One requirement at Wentworth is to successfully complete two cooperative education semesters. The cooperative education program helped me apply the skills and knowledge I gained from classes and extracurricular activities to the workplace. The cooperative education semesters gave me the chance to experience professional work settings and exposed me to possible career paths.
Prior to my co-op semesters, I frequently met with my co-op advisor to make sure I was on track with the co-op process. Additionally, to gain interview practice, I attended mock interviews in the Fall semesters. These mock interviews acted as real interviews except with feedback at the end of the interview. This gave me a chance to practice my interview skills and learn what improvements I need to make. I also attended the Career Fair since my sophomore year. During the Career Fair, I met potential employers and learned about possible positions for my co-op semester.
For my first co-op, during summer 2009, I was an intern at MBA HealthGroup in South Burlington, Vermont. MBA HealthGroup is a medical billing and healthcare consulting company. At this co-op, I worked in various departments including Human Resources, Medical Billing, Marketing, and Healthcare Consulting. I learned about the recruitment process, billing process, market competition, and the steps necessary to begin a business plan for a physician’s office. My co-op at MBA HealthGroup introduced me to a variety of career options in the business side of the healthcare industry.
For my second co-op, during summer 2010, I was a Research Analyst at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Institutional Research department. At this co-op, I worked with Excel and Access databases to calculate and graph the graduation and retention rates in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors at Wentworth for the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange. I also used the STEM data to compare it the institute rates. Additionally, I used Access to calculate attendance rates and correlate the rates to final grades received at the end of the course. I learned about retention and graduation trends within the institute. Additionally, I gained more knowledge and proficiency in both Excel and Access databases. My co-op with the Institutional Research department allowed me to gain an interest in research, which I can now consider as a possible career path after graduation.