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Some of the most challenging courses I ever had were
taught by instructors at Middlesex Community College
it was there that I not only learned the fundamentals
of business management, but also the study skills that
would last me through graduate school.
There wasn't extra money for college. So when the time came,
Bill, as well as his older brother Dan, decided to attend MCC
for its affordability and accessibility. "I wanted to go to
college, but there was no way I could consider a four-year
school, and there certainly wasn't enough money to live on
campus. Commuting to school was my only option, and
MCC's affordability appealed to me," he said.
Cahalane knew he was in the right place when he walked into
his first Middlesex class, "Accounting 101," in September,
1983, at the old Burlington campus. "It was an early morning
class, packed with students. I grabbed one of the last
remaining desks, and other students kept pouring in. They
weren't all kids just out of high school some were in their
30s," he recalled.
He immediately knew this was "serious stuff" when the
teacher arrived. "She told us the class would be difficult and
many would drop out or fail. I was determined not to be one
of those students and plunged into academics with
determination. That day was an awakening for me," he said.
Cahalane excelled in his classes and found his teachers
accomplished. English professor Pat Bashford, his instructor in
"English 101," was a favorite. "She taught us the art of
writing and how to do a research paper. There were no
shortcuts in her teaching or her expectations for her students.
She was dynamic," he said.
Orian Greene, an English professor with a no-nonsense
approach, impressed him, too. "She wrote `see me' on a paper.
I went up and she told me, `Your writing ticked me off. It's
over the top -- you need to get to the point,' " he recalled.
That feedback made him a better writer.
Cahalane also values the efforts of career and placement
counselors at MCC who made sure he took the right courses to
transfer to Northeastern University. "My years at Middlesex
laid the groundwork for my continued academic success," he
Cahalane went to Northeastern in Boston, graduating in 1988
with high honors in business administration. He immediately
landed a job with Gillette in its Santa Monica, Calif., offices.
"A friend told me the job was in California. I told them in the
interview that I'd like to move to L.A. and got the job. I'd
always had the dream of living on my own, and within two
weeks I was moving to California!" he said. He took advantage
of Gillette's tuition-reimbursement plan and earned an MBA
at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
After positions with LA Gear and Disney's home video
division, Cahalane went to "team Honda" 15 years ago. Honda
impressed him from the start. "People spend a lot of money
buying an automobile and they should expect a lot in return. I
was amazed the first time I traveled to Maryville, Ohio,
(Honda's American manufacturing plant) and saw a Honda
Accord being made on the assembly line," he said.
At Honda, Cahalane has worked in financial planning,
electronic catalog development, procurement, supply chain
and international transportation. His job today as global
logistics manager includes overseeing the importing of service
parts from international and domestic suppliers to Honda and
Acura's nine regional distribution centers on a timely basis.
But the job is more than managing Honda's freight expenses
and making sure parts get there on time. "Our slogan is `blue
skies for our children' and our goal is to develop the most
environmentally friendly supply chain in the auto industry,"
he said.
Cahalane enjoys working with his team at Honda, employing
many of the business strategies he learned at MCC. "My
education at Middlesex Community College was, and always
will be, the foundation for my success in the corporate world,"
said Cahalane. "It was the best choice for me."
Nancye Tuttle
Bill Cahalane
MCC class of 1985
Cahalane's 1985 MCC yearbook photo.