LGBTQ+ Friendly Employers and How to Find Them

There are some helpful lists out there of LGBTQ+ Friendly Employers. But what do you do if you are interested in working at a relatively new or small company that may not show up on those lists? Luckily there are actions you can take to assess just how friendly this company is to LGBTQ+ employees and they are all part of the regular job search: Do your research and ask questions.

When researching your targeted companies, be sure to look at how a company portrays themselves. Is there evidence that they value diversity and inclusion in the following?

  • Mission statement/overall profile
  • Top management: any minorities and women? Check out Hoovers the Resources for Co-ops section of our website.
  • Charities they support
  • Website and social media (for proof that the company values diversity in its employees, their customers and vendor partners)

Once you’ve researched the what the company says about itself, check outside sources. What is their recent history (are they walking the walk?) and how have they been rated?

The Company’s Employee Policies and Training can tell you a lot. Check for clues in their:

  •  Job postings, website or promotional materials – do they include statements about being an Equal Opportunity Employer?
  • Zero tolerance policies for discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the employee handbook?
  • Ask about training opportunities for employees and managers on diversity issues.

Do they have any LGBTQ+ Friendly Benefits?

  • Healthcare coverage for same sex spouses and domestic partners
  • Paid family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption) allowed for domestic partners as well as children of a domestic partners, regardless of biological or adoptive status
  • COBRA-equivalent benefits for domestic partners
  • Bereavement leave for death of a partner or their immediate family.

How about Employee Resource Groups?

Some companies have affinity or resources groups for LGBTQ+ employees. These groups provide opportunities to network and discuss challenges at work and strategies to overcome them. For the company, these groups help lower turnover and increase retention. Organizations may also have a diversity and inclusion office, diversity council or working group focused on employee diversity that includes LGBTQ diversity as part of its mission.

During the recruiting process however, emphasize qualifications

Focus on what makes you a well-qualified candidate for the position: skills, experience, education and abilities. An individual should never have to divulge their gender identity or sexual orientation. If a person decides to come out it should be on their own terms. Unfortunately, protections are not universal, and disclosure can open one up to discrimination. The best approach is to ask general questions re: benefits and diversity initiatives and compare that with your research.

Lastly, if you do get an offer from a company, but find that you are not comfortable working for them after all, it is okay to politely turn down an offer. And all that research was not for nothing, you know more about who you want to work for and who you don’t.

For more information, check our LGBTQ+ resources page for students:

Research strategies and questions provided by Fast Company: Six Steps for Finding LGBT-Friendly Companies

Event Recap: How to Work a Room

By: Abbey Pober & Kristen Eckman

Last night we hosted 38 students and 10 employer and alumni representatives from 6 companies at our first How to Work a Room event. Jean Papalia, Principle of A+ Etiquette and Director of Tufts Career Center, began the night with an interactive presentation on professionalism and networking “do’s and don’ts”.  Students, alumni, employers, and staff were prompted during the engaging presentation to implement the new strategies together before networking began.

In the second hour, attendees practiced their new skills while learning from each other in a realistic setting. The goal of the night was to increase competencies and confidence in networking situations including how to work a room, how to enter conversations, and how to gracefully exit conversations.

Students, if you made a meaningful connection with any of the employers who attended, here are some tips for what to do next:

  • Sending a thank you email to the employers with whom you spoke. Find our guide to thank you notes here. Find all of our resources here.
  • Stay connected with social media: find the company or even the person you spoke with on LinkedIn or Twitter. Follow their feeds to stay up to date on new openings and other news!

Thank you to the Massachusetts Building Congress 20|30 Club and Alumni Relations for partnering with us to make this event a success. We look forward to future events connecting Wentworth students with alumni and employers.

The spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair is our upcoming event, being held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. A list of employers attending can be found on The Fairs App, check back often for updates to employer information and new employer registrations.

