How to Stay an Engaged Employer During COVID-19

By: Chris McIntyre

COVID-19 has changed how we interact with everyone and everything around us. Our office understands it has been a long, strange 11 weeks and we all face a challenging road ahead. However, how we think about recruiting for co-ops, internships, and full-time roles is no different.

Together we will find a new normal and resume certain pre-COVID activities. While you might not be ready to resume recruiting just yet, whenever you are, we will be here to help. With that in mind, see below for a few tips to help navigate recruiting in uncharted times.

  1. Post your co-op and full-time roles to WITworks. Wentworth is holding Summer classes – albeit virtually – and that means students are on co-op. While a final decision has not been made about the method of instruction for Fall semester, the one certain thing is WIT will have a large number of students looking for a required co-op to begin in September. Students have also altered their search for Fall co-op, with many having already begun the process.

In addition to co-op, upcoming graduates’ full-time job searches have been impacted by COVID-19. Usually over half of WIT students receive a full-time offer from a previous co-op, but the pandemic has resulted in many more Seniors on the market this Summer. Posting now will ensure the most talented WIT students have access to your roles before most employers begin their process later this Summer.

  1. Host an information session or workshop this Summer. Because all in-person events are suspended or cancelled for the foreseeable future (Including our largest event, the Spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair), students are craving employer interaction. Hosting a workshop in Zoom, such as building a resume or navigating technical interviews, is a great way to connect with students while giving yourself a competitive advantage over competing organizations. Even an hour of Q+A or hosting a traditional information session will go a long way in increasing applications.

 

  1. Be creative. Perhaps you are not able to commit to a full 40-hour co-op this Summer, or you can hire in June or even July. That is ok – we can still help with recruiting! COVID-19 has required us to be flexible and think about co-op unlike we ever have before, so we will be happy to help you brainstorm ways to make it work. Examples include having students work part-time, remotely (either for the entirety of co-op or temporarily), or a delayed start. Contact CO-OPS + CAREERS or Chris McIntyre for help.

 

  1. Plan ahead. September 2020 seems like a long way off, but the Summer always goes fast. Because Fall co-op recruiting is already underway and students are currently applying, waiting until August to post means there will be a limited pool of students available. If possible, begin planning for your Fall semester co-ops now to ensure you have ample time to recruit.

We appreciate your continued support and we value our employer partners. Wentworth will continue to provide quality talent for your needs and remain committed to providing the best in real-world learning. As our office likes to say: Let’s get to work!

Where does WIT Work?

By: Becky Smith


Using LinkedIn to Identify Receptive Alumni, Students & Employers Around the Globe

Networking is a crucial part of any job search…and it is especially important if you are entering a challenging job market! Get started by locating and talking with alumni and students from your major who have done co-ops or jobs related to your interests.

Why Search for Alumni on LinkedIn

1) it is easy to sort by major and see what a targeted group of people have been doing

2) your shared experience from college is an effective way for you to introduce yourself

3) it can help you to identify opportunities in a specific geographic area (home, or a less familiar city/state)

How to Locate Alumni Information on LinkedIn

To find alumni on LinkedIn, go to the School Page: Type our university name in the search bar on your LinkedIn homepage. Make sure you select the School Page, not a Company Page, Showcase, or Group.

Pro Tip: You can do this for any university or school, even if you were never a student there! Try this to get data on alumni in a specific geographic area outside of Boston, or to see where students from another college are working.

Search "Wentworth Institute of..." into LinkedIn search bar

Next, click on “Alumni”.

Select "Alumni" tab

Filter Search Results to Find Companies of Interest, Potential Contacts, and More

Alumni information is categorized by filters such as where they live, where they work, what they do, and what they studied. These lists display top results under each category; we strongly recommend that you also use the search bar above these lists to look for specific cities, companies, etc. if they do not appear in the lists. At the bottom of the page is a display of alumni who meet the criteria.

