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: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

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.

How to WORK the CO-OP + CAREER Fair

By: Caitlin Brison

An approach for everyone, whether you are low-key or EXTRA!

Low Key EXTRA
RESEARCH
  • Find the list of employers attending on the “Fairs App” and research the ones that interest you.
  • Look to see if they have positions posted so you can find out more.
  • Create a spreadsheet, categorizing employers into A, B, and C lists.
  • Write down a few questions you might ask them at the fair. Refer to them before each conversation.
RESUME
  • Write, review, and edit your resume.
  • Come to Drop-Ins to make sure it is ready for the Career Fair.•  Print out 10-20 copies and tuck them in a folder to hand out.
  • Make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor to go over your Resume.
  • Print 10-20 copies and carry them in a professional padfolio.• Make your own business cards.
PLAN
  • The plan is to go, shake some hands, meet some employers, ask good questions, and hand out some resumes.  Go with it!
  • Locate the employer booths on the Fairs App ahead of time and map out your route.
  • Maybe talk to a couple employers on your C list to start before moving on to your first choices!
DRESS
  • Gather your professional attire.
  • Visit WITwear to borrow any items you may still need!
  • Iron, steam, fresh haircut!  Look your best.
  • Also…visit WITwear to borrow any items you need!
PITCH
  • Build a 30 second pitch and practice it in the mirror so you come across relaxed and professional.
  • Practice a firm handshake.
  • Record yourself and watch it back.  Be mindful of eye contact, fidgets, and filler (“um, like”).
  • Pitch with a friend and practice your handshakes!
THANK YOU
  • Shake their hand and thank them for their time answering your questions and speaking to you.
  • Collect business cards so you can write thank you notes the next day.
  • If they requested your application electronically – pass it along or let them know you applied!

 

Check out ALL our helpful guides on resumes, networking, pitches, and more on our website:https://wit.edu/coopsandcareers/cooperative-education/co-op-resources

Drop-In Schedule: M, W, Th from 1:30-4:30pm
Make an appointment with your Co-op + Career Advisor by calling the front desk at 617 989 4101.

WITwear Hours: Mon – Thurs 10am – 8pm, Fri 10am – 5pm
All Day Resume Drop-Ins:  Wed 9/27 & Thur 9/28 12pm – 5pm

 

TFW you nail the Career Fair

The Benefits of Co-op Institute

By: Ria Kalinowski

It’s fall of your junior year at Wentworth and what’s looming over your head? Co-op search. You have no idea how to get started and you’re already busy with classes. Instead of waiting until the last minute and scrambling to throw together a resume and submit applications, join Co-op Institute! Co-op Institute is a six-week course that meets for 50 minutes once a week and provides students with support for all aspects of the co-op search.

Weekly Topics

Resumes
Cover Letters
Networking
Job Search
Interviewing
Co-op Insights

Tangible Takeaways

Approved resume
Access to search for co-ops on WITworks
Draft of a cover letter
Beginnings of a LinkedIn profile
Relevant handouts and videos
Professional padfolio for those who complete the course

Your Co-op + Career Advisor will teach you how to write a resume and review one you’ve made. You will meet with them one-on-one to get your resume approved and ask any specific questions you may have. If you are searching in a certain geographical area or for a specific type of co-op, they can give you resources or suggestions for targeting your search. In class, your advisor will discuss how and when to write a cover letter as well as the benefits of using LinkedIn.

 

What You Will Learn

Your Co-op + Career Advisor will explain the co-op process and what paperwork you will need to complete to get credit for and then pass your co-op. He or she will show you how to use WITworks to upload documents and search for co-op positions. In class, you will examine job postings and discuss how to tailor your application materials to each position. Networking techniques will be reviewed and you will learn what to do at a career fair or other employer events. You will get an overview of different types of interviews as well as how to be successful before, during, and after an interview. During the last week, you will also get co-op tips either from an employer or from Wentworth students who have been on co-op before. This is a great opportunity to network with an employer or ask about other students’ first-hand experiences.

