December 09, 2013

Co-op Students Find Success

Alex Schwarzkopf, Electromechanical Engineering ’15

One of Wentworth Institute of Technology’s most successful and distinguishing programs is its comprehensive cooperative education (co-op). Students not only receive top-notch teachings in a classroom setting at Wentworth, but they are required to partake in two co-op work terms with an option for a third.

100 percent of co-op experiences are directly related to a student’s fields of study. Co-op students earn income and do not pay for tuition while working, allowing them to save toward future semesters. The experience complements traditional classroom learning and allows students to return to campus with the ability to tie coursework to concrete knowledge developed in the workplace.

The experience gained by co-ops affords them connections and learning skills that help them establish meaningful, successful careers post graduation.

Wentworth co-ops have worked in a variety of challenging and exciting fields for cutting-edge and renowned companies. Recent examples of Wentworth co-ops include:

  • Jessica Pimentel (Biomedical Engineering '15) – Jessica broke new ground for AVTECH as she worked on a project for a biomedical client, the first for the Rhode Island-based software company. Jessica concentrated on FDA regulations, while also drafting and reviewing test protocols for AVTECH. “Wentworth allows you to go in so many different directions when looking for a co-op,” she said. “And the co-op teaches a lot about work environments, but it also provides a lot of the tools that you can take back to the classroom.”
  • Marcin Slaczka (Mechanical Engineering '13) – Marcin’s experiences are greatly varied. His first co-op took him to a remote village in India to install irrigation systems, while the second afforded him the chance to publish a scientific paper at the Institute of Polymer Materials and Dyes in Poland, a feat rare for a student at the undergraduate level. Marcin found the experience to be similar to completing class projects. “When we do projects in class, it’s all about management, and that’s what Wentworth teaches us,” he said. “We learn time management skills and how to cooperate with others. I noticed our class projects and writing a publication was the same process.”
  • Alex Schwarzkopf (Electromechanical Engineering '15) – This Wentworth student helped his co-op company move toward something no one else has done before: operate a battery at 500 degrees Celsius. While with Cambridge-based Ambri, Inc., Alex worked on developing an electricity storage solution to enable more widespread use of renewable energy, reduce power prices, and increase system reliability— all through the use of liquid battery technology. “I’m learning and always doing something new every day, as opposed to just sitting behind a desk, pushing papers,” Schwarzkopf said. “I have a new appreciation for what I’ve learned in the classroom, because I’ve been able to apply it to the real world.”
  • Kyle Reid (Computer Networking '13) – A computer whiz while studying at Wentworth, Kyle made the most of his co-op opportunities by working at nSphere, Endurance International Group, and TowardEx. His hard work and co-op teachings paid off – Kyle graduated from Wentworth having already secured a position at LinkedIn in California as a grid systems engineer. “I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I landed my dream job.”

More information on Wentworth’s co-op program can be found online:

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