Angelos Nicolaou: Admissions Blogger
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{14 Apr}

Baby steps.

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Dear Readers,

Granted this will be one of my last (if not my final) post(s) on this blog, tonight I feel truly humbled. There are just a few days left until the end of the Spring semester. This summer will be my final (and busiest) semester here at Wentworth.

I will cut to the chase here and say that Wentworth has changed my life. When I applied to Wentworth three years a go, I felt little hope. That is very unlike me. I had just completed my sophomore year at Penn State and I decided that I no longer wanted to stay there, or to continue studying Civil Engineering. At the time, one of my biggest mentors had recommended that I studied Construction Management at Wentworth. I was immediately intrigued. I vividly remember applying here like it was yesterday. Let me just tell you that when you are applying to change college, major and your city as a sophomore… you don’t exactly give out the best impression.

I don’t know what it was, but Wentworth saw something in me at the time. I flew back to Cyprus to intern that summer, and I remember receiving an email for a “second scholarship” from Wentworth. I was shocked. I hadn’t even seen the first one coming in, in the first place! As it later turned out, my Acceptance package from Wentworth had been stuck at the local FedEx office for three weeks prior to that. I felt a level of excitement beyond what you can imagine in your wildest dreams. I felt an immediate boost of confidence, and for the first time in my college career, I felt ready for school.

Coming to Wentworth, I was immediately exposed to my major classes. I was captivated and never bored. I may have felt tired… exhausted at times even, but never bored. I loved everything about my major, my school and Boston that it never felt like work. I studied to learn, not to chase grades. I had fun.

The pieces of the puzzle then began falling to place on their own, and today, I can finally make sense of a large section of that puzzle. The section called College. I can finally see where all those hours of hard work and dedication went, and I can finally see where all those hours running left and right for all my extracurricular activities have gone. I am now near the end of my senior year with 2 incredible co-op experiences under my belt and the acceptance letter of the Grad School of my choice. None of this would have been possible for me without the help of my family, friends, professors and supervisors here at Wentworth. At this point, I would sound extremely selfish if I didn’t mention my beautiful girlfriend, Maria, who has been here for me whenever I needed her throughout this journey.

The road to success is long, and it is a difficult one. There is no proof of the future. Like the great Steve Jobs has said, “you are already naked”. We are constantly blindfolded, trying to find our way through never explored territories. At that point you will have two choices: 1) To follow the vibrations, the sounds, the crowd, or, 2) to create your own path. Either way, you must choose what you will feel most comfortable doing. That will be the right choice for you.

I see my undergraduate degree as an important element contributing toward my personal development goals, however, it is no giant leap.  The end of college for me is the beginning of further exploring and further learning. It is perhaps the strongest means of motivation for hard work that I have yet to experience. It is but a baby step in the career path that I chose.

I would like to thank you all for following my posts these past couple of years. Whether you are about to start college, or are currently in the process, probably the best advice that I can give you, is to make intuitive decisions. Take as much as advice as you can, but at the end of the day, only you know what is right for you.

Feel free to get in touch me with any questions that you may have about Wentworth or about Construction Management in general. You can find my contact information through my website here.

It has been an absolute pleasure.

Sincerely,

Angelos

{10 Apr}

Dinner at Top of the Hub

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One of the reasons why I absolutely love Boston is that even though it is so small, it is missing absolutely nothing that bigger cities have. From diversity, to accessibility to high rise buildings, you can find everything literally minutes away from Wentworth.

This past weekend I had an amazing dinner with friends at the Top of the Hub restaurant. It is located at the Prudential tower, on the 52nd floor. We ordered calamari for starters and a variety of different Entrees, all of which were fantastic. The picture that you see above is from the view which our table had. The tall building that you see across is the iconic John Hancock tower which is found at Copley square – I have been in that building due to construction which the company that I worked at for my co-op was managing. I also have other friends who worked in that tower while on co-op. Imagine your office having such a view, now that’s something!

While I was dining I couldn’t help but wonder with amazement at how unique Boston is. It is small and safe yet has all the wonders that big cities do.