Other helpful searches: Adjust the date range depending on whether you are seeking young alumni to chat with, or more experienced alumni who are now managers; and search by company name, job title, skills, or any other details.

Pro Tips: Click Next to see more filters. Click Show More to see the entire list under any category.

Filter results

Alumni/Student Profiles

Profile summaries are displayed at the bottom of the page. Click on them to see full details such as:

  • Where has the person worked?
  • What job titles have they had?
  • What skills do they have listed?

NOTE: ALWAYS send a personalized message when you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn. It establishes your credibility and makes that individual more likely to respond.

Pro Tip: An invitation to connect is also an opportunity to message back and forth, even if you do not actually connect!

"Connect" on LinkedIn

Co-op Stories: Julia Gravano

By: Julia Gravano

Julia Gravano is a Wentworth junior studying Construction Management with a Concentration in Facilities Management and a minor in Business Management. She completed her first mandatory co-op semester this past spring with J. Calnan & Associates, Inc. and shared her experience with CO-OPS + CAREERS:

Julia with hard hat on

With J. Calnan & Associates in New York, NY., I served as a Project Coordinator. This position provides support for project management teams throughout the construction process.  Through close partnership with team members, as well as clients and subcontractors, the assistant project manager helps to ensure all job-related documentation is up to date.  This position works with project managers to monitor the status, details, and finances of each assigned project.

 

What is a typical day like at your co-op with J. Calnan & Associates, Inc.?

Every day is a different day! One day I could be helping with pre-construction which entails me becoming familiar with the drawings and calling subcontractors who may want to bid on projects.  Other days, I am assisting on existing projects dealing with RFI’s, submittals, and miscellaneous project management tasks.  In addition, I will walk through potential jobsites that our company may be looking to take on with our Project Manager and Estimator.  I look forward to each day because they may seem similar, but I always learn something new.  My co-workers and I try to eat at new local restaurants each Friday as well to take a breather from the office.

 

What is something that you are working on that has inspired you? 

The biggest project I have been a part of since the beginning of my co-op is 446 Broadway. It is an entire building totaling of 6 floors (including a cellar).  This building is identified as a New York Landmark Building.  I have been able to partake in preconstruction and construction activities this far.  This has allowed me to forge close relationships with both the Preconstruction and Project Management sectors of our NY branch.  I have learned about the different facets a project must undergo when it is identified as a landmark.  This project will allow me to see the transformation of a deteriorating old building to becoming new tenant and retail space.  I take pride in of all the projects that I touch upon working at J. Calnan.  I am grateful that they have taken me in as a co-op with open arms and see my potential by giving me responsibility.

I am also proud to say that I am part of such a compassionate and flexible company that cares about its employees and clients.  During this time of Covid-19, JC&A has been proactive about keeping its employees safe and up to date on protocols both in the office and in the field.  Though the NY department is smaller the Quincy HQ, we are able to strongly communicate and coordinate accordingly as we work from home.

Julia in front of J Calnan sign

 

What did you learn from your first optional co-op that have helped you in this role?

I have learned to have more attention to detail from my first co-op.  It provided me with my first experience of interior fit out construction as well as project management experience.  My first co-op also allowed me to learn about the dynamic and complicated relationships that owners, architects, and construction managers may have on fast paced projects.  Furthermore, I believe my job experience allowed me to be open about asking questions about why things are done and how things are done.  I took advantage of the subcontractors and co-workers that loved to explain and talk about what we do on a daily basis.

 

What advice do you have for female students interested in the Construction Industry?

The biggest piece of advice that I have for females is to not be afraid to ask questions and to be yourself.  The thing that I found most challenging is making sure that my voice is heard and proving that it matters.  I am not afraid to ask any question whether it be obvious or not.  It shows how interested you are and how you are applying knowledge that you have learned on the job or at school.  Be a sponge and soak it all in, but most importantly don’t forget to have fun.  I am such a high stress person and the biggest thing that I am still learning is to make your moments enjoyable and ones to remember.

