Entries tagged with “Co-op” from Hawk Talk - Guthrie

Full Circle...

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This past weekend marks the end of my undergraduate career at UMass Lowell. I will be going on to get my masterís degree in plastics engineering here at UML, but only on a part time basis. I am eager to get out into the work force and try to make some money.


I went back and read some of my old blogs, including the first one I ever wrote entitled ďBack to School at lastÖĒ In this blog, I wrote about how I was tired of working full time, and how I wanted to stay in school for my masterís degree. I can certainly say that a lot has changed since then.


I am certainly not in a big hurry to get my masterís degree. Since I have spent the past four monthís job searching, I have found a masterís degree with no experience is not any better than a bachelorís degree with little to no experience. Typically companies want 3-5 years of experience with a masterís degree for a job better than entry level. For this reason, I think it would be the best idea for me to get my masterís degree part time, while getting the experience I need.


As far as being tired of working full time, I think I am ready to enter the work place. When I start at NxStage Medical in January, it will mark the beginning of my fourth internship (my third in the medical devices industry). I think I know most of the Doís and Doníts of the workplace. I plan to work very hard to get a promotion to a full time position.


I feel like I have had a very successful college career at UMass Lowell. I built myself a powerful resume. I have worked three internships. I have lived on campus as a resident and a residential advisor. I have lived off campus with friends, lived off campus with my girlfriend, and even spent six months 200 miles away from campus. I have made many friends, and very few enemies. I am glad to say that I have no regrets about the past 4.5 years.


So if you are entering college, or you are part way through your college career; here is my advice:

  • Build your resume: I know itís a tough market, but apply for internships, and take the job. Even if you think something might be below you, you can learn a lot and build some good references.
  • Go to class: I constantly hear people complaining about 8:30 classes. Give me a break! When you are working full time you will probably have to be in at 7:00 everyday. Nothing will make you look better than near perfect attendance, whether that is in the eyes of a teacher or employer.
  • Have some fun, but take things seriously: You donít need to go to college to party 5-7 nights a week. Whether you are taking out student loans, or your parents are paying, or you won the lottery; college is expensive. Donít let that money go to waste. Keep up with your homework and study hard so that you will get the grades you deserve.
  • Get connected: Get involved, meet some people, and make some friends. Everyone encourages you to join societies and groups. Thereís a good reason for that; people who get involved with their campus do better in school.


Thanks for reading everyone, best of luck to you!

Happy Holidays!

I have spent a good amount of time this semester searching for a job for when I graduate in December. This past week I received a job offer at NxStage Medical, in Lawrence MA. The offer is for a six month co-op position, in research and development. Hopefully it will give me a chance to prove myself as a valuable candidate, and I could be promoted into a full time engineering position.


NxStage is a company that manufactures dialysis machines, which are used for people who have kidney failure. They make both clinical and home use dialysis machines. NxStageís R&D facility is located in Lawrence, only 10 miles away from my apartment. Luckily I will not have to drive 60 miles to work anymore. Currently it takes me about an hour and twenty minutes each way, at my new job it should only take me twenty minutes. Best of all, this position will allow me to get into the R&D half of medical devices, as opposed to manufacturing.


I was once told that an internship or a co-op is a long term interview. I believe this is the best approach to any internship or co-op you may be hired for through college. In todayís tough economy, it is extremely important to get your foot in the door. I am going to work very hard to make a name for myself at NxStage. This way, if anything opens up 4 or 5 months down the line, I would be an easy choice for the position.


I have not gotten all the details about the position yet, but I will be sure to fill you in soon. Thanks for reading!

As we are quickly approaching finals, my last semester at UML is almost over. I am really nearing the end of my rope at UMass Lowell, and I am starting to consider whether or not I got the full college experience. Iím going to take this chance to recall my years at school and decide what I would change if I was given a second chance. Letís go backÖ


I moved into Leitch Hall at the end of the summer of 2005. I know this may sound like ancient history to anyone who is just starting their adventure at UML. I immediately loved the atmosphere of east campus. My freshmen year was spent studying calculus, physics and engineering classes, and my grades were awful. I attended every class and did all of my homework assignments, but I did not take time to ensure I was doing the problems correctly. Given a second chance, I would certainly spend more time working on getting good grades in these classes.