 

Practical Experience

Craft and practice an elevator pitch
Practice answering interview questions using the PAR/STAR method
Use class time to search for jobs using WITworks and other job search engines
Get an introduction to LinkedIn and explore best networking practices

 

Final Words

Co-op Institute is the perfect spring board for your co-op search. You will begin to build a relationship with your Co-op + Career Advisor or, if your class is taught by a different Co-op + Career Advisor, you will become familiar with someone in the Co-ops + Careers Department. You will be the first to know about upcoming employer events and get quick access to search for co-op positions on WITworks. All your questions about the co-op process will be answered and you will gain a better understanding of what it takes to be successful during your co-op and even a full-time job search!

 

CO-OP + CAREER Advisors and Academic Advisors – what’s the difference?

By: Abbey Pober

Throughout your time as a Wentworth student, you are likely to have questions about the classes you are taking and how to position yourself best for your future career. Your Academic Advisor and CO-OP + CAREER Advisor are here to assist in navigating the waters to a fulfilling and successful career. While your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor is here to support you in executing a successful co-op and full-time job search, your Academic Advisor is the person on campus who will support you in creating and executing your path to graduation and career success. These key differences separating the two campus resources are why it’s important you plan to meet with both of your advisors to make the most of your time on campus. When planning to meet with each, consider the following.

Academic Advisors are here to:
• Help you recognize the connection between your Wentworth education and your career goals.
• Provide you with the tools you need to successfully navigate Wentworth.
• Recommend courses for registration and can help link courses with career plans.
• Assist you with identifying your priorities, talents, passion, potential, and interests.
• Provide guidance and assist with planning if you are “off track” in your academic plan.
• Determine when you are eligible to go out on co-op based on your academic standing.

CO-OP + CAREER Advisors are here to:
• Meet with you before your first co-op search to review your resume and provide access to the campus job board, WITworks.
• Coach you through creating a resume and writing cover letters
• Teach Co-op Institute, a six-week course designed to prepare students to search for and secure a co-op.
• Provide guidance and support during your co-op and full-time job search.
• Assist you with preparation through in person appointments and mock interviews.

Both your Academic Advisor and CO-OP + CAREER Advisors are here to help you succeed and are eager to meet with you. It is strongly encouraged that you plan to meet with your Academic Advisor early in you Wentworth experience, and you can find more information about getting in touch with you academic advisor here. When you are ready to start you co-op search make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor, our team can’t wait to meet you!

To schedule an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor stop by our office, 101 Wentworth Hall, or call 617 989 4101.

Wentworth’s Partnership with ASPIRE

By: Chris McIntyre

Wentworth students have plenty of support when searching for their two required co-ops. Dedicated advisors are there to assist every step of the way through resume reviews, job searching, interviewing, and everything in between. But even with this support, securing a co-op is challenging. This is especially the case for students who have a great deal of stress, anxiety, or other factors that can impact their search.

Recently, CO-OPS + CAREERS began a partnership with MGH Aspire. Dubbed Aspire @ Wentworth, the joint venture between MGH Aspire and CO-OPS + CAREERS aims to give some students extra support through the co-op process.

Through over 25 years of serving the community, Aspire has cultivated relationships with some of the biggest and best names in Boston. This, combined with the in-depth knowledge of the advisors from CO-OPS + CAREERS, prepares Wentworth students for co-op and life after graduation.

What is Aspire @ Wentworth?

A student’s co-op is about more than getting the offer. It’s also about growing as a person and a professional. Aspire aims to develop the skills necessary for navigation of the workplace and social communication in a professional context. Aspire @ Wentworth creates a way for students to develop social skills and manage stress through the process.
Aspire provides a structured program that combines the usual support from their CO-OP + CAREER Advisor with coaching with in-depth reflective seminars. This means the students’ advisor will be available to help with things like resume writing and using WITworks.
But students also work closely with an Aspire job coach both before and during the co-op. The Aspire coach will meet with the student at the beginning of the program, getting to know the student and their strengths, needs, and goals. Sometimes the coach will even accompany the student to their interview to ensure the student is at ease and communication is clear.
Once the student is on co-op, an integral piece of Aspire @ Wentworth is the weekly seminars led by Aspire on Wentworth’s campus. Students use the meetings to discuss what happened that week at work with peers also enrolled in Aspire. Other topics covered include:

• Socializing on co-op/at work
• Organizational skills
• Time management
• Networking
• Managing anxiety and unexpected changes
• Prioritization

These seminars are crucial in developing lifelong skills to succeed in life as well as an outlet for students to meet and discuss shared experiences with peers. The common thread Aspire @ Wentworth focuses on is the 3Ss: Social Competency, Self-Awareness, and Stress Management.

