Monday, March 1, 2010

Finals Week, Summer Internships, Senior Year, IQP, MQP and more.

Okay, so if you couldn't tell by the title of this post, I have a lot going on in my life right now.

First of's finals week. Finals are always super stressful at WPI. Right now I'm worried about one of the classes I'm in - biomechanics. It makes me feel slightly better that I know that everyone in the lecture hall seems to be in the same boat as me; however, I need this for my concentration (and some of the seniors in the class need it to graduate), and right now we're all not doing so hot and this class is not offered again until C term 2012. Great.

On top of the stresses of that class, my IQP Proposal and Final Presentation are due TONIGHT! It's crazy! I know I'm going to be sooooo relieved when I'm done with PQP/ID2050 in 7 hours and don't have to worry about it for the rest of the week, but right now it's a little stressful.

So, I've ovbiously known for about a year that I was going to be going to Austalia this D term for my IQP. :) But, although I knew it was true, it didn't really feel "real" until this week. I'm so excited because it's finally starting to hit me that my flight leaves this weekend (!!!). As of Saturday I will no longer be in the United States. :) We're heading to Australia so early because there are a group of WPI students who did their IQP in Australia during C term. They're staying late and we're going early so that our trips will overlap for a few days. I'm really happy because we'll be able to spend the first few days hanging out with them, getting acquainted with the area, and going on a few trips before we have to actually start working on our projects. :)

So, the fact that I'm leaving for IQP on Saturday means two things.

1. I won't be blogging as often and might not post for a while. If I can, I will try to keep you updated on how my job search is going, but I'm not sure how often I'll have inernet or free time to blog.

2. I feel like I have to figure out everything now. I need an internship, an MQP, and to finalize my senior year schedule. Yikes.

This is a fairly short post because I have a lot to work on. Hope the rest of you aren't as busy as I :) am (but unfortunately you probably are)! Good luck on finals and your job/internship searches!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Career Fair is what?

I have mixed feelings on how the Career Fair went for me. I was a little frustrated by the fact that the few companies I was really interested in talking to seemed to have the longest lines, but some of the conversations I had seemed to go pretty well.

There was one company there that I had been interested in in the past (I'm pretty sure I've blogged about contacting them) but didn't seem to have a lot of luck with. However, I got to talk to one of the recruiters who happened to be a WPI alum from a few years ago. While looking at my resume he was pretty optimistic because we had the same advisor, same major and concentration, same classes, and were involved in the same engineering community service project. (The only reason why we hadn't worked on the project together was because I didn't join until part way through my sophomore year.) Although they weren't looking for this type of intern at the fair, he encouraged me to check the career page on their website and if I found something talk to him and have my advisor talk to him. He said his boss was a WPI alum with similar credentials so they like hiring people with the same background. It was slightly disappointing that they weren't currently looking for that type of intern, I was happy to make this connection because a lot of times I feel like recruiters will just say something along the lines of "I'll take your resume and appy online" and that's it. This is definitely an opportunity I need to follow up on.

I also talked to another company that I was sort of interested in. They had a few internships avaliable and made medical equipment. The recruiter I talked to was really friendly and gave me her email address so I'll have to follow up with this company too. It's always good to have options. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Only two days until the Career Fair!

I can't believe the Career Fair is only two days away!! I'm a little nervous about it because I really need a summer internship, (so this is an important opportunity) and I still have a lot of work to do in terms of researching the companies that are coming...but, with that being said, I'm feeling a lot better about this Career Fair than Career Fairs in the past. Why? Because I've already been to a few. A Career Fair can be an overwhelming experience if you've never been to one before, but after one or two you get the hang of your elevator speech and you're more comfortable talking to recruiters. So, even if you're not looking for an internship like the rest of us, it's helpful to at least go and get a feel for what a Career Fair is like so that you're more comfortable when you finally do need to make a good first impession.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Does anyone else feel like they have 2398 things to do?

So I'm finally in the swing of C term. I've already had my first round of homework and tests in my classes, and PQP is really starting to pick up. (We are basically writing a draft of our whole proposal in a week and I feel like we haven't even finished doing background research!). With all of the work that I've been doing for PQP and ID2050 I'm really looking forward to going to Australia. To top it off, I've been talking to kids who went there last year on IQP, so hearing about their experiences and all of the fun things to do makes me want to go even more.

Unfortunately, before I leave there's still so much I need to do (in addition to passing my classes and PQP of course)
  1. Make a packing list/pack/somehow acquire adapters. (I'm flying to Australia with 4 other kids and we decided to leave from Boston less than 24 hours after we finish finals. What were we thinking when we bought plane tickets?!?)
  2. Get an MQP. I've been talking to my advisor since part way through freshman year about what I'm interested in and I already informally talked to him about doing an MQP with him last term - but I still need to officially apply and make sure everything is all set before I leave for IQP because once I leave I won't be back at WPI until senior year. Weird. (Even typing that makes me slightly uncomfortable. College is flying by and I'm not quite ready to grow up yet haha.)
  3. Get an internship. Okay, well obviously that's the goal, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to pull it off before the beginning of D term. However, I need to do a lot of work so I've at least contacted more companies and made progress towards making sure I have something to do this summer. (Even though I have a lot to do with classes right now, anything I get done now will be easier than when I'm 10,500 miles away and dealing with a 14 hour time difference.)

