Tagged: part-time learner

Is your career on the right track?

Gustavo Siguenza never expected to be where he is today.

Gustavo Siguenza, Bachelor of Science, Project Management, 2019

A carpenter from Dorchester, Siguenza always wanted to go to college but never had the chance. “I didn’t finish high school,” he explains “which prevented me from going to college.” When the opportunity did present itself, however, Siguenza jumped at it.

At first, he tried attending a community college but had a bad experience. As an adult learner, Siguenza worried about fitting in and getting used to being back in a classroom. “I enrolled in community college to ease my fears,” he says.” But, actually, it did the opposite.” In the community college, he felt isolated and alone as he tried to navigate the college experience. “I almost gave up on pursuing a degree,” he says. Continue reading

stand out in a crowd with these skills

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest unemployment numbers. And the news is good. Again.

In October, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent, the lowest it’s been in nearly 50 years, as 250,000 new jobs were added. Wages were up as well by 3.1 percent, the largest year-over-year gain for hourly wages in over a decade according to the Wall Street Journal. With so many job openings, as well as job-seekers, now is the time to think about your skills and how to stand out in a crowd. Continue reading

Success: Do you have what it takes?

Some advice from one generation of leaders to the next

by Phil Hammond

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You get up in the morning. Get in your car, call Uber, hop on the T or settle yourself in a home office. How do you do it? How do you motivate yourself to be successful in your chosen field? How do construction managers, facility directors and project managers operate effectively, successfully and cooperatively within project teams?

It is estimated that by 2020, 46 percent of the workforce in the US will be between the ages of 24 and 39. For baby boomers, like me, that means preparing to hand over leadership in the workplace to members of the millennial generation. For some, including some millennials, this raises an important question: are millennials ready to lead?  Josh Bersin, in Forbes Magazine, argues they are not.  Pointing to a recent study which showed 30 percent of millennials themselves felt they were not prepared for the responsibilities of leadership due to a lack of confidence managing employees and resolving conflicts, Bersin notes, “this generation isn’t developed for leadership now” (Bersin, 2013 ). Continue reading

When a degree isn’t enough

career services for adult learners

Most working adults cite “career advancement” as their primary reason for returning to school. Among online students, more than three quarters pursue programs for “career-focused” reasons (Magda, 2018).

But, sometimes having advanced skills and knowledge, and even a degree, isn’t enough to get you where you want to be. Working adults need help identifying new opportunities, building resumes, and preparing for interviews in a new field or industry.  In the following post, Janel Juba of Wentworth’s Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development shares some insights on what working adults can expect from career services:

At the Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development, we deliver the necessary resources to be effective in the workplace, provide essential job search strategies and teach students how to find jobs that align with their classroom knowledge, skills and interests. Our mission is to EQUIP students with the necessary tools to EVOLVE their skills and ultimately EXCEL in their industry. Continue reading

bird by bird: how to thrive, not merely survive, in the new academic year

black and white birds on a wire
Photo by Ridham Nagralawala on Unsplash
by Kelly Jenkins Lin

Author and speaker, Anne Lamott, tells the story of her ten-year-old brother who was trying to write a report on birds. Despite having nearly 3 months to work on it, he had put it off until the night before it was due. Close to tears, he sat at the family’s kitchen table surrounded by books and pencils and clean paper, overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Then Lamott’s father sat down beside her brother, put his arm around his shoulders and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird” (Lamott, 1994).

For many adults, returning to school can feel like trying to write a report the night before it is due. On the threshold of a new academic year, surrounded by stacks of books and pencils and clean paper they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies ahead and wonder how they will ever make it through. Below are five steps that will not only help students to survive, but to thrive, in the new academic year. Continue reading

Credit Where Credit is Due

Put Prior Learning Assessment to work for you

by Kelly Jenkins Lin

Rich Rago
Rich Rago, BSPM 13; MSFM 15

 This is the second in a two-part post about PLA. To read part I, click here: Part I

When Richard Rago decided to pursue a college degree, he had 10 years of work experience but no formal classroom education. He worried that might put him at a disadvantage until one of his professors pointed out that, thanks to his many years in the field, Rago knew more than most of his classmates. The professor then suggested Rago try to get credit for his on-the-job learning. He did and with the credit he earned Rago was able to opt out of 3 classes, or the equivalent of one semester. “It was definitely worth it,” he says. Continue reading

6 Things Every Part-time Student Can Do (Right Now) To Be Successful

Friendly, happy adult education students sitting in class.