My sophomore year was similar to my freshmen year, only I lived on North Campus in Smith hall. I loved how close it was to classes and how convenient the tunnel system was in poor weather. Again my performance was poor in the classroom. My first two years in college made my last two much more difficult, since I needed much better grades to pull up my GPA. Another big regret that I have about my first two years is that I was detached from campus. I did not participate in any extra curricular activities, and spent most of my free time off campus. Luckily for me I was able to connect much more my junior year.


Junior year I got a job as a residential advisor (RA) in Eames hall on north campus. Eames is the sister building of Smith, so it was all very familiar to me. I was able to make many friends and get more involved in school. It felt really good to be able to give back to the school.  I also met my current girlfriend in the building. We have now been together for 2 years and share an apartment a few miles away from campus. My grades improved dramatically this year.


I took my second semester junior year off to get some working experience. I was offered a co-op position at Husky IMS in Milton, VT. I worked there for six months, lived in Burlington, VT, and made a couple of good friends from Penn State. My friends from Penn State were also co-ops at Husky. I worked a summer internship at a medical devices company in Salem, NH called Advanced Polymers after returning from VT.


When I returned to school the next fall, my grades skyrocketed. I think my work experience encouraged me to work harder to increase my GPA. This was the first time in my college career that I made Deanís List. I also got the chance to rent out an apartment near campus with a couple of friends I had made in Eames hall. We had a lot of fun living there and all enjoyed having our own rooms. We did have a falling out with one of our roommates, which became a major issue towards the end of our stay. So I would advise anyone who wants to rent an apartment to be careful choosing roommates. After this year I got a summer internship working at Teleflex Medical in Jaffrey, NH. I still work there part time now, it is kind of a hike, but the pay is pretty good.


Now I am in my last semester of college. I am really starting to feel like I am at the end of my rope. It is kind of a depressing feeling, but I am excited to move forward and explore some new opportunities. I am happy to say that I will be graduating with a 3.0GPA. I had to work really hard to dig myself out of the ditch I made my first two years. I do miss the dorm rooms, as you do not need to worry about bills and upkeep. I would suggest that every college student should live on campus at least one year to get the full college experience.


Overall, I am happy with the choices I made in college. I am very glad to have experienced a wonderful four years at UML. Thanks for reading.

The career fairÖ

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This Wednesday is the spring career fair. Every semester UML has a career fair on east campus in the CRC (campus recreation center). Recruiters from all over the country come to the career fair looking for interns, co-ops and full time workers from all majors of study. In my opinion, the career fair is a great way to see what kind of jobs are available in your field of study, and meet some great people. This will be my third career fair at Umass Lowell.

What I am looking for is a summer internship, with the possibility of a full time career next winter. Even though I have already been to two career fairs before, and I have previously had two internships. I must admit I am very nervous about this upcoming Wednesday. One reason is because I am getting close to graduation, as I should be finishing my undergraduate in December. But I am also concerned about how many employers are going.

For engineers, there are typically 3 types of recruiters:

1.       All Majors Recruiters: Here is where you find all of the armed forces recruiters (US Army, The Airforce, The Marines and The Navy).  You can also find the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), The Secret Service and UPS in this category.

2.       All Engineering Recruiters: Usually this category consists of big engineering firms that are looking for people with well rounded educations. They typically consist of government contractors like Textron, Raytheon, and Teradyne.

3.       Specific Engineering Recruiters: These are the type of recruiters looking for a certain type of engineer, like plastics, mechanical or electrical. This is typically the category I put most of my focus into.

The problem is, that there are only about 5 companies in the third category coming for plastics engineering. Another issue is that there are still a few of my classmates that donít have full time jobs lined up, and they are graduating in about a month. What this means is that there will be a lot of competition for only a few potential jobs. Nonetheless, I will still go to this career fair putting my best foot forward, and hopefully I can find a job.

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