Meet Benji Weiss
Benji Weiss is the 2016-2017 Hofstra University Co-op Student of the Year from the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. To compete, both Benji and his supervisor at Lockheed Martin wrote about the significant contributions that Benji made during his co-op experience at Lockheed. Benji will be nominated by Hofstra University for the national co-op award competition hosted by the Cooperative Education and Internships Association.
Cooperative Education is currently offered in the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Hofstra. It is one of the most impactful ways to learn about yourself and get your foot in the door for the career you want. To find out more about co-op, contact Phil Coniglio at Philip.M.Coniglio@hofstra.edu.
Coming into college, I knew I would need internship experience to stand out and have a chance at a job when I graduate. Little did I know, the co-op experience was exactly what I needed. I have aligned myself with exceptional interview experience, resume content, and a life changing job, all because I applied for a co-op internship. Here’s how I did it.
I went to Philip Coniglio to figure out what this co-op internship was all about. After he told me all the relevant information, I needed to update my resume and hand it in to him. Philip also made it very clear and straightforward to my parents about how the co-op internship worked because they were very uneasy about me graduating a semester later. Philip handed out my resume to a plethora of companies, in which four of them wanted to interview me. The first three were all in person, and the last one was over the phone. I was rejected by the first three; which was still okay because I got the interview experience that I needed and the necessary feedback to grow from this. The last of the four was Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world! All they wanted was an over the phone interview, in which I immediately accepted and thankfully, they gave me an offer.
At this point, Lockheed Martin has already offered me a position to intern for their software team and I had accepted! Beginning the co-op in June 2016, I was super excited. I began working on various automation projects that positively impacted their software team, and would make their lives easier. I also worked on simulators that would inevitably help the development of submarines for the U.S. Navy. This work was extremely fulfilling and a phenomenal learning experience. By partaking in this internship, I developed better communication skills, presentation skills, a sense of business attire, and the ability to collaborate with other software engineers. Not to mention all the new programming languages and skills I learned as well! I returned from the co-op as a more developed and prepared engineer, and thankfully, they wanted me to come back for another internship which I completed this summer of 2017.
With all of this said, you can imagine how life changing this could be for someone who was just going to graduate undergrad with no internship experience. Now I have 10 months’ worth of internship experience, amazing resume content, a professional sense of the working world, and ultimately, a position at Lockheed Martin waiting for me for when I graduate. I could not thank Philip Coniglio enough for providing me with this opportunity. If you are reading this, it is not too late. Apply for the co-op internship and start interviewing!