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RIT Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services

Parent
eZine
Welcome to the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services Parent eZine, a quarterly electronic newsletter that shares information related to career events and topics.

Winter 2010

RIT and the Move to the Semester Calendar

From our Director: RIT President Dr. Bill Destler announced on February 10th that effective in the Fall of 2013 the university will shift from its current quarter system model to the semester calendar. A full transcript of his statement describing the rationale for the change is available on the RIT web site at: http://www.rit.edu/news/?v=47321

Among several important considerations in making this change is the continued university commitment to the career and experiential education components of our curricula and in particular the cooperative education program. The shift to semesters that other large co-op institutions such as Northeastern University , Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Cincinnati have already been completed, or are in process, only confirms our own assessment that we can continue to offer a world-leading cooperative education program under an alternative calendar arrangement.

We will continue to communicate with you as more specific elements of the conversion – especially as they concern our co-op and related experiential education programs – become finalized. In the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at emcoce@rit.edu or 585 475-2301 if you have any comments or questions.

Manny Contomanolis, PhD Associate Vice President and Director Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services

Speed Networking: Quick Connections for Career Success

On February 4th, more than 50 students and 23 company representatives met for a night of speed networking. Students came away with contacts for their own networks, and a greater understanding of the importance of networking in a job search, while employers were able to share their experiences and advice with students, and some even collected resumes for potential job openings.

Modeled after the speed dating process, RIT students rotated among company representatives and alumni in 5 minute intervals, providing information about themselves and asking questions of the employers. This helped the students develop confidence in approaching and selling themselves to potential employers, and allowed them to pick up valuable information and tips from professionals in the field. All participants agreed that this was a very beneficial experience, with students appreciating the opportunity to connect with actual employers, and employers enjoying the opportunity to help potential future colleagues. As one employer noted, “It’s definitely a good idea to get the students prepared for the job market, especially since it’s so tight right now. Any exposure you can give students to employers, professionals, professional organizations, etc. is valuable. I wish I had more experience under my belt before graduating.”

The Office of Co-op & Career Services offers a wide variety of student programming throughout the year, covering all aspects of the job search process, including: resume and correspondence writing, interview preparation, networking (including social networking), and job search strategies. Our calendar of student programs is available for students on our Job Zone website. Employers frequently participate in programs, bringing the real world into the classroom, and making an even greater impact on students. We’re always looking for enthusiastic employer volunteers to enhance our programs. If you would like to participate in any of our student programs, as a speaker, panelist, mock interviewer, or if you have other ideas, please contact Kris Stehler to discuss further.

Parents and Students Job Hunting Together

It’s not exactly unusual anymore for new college grads to move back home with their parents. But given the current state of the economy and job market, some new grads who return home are dealing with more than the usual amount of associated stress and readjustment. Some of them aren’t the only ones in their households looking for work.

Case in point: Jade Juma’s family. Juma, who recently graduated from Penn State University with a degree in communications, is struggling to find a job in her field. But lately it’s been tougher than usual to keep her spirits up—since her father recently lost his computer programming job as well. Now they’re both job hunting. “This has been culture shock,” says Juma, who had hoped to land a job in Philadelphia after graduation.

Joan Atwood, a professor of marriage and family therapy at Hofstra University (NY), knows Juma’s situation all too well. She’s not only studied it—she’s lived it, through her own two daughters who moved back home for a time after graduating from college in the late 1990s. New grads like Juma, Atwood says— who are themselves running into a jobhunting brick wall—don’t find it helpful (or hopeful) to see their own parents fighting the same uphill battle. “[Juma] sees her father unemployed,” Atwood says, “so that adds to her feeling that the economic situation is desperate.” Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service, September 26, 2009.

Focus: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, which is a French word meaning "one who undertakes an endeavor". Entrepreneurs assemble resources including innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity.

The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses; however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity.

Entrepreneurial activities are substantially different depending on the type of organization that is being started. Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects (even involving the entrepreneur only part-time) to major undertakings creating many job opportunities. In more recent times, the term entrepreneurship has been extended to include elements not related necessarily to business formation activity such as conceptualizations of entrepreneurship as a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives - in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship have emerged.

RIT, as a preeminent career-focused university, promotes and enables entrepreneurial education through a three-pronged approach; cutting edge and interdisciplinary course curriculum, applied entrepreneurial experiences, and various entrepreneurship-related programs, some of which are described below.

The RIT Entrepreneurs Conference is held each fall at the Saunders College of Business. It is designed to promote entrepreneurial knowledge and activities within the RIT community and greater Rochester Region. Last fall’s conference explored the entrepreneurial activities and opportunities associated with RIT’s unique programs in the fields of technology and creative expertise.

Another upcoming entrepreneurial event is the RIT48, scheduled for March. RIT48 aims to bring together students from various disciplines to pitch, plan, develop and launch a web startup in one weekend — or, as the name suggests, 48 hours. An intense, energy fueled, entrepreneurial event, RIT48 was designed to showcase the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students while offering the opportunity to learn and meet new people.

The RIT Entrepreneurs Hall is a new-to-the-world holistic entrepreneurship program that combines a residential community in the RIT Global Village, cohort entrepreneurship courses, mentoring, unique entrepreneurial coops, business mentoring, and 24/7 access to the student incubator. Students completing the program will receive a minor in entrepreneurship and have the opportunity to gain course credit for maturing a business concept. The program will include a roughly equal mix of technology, creative, and business students. This will allow students to develop effective teams to mature new businesses and commercialize technology concepts. As student projects mature, they will be assigned an alumni/business mentor to assist them with their projects.

The RIT Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (established in 2007) enhances earlier Entrepreneurship activities on RIT's campus, including the RIT Venture Creations Incubator. Within the Center, the Student Business Development Lab Initiative integrates both on- and off-campus resources. It also, in partnership with the appropriate academic unit, facilitates the granting of student course and/or coop credit. Students entering the Initiative gain access to the resources of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Student Business Development Lab (SBDL). The Lab serves as a meeting venue for students, faculty, alumni, and mentors to become engaged in applied commercial innovation and new business creation with insight from outside entrepreneurs, coaches, and mentors. The SBDL serves as an integral environment to link students with internal and external resource networks. In addition, it provides a dedicated home to limited number of selected new student companies for a renewable one year period.

For more information on the Innovation Center, see their website - http://simonecenter.rit.edu/.