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What co-ops do you have available for me?

I am a student studying biomedical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. I am currently looking for a co op in my field of study. I am available from June to December 2020 and I am willing to relocate any help or guidance is appreciated #biomedical-engineering

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Catherine’s Answer

Hi Otto,

A co-op opportunity may be hard to come by with so much uncertainty still surrounding most companies about how they will be proceeding through the end of the year.

I would advise you to keep diligently looking because you never know when something will become available - however, I also would recommend you supplement your search with some independent career learning.

For example, look at some entry level jobs that interest you and read through the job description. Look through the "qualifications / skills / requirements" area and start researching anything you don't have experience for or are not sure what it is. Youtube has a variety of great in-depth tutorials about almost any topic, from industry regulations to statistical software. This allows you to leverage your awareness of these skills and relate it back to how you can apply what you've previously learned to the task required of the position.

Some great fundamental topics you can look into to get you started:
- design control for medical devices process overview
- quality management system process overview (regulation ISO 13485 or 21 CFR 820)
- microsoft project (if you aren't already familiar, it's a great tool for project management)

Hope this helps!

Best of luck,

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Otto,

I have a degree in bioengineering and my school required all students in this major to complete 3 semesters of co-op experience before graduation. My biggest piece of advice would be to search EVERYWHERE for an opportunity. I was lucky that my school provided assistance in finding a co-op however myself and my classmates had the most luck looking on our own. Look through job websites such as indeed and LinkedIn and medical device companies' websites will often post their own job listings.

Join whatever societies are available to you through your school such as SWE (it's not just for women!) and BMES. Then do your best to attend whatever events these societies offer - many companies go to these types of conferences to recruit professionals as well as co-ops/interns.

Best of luck!

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Dominique’s Answer

It is difficult for a lot of companies right now during the pandemic but with biomedical I'm assuming you are looking at medical device/pharmaceuticals/cosmetic/health care products (nutrition)/etc. I would start with looking up companies in the industry you are interested.

Start a Linkedin profile and start following some company pages and messaging some individuals from the companies that are in HR. You most likely will need to apply online for internships. The landscape has changed with the pandemic but also look for job fairs (if they will be happening) at your school or neighboring schools that you can attend to talk to someone in person and provide a hard copy of your resume.

Also, you can use job posting sites to apply as well to internships such as Indeed/Glassdoor/Linkedin/Careerbuilder/etc.

Good luck with your search and congrats on graduating! Even if you do not get an internship my advice for a fulltime job search would be the same.

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Kathy’s Answer

Co-ops are a great way to gain experience and longer term work place exposure than just an internship. In this time of pandemic many companies are canceling or postponing internships and co-ops fearing that they won't be able to provide a valuable experience for the students if they have to work virtually. We have kept our co-ops and interns for the summer and put some extra effort into finding them work to do from home. This will hopefully provide them the income they were looking for as well as provide the incoming talent that we need!

Our co-op hiring progress for Fall 2020 has already completed and I would think many other companies who are pursuing fall students might be done already too. I think the other advice here on using LinkedIn etc to really build a network and get in front of as many companies as possible to find those opportunities that are out there. Besides just using online recruiting tools also use your existing network of friends, classmates, and professors. Word of mouth is powerful and having a reference/referral from someone who knows you is what will make the difference this late in the game. Tell everyone you know that you want a co-op this fall and ask them if they know anyone who could help. Good luck!

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Latricia’s Answer

Hi, Otto

This one stumped me - Google to the rescue!

A search on 'biomedical engineering co-op jobs' results in several links to popular job posting sites like Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, SimplyHired.com, and LinkedIn.

Best wishes for your success!

And for those stumped, here's a link to a great explanation on this type of program: https://engineering.case.edu/coop/

Thank you for your reply Otto W.