CO-OP + CAREER Advising Appointments Going Virtual

In light of the recent developments with COVID-19 and the movement of courses online, all appointments with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor will be conducted remotely.  Below are instructions for making and attending remote appointments. You can have either a phone appointment, or a video session via Zoom. You can schedule an appointment through WITworks or by calling the office.

Until you are notified otherwise, we are asking that you do not physically come to the CO-OPS + CAREERS Office. If you need accommodations for your phone or video appointment, please let us know.

Instructions for Scheduling

  • If using WITworks:
    • Use the WITworks “Counseling Appointment” tab on the left side of the screen.
    • Click on the red box that says “Request New Appointment”.
    • Fill out all fields and select “Check Availability”.
    • All available appointments will appear on the right side of the screen – select appointment that works for you.
    • Indicate in the “Purpose of the appointment” section which type of meeting you want – phone or video (and any additional explanation needed).
      • If you want a phone meeting, include your number so your advisor can call you.
    • Click “Submit Request”.
  • If calling the office (617-989-4101) simply work with the person who picks up the phone to provided necessary information as usual.

Instructions for Meeting

  • If using Zoom for a video appointment:
    • Your advisor will email you the link to participate at the start of your appointment.
    • Click on that link and you will be brought to a Zoom video in your web browser. You do not need to download special software.
    • Email any documents you want reviewed ahead of time.
  • If using the phone:
    • Your advisor will call you at the number you provided when you made your appointment.
    • Email any documents you want reviewed ahead of time.

Thank you all for your patience during this challenging time. We are here to support you! Do not hesitate to reach out directly to us with questions or concerns.

Co-op Stories: Roan Farsab

By: Roan Farsab

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

Roan Farsab Headshot

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

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

  • What was your search and interview process like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, to make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or stop by the CO-OPS + CAREERS Office.

How to Ace a Phone Interview

By: STEAM Boston Writing Team

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

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

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

Woman at table with tablet

Ask questions and do research

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

Keep your notes handy

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

Remember to articulate

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

Plan, Practice, and Prepare

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


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

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

Co-op Stories: Tim McCusker

By: Tim McCusker

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

Tim McCusker headshot infront of stairs

  • Describe your role at SparkCharge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, to make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or stop by the CO-OPS + CAREERS Office.

How to Keep Your Resume to One Page

By: Sara Dell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paragraphs in Word

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

Experience headers

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

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

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

Tabs in word

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

Mark your calendars for CO-OP + CAREER Fair on Tuesday, March 17 from 3-6pm. As always, to make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or stop by the CO-OPS + CAREERS Office.

7 Questions to Ask in a Software Engineering Interview to Figure Out If It’s the Right Fit

By: Joy Ebertz

This article was originally posted by The Muse. Read the full story here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/software-engineer-questions-to-ask-interview-find-the-right-fit

When you’re looking for a new job, it’s obvious that the company is interviewing you. It can be harder to remember that you’re also interviewing the company to see if the role, the team, and the organization as a whole are the right fit for you. After all, the last thing you want is to spend a couple of years stuck in a job you wish you’d never taken.

And you can and should be picky: As an engineer, you have skills that are in high demand. It seems like everyone in the tech industry is hiring—and software is expanding into many other industries, too. That’s all the more reason to make sure you’re screening and evaluating companies based on fit.

But how do you actually do that? If you’re a programmer embarking on a job search, what questions should you ask to figure out if a company and role are a good fit? As a senior staff software engineer who has also spent some time as a hiring manager and interviewed many times on both side of the fence, I’ve given some thought to it.

While the exact qualities you’re prioritizing and looking for will vary depending on what you value and on your working style, there are a few questions that can be especially revealing.

  1. What Does the Team Look Like?
  2. What Are Your Expectations for the Person in This Role?
  3. What’s Your Tech Stack and What Development Tools Do You Use?
  4. How Are Design Decisions Made? And If There Are Conflicts, How Are Those Conflicts Resolved?
  5. How Are Projects Prioritized and Planned?
  6. What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Your Team?
  7. What Is Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy?