Meet the Staff: Ria Kalinowski, Co-op + Career Advisor

I started working in the CO-OPS + CAREERS department at Wentworth in June of 2016. Joining the team here at Wentworth was the culmination of many years working to land a permanent career development position at a small career-focused school. After graduating with my Masters in Counseling Psychology, I worked with young students on the autism spectrum while trying to figure out where I wanted to take my career. Through informational interviews, I discovered that career development was the perfect fit for my desire to help others become successful, my talent for analyzing problems and finding creative solutions, and my interest in technology. Leveraging the connections I had made through my informational interviews, I volunteered at several college-level career development offices in the area. Meanwhile, I gained additional experience in higher ed in both career development and admissions at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Working in a contract role in the Career Development department at Northeastern was the next step towards my goal. Along the way, I also joined the Career Counselors Consortium Northeast for additional networking opportunities and training.

Working with the CO-OPS + CAREERS team at Wentworth has been a dream come true. I enjoy working with Wentworth students as they really appreciate the support and knowledge that our office provides. I advise Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering Technology, and Interdisciplinary Engineering students. Gaining an understanding of these industries through employer interactions, site visits, engaging with faculty, and professional organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has been fascinating. My favorite site visit thus far has been learning all about underwater robotics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, MA.

Meetings: They Can Make or Break You

By: Robbin Beauchamp

As a student, you have probably attended many meetings, especially if you have participated in group projects.  When you are working at a co-op, there is a likely chance that you will participate in many meetings with staff, customers or both.  Knowing how to have a positive impact in a meeting will help your career as a student as well as a post-graduation professional.

GOALS – Meetings are supposed to accomplish a few things, specifically:

Share ideas, facts, figures, drawings

Brainstorm ways to solve a problem

Assign and/or complete tasks as part of a project or plan

Create a strategy and timeline for a project

Introduce new staff

Teach new skills or provide information to meeting participants

EXPECTATIONS – Meetings should have an agenda and be led by one or two people.  As a participant, you have specific duties that are usually never communicated explicitly.  They are:

Be punctual

Be prepared to participate.  Read the agenda before the meeting, if it has been made available.  Read any materials that will be discussed in the meeting

Turn off your cell phone and leave it face down on the table


W.A.I.T.  Ask yourself “Why Am I Talking”?  – There is usually a lot of discussion during a meeting and you may want to have your voice heard.  So WAIT!

Are you making meaningful contributions to the conversation?

Are you speaking to complain?  To brag?  If the answer is “yes” to either, then don’t speak at all.

Are you moving the conversation forward?

Is your comment applicable to most people at the meeting?

Think about what you are going to say before you say it.  What is your personal agenda?  Why are you sharing your thoughts?

Refrain from speaking if you are regurgitating something that was already said.  If you can provide further information to show the merit of a discussion point, do so.

Be clear.  Be concise.  Be strategic.  Don’t speak just for the sake of speaking.

Don’t mumble, speak clearly so everyone can hear you.

MOVING FORWARD – Determine if there are deliverables that you are responsible to produce before the next meeting.  If there are, be sure to share them with the participants before you next meet.

Following these suggestions will help you to become a valuable member of any team and will reduce the amount of time you and your peers spend at meetings.



Acing Your Phone Interview

By: Ria Kalinowski

So, you’ve been contacted for a phone interview. Congratulations! What do you do? What will it be like? How do you prepare? Keep reading to find out!

Purpose of Phone Interviews

The purpose of most phone interviews is for initial screening. Employers have chosen several candidates from the pile of applications they received and want to narrow down who will be invited for in-person interviews. They save time (both yours and theirs) by reaching out to you by phone. These conversations are typically short but can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Depending on the company, you could be speaking with a representative from human resources or the actual supervisor for the position. You may speak with one or more people.

Topics that could come up:

  • Tell me about yourself or Walk me through your resume.
  • What are you hoping for in terms of salary?
  • Describe your experience with ___________ (a skill they are looking for from the job description).
  • Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Why are you leaving your current position (if you are currently employed)?

