The Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development wants to make it clear to our students, alumni, colleagues, and corporate partners that we believe Black Lives Matter and we stand for the values of anti-racism. We are committing ourselves to ongoing dialogues and educating ourselves around racial injustice. Our team is dedicated to recognizing, listening to, and serving our Black students and alumni who confront the extraordinary obstacles of societal and systemic racism every day.
Career education and development is meant to serve as a tool to propel students and alumni toward the futures they envision, but it is all too often not an equitable experience. We want to acknowledge that while we work towards a better future, our Black students and alumni will continue to face discrimination in the workplace while experiencing organizational and individual racism. It is on us to support our Black students and alumni in navigating this difficult landscape, and to teach our white students the importance of utilizing their voice and actions to address anti-racism in the workplace.
At CO-OPS + CAREERS we commit to:
- Amplifying and supporting the voices of the Black career experience through our blog and social media channels.
- Dedicating a section of our website to resources and support for racial identities (among others) in the workplace.
- Expanding Co-op Institute to include a module on the exploration of identity at work.
- Reinforcing the Co-op Institute module on harassment and discrimination in the workplace to include anti-racism content.
- Collaborating on and promoting programming that honors the experience of our Black students and alumni.
- Providing resources and support specifically for our Black students and alumni.
Through this commitment we will create structures and opportunities to achieve equity for other communities of color at Wentworth.
To our Black community: we hear you; we see you; we support you; and we are taking action.
By: Abbey Pober & Greg Affsa
Every year Dyson challenges current engineering and design students, and those within four years of graduating, to design something that solves a problem. Run by the James Dyson Foundation, this international design award was created to “celebrate, encourage, and inspire the next generation of design engineers.” Do you have a problem you can solve through design? Here’s everything you need to know about entering your solution for this year’s award and a chance to win up to $35,000!
What are the judges looking for?
Very simply, the judges are looking for you to meet the brief: ‘design something that solves a problem.’ Prize winning entries put the problem at the forefront of the design and make the solution clear.
A strong entry will:
- Meet the brief with a compelling solution that solves a social, global, or sustainability problem and has the potential to improve peoples lives.
- Be a thoughtful solution that can be easily explained
- Incorporate design process, demonstrating iterative development through images and video, and address both real and possible failures.
- Offer something different from existing products.
- Have a real-world application with obvious potential to advance its field and be produced and sold.
- Be clear, concise, and well-evidenced.
Keep track of how your invention meets the judging criteria with this design brief template. Download here.
What you build for your solution is important but what is equally important is to show your process for how you developed your solution. Using Design Thinking as your design process demonstrates that you understand your user, have identified a critical need to solve for, and shows you have integrated user feedback into your final solution.
STEP 1, EMPATHIZE: Build empathy for the person you are solving for. Create a persona of this population. Create a journey map to give context to the issue or situation you are addressing. You must understand who you are solving for before you can create a solution.
STEP 2, DEFINE: Once you understand your end user and their experience, create a list of challenges your user is facing. Highlight the “root cause” challenges that you feel require a solution.
STEP 3, IDEATE: Brainstorm 50+ ideas that could solve the root cause challenges you have highlighted. Anything can be listed here as an option, from the practical to the ‘out of this world’ ideas. Prioritize these to determine which can have the greatest impact based on resources available.
STEP 4, PROTOTYPE: Build it! Create a prototype of your solution.
STEP 5, TEST: Get your prototype in front of your user, have them use it, and get feedback. Adapt your solution based on feedback.
Building the right solution that solves a real problem is the goal of Design Thinking. By leading with empathy, and understanding the end user at the start, you can be confident that what you build will bring value to the people you’re solving for.
How to Enter
Entries are being accepted now through July 16, 2020. Individuals and teams of up to ten should submit their idea online through the James Dyson Award website. Qualified participants must be current students or recent graduates (within the last four years) of an engineering-related degree program from a university in an eligible country.
When it’s time to submit your design, you will be asked the below questions. It is a good idea to save your answers in a word document first so you can easily copy into the webform.
- What it does: clearly explain what your invention does in no more than two sentences.
- Your inspiration: this is where you need to explain the problem your invention is addressing and why your invention is necessary/important
- How it works: clearly explain how your invention works in simple language, don’t use jargon or over-complicate it.
- Design process: describe and explain your iterative design journey, what problems have you faced, how did you overcome them, how has this process improved your invention? Make sure to provide images and videos.
- How it is different: there are lots of new designs/concepts/inventions out there, why is yours unique?
- Future plans: what are your next steps, are you filing a patent, are you working through the design process, are you ready to manufacture?
- Awards: have you won any other awards for your invention?