 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through your co-op?

The biggest lesson I have learned is that knowledge is important, but your network it ultimately equal to your net worth.  The industry is small wherever you may go, and it is all about who you know.  I have found both of my co-ops back home in New York.  Without my involvement in industry events and constantly meeting people, I believe that I would not have had the luxury of living at home for co-ops.  In general, it is nice and important to hear other industry people’s stories and advice.  Be personable, make friends, and forge relationships that will last throughout your career.

 

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

To make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or visit our website for more information about scheduling virtually.

Where’s the Action? 10 Places to Look for Jobs Right Now (Spring 2020)

By: Becky Smith

Searching for a co-op or a job that will start in the next 1-6 months? Worried about disruption from COVID-19? Consider searching for jobs in these very busy areas:

Now Hiring Sign

  1. Telehealth: This includes apps, chat bots, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR & AR), and online scheduling companies such as Teladoc Health, Firefly Health, Amwell, and Orbita
  2. Teleconferencing and EduTech: right now it’s so common to get training on line and conduct meeting and appointments on apps like Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, or GoToMeeting! More companies are moving into this space to offer critically important training under today’s urgent circumstances.
  3. Ecommerce/Online Marketplace Platforms: Businesses and individuals are flocking to online marketplace and ecommerce sites such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Wix Ecommerce, Woo Ecommerce, and MIRAKL.
  4. Alleviating Social Isolation while practicing Social Distancing: Apps, on-line communities, social support and VR support groups are becoming more widely available for caregivers and elders. There are also companies helping patients and caregivers to collect and share data, for example, Folia Health and XR Health.
  5. Goodness knows we need enhanced cyber security for many of the services above!
  6. Data analysis and data sharing: companies SalesForce, Tableau (owned by SalesForce), Decision Point, and Splunk are providing access to their data resources and dashboards. This simulation in the Washington Post demonstrates how data science and mathematical modeling help us to understand epidemics and pandemics.
  7. One of the industries impacted least by the COVID-19 pandemic is life sciences. This includes biotech, pharma, and related sub-sectors. Manufacturing of medical devices and supplies, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, and lab equipment must continue through shelter-in-place and economic downturn. Our society relies on these life-saving devices and treatments. Companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, Abbott, and Vertex are still hiring!
  8. Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Several companies in the business of product shipping are overwhelmed: Amazon, grocery stores, and Walmart to name a few! UberEats and Postmates are reducing and sometimes waiving fees for delivery…even more business. To help behind the scenes in a professional capacity, look for job titles with keywords such as “Operations”, “Supply Chain”, and “Logistics”.
  9. Web-based wellness communities are leveraging these unusual circumstances. This growth may present a need for marketing or operations support, programmers, software developers, technical support, and customer support!
  10. Large Government & Financial Institutions: What do Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citi, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Justice have in common? They all rely on mainframes and they are scrambling to gear up their legacy systems for COVID-related responses such as small business relief programs! Skills originating in past eras such as COBOL, Basic are in demand, along with SQL, HTML, and JavaScript.

Hands typing on laptop

 

Additional Resources:

Data for Good: The Tech Community’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 23, 2020

https://www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/data-good-the-tech-community-s-response-the-coronavirus-pandemic

The Latest on the Coronavirus, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, updated daily

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-latest-on-the-coronavirus/

Here’s Who’s Hiring Right Now, LinkedIn, April 2, 2020

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/heres-whos-hiring-right-now-andrew-seaman/

 

Thank you all for your patience during this challenging time. CO-OPS + CAREERS is here to support you! Do not hesitate to reach out directly to us with questions or concerns, by phone: 617.989.4101 or email: coopsandcareers@wit.edu.

Getting through Self-Isolation One Breath at a Time

By: Lauren Creamer

During and following self-isolation because of concerns related to Coronavirus, you may begin to experience some common stress responses. It is important to use self-care strategies, coping techniques and reach out for additional support when necessary. We are here to support you during self-isolation and beyond. This document includes strategies for coping and self-care as well as instructions for accessing services during your time off campus.

