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.

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.

Co-op Stories: Jakub Bzura

By: Yunjia Hou

This story was originally published by Wentworth Institute of Technology News. Read the original post: https://wit.edu/news/mechanical-engineering-student-troubleshoots-tesla-on-co-op

Jakub Bzura Headshot

Jakub Bzura looks at a Tesla on the road a little differently than most.

“My instinct is to check the panel gaps and look for serial numbers to see if I remember any of them,” he says.

Bzura, a senior Mechanical Engineering student, conducted his first co-op with Tesla in Fremont, California this past spring and he is currently on his second co-op at the Tesla in Reno, Nevada.

As a quality engineer in Fremont, Bzura was asked to find, analyze, and reduce the deviations of different parts of a car that might significantly influence the assembly.

In Reno, he is a battery pack manufacturing engineer, working on designing manufacturing lines.

“I enjoyed quality engineering, but I wanted to try different things,” he says.

At the beginning of his co-op at Tesla, Bzura was challenged by the ambiguous nature of his role. He was given a lot of space to work creatively but sometimes was unsure whether he went about his work in the way the company anticipated.

“At Tesla, people are not necessary going to tell you how to do things. They give you a problem and they want a solution. How you get from A to Z and anything in between, is really up to you,” he says.

Bzura was immediately placed into hands-on projects. He says that he learned from colleagues that “there is no problem too big.”

Jakub in front of Tesla sign

“A lot of teams that feel like they are understaffed and unequipped can really do amazing things when they put their mind into it,” he says. “That’s quite evident in Tesla.”

With Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, Bzura says working on his projects is “definitely rewarding.”

“When you devote enough time and energy to something it becomes a part of you. When you bring it to completion and you see it’s making a difference in the bigger picture, it feels good,” he says.

Bzura said he never imagined before he could get an offer from Tesla. “It was an awesome day,” he said.

He believed his previous internship experience and the resume improved by his Wentworth co-op advisor helped a lot. During the Tesla interview, he was asked very detailed and technical questions including about different material properties that are associated with the job position.

“They are looking for specific levels of responsibility,” he says. “People who carried through the entire project and stuck to a problem eventually solved it.”

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Jakub! 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.

Co-op Stories: Liv Deluca

By: Liv Deluca

Originally published on the Hasbro Interns @ Play Blog: https://interns.hasbro.com/en-us/post?post=this_is_my_hasbro_experience

Student in front of Hasbro building

This is My Hasbro Experience

Hi there! My name is Liv and I’m currently going into my junior year of Industrial Design at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. My co-op experience this summer in the model shop has been amazing! I’ve learned so much about industrial design and have improved on my model-making skills. I’ll be returning to school in the fall with real life work experience, company knowledge, and new techniques I’ve learned from my co-workers.

I wanted to co-op at Hasbro because I had an interest in toy design. When I got hired, I was so excited – telling everyone I knew that I was going to be working at Hasbro! I was looking forward to learning as much as I could about model-making, toy design, and the company overall. My first week at Hasbro, I was so nervous but everyone in the model shop is so nice and helpful. I could ask anyone for help or a question, and no one hesitated to show me how to do something or answer my many questions.

A typical day for a #HasbroCoop in the model shop – all depends on the day or week! Throughout a typical week I would use SolidWorks, 3D print parts, use the metal lathe, vacuum form, spray paint, hand paint – it just depended on the project I was working on at the time. I would collaborate with model makers, designers, and engineers on projects as well.

One lesson I’ve learned from the model shop that I can bring along my design career is that there’s never just one way to do something. If I had to make a new mechanism for a toy, I would try and find inspiration from other toys and take them apart to see how they worked. I could also ask my co-workers and they would give me ideas and advice on how to make models as well, because they’ve been doing it for years. Everyone has different ideas, advice, ways to do things – so I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and learn.

My favorite memory this summer was just always laughing with my co-workers. It was nice to make connections with so many people and just being able to laugh and talk about anything. Overall, my co-op this summer was rewarding. I became more confident in model-making, making connections, and just with myself as a student. I made connections I never thought I would make.

