Burgeoning Industry Means Jobs

Written by Andrew Morin

Even before its latest political move to become a city, Framingham has always been a hotspot for industries and jobs.  Now, making headlines in the area, Framingham is only going to continue to grow.  It has never been a better time to be an FSU student or recent grad, seeing that companies are setting up new headquarters and expanding all over the area.  While this applies to everyone, all you comm. arts and computer science majors will rejoice because the theme seems to be tech-companies…

For instance, the gaming company Disruptor Beam is doubling its size in Framingham, which means they will be hiring.  Never heard of them?  They brought you mobile games for shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones.”  Or take the the human resources software firm Globoforce, as another example.  They work with many large clients, like Hershey and Jet Blue, to create innovative software for businesses to better recognize their employees.  The movement of their headquarters to Framingham, from Southborough, doubles their size as well as creates 17 new positions in the area.  A third example is the mobile-tech company Applause, situated in Framingham’s business park alongside speaker-giant Bose.  Applause tests softwares as well as provides user feedback and market research.  Boston Business Journal ranks Applause as the second largest mobile technology company in Massachusetts, based on the total number of Mass. employees.

And that’s just in Framingham.  The mobile-tech industry looks like its popping up all over.  Within the area, you might also want to consider ViziApps Inc. an online app builder and designer based in Wellesley, or Mobiquity Inc. a company dedicated to creating businesses’s online persona in Waltham.  Boston Business Journal reports that 3 of the top 10 largest mobile technology companies in Massachusetts are in Burlington, those companies being Everbridge a company that makes mass emergency response software for many businesses, Alpha Software Corp. who focuses on making reliable apps for businesses, and Qstream a company that works with many large clients making software for salespeople to be more effective at their job.

If mobile technology doesn’t make you warm and fuzzy, how about the fun and interesting world of robotics?  3 of the top 10 robotics companies in Massachusetts are right around the corner in Waltham: QinetiQ North America a company that has many facets and also works with the military, Boston Engineering who emphasizes in product development for an array of industries, and Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc. an industry leader in robotic-assisted vascular interventions.  There is also Barrett Technology LLC in Newton, a company that specializes in making robotic manipulators, such as robotic arms and hands for industrial or commercial purposes.  Or even more in our backyard, ReWalk Robotics Inc. in Marlborough which makes a robotic exoskeleton for those who have had a spinal chord injury.

In addition to these ones I’ve listed, there are many more mobile-tech and robotics companies flourishing in Boston.

While the tech-industry is not everyone’s thing, if it is yours, you should be happy to see that the industry seems to be growing in the state.  And more importantly, it’s growing right here in Framingham.  This means more job opportunities for FSU students and grads.

★Tech aside, a flashy media-related opportunity could be on the horizon in Needham.  NBCUniversal is planning on building a regional headquarters there.  According to Boston Buisness Journal, “The facility could span a minimum of 165,000 square feet—though the company is already considering taking on an additional 50,000 square feet beyond that—and house 375 employees.”  That means lots of jobs for media-industry students and grads.★

Jobs are becoming abundant in the area, so stay on the lookout!

 

Rock STAR Interviews

Written by Jesse Sannicandro

Job interviews aren’t always easy. They can be nerve-wracking and you may draw a blank when asked a simple question. But they don’t have to be difficult, you just have to be prepared.

job-interview-stock-photo
Hopefully, this isn’t you

I recently took part in a mock interview as part of the Suitable Solutions Professionalism Program. Though I made a good impression, I drew a blank when I was asked a certain question.

“Tell me about a mistake you’ve made.”

I went silent. I hadn’t prepared an answer to this question. I immediately could think of several mistakes, but none of these would be appropriate responses in an interview. I knew that a good reply would cover certain criteria. The interviewer only asked about a mistake I made, but of course, I would have to make a positive experience out of it. It would have to show that I understand when I’m facing a problem and am able to solve it. Not only this, but that I am able to learn from the mistake. The best way to do this is mention a specific anecdote with concrete evidence by using the STAR approach.

STAR is an easy to remember acronym with four basic steps: situation, what happened; task, what the goal was; action, what I did; and result, what happened after.

star
Hopefully, this is you

After several days of mulling this question over, I think I was able to come up with a good response.

Situation

“My first year at Framingham State, I was automatically dropped from Oceanography because there was an error with my account. By the time I got my PIN so I could register again, the class had filled up.”

Task

“I hadn’t paid close enough attention to my bill, I thought that everything was taken care of, but things can always go wrong. The class was a requirement for me to graduate. I had to contact the professor to see if there was any way that I would still be able to get into the class.”

Action

“I emailed the professor for the class. He said he understood and could sympathize with my situation. He told me that he would sign an override form for me so I could take the class, even though it was at maximum enrollment.”

Result

“I got into the course after I submitted the override form to the registrar’s office. I completed the class and I was able to get the necessary credits. Though I was able to fix the problem with effective communication, it was something that could have been prevented. I should have paid more attention to my student account to make sure that everything was taken care of. From this experience, I learned that it always pays to pay attention.”

The STAR approach is useful for many interview questions. You can use it whenever a question asks for a specific situation. The best response will recall a difficult situation you had to deal with. I understand the STAR approach and was able to use it to answer several other questions.

I made a mistake once in a mock interview. I couldn’t give a good answer when I was asked something quite simple. I explained that I couldn’t think of anything to say so I told him as much. I realized that this is a question that potential employers may ask, and you’ve got to be able to think on the fly if you get a question that you’re not ready for.