I returned from my 6 month co-op stint to find out that I can graduate a year early! All of this was made possible by accepting a co-op after my freshman year, taking an unnecessary amount of classes every quarter, and being wayyyy too stressed out. My first reaction: Woohoo I can graduate! Shortly thereafter: Oh crap, now I have to find a REAL job. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED living on my own and making a decent living while I was on co-op, but I cannot believe it is already time to leave RIT and realizing that made me a little sad.
Anyways, the application process for applying for a real job feels a LOT like applying for college again. I am looking at hundreds of companies trying to figure out how I would fit in there and if I could live in that city. Finding a job isn't all about what you can do for a company but what the company can do for you and I am finding out that RIT has prepared me very well for this process. After having a couple of first round interviews at the career fair, I have been invited to travel for second round, more in depth interviews at a couple places. I am nervous, but I have realized that I DO have an excellent education and thanks to the co-op program I have companies like GE and Toyota on my resume. How many other kids from other schools can say that they are graduating but also know what it is like to work in the real world of manufacturing and engineering?
So, for all of you high schoolers out there reading this trying to decide if RIT is right for you, I feel your pain. Choosing a college is also choosing where you want to live for at least the next four years and what skills and experience you will gain from that college to make you maketable for the next step: THE REAL WORLD. Take applying to college seriously and also look at it as practice in the application process because chances are, you will use those skills again soon (especially if you come to RIT and apply for co-op positions).
As always you can follow my job search ups and downs on here and on my Twitter.