How to Prepare

Practice answering possible interview questions with a friend, in the mirror, or with your Co-op + Career Advisor. A list of commonly asked interview questions for both co-op and full-time positions as well as a guide to interviewing can be found on our resources webpage:

Conduct research about the company so you understand what they do and why you are interested in working with them. Be ready to answer the questions, “why do you want to work here?” or “what do you know about the company?”. Spend some time on their webpage as well as on their social media channels. Understanding what they care about and how they convey that will give you insight into the company culture.

It’s also a good idea to do some research about the person or people interviewing you if you have that information. A human resources representative will ask very different questions than the supervisor for the position.

At the end of the interview, there will be time for you to ask questions as well. Make sure to have a list of 10-12 questions to ask in case some of them get answered during the interview, however, you will only want to ask three to four questions so as not take up too much time. Do not ask questions that can be answered by a simple google search. Ask specific questions about the position, company, or projects you will be working on. A list of general questions to ask can be found on our interviewing handout.

How to Handle the Salary Question

Be prepared to deal with possible questions about your salary requirements. Use resources such as,, or the salary feature that is part of a job search on LinkedIn to determine a suitable range for the position, your experience, and the geographical region. Check to see if a salary range is mentioned in the job description. Questions about salary during a phone interview are usually just to make sure you and the employer are on a similar page. If asked, avoid stating a specific figure. Instead, ask if there is a salary range for the position. Then you can say, “I’m sure we can negotiate a mutually agreeable salary within that range once I am offered a position.” If pressed, give a range based on your research.

During the Interview

Have a copy of your resume in front of you as well as the job description. Make sure you are in a quiet space where you will not be interrupted and you won’t lose cell phone service. Without visual and body language cues, phone interviews rely heavily on the content of your answers, and your ability to project enthusiasm and interest in your voice. Smile (even though they can’t see you) and make listening noises to show you are engaged. Stay focused and listen to what they are saying. It may be helpful to have a pen and paper available to take notes. Take a breath between questions and your answers in order to compose your thoughts.

Don’t Forget To…

Thank everyone you spoke with at the end of the interview and make sure you have their email addresses. You will need to send a personalized thank you email to each person you spoke with. Ask about the timeline for the hiring process, what the next steps will be, or when you can expect to hear back from them. This helps you decide how long to wait before following up if you do not hear back within the timeframe they give you. Be confident! They have asked to speak with you because they think you would be a good fit for the position. Tell them why they are right.

Additional Resources

Follow-up Thank You Email Handout:
Top 5 Interview Tips:

How to Write Learning Goals for Co-op and Why

By: Sara Dell

So, you landed a co-op!  Congratulations!  Now to make it count you need to do a few last things by the deadline, before heading off to your first day of the co-op job.

  1. Register for the co-op course (so the co-op will be on your transcript, and count towards graduation) and
  2. Report the co-op on WITworks (e.g. under My Account>Co-op>Report Co-op Hire or ADD NEW).

The second is to write three learning goals about what you hope to learn while on co-op. This is where most students get stuck.  To avoid that quicksand . . . here is some information on how to write these goals, why you want to, and how to do it well.

Each learning goal should answer the following questions:

On this co-op . . .

  • What do I want to learn?
  • What will I do to achieve my learning goal?
  • How will I demonstrate what I have learned?

Still not sure where to start? Try using the SMART format. SMART is an acronym you can use as a guide to]] creating your goals.  It stands for:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic, and resourced, results-based)
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

For more information, including an expanded definition of each of the words above and examples, check out this article.

Now you know how to write these goals, but why would you want to?  There are more than a few good reasons . . .

Writing these goals will help you focus on what you want to achieve and how you will go about doing it.  At the end of the co-op you are going to add this experience to your resume, writing learning goals will help to ensure you have some great accomplishments to add, which in turn will help you land your next co-op or full-time job after graduation.