1. What Does the Team Look Like?

Because you’ll be working most closely with your team, those people will have the biggest impact on your experience at the company. So you’ll probably want to have a sense of what the team looks like. How many people are there? What are their roles? How do they interact? Some people thrive on larger teams while others do best on much smaller teams; some people like the context that working closely with people on other teams brings while others find it more distracting than helpful.

Asking about the size and structure of your potential team and learning about its day-to-day functioning can tell you something about how cross-collaborative the team is, what the seniority of its members is, and how job responsibilities are distributed. Does the team work a lot with product management or NOC (the network operations center)? Are those functions considered to be part of the team? Is there a separate Ops team or is the team practicing devOps? Does the team have insight into customer concerns or input into product features? How is the manager involved with the team? Are there senior team members to learn from or junior people to mentor?

There’s a lot to unpack here, but the answers can reveal whether there are opportunities to learn the things you want to learn—such as how to keep a server running or how to run a usability test—and they can give you a sense of what the team dynamic will be.

You may have a very clear image of what you’re looking for in a team, but if you’re struggling to figure out exactly what’s important to you, think about past experiences and what you loved or found frustrating about them. The patterns you see will help you identify your priorities.

2. What Are Your Expectations for the Person in This Role?

While this can reveal interesting information at any level and for any kind of role, it’s especially important for higher-level engineers. Entry-level software positions typically look similar across companies and titles and bands are consistent. However, at higher levels, there tends to be a lot more variation.

For example, a senior staff software engineer job at two different companies can come with completely different sets of expectations. When I was recently interviewing for roles with this title, I found that some companies expected me to be on a small scrum team and spend all of my time coding while others expected me to spend a large percentage (in at least one case, more than half) of my time mentoring, speaking, or working cross-functionally. Some hoped to leverage particular knowledge I already had while others wanted to leverage more general design thinking or leadership experience. None of these are bad, but they might not be what you’re looking for.

It’s also important to find out if a company will offer growth opportunities in the areas you want to focus on. For example, if they want you to leverage your deep knowledge of Java but you want to learn a new programming language, you’re going to have problems. If, however, they want to leverage your knowledge of API design while still allowing you to learn a new language, that might be a good fit.

3. What’s Your Tech Stack and What Development Tools Do You Use?

Many engineers care a lot about the tech stack they work in and the tools they’ll be using. If you’re one of them, you should definitely ask this question and make sure the answers align with your preferences. I’ve personally never cared too much about the exact languages or development tools a company uses, but I still find them useful to ask about because these questions can also reveal the company’s approach to code and projects more broadly.

For example, when I was interviewing recently, I discovered that one of the companies I was talking to was using a cutting-edge programming language. Using brand-new technologies can be an opportunity to become an expert and help shape the direction that technology takes industry-wide. However, it can also mean surprise bugs that take weeks or months to unearth and a lack of community support.

What development tools a company is using can also be informative. Are they picking best of breed or cheaper alternatives? Are they trying to build everything in-house? Are they missing key elements? For example, do they seem to skimp on or lack monitoring tools? If they aren’t following industry best practices, that might be a red flag—or you could see it as an opportunity for you to introduce those practices. Influencing an engineering culture in a positive way is often a good way to get promoted, but it can also be a lot of work, or in some cases, an unwinnable battle.

Natalia Vinnik, Senior Engineering Manager at Google, likes to ask specifically about code review tools. She’s not tied to a specific tool, but rather she’s trying to see if there’s a culture around code and design reviews. First of all, is there a code review tool? And do they gate production changes?

“It tells a lot about eng culture,” she says. For example, it can tell you “if people are open to get feedback from each other or if it’s more about implementation and [code] doesn’t matter as long as it works.” Companies that have a strong culture of feedback on code are often more open to feedback in other areas.

