Adjusting to the Workplace Part 2: Young Alumni Panel

The Real Truth About Adjusting to the Workplace from Recent Wentworth Alumni

By Ria Kalinowski

 

As part of the 2019 Summer Leopard Lunch & Learn Series, CO-OPS + CAREERS invited four young alumni to campus to give advice about adjusting to the workplace. Our moderator was Janel Juba, Co-op + Career Advisor. The alumni were as follows:

  • Hayley Patton, 2016 Biomedical Engineering Graduate. Currently working at ZOLL Medical as a Design Quality Assurance Engineer and completed one co-op at the manufacturing center at ZOLL.
  • Will Ma, 2018 Computer Information Systems Graduate. Works as an IT Service Desk Analyst at Criteo. Also, the CEO and co-founder of “STEAM Boston”. Completed co-ops at Dell/EMC, Brightcove, and EF Education First.
  • Kasey Cordeiro, 2018 Electrical Engineering Graduate currently working at Starry. Completed two co-ops at Raytheon and worked full-time for them as well post-graduation.
  • Alyssa Payette, 2016 Biomedical Engineering Graduate working as a clinical applications analyst at Mass General Hospital. Completed one co-op there as well.

Alumni Panel Photo

Professional Relationships

The alumni shared advice about building professional relationships in the workplace. Two main points that came up were the importance of being confident, so people begin to trust you and figuring out what to share and what not to share:

Hayley: Make sure you have those little boundaries, don’t be too personal, but don’t also be a clam.

Alyssa: In the last 3 years, I got the opportunity to serve in a few different management roles, so I can actually speak to the other side of it as well. So initially kind of like what Hayley was saying, it was a little touch and go trying to find what to share and what not to share. Afraid of it being off putting, you kind of want to blend with the teams you are on. So, you definitely want to share to identify those things you have in common. It can be tricky when you’re worried about crossing lines.

Will: Some advice is to try not to be too personal. Make sure to not cross the line.

Another way that these alumni managed professional relationships, especially with their manager, was by speaking up and asking questions. Having open lines of communication with your manager is important so that your expectations align:

Kasey: Definitely speak up if something is not working for you or if something could work better. I find that a good manager will be open to that kind of feedback. They want your productivity to be as high as it can be and they want you to be comfortable in your work space.

Alyssa: And you have to remember that your managers are trying to accomplish the same goals as you so if you are struggling, my best piece of advice, which I have done, is to set up a meeting to discuss your professional relationship.

Hayley: I’m the type of person who asks a ton of questions…when I first started I was going to [my manager] at least 3 or 4 times a day asking where’s this, how do I do this? But he was super helpful. He also provides information on where to find information on the questions you have. So he also kind of pushes you to find it yourself.

 

Company Culture

These alumni gained a lot of knowledge about their company’s culture through research, the interview process, and observation:

Will: Basically the first week they can give you an understanding of how the culture is, so what kind of clothes they wear, is it really casual or more professional, is it a 9-5 culture or is it more like a work hard play hard type of culture – there are a lot of factors you can learn from that first week…and also the interview too, when you have an interview one of the questions you should ask is how is the company culture.

Kasey: I actually used WITworks, and on there [saw that] Starry goes to the Career Fair… so I looked at [WITworks] and it said something like company culture or in their dress code maybe and so I looked through those and saw it said very casual… and so I used those to play my interview strategy where I was sort of half business causal but more on the casual side… I think it helps the transition a lot.  And then paying attention to how they acted in the interview, and how casual it was, and the way they interacted with each other, that was my strategy.

Alyssa: Like Will said, definitely in your interview ask about the culture, because sometimes you don’t meet with everybody when you go in for an interview… so definitely find out what the specific group you are working with has as far as culture, and then speak up, ask questions, pay attention to your surrounds when you go in for an interview.

Alumni Photo Panel

Learning from Failures

Making mistakes are an inevitable part of adjusting to a new workplace. The alumni shared how they were able to overcome or learn from these experiences:

Hayley: So I do a lot of testing, and it has to be super attention to detail… one time I was testing one of our new AED products, and I had put in a code for the Wi-Fi, because our device communicates over the internet to the hospital… and it just so happened that the number I put in was [wrong]… you have to make sure that no matter how many times you’ve run through this or how many times you’ve done it, you have to treat it like your first time.

Will: So what I did was I basically wiped out a whole computer, and the employee wasn’t happy… we didn’t really do that much research, and so after the computer was wiped, I had to create a backup plan-  how can I prevent this mistake from all the 20 other employees in the whole company from deleting someone’s files, so I made some documentation, and talked about some steps you can take to solve this bug on the computer, and actually a lot of employees are looking at this documentation to this day… overcoming failures makes you grow and turns you into a better employee and turns you into a better person.

To read more about adjusting to the workplace, click here.

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. And be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of Adjusting to the Workplace.

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

Class of 2017 Career Outcomes

By: Abbey Pober

Each year The Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development survey’s the graduating class to analyze and report on employment and graduate school status of students’ post-graduation. Responses are collected at the December, April, and August commencements, and again six months later from all graduates who reported they were still seeking employment at graduation. These efforts resulted in a 70% knowledge rate of day student career outcomes. Wentworth graduates obtain well-paying jobs in a wide range of fields and we are seeing a continuation of this trend from the class of 2017.

Of those that we do have data, 98% are in graduate school or are employed and their median salary is $60,000, slightly higher than the NACE reported national median and higher than the last few years of Wentworth’s graduates. More than half (56%) received offers of employment from one of their co-op employers and 36% accepted. We have a knowledge rate of 24% of CPCE graduates, down significantly from prior years. Of those that reported, 100% are employed or in school. The median salary of a CPCE graduate is $71,500. Of those that are employed, 96% of students report that their work is related to their academic major, up from last year’s 92%. This year, seven employers hired at least four members of the class of 2017.

Most our graduates continue to live in the Northeast with Massachusetts overwhelmingly having the most, followed by New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Outside of New England, many of our students are working in New York, California and Pennsylvania. Of those that we have data, 14% of our students are going on to graduate school. The majors that are sending the most to graduate school are: Architecture, Biomedical Engineering, and Civil Engineering. Most students are continuing their education at Wentworth. More than one is heading to Northeastern and Tufts University. Some of the unique schools to which an alumnus is attending are: Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, the Institute of Technology Eindhoven, and University of Southern California. Most our students are seeking an M. Arch followed by an M.S. Three are seeking an MBA, two are seeking a PhD, and one is seeking an MPS.

For the third year, the survey asked graduates from the College of Professional and Continuing Education about the impact their Wentworth education has had on their professional life. Of those that reported, 50% reported receiving a promotion and 43% reported receiving a salary increase. Seventy-seven percent reported that job opportunities are available to them now that were not prior to their degree, 72% reported that their job performance has improved, 77% reported that their technical knowledge and skills have improved and 73% report feeling more confident in the workplace. Using the learning outcomes of each of the day program’s majors, the survey asked questions to measure the effectiveness of the education at Wentworth. This data is reported on for each major and may be used for accreditation purposes.

The comprehensive report, including salary and employment data broken down by major can be found on our website.