Since you are writing these goals as part of your Report Co-op Hire, your co-op supervisor will also review and approve of them, which means . . . they are aware of your goals and can better support you to achieve them.

Lastly, to pass the co-op course and have it count towards one of your graduation requirements, you will need to complete a student self-evaluation in the last few weeks of your co-op.  This is where these goals could come back to haunt you if they are not well-written or well thought out.  Spend some time up front on your goals, so when you are on the job, the evaluation will be easy.

Caveat: Sometimes you can have the most well written goals, but due to changes in the business, you may get pulled onto a different project, and end up learning something different.  Don’t panic.  You still learned something, and you can write about what you learned instead. And, if you still have that goal on your bucket list, keep it in mind as something you are looking to do in your next co-op or full-time job.

Lastly, reflecting on your co-op, what you hoped to learn and what you actually learned, will help you think about your own career what you want to do next (and sometimes what you definitely don’t want to do ever again).  These are all valuable things to know.  Now onwards to write those learning goals!

Mock Interview Day 2017

By: Chawney Weis & Abbey Pober

Our annual Mock Interview Day was held on Tuesday, November 7th from 3:00pm – 6:00pm in Watson Auditorium. The day consisted of four rounds of 45 minute interviews conducted by 57 employer volunteers from multiple companies across industries. In total, 128 students participated in 216 interviews, providing two practice interviews on average per student. Many of the employers will be inviting students back for formal interviews.

If you are a student who attended Mock Interview Day last week your next steps should be to follow up with employers by:

-Sending a thank you email to the employers with whom you spoke. Find our guide to thank you notes here.
-If a recruiter gave you specific instructions, be sure to follow through on those items and then follow up with the recruiter.
-Unable to send a thank-you note for lack of contact information? Stay connected with social media: find the company or even the person you spoke with on LinkedIn or Twitter. Follow their feeds to stay up to date with new openings and other news!

If you were unable to attend Mock Interview Day, be on the lookout for future opportunities to engage with employers and don’t miss the spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair on March 20th, 2018. Check The Fairs App as we get closer to the Spring Fair for updates on employers attending.

Employers, invitations for the spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair on March 20th will be sent out in the new year.

Thank you to all students and employers who joined on November 7th to conduct practice interviews. We look forward to seeing everyone in the spring!

Personal Branding

 By: Robbin Beauchamp

Personal Branding

When you think about your favorite company, what pops into your head?  What words come to mind when you hear “Amazon”?  “Fitbit”?  “Starbucks”? “Uber”?  What words do you associate with “Usher”?  “Kanye West”? “Eddie Redmayne”? “Emilia Clarke”?

Those words you automatically think are the brands that these companies and/or people have created.  It is not an accident that you think “Amazon – get me my stuff quick”.  Or “Uber – convenient” or “Kanye West – controversial”.  These are the stories that they want told.  What words do you want to describe you?  How do you build your personal brand?

What is Personal Branding?

“Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.” (Source: Wikipedia).  You are defining the terms by which others view you from a digital and personal perspective. Your personal brand is the skills and causes you want people to remember you for, and how you wish to set yourself apart from your peers. 

Why do you want a personal brand?  You probably already have one and don’t realize it.  What were you known as in high school?  Class clown?  Jock?  Nerd? Mr./Ms. Popular? You get to own the direction of your future by controlling your own unique story while using authentic language.  A personal brand will help you identify how you can solve employers “problems” and will easily connect with mentors/desired employers while identifying the work you want to be doing.

How do you identify your personal brand?  Create a vision for what your future looks like by answering these questions:

• Who are you?
• How did you get here?
• What are you naturally good at?
• What do you enjoy doing?
• What makes you passionate about what you do?
• What do you want to be known for?