4. How Are Design Decisions Made? And If There Are Conflicts, How Are Those Conflicts Resolved?

Some companies are very collaborative and others are very hierarchical; some have strict processes and others are more fluid. Asking about design decisions is a great way to learn which ways a company leans. Plus, design discussions are one of the places where conflict is most likely to arise, so understanding how those conflicts are resolved can help you get a sense of the overall working style at an organization.

Does the team plan designs in collaborative sessions or does one engineer go off and write a design document? Who is in charge of various designs? Is it always a single tech lead or is responsibility shared, with different team members playing the lead role for different projects? Is feedback discussed in group meetings, one-on-one sessions, emails, or not at all? (It can be a problem if there’s no chance to give feedback.) If there are disagreements, does the lead engineer make the decision or the manager or the group with a vote?

If you’re like me, one of the things you like most about software is having a say in design and other technical decisions, which may not be a possibility if you’re more junior and the company is very hierarchical. However, the other extreme can be a red flag too—I’ve seen companies where very little gets done because the culture is so collaborative that you need to get everyone to agree on each little detail before moving forward.

There’s no correct answer here, just one that appeals to your preferences. The exact balance that works best for you may depend on how much you enjoy being involved in design in the first place, how much structure and instruction you prefer, how willing you are to speak up and voice your opinion, and how adept you are at influencing others.

5. How Are Projects Prioritized and Planned?

Understanding how a company picks which projects to put its resources toward and how it goes about bringing those projects to fruition can tell you a lot about what’s important there—both in terms of products and in terms of engineering values. For example, is the company prioritizing tech debt or only focusing on new features? Are they able to focus on doing a few things well or do they try to do a little bit of everything? Are they building things to last or are they over-engineering?

But that’s not the only reason to ask this question. The answer can also indicate how much influence you, as an individual engineer, might have. If you have a great idea, what would it take to make it a reality? Is there a lot of red tape or would you have a good amount of freedom to test things out? If they mention holding hackathons and actually implementing features inspired by hacks, for example, it can indicate an openness to ideas coming from anywhere.

This question can also give good insight into how nimble and fast moving the company really is. Every software company I’ve ever talked to has claimed to practice Agile (almost all Scrum). However, some of them are actually mostly using the Waterfall methodology with a facade of Agile. Some people thrive better in a truly Agile environment where they are constantly making adjustments and pivoting, but others do better with more predictability and longer time horizons. Digging into what processes actually look like—rather than going solely by terminology that may not reflect reality—can ensure that you find the right fit for you.

6. What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Your Team?

I like to leave this question open-ended since I think it’s interesting to see if people pick something technical, cultural, or process related. Regardless, the answer can tell you a lot about team culture and can give you insight into what you might be working on.

Are the challenges they bring up something you’re excited to try to fix or at least willing to work with? Samantha Paras, Engineering Tech Lead at DataFox, also likes to ask this to gauge if one of the challenges mentioned is an area that she feels like she can contribute to. Knowing that she can make an impact makes her much more excited about a company.

Are there challenges? If a team isn’t trying to improve anything, that can indicate apathy or little room for growth on the team. Does everyone on the team reference the same challenge? Consistency can mean good self-awareness across the team (or alternately, a serious problem). Do they seem optimistic about finding a solution?

When I was interviewing at one company, every single person I talked to referenced their design and decision making process being cumbersome and slow. While I obviously wouldn’t want to deal with that, the fact that everyone noticed the problem and wanted it fixed made it seem likely to be addressed quickly. Several of them also referenced discussions they were already having around changing that process.

A good follow-up question might be, “How easy is it to make changes?” or “How empowered do you feel to solve that challenge?” Too much change can be bad, but it’s also a bad sign if it’s impossible to course correct or confront challenges.

