky enough to be able to make a career out of those passions.

Thank you for dedicating your semester to our marketing team, Lauren! Follow all of Lauren’s updates on her website: https://www.laurenrodolakis.com/.

Co-op Stories: Sophia Seltenreich

Sophia Seltenreich is a Wentworth Junior studying Business Management with a minor in International Business. Sophia recently completed her first mandatory co-op with Yesware in Downtown Boston where she worked as a Content Strategy Co-op, which was a hybrid position of content marketing and market analysis. In this role, her tasks included developing cadence and curating content on social channels, establishing perspectives/thought leadership & analyzing data in the area of sales to write about on Yesware’s blog, tracking KPIs for Yesware and competitors to measure growth and success, designing graphics for website and social platforms, and customer outreach for data insights and review generation. Here’s what she shared with us about her experience:

What was it like to work at a start-up like Yesware?

It’s incredible! Every day is so lively and so different. You have a lot of flexibility and independence, but also a lot of responsibility. Given the ever-changing start-up environment, you have to be adaptable and ready to pivot at any time. Personally, I love that aspect of the start-up environment. I also love the work I’m doing because even though I’m a co-op, everyone in the company is so interconnected and reliant on each other that even small things like writing a blog post make a difference!

Sophia Seltenreich Headshot(Photo courtesy of Yesware)

Speaking more to the company culture, Yesware was voted Boston’s Top Place to Work two years in a row (2017/2018). Everyone at the company is treated exceptionally well, and as a co-op, I was treated no different than a full-time employee. Some office perks include: free catered lunch every day, pet-friendly office space – which means people often bring in their dogs, weekly yoga sessions, monthly massages, board game nights, a nap room, a fully stocked kitchen (including vegan ice-cream & oatmilk), and great people! I cannot speak enough to the character and integrity that each person at Yesware embodies. For example, every two months, all the execs participate in an AMA (Ask Me Anything), exhibiting complete transparency and authenticity, taking the time to answer everyone’s questions. Another example, when an employee makes a successful hiring referral, instead of getting a cash bonus, they make a $5,000 donation to a charity of their choosing. Our People Team also plans and hosts several community events throughout the year, like a Galentine’s Day celebration with She+ Geeks Out & the Big Sister Association of Boston. Getting to work with these kinds of genuine people is the best environment to learn and grow in, and it shows me how passionate people are about the work they do and the communities they’re a part of.

Galentines Event(Photo courtesy of Yesware)

How did you choose to work at a start-up?

I received a competing co-op offer for social management at Liberty Mutual, the antithesis of a start-up company. While working at a fortune 100 company can provide stability and safety, I wasn’t looking to sit at a cubicle and do the same set tasks every day (even if it meant getting a lower wage).

What was a typical day like for you on co-op?

As I said before, every day can be different! A fairly typical day starts off with me scheduling Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts (after I’ve made myself some breakfast & tea) and going through new emails. After that, I work on sprint goals such as drafting new blog pieces, creating review campaigns, conducting customer outreach for feedback, sorting through data in Pardot, designing graphics in canva  etc. Then (free) lunch comes along! After lunch, marketing has a daily stand-up at 1:30pm where we usually discuss the tasks we’re working on (and everyone’s progress as we re-watch Game of Thrones). The latter half of the day consists of me listening to podcasts and finishing whatever goal I set for myself in the morning.

Yesware Office(Photo courtesy of Yesware)

What advice do you have for students who are interested in working for a start-up?

Advice for those seeking start-up jobs: be flexible, and highly adaptable! Take pride in your work, but don’t get too attached to it- changes can be made, projects can be dropped, and work can be scrapped. Be a self-starter, take the initiative on connections and projects you think would help your team or their processes.

What did you learn from your first co-op that you will take with you to your second? 

I learned that I had to apply to 40+ positions before I found one I truly resonated with. Don’t be afraid to turn companies down just because they’re the first to offer you a job.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Sophia! Be on the lookout for our next co-op feature. If you would like to share your search process, co-op experience (positive or not-as-expected), or have any questions about the co-op process, please email us at coopsandcareers@wit.edu.

As always, to make an appointment with your Co-op + Career Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or stop by the CO-OPS + CAREERS Office during Summer 2019 Drop-In Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm while classes are in session.