You may also notice the clear sky. I have no complaints from this winter. We did have quite a bit of snow, but spring is here, we are seeing a lot of sun and the trees are beginning to bloom. I will be sure to update you with pictures soon!

{4 Apr}

Get involved!

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While at Wentworth I got involved with multiple clubs and organizations. To name a few, the Construction Management club, Phi Sigma Pi (honors fraternity), the Student Admissions Ambassadors, Student Admissions Bloggers, Peer Educators advancing knowledge, and the ASC competition team.

Being involved on campus not only makes your college career more interesting, it also builds your reputation around the university, as well. Being able to interact with so many teams and so man people around campus is also a great way to improve your interpersonal skills. As a freshman joining all these clubs I focused on improving my skills, as a senior, I see how much people I saw come in as freshmen have improved.

Through the student leadership programs I have attended many lectures regarding team building and leadership and partook in countless activities. We even went to camp (for grown ups) once – no, I wasn’t too excited about that either, but it actually turned out to be really fun!

My most memorable moment was the ASC student competition, where I my team and I went to New Jersey and had 12 hours to create a bid for a construction project. We were then evaluated by professionals in the industry and we placed second out of sixteen universities. Competitions like this one really push you to your limits of creativity, skills… and patience!

It is an absolute honor to represent Wentworth in all these activities, and if you are not involved yet, I highly recommend it.

The picture below is from the ASC competition. Left to right, Stephanie, Taryn, Haylee, Professor Sumner, Myself, Daniel and Alex.

2012 TEAM

{24 Mar}

Site visit at Norvartis

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A couple of weeks a go we went on an incredible site visit at the new Novartis site in Cambridge. SKANSKA, the general contractor, had agreed to give  us a full tour of the site and boy was it amazing. The trip was organized by the Construction Management Club.

We had to comply with all the safety measures of the site, we were then given a brief description of the site and then had the opportunity to watch the workers perform Stretch and Flex,  which were a few simple stretching exercises which prepared them for the night shift. We then had the site walk-through which gave us a very detailed picture. We also had the opportunity to witness the workers installing tie-back systems (which are basically cables which prevent the excavated soil from collapsing), as well as the opportunity to witness the final stage of a tower crane setting us a second tower crane (those workers are quite courageous in my opinion!!!).

Unfortunately, I am not able to provide you with any more pictures of the site due to confidentiality reasons. However, I feel inclined to say that trips like this are something that I really love about Wentworth. Due to the fact that we are such a practical school, professors, as well as organizations and clubs organize trips like this one multiple times throughout a semester in order to make sure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to get a glimpse in the real world!

 

Last week, I registered for classes for the final time at Wentworth. Even though this makes me extremely happy, it also brings back many memories. All the friends that I made, all the hours working on projects that I loved, all the teams I worked with. It has been an absolute joy. See, when a chapter as grand as “college” in your life nears its end, you automatically forget all the bad memories and you are stuck with the good ones.

It is no lie that college has its difficult moments. Difficult classes, difficult assignments, working on things that you don’t like, but that is all part of life, friends, and it all begins here. Once you learn how to cooperate with the difficulties, you become less afraid and you begin seeing more opportunities around you.

This summer I will be working on my senior project (together with two other classes). The senior project for the construction managers is a project that you work on combining all the skills and knowledge that you have acquired over the years. I am actually really excited to see how this will play out. We already chose the teams that we will be working with, and I was extremely fortunate to be able to be in a team with my best friends, Dan, Taryn, Alex and Stephanie, with which we have worked on many projects as well as regional competitions together.

Your last two summers at Wentworth will have mandatory classes, and even though it does not sound like an ideal summer, it is not as bad as you may think. 1) You begin to feel like you are almost done and 2) Boston is absolutely gorgeous during the summer!

{3 Mar}

The importance of Education

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For many of you, this is the time to decide. Go to college, or choose any of the alternatives? And then, of course, should you choose college, what will you choose? At the age of 17,18,19… even 20, it is difficult it is difficult to decide and it is difficult to know.