Aspire @ Wentworth Goals

1. To help co-op students learn the social aspects needed to succeed in the workplace
2. To assist co-op students in identifying and managing their challenges while recognizing and developing their strengths
3. To empower co-op students to enhance their skill set and build their confidence to be independent in the workplace

Career readiness is a hallmark of Wentworth, and the Aspire program is another way CO-OPS + CAREERS prepares students for life after Wentworth.
For more information on Aspire @ Wentworth, contact coopsandcareers@wit.edu.

The benefits of volunteering and extracurricular activities

By: Chawney Weis

“It’s not about what you know, it’s about WHO you know.” But how do you get to know the right people? And how do you convince them that you’re the right person for the job?

You could possibly meet a connection in your Uber-pool, a coffee shop on the T or at a family/friend gathering; but volunteer work is one of the quickest ways to meet people and prove your knowledge and work ethic. Whether you choose to volunteer through an unpaid summer internship (in high school or college) or you opt to volunteer your time a couple nights or evenings each month, you will have the opportunity to build relationships with people who can potentially help you out, or at least provide you a good reference, during your co-op and/or job search. Similarly, extracurricular activities including sports, clubs, networking groups, volunteer activities, travel, etc., allow you to network and meet people while demonstrating your strengths, skill set, and how you work with others on a team and in different environments.

While both volunteer work and extracurricular activities allow you to make connections and prove your abilities, you are also building your resume in doing so. Choosing to spend your free-time doing something purposeful implies that you have interests in something beyond your school work; you like to seek challenges and learn about a variety of fields and lines of work. Employers appreciate seeing that an applicant is involved in their community and well-rounded in the activities they choose to participate in. Employers regularly request to speak specifically with students in different clubs and organizations. They want to see leadership positions and skills on your resumes as well as campus and community involvement. The projects you work on and the interactions you have will help you develop transferable skills that you will use in the classroom and in any job/work setting.

So, when you attend the Involvement Fair on the front lawn on September 7, 2017, consider what you can learn and how being involved (both on and off campus) can help you land your next co-op or job after graduation. If you are spending your summer off at home, consider volunteering part-time or finding other activities you can be involved in. Remember that your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor can assist in pulling transferable skills from any of these experiences to boost your resume and present your qualifications in your cover letters.

 

So, you want to go to graduate school…

By: Lauren Creamer

More and more students these days are telling me they want to go to graduate school. And they’re saying it earlier on in their collegiate careers. Before you jump on the grad school bandwagon, it’s important to a) ask yourself some critical questions, and b) have a plan of action. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it, if you know where you want to go next. Use the guide below to get started. And, as always, reach out to you CO-OP + CAREER Advisor for help!

Questions to Ask BEFORE You Begin:
• What do you want to go to grad school for? Master’s? PhD?
• Do you want to go into industry after OR do you want to teach?
• Why do you want to go to graduate school at all?
• Do you want to go immediately? Or work for a few years?
• How long do you want to be in school? One year? Two years? Five+ years?
• Where do you want to be? Does it matter?
• What schools offer your desired program(s) of study in your preferred location?

Action Steps to Take:
• Make a list of those schools, including program directors/coordinators and contact info.
• Make an outreach plan and conduct outreach – ask thoughtful questions, show interest.
• Rank programs. Know their requirements. Work backwards from their deadlines.
• Prepare for and take the GRE. (Or whatever other standardized test the program(s) require).
• Connect with faculty mentors to get their advice on selecting schools and the application process. (They once went through the same process!).
• Connect with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor re: logistics for applying and writing your personal statement. (This is often more work than you might think!).
• Do you need to submit a skill-based resume or a CV? Don’t know the difference? See your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor!
• Begin applications and submit materials by deadlines.
• Prepare for program interviews. (This is a great time to loop back around with your faculty mentor).
• Review offers and accept at the program which is the best fit for you!
• OR defer acceptance until you are ready. (You never know, plans could change!).