Feedback: How to get it and why you need it

By: Caitlin Brison

Co-op – it’s learning by doing. Actually, it’s learning through reflection on doing.  During a co-op semester, students have the opportunity to work hands-on in a professional setting outside the classroom. The key ingredient that makes co-op a learning experience is feedback.  Feedback helps us correct errors and promotes self-reflection in order to improve our performance. It is essential to get feedback on the work you are doing. So don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Group of people talking

Ask for feedback in real time.

Giving feedback can be equally as uncomfortable for supervisors; some skip it because they worry how it will be received.  They hold off, then they dump negative feedback in a formal performance review and you never had the opportunity to change.  Create an atmosphere that welcomes it by having a good attitude and showing you are resilient. You can listen and adjust.

 

Help your boss be your coach, too.

Pose specific questions in real-time. It doesn’t have to be a formal sit-down meeting to have a coaching exchange. Asking vague questions can lead to vague feedback and nothing gets accomplished. While the work is still fresh, pose questions like “What’s one thing I could have done better on this project?”  It shows that you are investing in your own growth.

 

Ask for examples.

Vague feedback is futile and can be disheartening. Press for examples or ask targeted questions so that you can be made aware specifics and be encouraged to change. This will help you make adjustments and identify parts of your performance that may need major or micro adjustments.

 

Value input from your colleagues.

Don’t just look up for feedback – turn to your colleagues. Knowing how your colleagues view your strengths and developmental areas can be a really powerful tool. They may have insight your boss doesn’t!

 

Feedback can be a stressful experience, which is why many people hesitate to ask for it. But guess what? The more often you do, the more comfortable and impactful it becomes. With increased opportunities to adjust your work, the better you will be at your job and the higher you get reviewed. More feedback leads to higher performance and increased job satisfaction.

 

Learning how to get feedback on co-op sets you up for success your entire career. Feedback builds resiliency and helps you develop a growth mindset.  It’ll be a tool you always use and you’ll impress your future employers with the level of maturity and motivation you bring to your role.

 

Additional Resources:

How to Get the Feedback you Need: https://hbr.org/2015/05/how-to-get-the-feedback-you-need

The Assumptions Employees Make When They Don’t Get Feedback: https://hbr.org/2019/06/the-assumptions-employees-make-when-they-dont-get-feedback

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.

Fall 2019 Drop-In Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 1:30pm – 4:00pm while classes are in session.

Guide to LinkedIn

By: Ria Kalinowski

LinkedIn is a social media networking site that allows people to connect with colleagues, peers, and industry professionals. Individuals highlight their skills, experience, and examples of work on an interactive platform.

Man searching through LinkedIn

Why Should I Use LinkedIn?

  • Visibility: 93% of industry recruiters use LinkedIn and your profile has the capacity to hold far more than your resume does.
  • Research: Millions of people across the world are using LinkedIn! You can view company pages to learn about company culture and see who works there on the “People” tab. Follow companies to see what they are talking about. You can look at interviewers’ backgrounds to get a better understanding about what types of questions they may ask during interviews.
  • Professional Networking: You have the power to connect with people based on shared interests and/or similar backgrounds. Reach out to alumni and join groups to ask industry specific questions. Comment and engage with others in groups. You will get noticed. Make sure it’s for the right reasons by acting professionally!

 

How can I use LinkedIn?

Promote your brand, highlight your accomplishments, connect with alumni and industry professionals, join groups, conduct informational interviews, engage with employers through discussion boards – the possibilities are endless.

 

How do I get started?

  • Create an account at linkedin.com.
  • Add information to your profile. Include as many sections as you think appropriate (education, experience, volunteer work, courses, and so on). Bring it to an All-Star Level using these suggestions: https://coopsandcareers.wit.edu/blog/2018/08/01/creating-an-all-star-profile-on-linkedin/.
  • Get your profile reviewed by your advisor. Just like your resume and cover letter, this is a professional marketing tool that should receive feedback before use.
  • Connect with classmates, colleagues, professors, friends, etc. And send them a personalized invitation.
  • Don’t stop now! Continue to update and add information to your LinkedIn account as you gain skills and experience.

 

Tips and Best Practices

  • Complete your profile because profiles that are complete show up higher in search results.
  • Think carefully about your headline. It doesn’t need to be your current title, but it must be relevant. Avoid “Student at Wentworth Institute of Technology” as that headline applies to over 4,000 students. Use your headline to stand out by focusing on your career goals or on your main skills.
  • Customize your URL. Do this while in edit mode and choose some iteration of your full name (ex: SamRSmith10).
  • Upload a professional, high-quality photo as profiles with photos get more views. Get your picture taken at the LinkedIn Photo Booth at the next Wentworth CO-OP + CAREER Fair or ask a friend with a quality camera. Please, no selfies!
  • Write a concise, thoughtful “About” section. What do you care about? Why are you on LinkedIn?
  • Add content to the “Accomplishments” section on your profile. Publications, Projects, Patents, Posts – share your work!
  • Utilize the Alumni tool on Wentworth’s page to identify alumni with whom you want to connect.
  • Personalize all requests to connect. Don’t just send the stock message – share information about who you are and why you’re reaching out.
  • Join groups and follow companies. Comment and engage with others on these platforms. You will get noticed.
  • LinkedIn is a professional platform. Do not spam or harass others. Post only work-place appropriate materials. This is not Facebook – respect the rules.
  • Recommend others (and get recommended in turn). Recommendations support your claims about skill level and professionalism in the workplace. Always offer to write one before you request one of others.
  • Don’t forget about the Skills & Endorsements section – google industry competencies and list the ones you possess.

 

NOTE: Remember to update your LinkedIn every few months. Never let the information get stale!

 

Additional Resources

Student sample LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/studentsample/

Examples of great LinkedIn “About” sections: https://www.linkedinsights.com/4-stunningly-good-linkedin-summaries/

How to write a good LinkedIn Headline: https://firebrandtalent.com/blog/2015/04/how-to-write-the-best-linkedin-headline-and-why-it-matters/

 

To make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617 989 4101 or stop by during Fall 2019 Drop-In Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 1:30pm – 4:00pm while classes are in session.