Friday, October 26, 2012

RIT Co-op Student E-News | Fall 2012

Stay connected to RIT, while gaining experience
Fall 2012 Issue
Co-op Factoids | Out On Co-op – 100 Years of Co-op Contest Winners | Making the Most of Your Co-op Tip | Share Your Experience | Save the Date | Are You Number One?


Number of students on co-op:  1099
Number of students on co-op internationally:   14
Number of companies employing co-op students:   636
Highest Co-op Wage: $55 (woo hoo!)
Companies hiring the most students this quarter:   
Wegmans Food Markets, Thomson Reuters, BorgWarner Morse TEC Inc, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, MOOG Inc, Vicor Corp, Advance Testing Company Inc, Cisco Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich Corp), Cisco Systems, Harris - RF Communications, Lord Corp, Welch Allyn Inc, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Paychex, RIT - Distributed Support Svcs, Amazon, Carestream Health, Fisher-Price

In honor of the 100th Year of Co-op – Did You Know…
The original 12 companies that participated in the first Cooperative Education program at RIT:
(Still in existence)
Eastman Kodak Company
Gleason Works
Rochester Stampings, Inc
City Engineers Office (now part of the the City of Rochester)
Stromberg Carlson (now operating as Siemens Information and Communications Networks, Inc in Boca Raton, FL)
Rochester Railway and Light Co.(consolidated under RG&E, and now operating as a subsidiary of Iberdola USA)
New York State Railways (became Rochester Transit Authority, and since 1971 has operated as the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority)

No longer in existence:
Taylor Instrument Companies (merged with Combustion Engineering, which later merged with ABB technologies; Taylor’s technical expertise continues to be used by ABB today)
Morgan Machine Company, Inc.
Ingle Machine Company
German American Button Company

Read RIT's University Magazine's Special Report 100 Years of Cooperative Education A Century of Crafting Careers

OUT ON CO-OP – 100 Years of Co-op Story Winners!

Claire McKenna
Information Security and Forensics
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
June 4, 2012 – August 10, 2012
Who hasn’t dreamed of being an astronaut as a kid? I certainly remember picturing myself exploring the stars once or twice. So of course I was over the moon when I received my acceptance into the NASA Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars program. I would be getting the chance to work at the organization that put a man on the moon! I was even more thrilled to learn I would be interning with the Information Security team. My ten weeks at NASA gave me a chance to explore the incident response and forensics process and learn that it was something I want to pursue after graduation. Forensics is very much like a puzzle or a scavenger hunt, looking through the information available for any clues that will lead to the answers we need. Prior to my experiences at NASA, I had very little exposure to the forensics process. After a few days of learning from some of the incident responders on the team, I quickly picked up the skills I would need and found myself wanting to explore further. I know now that I will be pursuing a career in digital forensics once I graduate from RIT.

There were many other experiences I had at NASA that contributed to such a successful co-op experience. Every week, the program coordinators arranged for lectures for the summer interns to listen to. We heard from a range of speakers from an Intel Futurist to a NASA Astronaut. We had plenty of opportunity as well to learn about the rich history that surrounds NASA Langley. Langley Air Force Base was originally the site of NACA, the predecessor to NASA. Much of the research and training leading to the first moon landing was performed at Langley as well. Neil Armstrong himself practiced working with the moon lander equipment on base. The highlight of my summer was watching the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity, landing successfully. A live feed from the control room at JPL in California was set up at the local IMAX Theater and members of the NASA Langley workforce as well as the community were invited to spend the night learning about the mission to Mars and watching the landing. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. I was lucky to be able to experience NASA at such an exciting time for the science and technology fields.

Ultimately, I achieved exactly what the co-op program tries to provide students here at RIT. I was able to gain experience in a topic that interests me and I know now what I wish to pursue in my field. I can come back to classes this year with a focus and drive to achieve my goals.

