What Makes Wentworth Unique

Wentworth Hall

By : Robbin Beauchamp

Sure, all of our undergraduate day students are required to complete two co-ops to graduate. That requirement certainly makes a Wentworth graduate unique. The question is: how do we get our students prepared so they are successful?

First Year Seminar

All first year Wentworth students are required to complete First Year Seminar. This first semester class is designed to help our students’ transition to Wentworth by learning about time management, academic expectations, academic integrity, and how to register for classes.

Co-op Institute

It is strongly suggested that all second year students complete Co-op Institute, a seven-week hybrid class taught by the student’s dedicated CO-OP + CAREER Advisor. During this seminar, students learn how to write a resume and cover letter, conduct an effective co-op search and interview, learn how to use social media for networking, create an “elevator commercial”, how to be successful at the co-op and how to register for the co-op. Attending Co-op Institute has shown that students are better prepared for the co-op search and have better results.

WITwear

Better results includes invitations to interview. All students should dress professionally for this meeting and some students don’t have access to a business suit. Let’s face it, it is an item of clothing that will only be worn for interviews. Once hired, students on co-op wear business casual attire, so why invest in this garment? Our current students are part of the “sharing economy”. This is a generation that has made Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and Spotify hugely successful so why not share business clothing, too. CO-OPS + CAREERS created WITwear during the fall 2016 semester so our students could have access to professional clothing when they need it. Donations were made by faculty and staff and all garments that were not new have been dry cleaned and are dry cleaned between each user. WITwear is located in Tudbury Hall and open Monday-Thursday between 5:00-8:00pm.

Wentworth On The Road

One way for our students to meet employers is to have them visit the employer at their location. In May 2016, CO-OPS + CAREERS launched “Wentworth on the Road”, a program that allows our students to meet employers at their office, have a tour, meet with hiring supervisors and learn about the opportunities they have for co-op and post-graduation jobs. In our first year, three employers participated and this year, 10 are confirmed. The employers are located in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and hire from all of our majors. We host this program during the first week of May so the visits are not during a time classes are in session. Students are not necessarily in the Boston area which is why the sites are throughout the region. Students are responsible for their own transportation and lodging if needed. Wentworth on the Road is a great way for our students to practice the networking skills they learn in Co-op Institute.

ASPIRE Partnership

For some students, networking is a challenge. Personal interactions can be difficult, as can situations that produce stress, such as interviewing. With co-op a requirement of graduation, CO-OPS + CAREERS has partnered with the Massachusetts General Hospital’s ASPIRE program to provide personal job coaches to students who need intensive assistance before and during the interviews and during co-op. ASPIRE meets with each student to help them assess the level of assistance they need and provide practice interviewing. The job coach can attend the interview with the student if the student would like. Once the student has begun their co-op, the student is required to attend a weekly seminar facilitated by their ASPIRE job coach and attended by other Wentworth students in the program. Students who are interested in this program need to discuss ASPIRE with their CO-OP + CAREER Advisor.

All of these programs are in place to ensure that Wentworth continues to graduate highly-sought-after students by employers. In the last two years, between 98-99% of our graduates were employed or going to graduate school within six months of graduation. Wentworth itself is unique as a college and our uniqueness has translated into exceptional career success for our students.

Meet the Staff: Janel Juba, Co-op + Career Advisor

I began working at Wentworth’s CO-OPS + CAREERS’ office in August of 2014. Prior to joining the Career Service’s team, I worked at Roxbury Community College as a Career Placement Assistant. This role was a grant-funded position and when the contract ended I was VERY fortunate to have received an offer for my current role at Wentworth. Since I wanted to continue my career path in Higher Education, it was a blessing to be able to continue my journey at Wentworth.

As a Co-op + Career Advisor, I support, guide and teach my students effective job readiness skills. The students that I work with are very appreciative of the services our office provide as they frequently express gratitude. I am a helper by nature and because of this my role does not feel like work as it brings me such joy to be a resource for others.

