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!

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to the CHOICE Internship Program

Written by Andrew Morin

You’ve heard of the CHOICE program…okay, maybe you haven’t really. Oh, whispers of it? Maybe?  Well this post will outline this amazing internship program for you, hopefully answering any immediate questions you may have.


Basically, the CHOICE Internship Program pays you for your non-paid internship.  Simple enough.  The nitty-gritty?  The CHOICE program stands for the Community/Hometown Organizations Internships and Cooperative Education program.  Ultimately, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts funds the program, giving FSU extra money to pay students for gaining experience from internship sites that otherwise would not give out money.  The program impressively pays students up to $2,000.  So, it’s safe to say Massachusetts appreciates the cultivation of knowledge.  But there are requirements for you, the student, and for the employer who you want to intern for.

Student Requirements:

  • Must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher and be approved by the Office of the Registrar
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Meet the Massachusetts in-state tuition residency requirement
  • File the FAFSA form and receive Financial Aid approval
  • Earn academic credit for the semester that they participate, requiring prior faculty approval and faculty internship supervision
  • Be registered on Ramtrack

Not bad, right?

Employer Requirements:

  • Must be a Framingham/MetroWest-based academic center, governmental agency, nonprofit business or community organization
  • Provide an educational internship experience
  • Agree to abide by the intern’s departmental internship guidelines including supervision and evaluation procedures
  • Be approved by the student’s Internship Faculty Advisor and the FSU Internship Coordinator
  • Post the position on Ramtrack
  • Confirm on a bi-weekly basis the intern-submitted actual internship hours worked by the appropriate deadline to the internship coordinator
  • Agree to FSU Employer Internship Requirements

Once again, not too bad.  As far as finding an employer that fits the CHOICE criteria goes, you can always log on to Ramtrack and see the many employers already involved.  Though, as mentioned, if you have an employer in mind that you think meets the criteria, all you need to do is get it approved by the internship coordinator.choice

Since the start of the program in 2013, over 300 students have successfully completed internships from 141 unique sites.  You could do the math yourself, but that’s approximately $614,000 that the program has distributed to students.

It’s an alluring program with nothing but benefits for you, so if you’re interested, come down to the CSER office, room 412 in the McCarthy Center.  There, you can take advantage of all the brochures and many lists detailing the opportunities associated with the CHOICE Internship Program.  You can meet Jill Gardosik, our internship coordinator, who oversees the CHOICE Internship Program.  Plus, you can always schedule an appointment (508-626-4625) with one of the career counselors to answer your questions, and ease your worries.

When you’re looking for an internship, you’ll want to act as soon as possible: meeting with the CSER office and getting an internship in place a semester in advance.  The CHOICE program is competitive and students can only use the CHOICE internship once.  It’s first-come-first-serve because there are limited funds for the program.  Don’t wait, come down to the CSER office and make an appointment.