The Peer Career Coach program is a new initiative in the Career Services office. Its purpose is to develop the career talents of our on-campus student assistants by positioning them to provide leadership to other students on a peer-to-peer level, both in our office and throughout their lives on campus. These are some of their stories.
Munzer Awad, Engineering Management, Graduating: December 2016
This summer, I was interning at W.W. Grainger with the eCommerce Engineering team as a Business Systems Analyst. I also took summer classes (7 credits).
One thing I learned about myself is that I prefer work environment where I’m always challenged and pushed outside my comfort zone. I also learned the importance of humility in team members in the workplace and the advantages of that vs having teammates that are self centered or have unhealthy competitive attitude toward other teammates
I learned that I love analyzing data and drive recommendation based on my discoveries, and I think that being in the technology area, I will be able to do more of that, in addition to helping engineers and client figure out the “HOW” in the project
Advice I have for other students is that if you plan to apply for internships, start early, the time is now. Also, don’t undersell yourself, students often think that they’re not qualified for a certain job just because they have a different major or haven’t had internships before, but if you can understand how your educational experience and interpersonal skills are relevant to the position you’re applying for you can always try talking to new employers and discover new opportunities.
Finally, plan ahead of time to get the best out of your summer. Whether you’re planning to finish some credits, travel somewhere, work, or do all of the above, set your priorities straight and figure out how much you can handle.
Wildaline Serin, Engineering Management, Graduating: May 2018
This summer I was able to work as an MSI-IIT intern for the Museum of Science and Industry. It was a 12 week long internship where I was able to deliver science content through 7 different “Live Science” Experiences to over 2000+ guests ranging in various ages. These included performing cow eye dissections to teach guests about how eyes function and the different parts of it, Poop Happens a show about how food moves through our body, and a chemistry show called “Chem-Mystery” that taught about reactions. I learned that teaching science to others can help me better understand concepts and that anyone can do science and it can be fun. The museum hopes to inspire the inventive genius in everyone and as an intern this summer I was able to do just that to the people I met no matter their age. My advice to other students would be to be open-minded about the type of internships you do early on. The skills I was able to gain through this internship have definitely through my presentation skills and I am now more comfortable addressing a large group of people. I feel it will benefit me as I enter my third year of undergrad and look for internships for next summer and I would have missed out on this opportunity had I only looked for internships in engineering.
Marc Sednaoui, Mechanical Engineering, Graduating: May 2017
I was a mechanical design intern at CGI. During my internship, I have become aware that companies really value design optimization. The simpler, the better. One thing that I have discovered about myself is that I have the ability to learn anything, anytime. I developed new interest this summer in Machine Learning. My advice to you is to stay forever curious, and be open to all opportunities.
Adam Denchfield, Physics, Graduating: May 2018
This summer, I participated in a funded summer research project with Dr. Zasadzinski in the physics department. I worked creating thin films of certain materials, and also worked a lot in modeling some data Dr. Zasadzinski’s group had obtained recently. This involved taking a Python program written by another researcher and adapting it for my own purposes.
I learned that even if the work I do isn’t my original idea of fun, it doesn’t take me much to get interested in something and start to innovate. That appeared in a lot of ways during the summer, and keeping an open mind determined to do good work was part of that.
I learned that doing experimental research in physics can be slow at times. Really slow, if equipment breaks down a lot or there’s a lot of downtime because of a certain process. I learned that sometimes it’s a good idea to take time to optimize a process.
If you are doing research, I highly suggest that you never be embarrassed to communicate with your advisor or others in the group. If you’re stuck, don’t sit around for 2-3 days doing nothing because you’re afraid of looking dumb or feeling like you don’t belong. Talk to anyone in your lab group and if they can’t help, go up the chain. It’s good to be independent and not need to constantly ask questions, but it’s bad to be useless and get nothing done and learn nothing.
Munzer, Wildaline, Marc, and Adam are our returning Peer Career Coaches for the Fall 2016 semester. They are available at various locations around campus to review your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile. To learn more about the peer coaching program, visit http://web.iit.edu/career-services/career-coaches/peer-coaches.