Please feel free to stop by CO-OPS + CAREERS to discuss co-op opportunities with any Co-op + Career Advisor as we are here to assist you. You can make an appointment or swing by summer drop-in hours, held every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. Stop by 101 Wentworth Hall, or contact us via email at coopsandcareers@wit.edu, or by calling 617-989-4101. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

ASPIRE @ Wentworth

By: Robbin Beauchamp, Director

Do you know that almost 2% of college students have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?  You may have ASD or know someone who does.  Autism is a neurological disorder.  “There are two hallmark characteristics of a person with autism: communication and social challenges, and an abnormal focus on a specific topic or interest (Gobbo, & Shmulsky, 2012).”[1]  For some people with ASD, they may take time to speak as they gather their thoughts.  They may talk too little or too much or repeat themselves often.  Socially, they don’t often read body language or understand social cues.  Some people with ASD speak their truth without considering the effects of what they say has on others.  They sometimes lack the empathy to consider their thoughts, actions or words. This can make it difficult for them to accept points of view that differ from their own.

Now, imagine a Wentworth student with ASD as they try to obtain a co-op.  Interviewing is difficult and can evoke anxiety in most people.  For a person with ASD, who has the social and communication challenges discussed above, the interview can be extremely difficult for them as well as the employer.  Enter the ASPIRE@Wentworth program.

In fall 2016, Wentworth’s CO-OPS+CAREERS entered a partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Aspire Program.  The Aspire program has been helping people with ASD for over 25 years and offers services such as camps, small groups for children and teens, adult programs and an internship program for those who have neurodiversity.

ASPIRE@Wentworth is a hybrid of their internship program, adjusted to meet the Wentworth Co-op Program.  Any student who believes they will struggle to obtain or perhaps keep a co-op due to anxiety, stress, social challenges or communication issues is welcome to request participation in the program.  Our students do not need to have a diagnosis to participate.  Once our student has completed the application, they are matched with a Job Coach from ASPIRE, who is a mental health professional employed by Massachusetts General Hospital.  On the application, students identify up to 10 employers where they would like to co-op.  The ASPIRE coaches the students on successfully interviewing.  Once hired by a company for a co-op, the ASPIRE Job Coach assists the student with on-boarding to ensure a smooth transition.

All ASPIRE@Wentworth students meet weekly on-campus (or virtually if co-op’ing out of Boston) for a seminar with the Job Coach to discuss their workplace successes and challenges and to learn more about behaviors expected at work.  The ASPIRE Coach also works with the students’ workplace supervisors to provide education and support.  Wentworth pays the fees for our students’ participation.  Students who want to participate can obtain an application from their CO-OP+CAREER Advisor and should submit it at least six weeks prior to the beginning of their co-op semester.

ASPIRE@ Wentworth has assisted 12 students since we began it in the fall of 2016. One participant was offered and accepted a full-time, post-graduation position.

Read what this student says about his experience:

What made you participate in ASPIRE@Wentworth?

I wanted to participate in ASPIRE@Wentworth because I felt it was a good opportunity to obtain support while in the workforce.  Due to my difficulty reading the unwritten social rules in an office environment, Aspire offered help to me deciphering the rules.  I think the co-op program at Wentworth is a contributing factor for enrollment at the college, but for some students, such as myself, obtaining that position proved difficult.  ASPIRE@Wentworth provided me with the opportunity to fully participate in the co-op program while offering me the vision to think about job opportunities after college.

How did participating in ASPIRE@Wentworth impact your co-op experience?

My participation in ASPIRE@Wentworth was mainly a positive one.  I experienced some bumps along the road because of my difficulties with reading cues.  I did, however, gain valuable experience in this area along with understanding the workplace better.

What did you think about the weekly meetings?

I thought the weekly meetings were generalized regarding workplace etiquette and at times, I felt it was difficult for me to imagine a situation to apply what I learned.  The material provided was a lot for me to take in and I needed time to process the information.  I do think however the meetings were helpful to me with transitioning from an academic environment to a professional one.   I feel better prepared for the workforce.

Would you recommend ASPIRE@Wentworth to other Wentworth students and why/why not?

I would recommend ASPIRE@Wentworth.  As a matter of fact, I’m happy to learn it is still offered.  As I stated, for me, I needed additional support entering the workforce.  I would think that students with a similar disability would benefit from the additional support as well.  Collectively as a group, I believe we are capable to perform well in the workforce.  I see it as a matter of an explanation of social expectations.

For more information on ASPIRE, go to the Massachusetts General Hospital website at: https://www.massgeneral.org/children/aspire/about/default.aspx

To learn from people who identify as having ASD, watch this video: https://youtu.be/B0Opl0HOWK8

[1] https://www.heath.gwu.edu/students-autism-college-classroom

 

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