Archives For December 2015

A Winternship

December 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

Who knew there were internships to be had over winter break?

Apparently there are a large number of decently important companies that are willing to hire interns over winter break. I started with ENE Systems on the 10th of December, and I will be working with them until the 5th of January. I get to do all sorts of cool computer stuff, mostly just building utility softwares to help us deploy upgrades more quickly and maintain databases and standards around the office, but I learn a ton. I have had to use knowledge of C++, SQL, VB, Python, networks, calculus, and basically anything else I knew existed in order to put forth my best work. Earlier today I was all over tutorial websites trying to figure out how to finish a project and read my co-workers code.

I do not think all companies would be willing to hire for less than a month, with Christmas break in the middle. ENE Systems has a lengthy and friendly history with Wentworth grads, so I think that, and my prior experience with them were major contributing factors. In the engineering department alone (I don’t talk to too many other departments), the manager is a Wentworth grad, the integrator manager is a Wentworth grad, and 2 of the 3 newest employees are Wentworth grads.

In terms of scoring internships / co-ops, Wentworth beats out a lot of other schools because of our practical focus. I already have something over this winter and 2 options set up for the summer of my freshman year. It just takes a little bit of help with a resume, a few emails, and always being courteous. And of course, building a network.

I think many undergraduates would be surprised by the number of opportunities they are exposed to. I got my opportunities in the most unexpected places. I got my most recent offer for a co-op from someone I met doing volunteer work, in a roundabout way. I will go from collecting donations with him to working in high tech defense at Mercury Systems. There is also the method of applying to online postings, and some students have luck with that, but I have had more success contacting people outside those postings. In any case, Wentworth teaches us to use our resources, so I try to email, find people in person, and apply online.

Post-Finals and Chilling

December 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

The last day of exams just ended and I was surprised that I did not see anyone panicking.
Most of the people I hang out with on a regular basis were studied enough that they at least felt prepared before the exam. Nothing to say about how they felt after the exam, but there is scientific evidence that confidence improves test scores.

I had more finals than most and it was neat watching the school slowly empty out as students left after finishing. On the last day of finals, I was pretty much the only commuter left in the downstairs of Beatty, my hangout spot.

Beatty is an okay place to spend a day, better than most other places around campus. The library is probably better for getting work done, and no matter how full it is, there is usually at least one quiet place. Downstairs, though there is no guarantee for volume, there are sometimes open meeting rooms students are allowed to occupy and those are top notch. Plenty of places to charge a laptop, 6 ethernet ports, comfortable spinning chairs, and a huge table to work on make these places ideal for work or gaming. If none of the meeting rooms are open, I still like to stay downstairs because that is a place where people are most willing to talk, even if they do not really know you. And the pool tables are downstairs so if you come in any time after 7:30AM, there will be people playing pool.

I think most students like to spend the day in the dorm buildings, but as a commuter that is less attractive. Commuters are welcome enough in the dorm buildings, but I always feel a little bit out of place, even though I only go when my friends have invited me.

Anyways, lots of good places to hang out on campus. I have places to be alone, to meet new people, and to be with friends

The last day of classes was yesterday!
We are finally done and have a single grace day to get ready for exams this week and next week.

Personally, the brunt of my preparation time will be spent sleeping, because I cannot operate without sleep. Sure, I can walk around and attend classes and take notes, but that hardly counts. I will never be able to absorb information or solve problems without proper rest.

Everything else, I guess, will be doing example problems. This time around, most of my professors gave us practice material, which is pretty helpful. If the subject is one with a textbook, I usually flip to the end of every chapter and reread the summary and answer any difficult-looking questions I might find there. Most finals are usually testing at a depth that I would not need to read details in the chapters. For English, I try to get an idea of what the professor wants to test us on, because I do not think I have ever been able to predict what to study for an English exam.

If all else fails I just get together with friends and talk about what we covered this semester. Talking with friends is more memorable than reading notes and a lot more fun. I have always found that the best way to get through something is to involve other people. This ties back into what I was saying in my first post: accountability!