It is well-established that when we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. The stress hormone can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system.

We might also experience an epidemic fear or “Coronavirus Panic.” Emergencies or critical incidents naturally brings upon a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety and fear for those directly and indirectly affected.

Our body is stressed on a minute by minute basis with constant and overwhelming social media reports of emergencies and current events. It is essential to keep your stress levels at a minimum because there is only so much you can do.

Common Stress Response

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Fear and anxiety about the future and death
  • Disorientation; difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Apathy and emotional numbing
  • Nightmares and reoccurring thoughts about the epidemic
    • Irritability and anger
    • Sadness and feeling powerless
    • Changes in eating patterns; loss of appetite or overeating
    • Crying for “no apparent reason”
    • Headaches, back pains and stomach problems
    • Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep

 

How to Cope

  • Take good care of yourself physically and emotionally. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and balanced
  • If you smoke or drink coffee, try to limit your intake as nicotine and caffeine can also add to your stress.
  • Cultivate self-compassion and be kind to yourself for the challenges that you are going
  • Limit exposure to news or social media on the
  • Set a time limit (e.g., an hour per day) on watching or reading only trustworthy and reliable news or talking about Coronavirus. Watching or reading news about the event repeatedly will only increase your
  • Talk about it (in moderation)
  • By talking with others about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your feelings.
  • While you are self-isolating, remember that you are not alone. We can get through this together as a community.

Media on computer screen

 

Self-Care Strategies

While you might be currently isolated, it is important to maintain connections to interests, friends and entertainment. Try these tasks for some self-care strategies.

  • Avoid drugs and excessive drinking or emotional eating. Drugs, alcohol and emotional eating may temporarily seem to remove stress, but in the long run they generally create additional problems that compound the stress you were already
  • Structure your day and find some indoor activities you enjoy. Balance mind/body, fun and learning activities to keep your brain and body
  • Read a book
  • Establish a daily meditation routine (with a minimum 10 minutes per day)
  • Try yoga
  • Watch a movie
  • Listen to or play music
  • Draw
  • Do a 30-minute At-Home online video fitness class
  • Play a video game
  • Video chat with a friend or family member to have conversations outside of social media and texting

Man on Facetime

How to Work Efficiently

  • Be mindful of your working space. Create an office space if possible, but no matter what, ensure that you are doing work away from your bed/ where you sleep
  • Try to eliminate as many distractions from your workspace as possible
  • Work for 40-50 minutes at a time with 10-minute pauses for breaks. During your breaks, move your body a bit with light stretching. Give your brain a break but don’t do something that will end up distracting you for hours
  • Use the resources and support services that are offered to you for help if needed (some are listed below). Don’t forget that you can also reach out to your professor if you are struggling to manage the new platforms/ learning experiences

 

Additional Coping Strategies

  • Explore something new – Learn something new that has always been in your bucket list, but you never had the time for it before. Now is the perfect time!
  • Structure your day, one thing at a time
  • Make a To-Do list by breaking down your day into morning, afternoon and evening activities just like when you are in
  • Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. “Checking off” tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment, control and mastery. It makes things feel less
  • Do something positive and meaningful. Helping other people can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels “out of your ”
  • Do anything else you find enjoyable. These healthy activities can help you get your mind off the epidemic and keep the stress in
  • Stay hopeful and optimistic
  • Nothing is permanent. Everything will pass including the Coronavirus
  • Take one moment at a time

