May 13, 2020
The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute continues to strategically build partnerships with companies to create an array of opportunities for students to pursue as part of The Arch at Rensselaer.
During The Arch, all students must spend a fall or spring semester of their junior year participating in an off-campus Individual Learning Experience (ILE), which could take the form of an internship or co-op, international or national opportunity (i.e., study abroad or study at another U.S. institution), or research, civic engagement, or self-designed experience.
Many students choose to pursue an internship or co-op at one of the leading companies partnered with CCPD. One notable partnership Rensselaer cultivated is with MathWorks, a private company specializing in mathematical computing software. Founded in 1984, MathWorks is primarily known for developing MATLAB and Simulink, two of their major products. With headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, MathWorks employs over 5,000 staff members in 29 global locations.
“We’ve had great success working with RPI students. They have a strong technical foundation and great soft skills which allows them to tackle real-world software development projects at MathWorks. They enjoy applying the skills they learned in school, while at the same time gaining software engineering and industry experience,” said Chakib Gherbi, manager in the Engineering Development Group (EDG).
MathWorks offers a variety of internship and co-op experiences for students as well as job opportunities for recent graduates. Through MathWorks EDG, students and new grads have the opportunity to connect with technical teams throughout the organization to gain hands-on experience and to learn about a variety of areas in software development.
“Students and recent graduates receive mentorship, training, and the opportunity to learn more about the MathWorks products,” said Katie Kotch, manager, college recruiting. “RPI students bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Many have worked with our products before and are excited to learn more about the company and the work they will be able to do here,” she adds.
When asked why Rensselaer students are an appealing pool of candidates, Jon Fournier, M.S. ’99 in applied mathematics and manager in the EDG, said, “I am consistently impressed by the level of technical expertise RPI students demonstrate in their field of study. They also bring a strong emotional intelligence including respect, empathy, teamwork, and conflict resolution to the teams they work with and are highly motivated, engaged, and ready to grow their leadership skills.”
In addition to remaining on the cutting edge of mathematical computing software for their 4 million-plus users, MathWorks also places their employees as a top priority. Fournier adds, “MathWorks is a great place to work because of our commitment to invest in each other’s growth. By giving and receiving feedback regularly, we enable a culture full of open and constructive dialog where we seek to bring out the best in each other.”
Matt D’Arcangelo ’18, B.S. in electrical engineering and computer and systems engineering and EDG co-op alum, is a software engineer in the control design automation group. He said, “We foster an environment that promotes teamwork and continuous learning. At MathWorks, we understand how important it is to be continuously challenged in your career. There are numerous opportunities to learn about new technologies that assist in your day-to-day work, or just ones you personally are interested in.”