Nicholas J. Conn
Electrical Engineering
Biotronik SE & Co. KG in Berlin, Germany
June 2010 – November 2010

During the summer and fall of 2010 I worked for Biotronik, an implantable medical device company located in Berlin, Germany. My time at Biotronik was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a German national agency which supports international academic cooperation. As an electrical engineering student focusing on biomedical applications, this co-op directly built off of my class work and presented me with the opportunity to gain experience with cutting edge medical devices.

The focus of my project was to create an electronic model of the heart for testing pacemakers and defibrillators. By accurately simulating a multitude of complex cardiac rhythm disorders, my model was able to increase the effectiveness of pacemaker and defibrillator firmware. Years later, my final heart model is still being used for the testing of implantable cardiac devices.
While my work was very demanding and challenging, I enjoyed every day with my coworkers. I believe the attached picture perfectly illustrates the complexity of my work while showing how much fun I had during the course of my co-op. This picture was taken towards the end of my six months at Biotronik while my boss and I were using my heart model to help solve a problem that had come up in clinical testing of new defibrillator firmware.

While I gained an indescribable amount from my time in Berlin, including hands on experience with implantable medical devices and fluency with the German language, what I value the most are the lifelong friendships I made at Biotronik.


Before you end your co-op and leave the organization you are with, you should be sure to secure a recommendation from someone in the company.  Why? A reference or recommendation could prove pivotal in your future job searches. Having an “objective” person comment on your professional performance could tip the scales in your favor.  The recommendation could be from a supervisor, a colleague or a senior manager.

Reference vs. Recommendation
Typically a reference is someone you ask to formally be on standby should an employer call to inquire about your work history, ethic etc. You should plan to have 3-4 references and you should definitely ask them ahead of time before listing them.

A recommendation is usually in letter form (or electronic form).  A one page letter outlining how the person knows you, in what capacity they know you, their overall assessment of your qualities, skills and abilities is sufficient. It can be a generalized document so that it can be used multiple times or it can be specifically addressed to fit a particular situation.

Social Media - LinkedIn
On the social media website LinkedIn you can ask colleagues to “recommend you” electronically. By doing so, anyone who views your profile can see and read the positive recommendations.  It also serves as a step in completing your LinkedIn profile. Definitely ask  your manager or colleagues you worked with while on co-op, to submit a recommendation if possible.

Sort of related to recommendations is the new “endorsements” feature just added to LinkedIn -- your contacts can also “endorse” you.  According to Linkedin, the addition is intended to make it easier to recognize people for their skills and expertise. Linkedin users can either endorse their contacts from a new Skills & Expertise section, or select or suggest skills at the top of their profile.


RIT co-op students have worked all over the world, with large and small companies, collaborating with all types of people.

We are building a collection of photos/videos of RIT students at work to feature in future co-op newsletters and possibly on our site.

Interested in sharing a photo (or video) of yourself "on the job"? The more active and specific to your job the better!

If you wish to submit something -- please include the following:
Name, Major:
Company Name:
City, State/ or Country:

Even better, want to do a brief write up about your co-op experience? Please include:

Job Description:
How Did you Find the Job?
Tips for First Time Co-ops?
How Did Co-op Benefit You?

Email it to Gretchen Burruto: Thanks!!


Spring 2013 Career Fair
Career Fair: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 11am-4pm
Interview Day: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Gordon Field House


Students – are you the first co-op student your company has ever had? If you’ve had a good co-op experience, but are now leaving, this is your chance to help your company and other RIT students too!

Before you go, talk with your supervisor about the possibility of hiring another RIT student, to continue the work you started, or work on a new project. It’s easy to post a co-op position on our employer web site –, and if they have any questions, you can refer them to your program coordinator, or our main office – 585.475.2301. Your supervisor may even want you to be involved in recruiting your successor!

Thank you for helping us maintain a good relationship with your company, and develop co-op opportunities for other RIT students.

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