To do list

Services Available for You

  • Library support
    • You can request an online library instruction session here
    • You can contact your reference librarians with any questions at ref@wit.edu
    • Find more information about online resources in the Library & Online Learning Resources Guide here
  • Center for Academic Excellence
    • The CAE remains open virtually and is functioning remotely. For advising questions, contact advising@wit.edu and for tutoring questions, contact cae@wit.edu
    • You can find online tutorials and learning resources here
  • Tech Spot
    • Support hours have been extended to 7:30am-7:30pm M-F over email through techspot@wit.edu or by phone at 617-989-4500
  • Center for Wellness
    • Online and phone services are available for triage, case management, and general support
    • The Center will be open 9am-4pm for those experiencing a mental health crisis. Individuals are being asked to call the prior to coming in
    • After hours counseling phone service is still available. Students who would like to use this option should call 617-989-4390 and press #2 when prompted
    • Support groups are being offered online. Information regarding these groups can be found here
    • Students needing Accessibility Services can contact 617-989-4390 to set up phone or Skype sessions.
    • Here is a podcast by the Happiness Lab

*Adapted from Duke Kunshan University Counseling and Psychological Services and the University of Texas at San Antonio

Tips for Managing Remote Work

By: Kristen Eckman

In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus and subsequent need for social distancing, many employers are now enforcing remote work policies to decrease the likelihood for potential exposure. For your employer, remote work may be a new concept. Luckily, some industries have been encouraging remote work long before the current need and have generated best practices for the rest of us. Below you will find a collection of resources to help you stay productive, organized and healthy!

Maintain Productivity

Set your schedule and stick to it – let those around you know your “office hours” so that they can respect your work time.

  • Schedule your time in between meetings – this is a good way to let your colleagues know when you are available virtually, or busy with a task as well as remain on task between video and phone meetings.

Create a designated workspace – and have a separate space to unplug and relax outside of working hours.

Proactively reach out to colleagues, supervisors and clients – if you don’t have a cause for regular engagement with key individuals, schedule reminders to reach out with an email or call.

Update on progress more than usual – send updates to your supervisor and clients rather than waiting for them to ask you and ask what preferences they have around frequency, content and the form of updates.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/hvmacarthur/2020/03/12/the-art-of-working-remotely-how-to-ensure-productivity-vs-a-time-suck/#5a7099e633ee

Keep distractions around, but out of the way – it’s important to have distractions around. When you take a break, doing something just for fun can help you refresh.

Student working on laptop

 

Stay Organized

Keep your workspace tidy – don’t get too comfortable with clutter forming just because you colleagues are no longer around to see it. Set yourself up in a way that will allow you to perform at your best.

Write things down – without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks. Take notes in a notebook or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications; find what works best for you!

  • Never be without a way to quickly capture an idea – keep a virtual notepad open on your desktop, utilize your free access to Microsoft OneNote or the good old-fashion pen and paper method.

Self-motivate – set realistic daily, weekly or even hourly goals to keep yourself motivated. A sense of accomplishment once completing these goals will contribute positively to your work-life balance.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/do-you-have-what-it-takes-to-work-from-home

 

Be Mindful of Your Personal Health and Wellness

Get out of the house – while recommendations are to stay away from public areas for the time being to respect social distancing precautions, remember to step outside!

Give yourself breaks – schedule breaks to get up and get some air, schedule time to go grab lunch, and most importantly, schedule a stop time. This means you clock out and trust that whatever is waiting for you in your inbox will wait.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/hvmacarthur/2020/03/12/the-art-of-working-remotely-how-to-ensure-productivity-vs-a-time-suck/#5a7099e633ee

Set-up your space intentionally – give yourself something aesthetically pleasing to look at like a plant, window or a soothing picture on the wall. Pay attention to the natural light that comes in throughout the day and how the colors of the room and furniture around you make you feel.

  • Don’t forget a comfortable chair that supports good posture!