Video and imagery are important tools to communicate how your invention works and why it deserves to win, but the judges are not expecting extremely polished content – smart phone images and videos are great. Videos do not need to be complex or highly edited and can be as simple as you explaining how the invention works in one minute.
Entering for the James Dyson Award not only gives you a chance to put your design skills to the test but puts you in the running for multiple prizes and opens the door to international exposure for your work. Prizes include:
- One overall international winner receives $35,000 and an additional $6,000 for their University
- NEW this year, one sustainability winner receives $35,000
- Two international runners up receive $6,000
- 27 national winners receive $2,500, 54 national runners up
- Top 20 Shortlist – A panel of Dyson engineers select an international Top 20 from all national finalists.
- International media exposure for all finalists
Need some inspiration? Check out the designs entered by last year’s winners and finalists: https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/en-us/past-winners/
Sign up to receive the James Dyson Award newsletter and register for the award at: https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/. Questions about careers at Dyson? Check out https://careers.dyson.com/ or email email@example.com.
By: Nick Piscitello
Recent graduate of the Electromechanical Engineering Program, Nick Piscitello, shared his experience working at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a part of the SMART Program with CO-OPS + CAREERS:
What is the SMART Program?
The SMART (Science, Math, And Research for Transformation) program is a scholarship-for-service program offered through the Department of Defense. The scholarship covers 100% of tuition costs (no limit, though this does not include room and board or other expenses) and usually includes a monthly stipend with annual allowances for insurance and miscellaneous educational costs (books and supplies). Each SMART program participant is sponsored by a DOD facility where they are obligated to complete summer internships (which count for your co-ops!) and work full-time after graduation. Each year of funding corresponds to one year of full-time work at the sponsoring facility. For example, my funding started for the Fall 2018 semester (after applying during the cycle ending in December 2017) and I graduated in the Spring 2020 semester. I completed an internship during the summer of 2019 and am obligated to work for 2 years at my sponsoring facility after graduation. There are many, many sponsoring facilities across all 3 DOD branches in every corner of the country, and, though you cannot explicitly choose which SF sponsors you, you can express preferences for which ones you would like to work at. It is important to the facilities and the program that you and your SF are a good match.
Why are you participating in the SMART Program?
On the recommendation of a mentor from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, I looked into the SMART program and was immediately impressed. Obviously, the tuition payment and stipend were extremely attractive; less tangible but more exiting was the opportunity to build a career with the DOD. I was not selected for the program in my first application year, but I still chose to get my foot in the door at the Shipyard through the Navy Pathways internship program. When I was selected for the SMART scholarship the next year, I was excited to be able to spend two more summers at the Shipyard, building a relationship with the group I’d be working with after graduation. I view these internship periods and the service commitment as advantages – I’ll be walking into a job I like and a group that I already have a good relationship with. In addition, the DOD is one of the largest organizations in the world, guaranteeing endless opportunities for upward mobility and relocation throughout my career.
How do I get into the SMART program?
Applications are accepted beginning in August and are due by December 3rd for awards beginning the next fall semester (with no internship required during that summer). The major components of the application package include a few standard essay questions (why you want to work for the DOD, why you enrolled in your major, teamwork/leadership/volunteer experiences, etc.) and 3 letters of recommendation. Depending on the facility that sponsors you and your specific role there, you may need to be able to obtain a security clearance; either way, this is essentially an application for federal employment so act accordingly! More information on application and eligibility requirements can be found at https://smartscholarshipprod.service-now.com/smart, or you’re welcome to get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about my experience.
If you are interested at all in Federal employment, or already have connections at a Federal facility, this opportunity is truly second to none. Applications and offers are non-binding, so even if you’re still on the fence, it’s worth a shot!
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Nick! 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 email@example.com.
To make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or visit our website for more information about scheduling virtually.
By: Chris McIntyre
COVID-19 has changed how we interact with everyone and everything around us. Our office understands it has been a long, strange 11 weeks and we all face a challenging road ahead. However, how we think about recruiting for co-ops, internships, and full-time roles is no different.
Together we will find a new normal and resume certain pre-COVID activities. While you might not be ready to resume recruiting just yet, whenever you are, we will be here to help. With that in mind, see below for a few tips to help navigate recruiting in uncharted times.
- Post your co-op and full-time roles to WITworks. Wentworth is holding Summer classes – albeit virtually – and that means students are on co-op. While a final decision has not been made about the method of instruction for Fall semester, the one certain thing is WIT will have a large number of students looking for a required co-op to begin in September. Students have also altered their search for Fall co-op, with many having already begun the process.
In addition to co-op, upcoming graduates’ full-time job searches have been impacted by COVID-19. Usually over half of WIT students receive a full-time offer from a previous co-op, but the pandemic has resulted in many more Seniors on the market this Summer. Posting now will ensure the most talented WIT students have access to your roles before most employers begin their process later this Summer.
