Friday, February 5, 2010

Today's the Day...

Today snuck up on me when I was least expecting it... it's the deadline for accepting or rejecting my job offer from the fall. While on the one hand I've known what my answer would be as soon as I started reading through the informational packet, I still have to wonder whether or not I'm making the right choice in turning down a pretty awesome internship. I think I'm at that point though where I have to start deciding what I want to do, not what I should do, or what I'm expected to do but what I want to do. That's the hardest part for me. This school is a pretty demanding one, and while I love it, I think sometimes that getting caught up in managing coursework with work with activities definitely detracts from figuring out what on earth you actually want to DO with your diploma. The projects prepare you for the real world, but I don't think anything compares to the experience of having an internship and making those connections in the working world.

Anyway I think I've gone on and on about that job enough... and now it's time for me to start focusing on the upcoming Career Fair!!! There are over 100 companies who will be attending the fair, which means that there will be a ton of interesting opportunities!! I haven't done a lot of noteworthy things since I last had my resume critiqued, which means I just need to make small alterations and then I'll be good to go!

Reality Check: The Internship Fair is under 2 weeks away!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Last time I wrote I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.... it might comes as a huge surprise that nothing has changed on that front.

On the other hand I do in fact have an MQP!!!!! The professor is hands down one of the best to work with and I'll be working for a prominent company in my field. The slight downside is that I'll be doing manufacturing-type work and I won't be innovating things as much as I had hoped, but I still think that it will work out great! The networking opportunities alone are extremely exciting as even though I feel like I interview decently, this will give me a chance to prove myself to a potential employer. It kind of feels like everything is pointing me in a certain direction... and it's REALLY tempting to just go into the manufacturing world, and see what happens, but I'm not sure. I've still got some time to think about it... but the more I think... the less time I have.

Also... does anyone else feel like apartment searches are far too much like job hunting?

Friday, January 22, 2010

What on earth do I want to do with my life??

So I came to WPI wanting to be a Mechanical Engineer, but I had no idea what I wanted to do within that field. It's pretty broad which is what attracted me to it in the first place!! I've got a little bit of experience in the manufacture of medical devices, and I was pretty convinced that that wasn't what I want to do. Then I found a internship posting near my house in a very similar field. Annnnd I'm really really interested in the position. More so than I expected to be. I wanted to use this summer to learn more about different fields so I could choose my field based off of experience, rather than my initial interest in certain fields. Like on the surface I am really interested in the concept of alternative energy. Sounds great right? Reality check, I hate materials, chemistry, and ECE - the three basics of most forms of alternative energy. I think that I just like the idea of it much more than the actual work required in those types of positions. This leaves me wondering what on earth I want to do! I would really prefer not to work for the government, which is just a personal preference but still a fairly important factor in my search. I find the manufacturing part of the design process fairly boring, and I don't want to have a job where I sit in a cubicle crunching numbers.

Ok enough of my ranting and back to the reason I started this post, and the main dilemma for the day. Should I spend my last real summer break doing what I know, or in search of something that I'd love to do? I think I'll apply to the position anyways and see what happens... postpone the decision for a little longer and try to keep as open a mind as possible for now.... I've still got a year and a half before I need to decide right??

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Annd we're back!

So break is now over and things are quickly picking up here at WPI. Personally I'm already bombarded with email assignments and meetings and all of the craziness that surrounds being a student here.

As for my job search? Let's just say I didn't have a chance to stick to my goal. I ended up being far busier than I expected with family things over break and didn't quite get the chance to accomplish everything that I wanted to.

On the other end, I heard back from the company I had a phone interview with and I didn't get the job. Not that it was really a surprise, as I am fairly certain I spent a good portion of the interview giggling... I don't think I'd hire me either after that! Although the position sounded really interesting, the location was once again far enough away that it probably wouldn't work well for me so I guess it all worked out in the end anyways.

As much as it sucks to get the email saying you didn't get it, I am treating the entire experience as a chance to learn from my mistakes and hopefully be a better candidate when a job I am super interested in comes along.

At the moment, everything job related is going to have to take a back seat for a week or two, as my classes come first and I'm pretty sure I'm already behind... and sick. What is it with those two thing?

New Year's Resolution: Don't get behind, don't get sick and get better about sorting and prioritizing my email. And when I say New Year's I mean starting as soon as I feel better!