Source: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/10-hacks-to-improve-your-home-office-productivity.html

Female working on laptop with dog

 

Additional References

Headspace meditation for free: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-actually-be-productive-when-youre-working-from-home

Source: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/03/13/coronavirus-social-distancing-work-from-home-julie-morgenstern?utm_source=WBUR+Editorial+Newsletters&utm_campaign=0d5c054ee5-WBURTODAY_COG_2020_03_15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d0781a0a0c-0d5c054ee5-134699385

Guides for remote life: https://blog.trello.com/work-from-home-guides

Source: https://mailchi.mp/careersherpa/summary-sunday-making-adjustments?e=f74f1585dc

 

Takeaways

  • Keep work life separate from personal life and personal life separate from work life.
  • Working from home can get lonely, so make a concerted effort to stay connected socially.
  • Remember that working from home is a continuously developing situation for most companies and this is a time that requires patience and flexibility as an employee.

CO-OPS + CAREERS has gone virtual! Please continue to contact the office by email: coopsandcareers@wit.edu or by phone: 617-989-4101. To schedule a virtual appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor, login to WITworks or call the main line listed above.

Co-op Stories: Roan Farsab

By: Roan Farsab

Roan Farsab, a junior in the Electrical Engineering program at Wentworth, completed her optional co-op at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She discussed her role with CO-OPS + CAREERS and shared advice for students looking to complete a research co-op:

Roan Farsab Headshot

  • What drew you to finding a research co-op?

In the future I plan on attending Graduate school. My Research Co-op taught me more about grad school and the process of applying. I was also able to learn more about what I can do with my degree. After completing this co-op I learned a lot about UAV technologies and plan on working with them in the future.

  • What was your search and interview process like?

My main search process was the National science foundation website. This website showed all of the research positions that are funded by the National science foundation.

  • What is a typical day like at your co-op?

There isn’t really a typical day as we work on different tasks each day. While one day I could be researching on how to set up a sensor and program it for the drone, the other day I could be coding in python or welding parts of the drone. This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed my co-op; I was exposed to different things other than my major and learned something new every day. 

  • While on co-op, what project(s) have you been a part of that inspired you? 

I worked on a project with a group of two other students. We worked together building a drone on the subject of Autonomous Search and Rescue Vehicles. This drone was designed to work in times of human distress and disaster and to minimize the loss of life. Increasingly, safety and risk prevention has been valued, and the deployment of human rescuers into dangerous and high-risk areas to perform SAR missions is one field where safety and risk prevention can be improved. This inspired me because it showed me how our technologies today can be used during times of disaster to save lives.

  • What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing research for their co-op?

I advise students to be patient. Looking for a research co-op isn’t easy and often may be a very stressful process. People all over the country apply for research positions so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get in to one or the one you wanted. Also, during your research sometimes you will feel that you aren’t learning because you searching for results for something or working on something that didn’t make progress so remember failure is a result that you can learn from your mistakes.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Roan! Be on the lookout for our next co-op feature. If you would like to share your co-op experience with us (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.

How to Ace a Phone Interview

By: STEAM Boston Writing Team

This article was originally posted to STEAM Boston. Read the full story here: https://www.steamboston.com/how-to-ace-a-phone-interview/

A phone interview is how many companies start the interview process. The interviewer will typically discuss the position requirements and attempt to gauge your interest in the position. Though a phone interview seems like low stakes on the surface, it’s actually your first point of contact with the company– and first impressions are everything.

Phone interviews are typically scheduled in advance, but there are some cases when a recruiter might give you a surprise call. Always be ready to answer the phone in a professional tone and have a voicemail is professional as well. If you’re caught off guard by a call, set a later time to chat when you can get to a quieter place (whether it be 15 minutes or later that week).

Woman at table with tablet

Ask questions and do research

Prior to your phone interview, there are a handful of things you should be able to talk about with confidence. First, you should be able to articulate a clear understanding of the position. If you can’t, write down some questions to ask during your phone interview to clear things up. Second, check how your resume matches up with the position requirements. Make notes in areas that the interviewer might ask you about. And third, be ready to talk about yourself. The interviewer will likely ask what makes you interested in the position and how you’ve learned from your previous experiences. Be ready to talk about how your past experience and future goals make you a good candidate.