- Host an information session or workshop this Summer. Because all in-person events are suspended or cancelled for the foreseeable future (Including our largest event, the Spring CO-OP + CAREER Fair), students are craving employer interaction. Hosting a workshop in Zoom, such as building a resume or navigating technical interviews, is a great way to connect with students while giving yourself a competitive advantage over competing organizations. Even an hour of Q+A or hosting a traditional information session will go a long way in increasing applications.
- Be creative. Perhaps you are not able to commit to a full 40-hour co-op this Summer, or you can hire in June or even July. That is ok – we can still help with recruiting! COVID-19 has required us to be flexible and think about co-op unlike we ever have before, so we will be happy to help you brainstorm ways to make it work. Examples include having students work part-time, remotely (either for the entirety of co-op or temporarily), or a delayed start. Contact CO-OPS + CAREERS or Chris McIntyre for help.
- Plan ahead. September 2020 seems like a long way off, but the Summer always goes fast. Because Fall co-op recruiting is already underway and students are currently applying, waiting until August to post means there will be a limited pool of students available. If possible, begin planning for your Fall semester co-ops now to ensure you have ample time to recruit.
We appreciate your continued support and we value our employer partners. Wentworth will continue to provide quality talent for your needs and remain committed to providing the best in real-world learning. As our office likes to say: Let’s get to work!
By: Becky Smith
Using LinkedIn to Identify Receptive Alumni, Students & Employers Around the Globe
Networking is a crucial part of any job search…and it is especially important if you are entering a challenging job market! Get started by locating and talking with alumni and students from your major who have done co-ops or jobs related to your interests.
Why Search for Alumni on LinkedIn
1) it is easy to sort by major and see what a targeted group of people have been doing
2) your shared experience from college is an effective way for you to introduce yourself
3) it can help you to identify opportunities in a specific geographic area (home, or a less familiar city/state)
How to Locate Alumni Information on LinkedIn
To find alumni on LinkedIn, go to the School Page: Type our university name in the search bar on your LinkedIn homepage. Make sure you select the School Page, not a Company Page, Showcase, or Group.
Pro Tip: You can do this for any university or school, even if you were never a student there! Try this to get data on alumni in a specific geographic area outside of Boston, or to see where students from another college are working.
Next, click on “Alumni”.
Filter Search Results to Find Companies of Interest, Potential Contacts, and More
Alumni information is categorized by filters such as where they live, where they work, what they do, and what they studied. These lists display top results under each category; we strongly recommend that you also use the search bar above these lists to look for specific cities, companies, etc. if they do not appear in the lists. At the bottom of the page is a display of alumni who meet the criteria.
Other helpful searches: Adjust the date range depending on whether you are seeking young alumni to chat with, or more experienced alumni who are now managers; and search by company name, job title, skills, or any other details.
Pro Tips: Click Next to see more filters. Click Show More to see the entire list under any category.
Profile summaries are displayed at the bottom of the page. Click on them to see full details such as:
- Where has the person worked?
- What job titles have they had?
- What skills do they have listed?
NOTE: ALWAYS send a personalized message when you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn. It establishes your credibility and makes that individual more likely to respond.
Pro Tip: An invitation to connect is also an opportunity to message back and forth, even if you do not actually connect!
By: Julia Gravano
Julia Gravano is a Wentworth junior studying Construction Management with a Concentration in Facilities Management and a minor in Business Management. She completed her first mandatory co-op semester this past spring with J. Calnan & Associates, Inc. and shared her experience with CO-OPS + CAREERS:
With J. Calnan & Associates in New York, NY., I served as a Project Coordinator. This position provides support for project management teams throughout the construction process. Through close partnership with team members, as well as clients and subcontractors, the assistant project manager helps to ensure all job-related documentation is up to date. This position works with project managers to monitor the status, details, and finances of each assigned project.
What is a typical day like at your co-op with J. Calnan & Associates, Inc.?
Every day is a different day! One day I could be helping with pre-construction which entails me becoming familiar with the drawings and calling subcontractors who may want to bid on projects. Other days, I am assisting on existing projects dealing with RFI’s, submittals, and miscellaneous project management tasks. In addition, I will walk through potential jobsites that our company may be looking to take on with our Project Manager and Estimator. I look forward to each day because they may seem similar, but I always learn something new. My co-workers and I try to eat at new local restaurants each Friday as well to take a breather from the office.
What is something that you are working on that has inspired you?
