By Uday Raghuvanshi
Uday Raghuvanshi is a student ambassador for the College of Engineering, and currently a student of the Master’s in Robotics program. He received a Robotics Reliability Engineer co-op offer from 6 River Systems in 2022, and now he is here to share his experience about how to prepare for internship/co-op hunting.
What did you do before you started to apply for an internship/co-op?
Before I began my applications for internships and co-op, I utilized the resources that the university provides us to build our resumes and polish our profiles. It involved reaching out to my co-op advisor for guidance and career design studio for resume and cover letter reviewing. I discussed the job roles I would like to pursue, and since I transitioned from mechanical engineering to robotics, I learnt how I could align my previous work experience and projects with what I want to do in the future. I built my LinkedIn profile to make it look more professional, adding a professional headshot, my projects, academic background and work experience. I also reached out to people in the industry who are working at my target companies and roles to seek some guidance.
When did you start applying for internship/co-op in 2022?
I started looking for a co-op during the early spring 2022 semester. During that period, most of the companies were hiring for a co-op role starting summer 2022. I also saw listings for summer 2022 and fall 2023 internships and applied to those as well.
How did you apply for those internships?
During the first month of the spring 2022 semester, I got access to NUWorks which is Northeastern’s career management portal for sharing career, co-op and internship opportunities. So, I searched for Robotics internships/co-ops there and applied to them. Additionally, I used websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to look for more internship opportunities. For my dream companies, I used to check their website every week to see if they were offering any position of my interest. I also attended a career fair at Northeastern. Before applying to a listing, I used to make sure that my resume aligned with the job description and I tailored my cover letter accordingly.
How did you prepare for the career fair?
For the career fair, I wore a business casual outfit i.e a shirt with a sweater and neutral-colored semi-formal pants. I kept several copies of my resume with me. Since numerous companies were coming to the fair, I made a list of my target companies from the list of companies I found on career fair’s website, read in detail about their vision and mission from their websites and prepared a one-minute-long pitch. In the pitch, I introduced myself, explained my projects and let the company recruiter know which position I’m looking for and how I could fit well into their needs. Some of the recruiters took my resume whereas others gave me an informational flyer, asking me to apply for the roles through their website. I listened carefully for all the information, such as when, where and how to apply. At the end, I asked if I could have the recruiter’s email, LinkedIn or business card for following up.
How did you prepare for interviews?
For interview preparation, I went through all the projects I did, making sure they run fine if I’m required to share my screen and run them. I used to practice behavioral questions, project-related questions and course-related questions with my friends. This not only helped me boost my confidence but also helped me improve my communication skills. I practiced mock interviews online and with my friends, preparing myself for potential questions that could be asked during the interview. Lastly, I practiced staying calm and composed during the interviews as they could potentially get quite stressful. Listening to calming music 15 minutes before the interview helped me.
Any recommendations for students?
I would suggest you to start applying as soon as you can. The market is competitive and it’s important to stand out from others, so prepare well. Also, keep applying no matter what and never lose hope.