Keep your notes handy

The great news about a phone interview is that no one can see you, so you can refer to notes during the conversation. Keep your resume, cover letter, and the job description handy so you don’t have to recite them off the top of your head. You should also take notes during the interview to help you stay on track. Plus, they’ll be something to refer back to if you move on to an in-person interview.

Remember to articulate

However, being behind the phone is a double-edged sword. While your interviewer can’t see your notes, they also can’t see the hand gestures or facial expressions that help you communicate. It’s important to be articulate during your phone interview and maintain a friendly yet professional tone. Smiling while you speak can help you project a more positive image. And for some people, it helps to dress up and sit in a mirror during the call to mimic a face-to-face interview. You should also keep a glass of water nearby if your throat runs dry.

Plan, Practice, and Prepare

Phone interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they’re a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door. The key is to prepare, listen closely, and be polite. A follow-up email thanking the interviewer for their time never hurts either. Be sure to mention a few details from the conversation. In the end, preparing for a phone interview isn’t that different from an in-person one. With a little confidence and a lot of preparation, you’ll be in the second round in no time.


If you are a student or professional in the “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics” field and you want to tell us your story email stories@steamboston.com or tweet @steamboston and let’s talk.

STEAM Boston helps students in the Greater Boston area with career exploration and career advice, check them out at steamboston.com

Co-op Stories: Tim McCusker

By: Tim McCusker

Tim McCusker, senior in Computer Engineering at Wentworth, recently completed his second mandatory co-op with SparkCharge in Somerville. Tim shared his experience with CO-OPS + CAREERS:

Tim McCusker headshot infront of stairs

  • Describe your role at SparkCharge.

My co-op was at a start-up company called SparkCharge operating out of Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA. The largest clean energy tech incubator in North America. SparkCharge is developing a portable, ultrafast, modular charging station to eliminate range anxiety for electric vehicle owners everywhere. My role at SparkCharge is supporting the chief engineer as an Electrical and Embedded Systems Engineer while our team deploys a pilot device to the field.

  • Why were you interested in completing your co-op at SparkCharge?

I found SparkCharge through The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program run by MassCEC. What interested me initially was how practical SparkCharge’s technology is. Portable EV charging is an essential step towards a realistic EV future. I agreed to come into Greentown Labs where SparkCharge’s engineering team currently operates for an interview and tour of the facility. Greentown Labs is an incredibly exciting environment packed with a diverse variety of clean energy start-ups boasting an active and robust community of professionals with a common goal, to drive the growth of clean energy technology. I could not miss the opportunity to be a part of this community which solidified my interest in completing my co-op at SparkCharge.

  • How has your second mandatory co-op differed from your first mandatory co-op?

The most significant difference I’ve experienced between my first and second mandatory co-ops is the size/current stage of the company I was working for. My first co-op company is an international company founded in the early 1960’s. Thousands of employees, many departments, large facilities, etc. Most of my working experience was gained working on long existing products on a team of 20+ engineers. At SparkCharge I get to be a part of a ten-person start-up company with a six-person engineering team developing a new product which, when I joined the team, had just entered its pilot stage. Seeing and experiencing the engineering process at this early stage provides a wealth of knowledge that extends past my chosen engineering field.

  • While on co-op, what project(s) have you been a part of that inspired you?

Mainly my projects have been developing test fixtures for hardware validation, assisting the chief engineer in device testing, and managing the assembly of pilot units in preparation for field testing. I’ve also been given tasks involving circuit & pcb design, software projects, and firmware development.

  • What did you need to focus on inside or outside of the classroom to be successful as a candidate?

Focus on having a good resume, good interviewing skills and getting quality applications in the hands of hiring managers as early in the hiring process as possible.

  • What advice do you have for students and their first co-op search?

Start applying very early and apply often. Put effort into your applications, do your research on the company. Tailor each application to the role you are applying for. Ask for help, from your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor, professors, classmates, coworkers; expose yourself to as much opportunity as you can. Don’t let rejections discourage you, keep searching and you’ll find your opportunity.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Tim! Be on the lookout for our next co-op feature. If you would like to share your co-op experience with us (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.