I will be honest with you, that was one of the toughest moments in my life. I was sure that I wanted to attend college, but I was unsure of what I wanted to study. There is good news and there is bad news at this point. The good news is that no one expects you to know what you want. The bad news is that no one will make the decision for you. I am extremely happy with what I ended up studying. Looking back now I see how much trusting my gut instinct has benefited me.

You will hear many people tell you over and over again that college is not needed, and that many have succeeded without it. The latter is true, what they do not tell you however is how few those people are. Whatever you happen to love there is a bachelors degree out there of for you.

Though people can say many things about college, if there is something that no one can say, it is that they learned “nothing”, and like my great grand father used to say “there will come a day where even the slightest piece of knowledge that you have, will be useful”.

{21 Oct}

Top spots on Campus

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Yes, my dearest readers, they are the newly constructed buildings. I am sure that our Office of Planning & Construction is smiling at this post right now as a lot of effort (and over $15 million) was invested for the renovation of these buildings. Official opening for both was this fall!

I am a commuter so I spend a lot of my time during my days on campus. The new facilities are just perfect for giving us a cosy feel, a home away from home if you may, which comes with a great view as well.

Keep in mind that the time that I spend at WIT is inbetween classes and that is when I like to go over the material that we just covered in class. For that I like…. you guessed it, quiet places. So, my favorite place to hang out on campus in the new Ira Allen building. This one-

It features those yellow (super-comfy by the way) chairs and the black couches on all three floors. The top floors have better views, more light and more quiet. There are even white boards to take notes on, something which I find to be a fantastic technique for remembering concepts.

Ira Allen was renovated to accommodate our new Biomedical Engineering major, so apart from the new couches it “also” has a number of high-tech labs. I do occasionally enjoy watching people with white coats work in them.

If you are ever in one of my tours on campus and you are not interested in Biomedical Engineering I probably won’t take you to this building, and no it’s not because I want to keep it quiet. It’s because I don’t have time. I would love to show this to you after the tour however so don’t be shy , just ask me!

This brings us to my second favorite spot on campus. The brand new Flanagan Campus Center. I absolutely love it. They installed a huge new glass facade which allows a lot more light in, and we all know: natural light = better for studying and relaxing (ok, the relaxing part was my own rendering).

It features a brand new cafeteria, a renewed library, a brand new gym, new hang-out areas for students with whiteboard walls – you can write on walls!! – and numerous rooms with 42″ flat screen TVs and projectors for practicing individual or group presentations. It is absolutely fantastic.

I personally spend a lot of time at the front lounge which is right behind the glass facade. You have a great view of our gorgeous green quad and A LOT of sunlight.

I will leave you with a great video created at the opening day of the Flanagan Campus center. Enjoy, and come visit!

Until next time,

-A.

My dearest readers, as you know classes started the first week of September here at Wentworth. We are now entering the first week of October. Yup. The first month is officially over! Just. Wow. I don’t know what it is; the busy schedule, the classes, the fun, the anxiety… all those feelings come and go (sometimes on an hourly basis!!) when you’re in college, but the fact of the matter is that time goes by F A S T.

Usually at the end of the month you hear people complaining. Bla bla bla tests are coming, my money is gone, I haven’t had time to buy the new iPhone. Ok, that last part might’ve been me. …Anyway, I don’t like seeing things in that manner. I mean, it can’t have all been bad, right? So time to evaluate. What you did well, what you didn’t do well… and now that the new month is here it’s time to improve. An opportunity to do better what you wish you had done the previous month. It’s a new opportunity! That’s the way I like to see it.

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy indeed. First round of tests began and I am either on the 3rd or 4th round of due assignments. Going good so far, I do need keep better track of my uber-organized schedule as I sometimes cheat it and that never ever plays out well. Stay organized, friends!

As a senior I am definitely seeing a lot more respect going on around campus and in class. It’s one of the privileges, I guess. Work is getting harder, however it is clear that the students which worked hard their previous semesters are a lot better of than those still trying to catch up. If you’re a freshman and reading this I have two words for you: study systematically.