To incoming interns looking to make the most of their internship, make those connections. Reach out and talk to people – you never know what might come from a conversation. I never thought I would be reaching out to other employees within the company, setting up times to meet to discuss my career path – that was so outside of my comfort zone. But within the last month of my co-op, I was doing that, and it helped my communication skills and confidence immensely.

Thank you, Hasbro, for an awesome summer and co-op experience! 🙂

Liv, Model Shop Co-op
Wentworth Institute of Technology

Co-op Stories: Alec Hewitt

By: Alec Hewitt

Alec Hewitt is a senior in the undergraduate Electromechanical Engineering program. He recently completed his first mandatory co-op with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and shared his experience with us:

Alec Hewitt at WHOI

  • Describe your co-op role.

I was an Engineering Assistant III at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where I led an electrical design project and helped out with an overhaul of the autonomous underwater vehicle, Sentry, to improve its sonar and control capabilities at depth.

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

I am interested in engineering because of the impact on science and discovery and I think WHOI is such a great example of that. WHOI seemed like the perfect place to accomplish hands-on science and engineering while being involved in the cutting edge of deep submergence research.

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

Days at WHOI are never typical, but most mornings consist of a short meeting with the small Sentry AUV team (around nine people) where we discuss the goals of the day and give vehicle updates. I typically spend the morning doing electrical and software design, then working on the vehicle the rest of the day. Vehicle work is never typical – we spent part of the summer installing a new multibeam sonar transducer, and another part bringing the vehicle in and out of the ocean for testing.

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

           Sentry AUV is used mostly for oceanographic research, particularly for mapping the seafloor, taking measurements, and locating lost wreckages. This work is heavily dependent upon the vehicle’s ability to travel along the sea floor at 6000 meters for up to 24 hours at a time. During the summer, I designed a circuit board which would analyze battery usage and help elongate the lifetime of each mission. This was inspiring because it, along with the other great work by the team allowed WHOI scientists to collect valuable data for understanding unknown ecosystems and terrain. Seeing engineers and scientists with drastically different skill sets work together to gather data was very inspiring.

  • What was the biggest lesson you learned through your co-op?

I’ve learned that co-workers will value you equally when you give yourself enough confidence… while having some humility. Ask questions, but never underestimate your own answers to problems. Being a co-op is tough because you are being challenged while surrounded by experienced engineers and scientists. The most valuable thing you can do is show confidence in your work, but listen carefully when you are wrong.

  • What advice do you have for students interested in working at WHOI?

           At WHOI, the engineers and computer scientists are also the vehicle mechanics. No matter your major, make sure you know the imperial system, how to fasten a ratchet strap, and learn some knots! Above all, always continue learning things that you won’t find in the classroom.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Alec! 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.

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

Co-op Stories: Caleb Grenier

By: Caleb Grenier

Before Caleb Grenier left campus after graduating in August 2019 from the Biomedical Engineering program, he graciously shared about his co-op experience with CO-OPS + CAREERS.

Caleb Headshot in CEIS Lobby

  • Where was your co-op?

My second co-op was a return to IDEXX Laboratories Technical Manufacturing department which I worked at during the optional co-op semester. My role was to investigate and update an SOP purification for Avian Influenza.

  • Why were you interested in returning to IDEXX Laboratories?

IDEXX’s R&D department is well known for developing revolutionary testing methods for diseased animals and livestock. The idea of working in a lab performing biochemical processes that contributed valuable research really sparked my interest.

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

I would get free coffee from the cafeteria when I arrived. I would then sit down and drink my coffee while either looking over any data I collected from the previous day or planning out an experiment for the day. I would then connect with my supervisor to see if he was okay with the procedure I came up with. I would then perform the experiment(s) for the rest of the work day.

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

I was able to collect a lot of important data for the update of the Avian Influenza purification. I was truly inspired by the project and the people I was working with. At the end I gave the biggest presentation of my life to date. I felt a sense of accomplishment because I felt like I was able to contribute valuable work and knowledge to the team.

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

Practicing professionalism and networking often outside of the classroom was important to securing this co-op in particular. In terms of being in the classroom, Biochemistry was the most important class I took before this co-op. It helped me have intelligent conversations about science, but it also helped me think critically about experimental design when it came to purification of virus.