The biggest project I have been a part of since the beginning of my co-op is 446 Broadway. It is an entire building totaling of 6 floors (including a cellar). This building is identified as a New York Landmark Building. I have been able to partake in preconstruction and construction activities this far. This has allowed me to forge close relationships with both the Preconstruction and Project Management sectors of our NY branch. I have learned about the different facets a project must undergo when it is identified as a landmark. This project will allow me to see the transformation of a deteriorating old building to becoming new tenant and retail space. I take pride in of all the projects that I touch upon working at J. Calnan. I am grateful that they have taken me in as a co-op with open arms and see my potential by giving me responsibility.
I am also proud to say that I am part of such a compassionate and flexible company that cares about its employees and clients. During this time of Covid-19, JC&A has been proactive about keeping its employees safe and up to date on protocols both in the office and in the field. Though the NY department is smaller the Quincy HQ, we are able to strongly communicate and coordinate accordingly as we work from home.
What did you learn from your first optional co-op that have helped you in this role?
I have learned to have more attention to detail from my first co-op. It provided me with my first experience of interior fit out construction as well as project management experience. My first co-op also allowed me to learn about the dynamic and complicated relationships that owners, architects, and construction managers may have on fast paced projects. Furthermore, I believe my job experience allowed me to be open about asking questions about why things are done and how things are done. I took advantage of the subcontractors and co-workers that loved to explain and talk about what we do on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for female students interested in the Construction Industry?
The biggest piece of advice that I have for females is to not be afraid to ask questions and to be yourself. The thing that I found most challenging is making sure that my voice is heard and proving that it matters. I am not afraid to ask any question whether it be obvious or not. It shows how interested you are and how you are applying knowledge that you have learned on the job or at school. Be a sponge and soak it all in, but most importantly don’t forget to have fun. I am such a high stress person and the biggest thing that I am still learning is to make your moments enjoyable and ones to remember.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through your co-op?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that knowledge is important, but your network it ultimately equal to your net worth. The industry is small wherever you may go, and it is all about who you know. I have found both of my co-ops back home in New York. Without my involvement in industry events and constantly meeting people, I believe that I would not have had the luxury of living at home for co-ops. In general, it is nice and important to hear other industry people’s stories and advice. Be personable, make friends, and forge relationships that will last throughout your career.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Julia! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor call the front desk at 617.989.4101 or visit our website for more information about scheduling virtually.
By: Becky Smith
Searching for a co-op or a job that will start in the next 1-6 months? Worried about disruption from COVID-19? Consider searching for jobs in these very busy areas:
- Telehealth: This includes apps, chat bots, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR & AR), and online scheduling companies such as Teladoc Health, Firefly Health, Amwell, and Orbita
- Teleconferencing and EduTech: right now it’s so common to get training on line and conduct meeting and appointments on apps like Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, or GoToMeeting! More companies are moving into this space to offer critically important training under today’s urgent circumstances.
- Ecommerce/Online Marketplace Platforms: Businesses and individuals are flocking to online marketplace and ecommerce sites such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Wix Ecommerce, Woo Ecommerce, and MIRAKL.
- Alleviating Social Isolation while practicing Social Distancing: Apps, on-line communities, social support and VR support groups are becoming more widely available for caregivers and elders. There are also companies helping patients and caregivers to collect and share data, for example, Folia Health and XR Health.
- Goodness knows we need enhanced cyber security for many of the services above!
- Data analysis and data sharing: companies SalesForce, Tableau (owned by SalesForce), Decision Point, and Splunk are providing access to their data resources and dashboards. This simulation in the Washington Post demonstrates how data science and mathematical modeling help us to understand epidemics and pandemics.
- One of the industries impacted least by the COVID-19 pandemic is life sciences. This includes biotech, pharma, and related sub-sectors. Manufacturing of medical devices and supplies, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, and lab equipment must continue through shelter-in-place and economic downturn. Our society relies on these life-saving devices and treatments. Companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, Abbott, and Vertex are still hiring!
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Several companies in the business of product shipping are overwhelmed: Amazon, grocery stores, and Walmart to name a few! UberEats and Postmates are reducing and sometimes waiving fees for delivery…even more business. To help behind the scenes in a professional capacity, look for job titles with keywords such as “Operations”, “Supply Chain”, and “Logistics”.
- Web-based wellness communities are leveraging these unusual circumstances. This growth may present a need for marketing or operations support, programmers, software developers, technical support, and customer support!
Data for Good: The Tech Community’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 23, 2020
The Latest on the Coronavirus, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, updated daily
Here’s Who’s Hiring Right Now, LinkedIn, April 2, 2020
Thank you all for your patience during this challenging time. CO-OPS + CAREERS is here to support you! Do not hesitate to reach out directly to us with questions or concerns, by phone: 617.989.4101 or email: email@example.com.