As Daniel Tomassi of Bayonne, N.J. accepted his B.E. in Electrical Engineering at Stevens’ 2013 Commencement, he also celebrated another achievement – being named the Cooperative Education and Internship Student of the Year by the New Jersey Cooperative Education and Internship Association (NJCEIA).
In recognition of his outstanding achievements on the job during his Co-op assignments, Tomassi is the 2013 recipient representing four-year college students.
Tomassi – who said he has been “obsessed with cellular technology since age 13” – completed five Co-op assignments as an undergraduate student, including four with Verizon Wireless. He said his experiences gave him an insider’s view of the technological underpinnings of the cell phone industry as well as a look into future advancements in the field.
His first assignment was with G3 Technologies, a cellular technology company that makes base stations and reprogrammed cell phones. Working as an assistant electrical engineer, he learned how to program special numbers so cell phones and base stations can communicate instantly with each other. He was also put in charge of Variety Packs, consisting of 50 different cell phones which needed to be programmed to connect to base stations for customers.
“My assignment required me to master the intricacies of a cell phone,” Tomassi said. “I also had to learn how to communicate professionally with my coworkers and other company representatives, learn how to keep track of inventory and always make sure to have everything up to date.”
For his next four co-op terms, Tomassi was employed by one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Verizon Wireless. First, he worked on pre and post product launches. One of his tasks was to test devices for bugs, stability and ease. Another responsibility was monitoring the failure rates of devices after they were released, and then resolving device malfunctions for customers.
“Every day it was something new – from iPhones not sending MMS messages to devices overheating and melting,” Tomassi said. “With all of these concerns came all new programs and databases I needed learn.”
Later, Tomassi worked on wireless product development at Verizon Wireless. He even managed the tablet app client, for which he came up with a solution that is currently patent pending.
As a student, Tomassi also excelled. He was consistently a member of the Dean’s List, graduating with a 3.3 overall grade point average. He was also the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award.
Tomassi was also involved in many student and leadership activities. He was president of the Co-op Student Council, where he helped peers with resume writing and interview techniques. He was also co-founder of the Torch Alliance, which supports the GLBTQ community. As a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, he served on the recruitment committee to attract new brothers.
Upon graduation, Tomassi accepted what he calls his dream job – a full-time offer from Verizon Wireless to join its leadership development program. He says he owes much of the credit to Stevens.
“I started my Stevens career with no work experience and a weak resume,” he said. “That is no longer the case. I would have never been able to achieve such a success if not for everything I learned through Co-op.”