That’s all for today! I have attached a few pictures.

Until next time,

 

-A.

{15 Sep}

Rankings don’t matter.

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I’m back readers! The semester has begun and tests and assignments have lined up like ducks in the Charles getting closer and closer to us. Of course this is all good news. This is my final year and classes are getting more and more exciting.

Today I would like to talk to you about university rankings. Earlier this morning our pristine president, Dr. Zorica Pantic, sent us an email announcing some impressive rankings for Wentworth. We ranked #12 in the Regional College category as well as #69 in the Best Undergraduate Engineering category. The Princeton Review also recognized us as a “Best College in the Northeast” for the sixth consecutive year. These are some fascinating statistics for a private university that is one of the most affordable in the Nation.

Impressive yes, but let me tell you this, rankings don’t matter one bit.

You see Wentworth began as a dream of a successful workaholic, Mr. Arioch Wentworth himself, who instead of leaving his fortune in the hands of an alcoholic gambler (his brother in law), decided to invest in education [citation pending]. The idea was for students that studied mechanics to have a well-rounded, affordable education. It was a pioneering idea at the time, and it was hard work, dedication and passion that have made Wentworth what it is today. It was never about rankings, and these very same characteristics run in the veins of every single person involved with Wentworth to this day. We are driven and we are a family.

Coming in to Wentworth it will not take you long to realize how discipline you need to be in order to graduate. The workload is immense, but it doesn’t matter. It never matters because our professors don’t teach us how to read our books. They teach us how to think.

Each completed assignment here feels like the greatest achievement in the world. We are driven by passion and by hard work. We learn the most effective ways to provide solutions and we pride ourselves upon that. Our classes, labs and co-ops leave us with professional attributes that are simply unprecedented.

Status comes not from a number stuck next to our name, but by the fact that we can prove ourselves. Over, and over, and over again. There is a certain pride that comes out of the eyes of anyone involved with Wentworth. Each and everyone of us has helped keep our founder’s dream alive, as we are readied to enter the world to chase our own hopes and dreams.

Rankings don’t matter. Enabling us to dream, does.

Thanks for reading everyone. I wish you all a great academic year!

Until next time,

-A.

{15 Jul}

Read

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I cannot emphasize how important it is. We live in an age were very few people actually read, especially on the web. Even if there is any hope with the 1980s generation, the 90s and 2000s definitely have no hope. No one reads any more. Is it the lack of time? Is it the stress of a busy day? I think it’s laziness and most of all, ignorance.

We have access to reading material literally all around us nowadays. Apart from books, newspapers and magazines we now have portability with laptops, extreme portability with tablets and ultra portability smartphones. Take advantage of all that technology. Embrace it not just for angry birds and fancy score boards. Read! You can find news content faster than your eyes can blink and buying a book is a mere tap away.

Read about anything and everything. BE CURIOUS. You may not realize it now but it can give you advantages that you can’t even think of. You will be able to have legitimate conversations with just about any person on the planet. Learning leads to more learning.

Honestly, I love America, but one of the saddest things that I had to encounter here was to lower the level of sophistication for my conversations. I am now 24 years old and I am only just noticing the conversations slowly shifting away from anything but sports and celebrities. The world has so much more to offer than that, and there are millions of people noticing it and sharing it. Why not pay attention and be part of that? It will fulfill you like nothing has ever done before. It will help you make wiser decisions and give better impressions. It saddens me to think that we are making small steps towards becoming a world in which reading is for the elite. Eventually what will happen is that the few that read will oversimplify information just to get the word out there. That would of course lead to misinformation, but they would have no choice. Why let that happen?

Try it, for 30 minutes every day. Read about something that you have (or think you have) no interest for. You never know what you might learn, and if one thing is certain, it is that it will definitely benefit you.

I have included a few pictures from around the city. Mr. Weather was very kind to us these past couple of weeks!!

Until next time,

-A.