Ratings websites

By Zachary Finkelstein

Northeastern students afraid of getting stuck in a dead-end co-op have a new resource to scope out jobs before their first interview.

On RateMyCoops.com students can read evaluations of co-op employers written by former student employees. The rankings on the site are compiled from anonymous comments covering an array of concerns a student might have about a prospective job.

The site contains an index of companies that work in cooperation with Northeastern and are rated on criteria ranging from work atmosphere to the “coolness” of the management.

The site was launched by Northeastern junior entrepreneurship and small business management major Joe Barba on Sept. 26. Barba was inspired to create his site from a similar resource, RateMyProfessors.com.

“I intended to create a resource that would assist my peers in making more informed decisions when picking their potential co-op job,” Barba said. “I feel that I could have benefited from a site like mine during my first two co-ops, as I was never made fully aware of what my job description was going to be until I actually began working.”

Barba said he found the job descriptions for his first co-ops to be “misleading” and during the jobs he often performed “menial tasks.”

Without any official scouting report on most co-op companies, many Northeastern students come to rely only on what they learn during the interview process.

“Showing up at a co-op interview can be quite intimidating when you consider the severe informational disadvantage you are working with,” said middler computer science major Jacob Caniparoli.

Caniparoli said his first co-op at the Harvard Medical School was fulfilling, but he was concerned when he first went into the interview.

“Going into my interview, I realized that my employers had all the power,” he said. “They knew my GPA, what classes I had taken, what skills I had to offer. I, on the other hand, knew absolutely nothing about them except for the obvious fact that they cooperated with Northeastern for the purposes of hiring paid interns.”

Caniparoli said a site like

RateMyCoops.com could turn into a valuable resource for all Northeastern students.

“This site has great potential to help Northeastern students get more out of the cooperational experience,” Caniparoli said. “I think many students are playing Russian roulette with their jobs.”

The website is still in the early stages of development, but has tremendous room to grow, said senior computer engineering major Paul Mobilio.

Currently employed as an intern at Microsoft, Mobilio said the review for his own company did not hold much credibility because of the anonymity of the contributors.

RateMyCoops.com does not have any rating prerequisites. The site allows anyone to rate a company as long as they do so without using vulgarity. Many of the companies list only one review, often written in what appears to have been great haste.

“This site claims anonymity for the purposes of allowing students to provide their uncompromised opinions of former jobs,” Mobilio said. “However, what this site fails to provide is any strain of credibility. The numeric rankings, without any criteria, are pure subjectivity. I feel that this site has a long way to go in terms of growth and expendability in order to provide its users with reliable and fair objective ratings.”

Leave a Reply