The emotions generated by landing your first job, that thrill and anxiety, may only be outdone by the shock of abruptly losing it.
In recent times, hundreds of Case students and young alumni have received that second phone call, the one with stomach-dropping news: A start date has been postponed, an offer rescinded, an internship cancelled.
As we learn in an article in our fall 2020 issue, Navigating the Covid economy, some recent graduates spent the summer walking dogs and delivering groceries, waiting to put their engineering degrees to work. Some students searched in vain for another internship when a promised opportunity vanished, or scrambled to enroll in fall classes when a co-op collapsed.
And many, with the help of alumni and Case-connected companies, found rewarding options.
When it became obvious that internships were disappearing, the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Sears think[box] became a job creator. Veale executive director and Weathered Associate Professor Michael Goldberg worked with the university and with CWRU LaunchNet to create the Remote Entrepreneurship Project—the REP program.
It matched CWRU students with young companies, often startups, that needed their talents. The students gained experience, a resume listing and a $500 stipend paid by the program. For some, it saved the summer.
Cooper Reif, a mechanical engineering major, interned with Folio Photonics, a startup launched by Physics Professor Ken Singer, and found himself using CAD design software to create precision parts for an optical scanner.
“I was ready to give up, and I had this amazing experience when I thought nothing would happen,” he said.
Employers expressed satisfaction, too. Chris Wentz ’13, the founder and CEO of EveryKey, tapped the program to bring two interns into his 10-person startup in Little Italy. “It sounded like a good fit for us. Most of our best people come through Case, anyway,” Wentz said.
When Michael “Conor” Clark joined the team, Wentz added an electrical engineering major to a staff dominated by software engineers. Clark dove into the circuity of the company’s device and proposed ways for extending battery life.
“That could be huge for us,” Wentz said.
Goldberg hopes to relaunch the REP program this fall. Wentz hopes he does. Hopefully, he’s not the only alumnus who will take advantage of Case talent so suddenly available, affordable and ready to work.
There’s never been a better time to hire Case.