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working with Fisher at Career Source in
Cambridge in January.
Finley, who has a master's degree in social
work from Simmons College, was working in
a local school system when her contract didn't
get renewed. After filing for unemployment,
Finley met with Fisher.
"I wanted to find something that would
complement my degree in social work," said
Finley. "When I learned about MCC's Paralegal
Studies Certificate Program, it seemed like a
good fit. Middlesex is close to home, I'm
familiar with the area, and the program is
approved by the American Bar Association."
Finley started the program in the 2015 spring
semester, taking five courses. "It was a lot. I
had four classes split on two campuses, and
one online course, but I got a 4.0 that
semester," said Finley.
Over the summer, she interned with Boston
Municipal Court a position that has been
extended into the fall semester. She has also
accepted an additional part-time internship at
Greater Boston Legal Services in Cambridge.
Working all day and taking classes at night isn't
easy. "I wouldn't have gotten through it without
Fisher's encouragement," said Finley. "I had
some hard times, but she would always just
tell me, `You can do this.' And she always did
it with a smile on her face. It's exactly
what I needed."
Finley is currently enrolled in her final two
classes and expects to graduate in December.
She plans on pursuing a career as a paralegal
with a focus on advocacy for children and
families. "I came in thinking that because I
already had a degree, there wasn't a whole
lot more to learn," said Finley.
"I quickly learned that having a degree and
one set of skills isn't enough. You need to be
versatile to be successful in today's economy.
More importantly, I learned that there is so
much more to learn! Learning doesn't
stop it really is life long."
Tura Linderholm
MCC's Career Services Office is helping
students prepare for success in the
workforce from day one.
"We provide a continuum of services to
help students prepare for jobs early," said
Patricia Bruno, Dean of Academic, Career
and Transfer Advising. "Preparing for the
workforce is a process, not just something
they should do when they're ready to
graduate. We do this by providing
services to students both in and out of
the classroom."
Karen James, MCC's Career Counselor,
works directly with students to help them
discover what their interests are, which helps
them find satisfying career options. She uses
a program called Focus2, an online career
and educational assessment program that
identifies students' interests, values,
academic strengths and skills.
"The results of this type of self-assessment
allow students to explore careers, and
can help them make decisions about what
programs of study they are interested in and
set academic and career goals," said James.
James also offers resume workshops, mock
interviews, panel discussions and networking
opportunities in a variety of fields. And she
maintains an up-to-date listing of full- and
part-time jobs through MCC's Optimal
Resume Job Board.
In addition, the Career Services Office is
creating a more centralized Internship
Program campus-wide.
"All of our faculty members know the
value of a good internship, but not all of our
students know how to get one, how to keep
one, and how to get the most out of it,"
said Lisa Tison-Thomas, MCC's new
Internship Coordinator.
The new program will help increase
opportunities for students to find and
apply for internships, said Tison-Thomas.
She is building an internship database
with positions available in a variety of fields,
and is working on developing manuals to
help students prepare for internships.
"We need to teach them the skills they need
to succeed in an internship that translates to
the professional world from the basics,
like dressing appropriately and proper
workplace behavior, to things like how to
handle workplace discrimination or sexual
harassment. If our students learn these
skills now, they will be successful later."
Tura Linderholm
Preparing Students for
in the
Student Success
To learn more about MCC's College & Career Navigators, contact Nancy Quinn