Once you have jotted down some answers (and they can be short and quick), start thinking about a “headline” for yourself.  Review profiles on LinkedIn to give yourself some ideas.  Here are some examples:

• Hack-a-thon Enthusiast and Aspiring Mechanical Engineer
• Computer Scientist focused on making the world a more connected place
• Photographer • Model Maker Emerging Product Designer
• Collaborator | Innovator | Strategist | Educator | Mentor
• Talent Acquisition | Recruitment Advertising | Career Advising
• Leadership and development specialist with an affinity for issues of diversity
• Collaborative Organization Leader

Notice that these are not job titles, but adjectives that describe who they are or what they can do for an organization.

Once you have decided what your personal brand may be, how do you market it?  Go to networking events or participate in workshops or webinars. Start participating in blogs by commenting on them (in a positive way, of course) or write your own. Use the language you define yourself with on your social media platforms:

• Facebook
• Twitter
• LinkedIn
• Instagram
• Snapchat
• YouTube

Be mindful of what you write.  If you are critical or disagree with someone, do it respectfully and use well-vetted research to prove your point.  Don’t just forward memes or other’s messages.  Be original and thoughtful.  Understand that nothing on the internet is private, even if you’ve set your settings that way.  Employers can be savvy and have resources to uncover your profiles and some may do this before even giving you a call.

Your personal brand will change as you grow in your profession.  You will gain skills and experiences that you will want to incorporate into your brand. Keep in mind what you want to be known for and think about who you admire and why.  What is the brand of people you follow?  What do you admire about them?  Are their pieces of their brand that you would like to incorporate now or in the future into your own brand?

Your personal brand makes it easier for employers to understand why they want to hire you and for people to want to follow you. Be authentic.  Know who you are and what you stand for to ensure you will have a fit into the organization who does recruit you.  Consider reading any of Brené Brown’s books or short YouTube videos featuring her talks. She writes about authenticity and vulnerability.  Once you understand who you are and what you what you want to be known for, your personal brand will be established.

Co-ops Abroad: Wentworth Stories and Resources

You can do your co-op anywhere . . . in the world.  Many Wentworth students express an interest in going abroad for their co-ops and quite a few have done it.

One approach to an international co-op may start with a global company that is on your targeted company list.  One student did her optional co-op at Raytheon, but she really wanted to work in the automotive industry.  That likely meant working outside of New England.  She set out to apply for automotive co-ops and landed an opportunity to interview with VW.

One problem: VW was her dream company but she was mad at them for the recent emissions scandal.  She decided to go to the interview anyway.  If she didn’t like them, she could turn them down and if she did, maybe she could change them.

She interviewed well and was offered a co-op in Tennessee.  Her co-op was great and at the end she was offered an opportunity to go back and co-op with VW again, but this time in Germany.

A Computer Networking student started working at Schneider Electric part-time.  He did his optional co-op in U.S. with them and his first mandatory in France and spent a bit of time in Netherlands.  For his last co-op, he was back in the states but he kept getting more responsibility each time he worked for Schneider Electric.

Leveraging connections to land an international co-op – Originally, this student found an internship in his home state of Connecticut with a company that was beginning a large bridge construction project in his home town. Unfortunately, the project came under delay due to a legal dispute and his co-op had to be cancelled.

With not much time left to find a new co-op, he spoke to his father who suggested he work for his employer’s IT department in their headquarters in Munich, Germany. The bank his father originally worked for, Helvea in NYC, was bought by Baader Bank a few years back. He sent his resume over to the head of the IT department who offered him as a co-op. His supervisor was also gracious enou gh to offer him a room in his home for the duration of the term.

This student has had the opportunity to speak with many of the higher ups here at the company including the founder of the bank himself.  He says, “It’s been an incredible experience so far and a huge learning experience”.

Another student leveraged family connections in Ireland and as a result, did his optional co-op at Dell-EMC Ireland in Cork.

These are just some examples on how Wentworth students have secured a co-op abroad.  I recommend you start early.  You will need enough time to do the research, arrange for a work visa, housing and travel arrangements.  Specific programs that offer opportunities to do a co-op abroad often have early deadlines, so plan ahead.