  • What advice do you have for students interested in Bio Analytics and working for a company like IDEXX?

Unexpected experimental results are not indicative of failure, in fact unexpected experimental results are what makes you grow and think in ways that the past version of you didn’t.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Caleb! 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.

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

Co-op Stories: James Bednar

By: James Bednar

James is a Wentworth senior in the Electromechanical Engineering program with minors in Applied Mathematics and Physics. He graciously shared his recent co-op experience with CO-OPS + CAREERS:

  • Where was your co-op?

My co-op this summer has been at Hanscom Air Force Base, which is predominantly located within the city of Bedford, Massachusetts. I’ve been working as a SMART Program Intern for the Enterprise IT and Cyber Infrastructure Division of the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, and Networks (C3I&N) Program Office.

The majority of the work at Hanscom AFB is in support of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), which is responsible for acquiring, sustaining, and eventually disposing of complex systems utilized by the Air Force.

Within my assigned organization, engineers are responsible for ensuring that IT and cyber systems are designed, acquired, and sustained in a manner that allows the entire Air Force to benefit from modern information systems. This poses a unique challenge, especially for organizations as large and geographically dispersed as the U.S. military.

 

  • What was your search and interview process like?

My co-op search was unique in the sense that it mainly consisted of a traditional scholarship application. After collecting the references, transcripts, and essays required to apply to SMART, I waited to see whether or not I would be offered a place within the program.

While applicants can list their preferences for potential work assignments, there’s no guarantee that they will get assigned to any of their top choices. I ended up being very fortunate, as I was both offered a spot in the SMART Scholarship Program and assigned to AFLCMC at Hanscom AFB, which was my first choice when applying to the program.

  • What is the SMART Scholarship Program?

The Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program is an initiative led by the Department of Defense seeking to provide college students with a pathway into civil service. The SMART Program offers college funding opportunities at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral level in exchange for working as a Department of Defense civilian employee for a few years upon graduation.

When explaining the program, I tell people that the SMART Program is analogous to a civilian ROTC program, where students are contracted to work for one year as a civilian engineer for each year they receive financial assistance from the program. It’s an imperfect analogy, but helps to capture the fact that program participants typically want to pursue civilian service as their chosen career pathway.

  • How did you learn about SMART?

I learned about the SMART Scholarship Program shortly before entering my freshman year at Wentworth. Initially, I was accepted and planned on attending the United States Coast Guard Academy but was medically disqualified at the last minute due to an injury received during basketball practice towards the end of high school.

Wentworth was always my top choice outside of Coast Guard, so I decided to move out to Boston with the hope of finding another way to pursue service in a civilian capacity. After eventually settling on the major of Electromechanical Engineering, I decided to apply to SMART during my sophomore year and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the program.

  • Why are you interested in this work/completing your co-op with your employer?

I have wanted to pursue service in some capacity since my freshman year of high school. The SMART Program provides a great introduction to government service within the Department of Defense, which I hope to build upon as I continue throughout my career.

Long term, I want to apply my technical experience to the field of public policy, and starting my career at Hanscom AFB will provide a great introduction to the crossroads of engineering and acquisitions policy as it pertains to the Air Force. Furthermore, I hope the opportunity to work on enterprise information systems will help inform my decision as I look to study either Applied Physics or Systems Engineering in graduate school.

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

A typical day will vary widely depending on what stage a system is its lifecycle. While I’ve been focusing on getting a feel for the organization on-the-job training and shadowing during this co-op, I’m looking forward to working on some exciting systems as I move forward at Hanscom AFB.

  • What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing the SMART scholarship?

First, I would encourage students interested in pursuing this opportunity (or work as a technical professional in any government organization) to “know your why”. Working as an engineer on the civilian side of the Department of Defense (or any area of the government) offers some unique opportunities you simply will not find anywhere else, and the work can be very rewarding. However, working as a civil servant is different than a career in private industry. Knowing why you decided to pursue civil service can help provide perspective when you have those inevitable “what if” moments when talking to friends working in private industry.

More importantly, if you’re truly interested in what the SMART Program has to offer, my biggest advice would be to go for it. The SMART Program provides a fantastic opportunity, and it would be great to see other Wentworth students pursue the program along with me. If anyone out there is interested in SMART or has any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, either around campus or via email.