Vinnik likes to ask a slightly different question: “What keeps you up at night?” But she’s looking for the same sort of information. “I like to know what real technical and [organizational] challenges the company faces and how they think about [them]. I look for transparency and how they approach challenges,” she says. “If they only talk about working a lot and being paged a lot without thinking about fundamental changes that can help, it’s a red flag. If they say there are no challenges or something vague it’s a yellow flag.”

7. What Is Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy?

The tech industry (and software engineering in particular) really struggles with diversity and inclusion—despite the fact that research has shown that diversity improves performance.

Paras always wants to make sure that a company isn’t just looking to hire a diverse group, which is often the easier and more obvious thing, but is also working to make their culture more inclusive. Inclusion efforts might mean supporting employee resource groups, educating leaders, and fostering company values around celebrating differences. Paras also points out that with diversity and inclusion, grassroots efforts alone aren’t enough, so it’s important to find out if and how leadership supports the efforts.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a software company with perfect diversity numbers, so you’re not necessarily looking for them to have everything figured out. Instead, you’re trying to gauge how they respond to a longstanding problem, if they’re even willing to admit they have one. I find it extremely telling to see if a company tries to put a positive spin on something negative or if they admit they have work to do. I also like to see how much thought and effort they’ve put toward doing better. Are they trying creative solutions? Are they using data to inform their efforts? Are they actually working to fix the issue or are they complacent and giving excuses? (Read more about how to tell if a company’s walking the walk on diversity and inclusion here.)

The answer might tell you more about the company than just its D&I strategy. How a company approaches this very challenging problem can be indicative of how they approach other complicated issues and how transparent they tend to be. Do they face obstacles head-on and strive for constant improvement even when it’s hard or do they just push things under the rug?

With most of these questions, there isn’t a general right or wrong answer. It’s all about finding the place that sounds perfect to you. Do you thrive with consistency or chaos? Do you work well under pressure or do you shut down? Do you get excited about working with brand-new technologies or do you get tired even contemplating it?

Almost every company you’ll talk to leaves at least five minutes at the end of each interview for you to ask any questions you have. Use that time wisely. Your job is a big part of your life, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure the one you’re accepting is the best possible fit for you.

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.

How to Make Cold Calls to Employers

By: Lauren Creamer

Cold calling employers can be an essential method of outreach when seeking co-ops. This is especially true for industries where the Institute does not have strong connections (yet). How does one go about making cold calls, you ask? First, identify companies that are of interest to you, or are in your geographic location. Note key bits on information in a spreadsheet, including the local number (not a 1-800 or 1-888 number). Then, develop a script that fits your needs. Below is an example that can be tailored to fit your situation.

Man on phone

Start…

“Hello – My name is Lauren Creamer, I’m a local university student and I’m calling to inquire if you hire interns?”

 

If they say yes…

“That’s great, are you in need of an intern for this upcoming season? I am looking for spring internships.”

 

If they say yes…

“Great. How can I apply for that opportunity?”

 

If they say no…

“That’s too bad – in the future, how can I apply for your internships? I will be seeking another in September.”

(OR whenever your next co-op is scheduled).

 

If they say no…

“Okay, thanks for your time. Have a nice day!” *hang up*

 

If they don’t know or are not the right person you should speak to…

“Is there someone else I could speak to who might be able to share that information with me?”

 

From here you would continue the conversation in whichever direction they take you. Regardless, you should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What kinds of internships are you looking for?
  • What are your school’s requirements? (Check our website for up-to-date co-op deadlines).
  • Does it need to be paid? (The answer is “YES” if you’re calling for-profit employers).
  • Why are you interested in this company?

 

For the most part, employers will react in a neutral or positive manner when you make cold colds. Occasionally you might get a disgruntled person on the line, and in that case, be polite and move on. You don’t want to put your energy into someone (or a company) that isn’t open to your inquiry. You could always try another tactic (like reaching out to specific individuals on LinkedIn).

 

When in doubt, create a plan of action and run it by your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor!

 

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.