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Summer through September

What would you like to do for FWT?

  • Think about what you want to get out of your education at Bennington, and this year in particular.
  • Brainstorm interests, skills to develop, and fields to explore.
  • Begin to research positions and resources on WorkLink, on the Internet, and among your network.
  • Schedule an appointment with a FWT staff member to discuss and brainstorm ideas, and to become familiar with the resources available.
  • Conduct informational interviews to get a sense of what opportunities might be a good fit for you.
  • Attend a WorkLink workshop to learn to optimize your database search.

Prepare your résumé/learn how to write a cover letter.

  • Access the résumé and cover letter writing guides through WorkLink to help you get started. And/or look online for résumé and cover letter tips and templates.
  • Attend a résumé and cover letter workshop on campus to go a bit deeper.
  • Stop by the FWT & CDO, schedule an appointment, or leave a draft of your résumé and cover letter in the drop-box, for individualized editing.

Identify employers of interest.

  • Search for advertised FWT positions online through WorkLink.
  • Use print and online resources available in the FWT & CDO and on WorkLink.
  • Network. Talk to other students, faculty, the FWT staff, friends, family, past employers, and anyone else you can think of to get the names of people who might be able to help you identify interesting employers.
  • Use the resources available through the Field Work Term and Alumni Relations Offices to find alums and parents who might be able to offer advice in your discipline of interest or desired FWT location.

Submit your FWT proposal.

  • Submit an FWT proposal to your faculty advisor by September 30, 2014; the FWT Office will distribute this via email at the start of term. Proposals will include up to three ideas for either potential job sites and/or areas of interest targeted to a specific industry or cause. Students will include on the form a brief explanation as to the purpose of each selection. Sites listed do not need to be secured at the time of proposal submission, but should reflect intended areas of work exploration. 
  • The FWT Office will distribute proposals to all faculty advisors in early October for review prior to student/advisor meetings.

Contact sites.

  • Apply for advertised positions.
  • Call site(s) to inquire about unadvertised positions—learn how you might apply.
  • If no phone number is available, send an email inquiry—it’s a great chance to practice professional business correspondence.
  • Send the FWT Overview for Site Supervisor, which contains details about FWT, to employers you are contacting.
  • Keep an Employer Contact Sheet for each organization you contact.

October through Early November

Meet with your faculty advisor.

  • Students must meet with faculty advisors before October 15 to discuss proposals, brainstorm additional ideas/contacts, and secure advisor approval. Faculty advisors will digitally approve of proposals and submit to the FWT Office by late October.

Explore options and determine fit. Apply for grants.

  • Interview with supervisors (in person or on the phone).
  • Ask employer about their goals for the position, and about what they are looking for in a candidate. Share what you feel you can offer the position and what your goals are for working with the organization.
  • Assess positions and organizational cultures for best FWT fit.
  • Use the FWT Budgeting Form to determine if taking a position is financially feasible.
  • Apply for a FWT grant, if needed, by October 15.

Secure position. Look for housing.

  • Accept and finalize position details. Be sure to review the expectations outlined in the FWT Overview for Site Supervisor with your potential employer to insure they are clear about what is expected of them. Additionally, you’ll want to confirm their expectations of you: skills and abilities they will want to see from you; dress code; who you will report to; start date; daily work hours; and job or project description you’ll be responsible for.
  • Send a confirmation in writing. See the Position Confirmation Sample Email for ideas. By clarifying things in writing, you can help ensure that you both understood the terms of the FWT accurately.
  • Promptly withdraw your applications from all other employers for whom you cannot work now that you have secured a position.
  • Begin looking for housing—talk to others, use FWT resources, and check online resources.

Early November through Mid-November

Secure housing

  • Finalize your housing arrangements.

Register for FWT

  • Register your position(s) on WorkLink before November 21 and, if needed, schedule a final FWT meeting with your faculty advisor if your proposals were not approved in October.

Late November through Mid-December

Confirm registration.

  • Check your Bennington email to be sure your registration was received.
  • Let your position supervisor know that they will be receiving an email from the FWT & CDO requesting that they confirm the position online. Once your supervisor does so, you will be fully registered and ready to begin in January.

Prepare to go.

  • Contact the FWT & CDO if you have not received an email to your Bennington email account by December 15 that contains important information about timesheets, reflective projects and evaluations.
  • Print your FWT timesheets. Print one timesheet for each position you have registered.
  • Check with the FWT & CDO or with your supervisor to make sure the site received and replied to the position confirmation email.
  • Touch base with your supervisor to arrange any final details about your arrival, first day, and to share your contact information for the winter break, if you haven’t done so already.