How to Keep Your Resume to One Page

By: Sara Dell

Sometimes keeping a resume to one page seems like an impossible task, but there are ways to do it. The tips and tricks below will let you maximize the space on your resume and make it easy to skim quickly (without turning it into a WALL OF WORDS which the recruiter will find hard to read).

Given the volume of applications today, most recruiters are looking for a way to rule out candidate applications and a long resume is easy to spot. If a candidate cannot be succinct on a resume, what will their written communication at work be like? Simply put, if your resume is over one page and you don’t have 10-15 years of experience, then you risk ending up in the recruiter’s NO pile.

I will use Microsoft Word to demonstrate how to control the format and space your page.  Google Docs does not yet have this robust functionality but it may in the near future.

You can use all or some of these suggestions to get your resume down to one page:

  1. Check your Margins. Should be between 1 and .5 inches (right, left, top, and bottom). Go to Layout and chose narrow or custom margins.Margins in Word
  2. Check your Font size. The body font should be between 10 -12 pt. Try reducing the font size for everything but the header and maybe the section headers.
  3. Condense your Header. Most Headers can be 1-2 lines with all the relevant information: Name, email, phone, City, ST, LinkedIn URL, link to portfolio or GitHub. Avoid making your name too large (or too small) on the page. Example:Header example

 Note: Tips 4 and 5 that follow can be used to tighten or reduce space between lines, entries and sections.  You can use either method to insert some space between entries and sections so they are distinct from each other, to make them easy to skim.

  1. Check your spacing before and after lines. Reduce spacing before or after lines to 0 (not auto).  You can also use this function to put space between your entries or sections to make them distinct from each other and easy to recognize as a separate entry or section. Line spacing
  2. Reduce the size of blank lines between sections and/or entries. (Caveat: Blank lines between sections and/or entries should be equal and consistent throughout the resume. Examples of sections are: Education, Skills, Projects and entries are: individual jobs, co-ops, or projects)

That said, you can make these blank lines (or hard returns) between sections or entries much smaller by reducing the font size to 8 pt., 5 pt., or even 2 pt. if needed. The issue may be that you cannot easily see the hard returns between sections or entries.

Whenever you press the Return or Enter key while editing a document, the word processor inserts a hard return.  Hard returns are invisible in Word until you click on the paragraph button circled in yellow below.

Paragraphs in Word

  1. Reduce Experience Top Lines. These can almost always be just one line.  For example:

Experience headers

  1. Edit down the number of bullets for your less important entries (Additional Experience, Volunteer Experience or Extracurricular Activities) or entries that have too many bullets (5+).
  2. Delete older, less important information, such as experience from High School if you are a Junior (unless it is extraordinary) or older additional experience not directly related to your major, volunteer work or extracurricular activities.

Bonus: Control your date alignment by putting in a tab stop.

  1. Make sure your ruler is showing by going to the magnifying glass with “Tell me what you want to do” and typing in “show ruler”.
  2. Click through the tab options on the upper left-hand side of the window until you reach a right aligned tab stop which looks like a backwards L:Orientation
  3. Position your cursor on the line you want the tab stop to appear. Click the location on the ruler where you want the tab stop to be.  (Note: if you want it to end at the margin, you will have place the tab stop on the ruler and then using your cursor, drag it over the margin and drop it on top of the margin symbol.)Ruler in Word
  4. Highlight all tabs and extra spaces and hit Tab on your keyboard.

Tabs in word

The tab stop will stay wherever you put it regardless of what changes you make to your resume.  You can set up tabs stops on multiple lines by highlighting the entire area you want hard tabs and then insert a tab stop following the directions above.

Mark your calendars for CO-OP + CAREER Fair on Tuesday, March 17 from 3-6pm. 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.