Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Career Fair is Over. Now What?

Tips From The Career Services And Co-op Office On How To Keep The Momentum Going!

  • Follow up! The contact list of employers from the Fair will be available soon at the Co-op Office. If there is an employer you want to connect with but did not get their information you can come to the office and get it (provided the employer agreed to release their information). Send an email to the companies that you are MOST interested in to follow up; always attach a current resume whenever you email a company. Be sure you complete a profile as well as apply to posted positions on the employer career’s link. Keep checking Job Zone as many of these same employers will post positions.
  • If you had an interview – it is essential to write a thank you note! Send the thank you email within 24 hours.  Reiterate your interest in the position and restate your most outstanding qualification for that particular employer.
  • Connect with employers on LinkedIn. Once you have connected, stay in touch with them.  Be careful to stay in touch with permission.
  • Keep detailed records of companies you spoke with, which positions you applied to, who you spoke with.
  • Practice your interviewing skills! You never know when you may hear from an employer you met at the fair.
  • Never ever ignore an employer call, email or text.  Be professional and return the contact within the work day if possible or early the next work day.

Maybe The Career Fair Wasn’t Quite As Successful For You As You Had Hoped It Would Be

What should you be doing now to find a position?  Don’t give up, below are the suggestions.

  • Job Zone  Keep checking our website 2x a week for new listings.
  • Other Sites &  Use your major as the keyword.  If you are looking for a co-op add “intern” to your major.  Many companies call the jobs” internships”.  As long as they are paid, full-time and the work is related to your major, it will be counted as a co-op. Your friends aren’t using these outside websites to find places to apply.  Use them and get ahead of the competition.
  • Apply to Everything Do not be picky about location or company.  Many employers assist with housing. Don’t worry that you don’t have every skill on the job listing. For a co-op search, you want to send at least 75 resumes.
  • Network  Be sure you have a LinkedIn Profile. Connect with employers and alumni who may be able to give job leads.  LinkedIn also has a job listing database to search for potential opportunities. Join a club or engineering society to reach out and network with employers.
  • Volunteer You never know who you might meet.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), held every October, is a time to celebrate the contributions of employees with disabilities. This year, the 2015 NDEAM theme “Who I Am” portrays nine individuals with disabilities describing their various life roles, including employment.

Many employers hiring RIT students have a strong history of hiring candidates with disabilities, and often seek out candidates with disabilities when making new hires. In addition to hiring qualified candidates with disabilities, here are suggestions on how you and your company can show your support for disability employment.

Find candidates with disabilities through Workforce Recruitment Program. ODEP maintains a database of pre-screen college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking full-time and co-op opportunities.

Train managers. Training plays a crucial role in building inclusive workspaces. In addition to providing education on disability etiquette and reasonable accommodation policies, specific training is available through NTID’s Center on Employment on working with Deaf/Hard of hearing employees in their “Working Together” workshop. RIT Career Services also offers training on working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

Make application accessible. Your online application systems may be the candidates’ first impression of your company’s commitment to inclusion. Make sure it accessible by following DOL's tips. 

Highlight employees with disabilities. Be sure that your website, promotional pieces, and online employee profiles highlight your employees with disabilities in a positive, non-stigmatizing way.

Reach out to your community.  If your company participates in community service events such as Day of Caring, consider giving your support to a disability advocacy organization.

Connect with Deaf/Hard of hearing candidates at the Center on Employment at NTID.

Post with care. Many potential job candidates will connect with you on social media, so check that your posts are accessible to people with disabilities. Provide close captioning for videos, avoid abbreviations and spell out acronyms in posts, and provide links to pages with captions or transcripts of your video and audio content whenever possible.

For more information about hiring students with disabilities, contact Janine Rowe, Assistant Director, Disability Services, Rochester Institute of Technology Office of Career Services, at

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Free Form Factory: An Interview with a Startup

You may have heard about start ups, but what are they, and how does one form? There are a lot of resources on entrepreneurship at RIT through Saunders, the Simone Center or maybe you have learned about it through your coursework and classmates. But sometimes, it's hard to teach such an ambiguous and dynamic topic. We reached out to an RIT Alum, Jordan Darling, who created a company called "Free Form Factory, Inc." to hopefully bring a little insight on what a start-up is and what it takes.

Describe your company and what you do

Free Form Factory Inc. is an advanced manufacturing company, currently focused on high performance personal watercraft. Free Form Factory is dedicated to create freedom on the water. Our first hull, FFF 1.0, is the world's first polymer construction high performance jet ski hull. Free Form Factory has developed proprietary manufacturing techniques and worked with one of the leading polymer manufactures to find a new material to manufacture jet ski hulls, known as Hulklite. Free Form Factory has released its first hull and will be shipping world wide in July 2015. This summer we will be expanding into additional products in the action sports market. Please check out our website and social media pages for more information. @freeformfactory 

Was starting a business something you have always wanted to do? Why?

​Yes, from a young age I have always had the entrepreneurship bug. ​I worked for various companies while at school, to fulfill my co-op requirements. Although it paid well, it wasn't for me.​ I preferred building my own company and doing what I love, while making​ money.​

What kind of benefits do you think developing a start-up has over working for a pre-existing company?

​By developing your own company, ​you control how the company runs and how it is structured. You hire your employees, you pick the location, you drive the company to success. But on the flip side is, you are the one making all of the decisions and not all of them will be correct. Things will break, products will fail, its not the end of the world, it just matters how you react and how quickly you can make the fix and learn from your mistakes. If nothing is going wrong, or nothing is breaking, you're not working hard enough. So expect it and always plan for failures.

What was the biggest struggle you've had to overcome with developing your company?

​The biggest struggle that I had to overcome was balancing my time between starting/running my company and finishing my final semesters at RIT.​
 It came to a point where my some of my school work was sacrificed in order for my business to grow.

What is the most rewarding experience you've had?

​The most rewarding experience so far was when I got to ride our new hull (our first product) for the first time. It was a huge relief and accomplishment at the same time. As a company we put so much time and effort into designing and building our first hull and it took nearly 6 months before it touched the water.​

Is working for a start-up company an option for students? Do you have advice for those students looking to work for a start-up for co-op or full-time after graduation?

​Yes, Free Form Factory is looking for interns and or co-ops for Summer and Fall 2015​
 semesters (NOTE: Posted in Job Zone) I would highly recommend working for a start up company for one of the required co-op terms. One, it will allow you to see how working for a small company is over a large corporation. Two, you will most likely have more duties and responsibilities than you would working for a larger company. Three, you will be involved in a company at its earlier stages and depending on your performance and how well you work with others, you will have a better chance of getting a full time offer. All of those aside, I would still recommend co-oping for a larger company because that may be a better fit, but you won't know until you try.

What advice would you give any RIT student who wants to begin a start-up company?

​Go for it, while you're still young. You have nothing to lose.​

​For more information about Free Form Factory please visit our website at