A couple of tips:

-Research countries and regions’ economies by doing some labor market research. Visa restrictions may be a factor in countries where the economy is at a low point.  So, focus on countries with recovering or prospering economies.  Check government websites as well as local and international industry associations, for e.g. European Commission’s European Job Mobility Portal and the European Employment Observatory

-Research countries and regions for travel advisories:

Resources for Searching for International Co-ops:

My Perfect Resume: International Job Resources  –  This site has helpful links about the international job search.

Global Edge – A database of international internship/co-op opportunities.

AIESEC – An international platform that helps young people discover and develop their potential to have a positive impact on society. The AIESEC Global Internship Program has four streams including: Management: Internships in general business functions such as marketing, finance and HR and Technical: Internships in IT and engineering.

DAAD – Rise Program – The Research Internships in Science and Engineering program is administered by the German Academic Exchange Service. It is for students studying biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and physics. The program sends students from all over the world to Germany to work with doctoral students on research projects over the summer. Note: the working language is English however, knowing some basic German will be beneficial.

IAESTE – The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience places students who are currently in full-time attendance at a university or college studying engineering, technical sciences, or technologies such as architecture, agriculture, and forestry. Please note the eligibility criteria, application procedures, salaries and fees.

Greater Copenhagen Career Portal; specifically, for Engineering  – Greater Copenhagen is a metropolitan region that covers Eastern Denmark and Skåne in Southern Sweden. This website lists jobs at companies in the Greater Copenhagen region especially suited for international candidates.  It functions as a matchmaking service that facilitates the contact between companies in Greater Copenhagen and qualified international candidates interested in pursuing a career in Greater Copenhagen.

European Undergraduate Research Opportunities – EuroScholars is a unique research abroad program designed for advanced and talented undergraduate students from US and Canadian institutions looking for an international research experience. The program offers these students to conduct research at one of the 7 internationally renowned European Research Universities. In this program, students take one course in the classroom and then work under the direct supervision of professors and other academic staff on a specific academic research project chosen by both the student and the faculty. There is a cost for tuition and fees associated with this program.

Please note that there may be fees associated with the services that these organizations provide.

The Fall 2017 CO-OP + CAREER Fair

By: Chawney Weis & Abbey Pober

Our second annual Fall CO-OP + CAREER Fair was held on Tuesday, October 3rd from 2:30pm – 6:00pm in both Watson Auditorium and Tansey Gymnasium. This was the first time we held this event in two locations, with 214 employers in attendance. These employers ranged from small local construction firms to international high-tech organizations and everything in between. The buzz about campus surrounding the employers attending drew more than 850 students from all majors, seeking both co-op and full-time positions, to The Fair.

If you are a student who attended the CO-OP + CAREER Fair last week your next steps should be to follow up with employers by:

-Sending a thank you email to the employers with whom you spoke. Find our guide to thank you notes here. If you need a reminder of which companies with whom you spoke The Fairs App is still available for reference.
-If a recruiter gave you specific instructions, be sure to follow through on those items and then follow up with the recruiter.
-Use this opportunity to include a copy of your resume, even if you gave them one at the Fair.
-Unable to send a thank-you note for lack of contact information? Stay connected with social media: find the company or even the person you spoke with on LinkedIn or Twitter. Follow their feeds to stay up to date on new openings and other news!

If you were unable to attend the Fair this fall don’t miss the spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair on March 20th, 2018. Check The Fairs App as we get closer to the Spring Fair for updates on employers attending.

Employers, be on the lookout for future recruiting opportunities, including Mock Interview Day on November 7th, and our spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair on March 20th.

Thank you to all students and employers who joined on October 3rd for The Fair. A special thank you to our sponsors: Bowdin Construction, Dacon, Bond Brothers, dck Worldwide, Electric Supply Center, Teradyne, Novo Construction, PROCON, Timberline Construction Company, and the Wentworth Alumni Association. Your support makes all the difference.
We look forward to seeing everyone in the spring.