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

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

Co-op Stories: Kelsey Degouveia

By: Kelsey Degouveia

Kelsey is a recent Wentworth graduate of the Biomedical Engineering program with a minor in Biology. Looking back on her time at Wentworth, she shared with us about her very first co-op experience:

  • Tell us about your co-op at Wyss Institute:

My first co-op was at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. I got to work side by side with a graduate student in the Ingber Lab studying metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer in microfluidic devices. As a Research Associate, I helped a lot with imaging, data analysis, and pharmaceutical comparing chemotherapy with novel treatment drugs. For my sophomore optional co-op, junior year co-op and senior year co-op I was a Research Associate in the Manalis Lab at the Koch Institute at MIT. During my time at MIT, I have had the opportunity to study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) with an optofluidic platform, in real-time, from a small cell lung cancer mouse model. I am involved in the fabrication of microfluidic devices and supplies, maintaining and handling our mouse colony and analysis of tumors cells collected. I have also had the opportunity to explore independent projects using deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) devices and suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) to investigate size separation and growth of CTCs.

KelseyDeGouveia in lab

  • Why were you interested in completing your co-op in the role?

I was interested in joining a research lab because I was curious about medicine and thought I wanted to solve the mysteries of cancer and other diseases. Ultimately research has helped me find my passion for medicine.

  • While on co-op, what project were you a part of, or something that you worked on, that has inspired you? 

I think being a part of a team that is using optics and microfluidics to study biological questions has been so inspiring because it is the perfect balance of my interest in science and education in engineering. The system has been used in so many different collaborations and has allowed me to meet many great researchers and learn about different fields of cancer research. The first project I worked on in the lab, that focused on longitudinal measurements of our SCLC model led to my first publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

  • How did you decide you wanted to pursue med-school?

During my first year at Wentworth, I thought research would be the perfect avenue for me to discover the unknown of different disease like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, but I ultimately realized, after a few years in research labs, that I wanted to help people now, in the moment, and not just work towards a cure for the future.

  • What resources have you found helpful in your application and search process?

Colleges with pre-med tracks have online resources posted for their pre-med students along with helpful information provided by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) on medical school requirements and virtual medical school fairs that let you chat with admission representatives from schools all over the country. Surprisingly, Reddit had a ton of helpful information on people’s study tips for the MCAT and people talking about their pre-med journey.

  • What is the application/search process like?

The application process is very interesting because each school is unique but great in their own way. I think that for me it has been helpful to make a list of the things that I want in my medical school experience and searching for schools that match that criteria, like a school with great opportunities to continue doing research.

  • What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing med-school?

I think the most helpful thing is to get a head start on communicating with physicians, and other pre-med/medical school student older than you. Developing a relationship with mentor is a fantastic resource for advice, a way to build your network, and someone who can help you understand a very long and difficult process.

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

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

From Co-op to Commencement

By: Abbey Pober

When he first discovered his passion for software engineering Ethan Arrowood never thought he’d be turning down opportunities to interview with Google and Twitter to accept a co-op offer from Microsoft. Across his back-to-back co-ops, Ethan gained experience as a software engineer and worked with groundbreaking technologies to deliver innovative cloud-computing applications to leading Microsoft clients around the world. His key to success as a growing programmer? Getting involved with opensource and finding a developer community that supported him. On campus, Ethan’s active involvement with Accelerate is what led to his interview, co-op, and ultimately a full-time role with Microsoft.

Our Spring 2019 Intern, Lauren Rodolakis, spent the semester learning all about Ethan’s journey from co-op search to accepting his full-time offer at Microsoft. Read the full article on the Wentworth website, and check out our video interview here.

Arrowood at MicrosoftThank you for sharing your experience with us, Ethan! Be on the lookout for our next co-op feature. If you would like to share your 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.