Hope things are going well for you guys, and that you're having good luck in your searches!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Waiting Game

I still haven't heard back from the company I had a follow up interview with. I keep running through the phone interview in my head, and while I felt it went well I'm still questioning it. I think this waiting is the worst part. They told me that I would know one way or the other before the holidays, so I should be hearing back soon. I was really lucky with my other interview because I received the job offer the same day, which was great seeing as I am horribly impatient.

My plan for break is use CareerSearch to find 10 internship positions that are a little closer to home, and would save on the travel and housing costs. I'll keep you up to date on how that goes. I figure 10 seems like a completely achievable goal and I would REALLY REALLY like to stay closer to home. I know it sounds pigheaded but I don't want to have to move twice in one summer, that's too much additional stress without even taking school or work into account. I just need to decide what I want to do. The thing that scares me most would be turning down a sure thing and not being able to find another position. I still have time though to figure things out I just need to actually make a decision about it all.

Other than that it's officially break for me!!! At this point I can't wait to get home, see my dog and break out the Christmas decorations!

Hope you all don't get too stressed with finals and have an awesome break!
Happy Holidays!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh Frustration

So yesterday I had a conversation with one of my very good friends... Let's call him Bob (his name's not really Bob FYI).

Bob is looking for a summer internship but refuses to use any of the CDC's resources. He looked in JobFinder once and there weren't any jobs that fit his very specific criteria, so he's done with utilizing WPI's help.

Rather than get extraordinarily frustrated with Bob, I can't help but think others might be in the same boat so I figured I would try to explain the different CDC services offered to WPI students. I know I just mentioned CareerSearch a few weeks ago, but it's THAT important that I should be mentioning it again!

JobFinder is a GREAT starting point in your job search. Sometimes there will be something great on there, other times positions listed might not interest you. That is completely fine! I know way to many people who resign themselves to the mentality of "I can't find a job." DON"T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU!!! JobFinder is the WPI system of connecting employers with students directly. Certain companies prefer to use our system while others would like you to use theirs. This is where CareerSearch comes into play. Yes it takes a little more effort on your part to find companies and apply to them, but it's really no harder than applying to colleges. A simple search generates TONS of companies. It might take some work to figure out exactly WHAT you want to search for, but once you do there should be about 20-30 viable company leads. CareerSearch gives you everything from a company summary, to their website, to contact information.

Check on these company's websites to see if they have a career page (as most do) and look at positions that way. There are going to be more than you are expecting there to be!

Sorry about the rant for today. It may sound really cheezy but I just really want my friends to find jobs that they're happy with... so I keep bothering them til they do what they need to. :-D

If you're unsure about how to use ANY of the services the CDC offers, or if you're having trouble with any of them (note: if CareerSearch returns nothing you're most likely having trouble with the system), please please PLEASE stop by the CDC and ask for help!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to find a job over winter break!

While I've been having a little luck with my internship search, I know many of you are having a hard time finding internships and full time positions in this economy. I'm not going to lie - it's tough, but definitely not impossible. This hiccup just means that you need to put in a little more effort into your search. Don't rely on getting emails telling you to apply for jobs, go out and search for them yourself!

So I know all of you reading this are probably dealing with finals right about now, so I'm going to give you a few things you should start doing now to prepare yourself to go into full job search mode while you're on break.

First - GET YOUR RESUME CRITIQUED!! Even if you've had it checked in the past, I'm sure SOMETHING has changed. Get it up to date and have it critiqued before break.

Second - Learn how to write a cover letter! If the bulk of your searching isn't going to happen til break you really can't do this ahead of time as they should be tailored for each position. Talk to a CDC counselor and/or check out some of the handouts and samples available in the CDC.

Third - Try to go on a mock interview. I know that this is one of the more time consuming suggestions I have but it's really worth it to be prepared. The skills you gain during your mock interview will undoubtedly help you in all of your interviews.

Note: I've just suggested 3 things. There's a ton else you can be working on too, but stick with these if you aren't sure where to start. I know it's finals week, and that you are all probably stressed and don't want to think about finding a job, but it's much easier to do while you're on campus!! Put in a little effort now and you'll be prepared come the Spring fairs!

Good luck and PLEASE start working on this stuff NOW!