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Profiles
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handles approximately 800 activities in
the field each month and another 500
from the headquarters in Woburn.
Interns at the company usually start "on
the bench," learning how to take apart
and put back together laptops to diagnose
and fix problems before returning the
laptops to the clients. "This is precise,
difficult work ... and absolutely
necessary," Willett said. "I am pleased to
say that none of the laptops fixed by the
MCC interns have ever been returned."
After their stints on the bench, interns
then go to the Help Desk, where they are
expected to help solve clients' hardware
and software problems. "They learn a great
deal here because it is a very hands-on
experience. They are dealing with real
people, with real IT issues that need to be
solved."
Willett believes Middlesex students
genuinely want to learn and are
appreciative of the opportunities to learn
on the job. "They definitely add value to
what we provide to our customers," he
said. "Some students have never worked
in this type of environment before, and we
try to build their self-confidence and
communications skills, while reinforcing
their technical skills."
In addition to taking on interns and being
a featured speaker at MCC seminars and
workshops, Willett has used his network of
contacts to bring other industry executives
from technology and social-media
companies to speak to classes and work
with students
Willett also participates in MCC's
Effective Writing for Business seminars two
or three times a year, and has spoken to
many classes about the importance of
communication in the workplace. He is
primarily concerned with helping students
learn how to prepare to enter a
competitive workforce, and recognize the
importance of interpersonal skills, as well
as the need for superior IT skills.
"I stress the need to come into the
workforce with a good balance of skills ...
human resource, administrative, technical,
operational or sales skills. I urge them to
do self-assessments and determine where
their strengths and weaknesses lie. I try to
teach them how to sell themselves to
prospective employers," he said. "Almost
all enterprise today depends on
information technology, and an
organization's ability to function is
critically dependent on IT tools and
services. These students are going to be
doing important work."
Willett grew up in Lowell, and relates well
to Middlesex students. He graduated from
Sylvania Technical Institute and later
attended Northeastern University as a
night student. He has been in the IT
industry for more than 35 years. Prior to
founding Reliable IT, he worked for 24
years for Data General, going from tech
support to senior management, and for 10
years for CBE Technologies as Vice
President of Sales and Operations.
"We are fortunate to have people like Bill
Willett involved with our IT Program,"
said Don Brady, MCC Assistant Dean of
Health and Science, Technology,
Engineering & Math. "Although many
students excel technically, some may lack
a broad spectrum of employability skills
needed to balance and leverage their
technical expertise. Internships like this
enable students to enhance their
communication, managerial, problem-
solving and collaboration skills. We
recognize the need to align our
educational efforts with workforce needs,
so our graduates can be effective
employees."
Deborah Kearney
Reliable IT President Bill Willett speaking at a
recent MCC workshop on the importance of
writing in the workplace.
4
80+
Total
MCC Partnership Programs
Service-Learning
7,752
Students participated (since 1992)
155,649
Volunteer hours to the community
The Career Place
113,000
Individuals served (since 1997)
27,297
Job vacancies filled
International Student
Fellowships
325
Student fellows (since 1992)
9
Countries visited
Lowell Middlesex
Academy Charter School
422
Students graduated (since 1995)
partnerships
by the
Numbers
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