Co-op Stories: Jasmine Andrade

By: Jasmine Andrade

Jasmine is a Wentworth Junior studying Interdisciplinary Engineering concentrating in Manufacturing Engineering and minoring in Industrial Design & Business Management, with a concentration in Project Management. She recently completed her second co-op at Amazon Robotics (AR) as the Technical Operations Co-op, Process Engineer. Jasmine generously shared her story with us:

Jasmine at Amazon Robotics

Her career goal is to become a Product Design Engineer or Innovation and Design Engineer, so she chose this combination of concentrations and minors to make her a well-rounded engineer and to meet her career goal.

“In a Product Design Engineer role, it is important to have skills in Design/Innovation (Industrial Design Minor), Research & Development (Interdisciplinary Engineering) and Manufacturing/Process/Industrial Engineering (Manufacturing Engineering Concentration). You must also have the ability for negotiating and communicating with internal and external business partners, contractors and vendors (Business Management minor). The variety of knowledge and perspectives that my concentration and minor provides allows me to continuously look at a problem through a multidisciplinary lens.”

  • Tell us about your second co-op at Amazon Robotics: 

The Technical Operations Co-op is responsible for delivering and supporting operations and production projects by collaborating with Amazon Robotics Tech Ops Engineering process owners and other cross-functional team members.

  • What interested you in this company/the role?

The culture of Amazon, the peculiar and eccentric ways of sustaining their mission to being “earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators” is what stood out. Amazon gives you the freedom to think a little differently and to embrace differences. Amazon works to avoid being bland, “big homogeneous, corporate Borg” and aims to stay transparent in what the company needs to continuously work on and improve.

The role stood out because it was different from the my previous role as a Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Manufacturing Engineer at Raytheon IDS, the Process Engineering positions would provide me with a new skillset and also build on what I learned as an SMT Engineer. The position description also starts with “Are you inspired by invention? Is problem solving through teamwork in your DNA? Do you like the idea of seeing how your work impacts the bigger picture? Answer yes to any of these and you’ll fit right in here at Amazon Robotics (AR). We are a smart team of doers that work passionately to apply cutting edge advances in robotics and software to solve real-world challenges that will transform our customers’ experiences in ways we can’t even image yet. We invent new improvements every day. We are Amazon Robotics and we will give you the tools and support you need to invent with us in ways that are rewarding, fulfilling and fun.” The statement provided before you even look at the position description draws you into the possibilities and potential with AR.

  • What was your search process like? And how did you prepare for your interviews?

My search process included applying to 30+ co-op positions that fit my interest and skill set. I also reached out to my LinkedIn network for positions that I was interested in. I utilized the CO-OPS + CAREERS interviews questions list and wrote out all my questions for my on the phone interview for reference. For the in person interview, Amazon provided an outline for potential questions and the format for how they “grade” or determine if you fit culture and position. I wrote out all those questions and practiced answering them out-loud by myself and did a practice interview with friends.

  • While on co-op, what project(s) were you a part of, or something that you worked on, that has inspired you? 

One of the project I had the pleasure to work on was for “a new, fully-electric delivery system – Amazon Scout – designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices” (https://blog.aboutamazon.com/transportation/meet-scout). I worked on preparing work instructions and set up for the alpha build. Through this process I was able to see how important the Process Engineering and Technical Operation is to Amazon and how we function cross- functionally with other divisions in Amazon to sustain the mission of being a customer-centric company. This project encouraged me to “Think Big”, “Insist on the Highest Standards” and to “Deliver Results”. These principles are something that stood out within this project and motivated me to continue to develop these skills in the projects that followed.

  • Knowing what you know now, how will you approach your Fall co-op/co-op search differently?

My approach to applying for fall co-op is to find/apply for positions that I see myself transitioning into a full time role. In addition, look at the company culture, history and mission. I am differently more picky in selecting co-ops this semester because I want to make sure I am applying to a companies that I see myself at, long-term and will provide me what the skills I need to acquire to meet my career goal of being a Product Design Engineer.

  • What advice do you have for students who are interested in working for a company like Amazon Robotics?

Go for it! Don’t be afraid to be yourself in your interview, embrace your experiences and peculiar ways to engineering and design thinking. Learn and be curious about everything, commit to being a life-long learner and dive deep into understanding the problem before seeking a solution. Also, remember who your customer is and how your idea or solution will benefit them.

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

Summer 2019 Drop-In Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm while classes are in session.