Going back to school is a big commitment. And it can feel overwhelming at times. Below are 6 things that every part-time student can do to help manage the workload and be successful in their program.

  1. Learn to say “no:” Establish school as a priority and set boundaries. Let your friends and family know that you are in school and that you might not be available for certain events and activities.  Ask for their support and understanding.  You have made a commitment to your studies, and you are setting a good example for others by following through on your commitment.

Continue reading

Haylee Bacik

The Future of Construction: Haylee Bacik (MSCM ’18) shares her insights

Part I of Haylee Bacik’s story can be found here: Hardhat and Mortarboard

Haylee Bacik has been called the “future of construction,” and a role model for young women who want to get into the industry. She recently received a Master of Science in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and is currently employed by Gilbane Building Company as the lead project engineer on a $12 million expansion project in western Massachusetts.

Phil Hammond, Director of Graduate Programs in the College of Professional and Continuing Education at Wentworth Institute of Technology recently asked Bacik for her thoughts on the past, present and future of construction, particularly for young women. Continue reading

Haylee Bacik

Hard hat, mortarboard, softball cap: Haylee Bacik shares how she balances work, school, family and fun

To hear many of Haylee Bacik’s professors and colleagues talk, she is something of a superstar. A 2014 graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Bacik earned her Master of Science in Construction Management in 2018, while working full-time and keeping up with a busy social life. Along the way, she received numerous awards and accolades, including this year’s Dean’s Award from the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

But, like so many part-time learners, Bacik wears a lot of hats—full-time employee, student, family member, teammate. And she has faced her share of challenges. Still, she has managed to find time for the things she enjoys—softball, volunteering, and a cat named Bandit.

Below are excerpts from a recent interview with Bacik.

L/L: Tell us about yourself.

Bacik: I grew up in Lowell Massachusetts and attended Greater Lowell Technical High School where I fell in love with carpentry. I first came to Wentworth as an undergraduate because it offered the perfect blend of hands-on learning and real-world application that I wanted. Now, I am a Project Engineer at Gilbane Building Company. Being in the field and solving problems is something that I enjoy doing and that stems from my carpentry shop roots.

[Outside of work and school] I enjoy playing softball. When I was an undergraduate [at Wentworth] I was captain of the team and received the Sweeney Award. Currently, I play in a summer co-ed softball league. I also enjoy knitting, sewing, and all sorts of crafts. And I have traveled to some incredible places—Mexico, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Ireland—but would love to visit France, Africa, and Greece sometime.

And I have a cat named, Bandit.

L/L: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Bacik: When I was younger…I wanted to be a veterinarian. However, in high school, I fell in love with the carpentry trade [which] led me to my current path. In my spare time, I volunteer for the Lowell Humane Society where I help plan events and care for the animals in the shelter.

L/L: What was a typical day like for you while you were going to school?

Bacik: Balancing school and work is no easy task, but it can absolutely be done with good time management. Often, I would wake up very early in the morning, go to the gym, go to work all day, and then stay at work through the early evening until my homework was finished. Every week I planned what I would work on for homework each day based on the weekly deliverables. Chipping away at the work day by day is key, as weekends are never as free as you plan them to be.

L/L: What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you solve it?

Bacik: The biggest challenge completing school while you are working full time is balance. The balance between work, school, your social life, family, and friends can be a real struggle. For me, it was making plans way ahead of time and fitting those planned events into my weekly schedule. There are going to be events and gatherings that you just won’t be able to attend. Knowing your limits and not stretching yourself too thin is so important, because making too many commitments is going to burn you out.

L/L: If you had to do it over again, what 3 things could you absolutely not do without?

Bacik: 1. A good, reliable laptop with a strong internet connection. (My classes were online)
2. A weekly/monthly planner. I used Outlook often to keep track of both work and school.
3. The support of my family, company, co-workers, and friends.

L/L: What is next for you?

Bacik: Post-graduation I have continued to work as a Project Engineer for Gilbane Building Company on a $12 million freezer/cooler expansion project in western Massachusetts. This is a great opportunity for me to learn about ground improvements, foundations, steel, and refrigeration systems as well as cost management. I look forward to gaining more field experience to further develop my career in project management.

L/L: Finally, If you were only allowed to post one Tweet what would it say?

Bacik: Be Kind. Be Driven. Be Humble.

a man and woman kneel next to a car with the Lowell Humane Society logo men and women pose on a softball field 

Check back for Part II of our interview with Haylee Bacik as she shares her thoughts on a career in construction management and the past, present and future of construction.