For your entertainment:

When I was looking for the distance between Worcester and Melbourne, Australia I originally tried to use Google maps. Bad idea. Google decided to give me driving directions that takes about 57 days and involves KAYAKING thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. (Not by boat or plane, but kayak. Really? hahah.) Plus a good portion of the directions are in Japanese. If you want to see how ridiculous the journey would be if you took Google's advice, check out the link below. Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

C Term and Internships

Hi guys!

I know you haven't heard from me for a while, but I'm back! :) Sorry for the lack of posts at the end of B term... I was caught up in the ridiculousness of finals and my Humanities and Arts project and didn't have time to update this as often as I should have.

Winter Break was awesome. It was so nice to see all of my friends from home and just have a vacation from schoolwork and the normal stresses of WPI. But after being genuinely lazy for a week or so I decided I needed to do some work on my internship search. It was really difficult to get motivated to work on it a lot, so I did some in small pieces throughout break.

I started my search on Job Finder. At first it was pretty discouraging because I didn't really find anything I was looking for. But, the good thing about Job Finder is that even if you don't find what you're looking for at first, check back in a few days or a week and you may have more options.

I also used general search engines like,, and even Craig's List. These are a little more hit or miss, but, like Job Finder, are important to keep checking.

Also, last year I applied for an internship with a company, and, after emailing back and forth for a while with the lady in charge of hiring college interns, she found out the company wasn't hiring at all that summer. She told me to feel free to contact her again for next summer (aka this one coming up) if I was still interested. So, over break I sent her another email. I got an automated email saying she was on maternity leave and to get in touch with another woman in her office who wasn't as friendly. Unfortunately, she didn't seem to have great news either. BUT the good thing is that I just saw the company posted jobs on Job Finder. So, although they aren't specifically in Mechanical Engineering, they're in stuff like R & D, and quality control which could still be relevant considering the company works in an area that I'm interested in.

Finally, my friend's mom works in an administrative position in a Biomedical Engineering company in my town. She reached out to me and offered for me to come in and meet someone in her department. I took her up on the offer, and it ended up being really helpful. It was neat to talk to someone in a job that I'm interested in and to figure out what steps they took to get there and what they think is important. Even if that doesn't actually help me get an internship with that company, it's still a helpful step in my internship search overall.

But, even though I've obviously made a few steps in the right direction with my job search, I still have a long way to go. (Which I'm kind of stressing about). The funny thing is, I think everyone is in the same boat that I am. Whenever I run into friends on campus a few of them always ask the question "Do you know what you're doing this summer yet?". When I tell them I don't they look really relieved and say "Phew. Me either!".

So if you're also someone who doesn't have an internship yet, rest assured that you are most definitely not alone on this campus and a lot of people are in the same position as you are. Although some companies have already decided on interns, there are still internships out there and you're not too late. But, with that being said, don't relax too much. It's definitely the time to be looking now. Good luck!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Following Up

So unfortunately I didn't get as much done over Thanksgiving Break as I had hoped in terms of job searching. :(

With what time I wasn't spending with my family celebrating Thanksgiving, I was working on homework and projects. I hate it when teachers expect you to get a lot done over breaks like this. Thanksgiving definitely didn't feel like much of a vacation for me, so I'm looking forward to Christmas Break even more now. Luckily the end of B term is approaching quickly. (When did that happen?!)

So even though I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, I did make a tiny bit of progress in the job search department. I know I blogged earlier about a job interview I had over October break. Well, I wrote a thank you note after that, and when I didn't hear from them, a few weeks later I sent a follow up email to my contact in HR. I asked her if they had made any decisions in terms of the position and let her know that if they hadn't I was still interested. My email was probably was a little later than I ideally should have sent it, but I guess better a little late than never? I feel like I get tunnel vision while at school here and I'm so focused on the here and now that I occasionally lose sight of the bigger picture and am somewhat unaware about how fast time is actually going. (Probably why I'm always so suprised by the end of the term....oops.)

But anyway, the lady emailed me back and told me that they weren't making a decision until the end of January and that I should hear from them then. She said I didn't have to do anything, but to feel free to contact her again in January if I hadn't heard.

The good news is that I didn't miss the boat on this one like I was afraid I had, and I still have a shot at this internship which sounded pretty cool. :)

So, moral of the story: Follow up and stay on top of things. Put dates to get stuff done by in your planner if necessary. At a school like this it's sooooo easy to focus purely on homework and projects with deadlines that it's easy to forget about other parts of your life (like job seraching!) which are also important.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's almost Thanksgiving break!!

So last week and this week I'm definitely feeling the pressure of mid-terms. :( Thankfully we only have two more days of this ridiculousness until we're on break. I definitely feel like junior year is significantly harder than freshman and sophomore year. It seems like everyone I talk to is getting a little burnt out. I think a break is much needed for everyone on this campus.

Needless to say that with all of this work I've been pretty unpreductive with my job search (again). I know, it's bad. I need to work on it. I just physically don't seem to have enough hours in the day to work on that and get all of my assignments and studying done. At this point I'm lucky to get sleep at all.

Over break I plan on sleeping (a lot), working on my job search (finally!), visiting with my family and friends from high school (some of whom I haven't seen since the summer!), and eating lots of turkey (yum.).

So, considering a lot of you are probably in the same boat I am - stick it out. A lot of us are just 24 hours away from break and those who aren't are close to that. When you think about it that way it seems so much more managable, right? ;)

Enjoy your break and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! :)