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Opening Doors & Minds

Connecting Classrooms to Business & Industry – February 1, 2024

Guest ExpertWhat did you want to be when you grew up? For our students pursuing a career-focused education, they have pondered that very same question. While our vocational-technical programs cover a wide array of professional areas, there's no better way to network and learn more about prospective career pathways than first-hand from trade professionals. 

To prepare our students for the careers they seek and help increase their clarity and confidence in their chosen path, our Career Enrichment department organized and hosted its first Day with Industry Experts on December 20th. The day, by design, allowed our juniors, who are in the process of career planning, to listen and interact with a variety of business and industry leaders about their professional experiences, pathways taken, and the day-to-day realities of their full-time employment.

There were three sessions and five panels to accommodate the busy schedules of our students, staff, and guest speakers, and a panel moderator to guide each discussion. This gave our students time to ask questions and speak with the industry representatives one-on-one after the presentation.

Haley Chamberlain of Douglas, a junior in our Cosmetology program, was excited to speak with Nicole LaFrance-Bangma (Class of 2010), a Hair and Makeup Artist and owner of LaFrance Glam Studio. Haley said, "It was super helpful to talk to Nicole. As a BVT graduate, she went through the same program I am going through and is successfully doing exactly what I want to be in after I graduate. I learned about how Nicole started her business and stayed motivated in her job. Speaking with an expert like Nicole helps bridge the gap between what we're learning in school and our future career environments."     

The panels comprised individuals from the following areas of occupation:
Guest Expert• Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
• Uniformed Services
• Management, Sales, Entrepreneurship, and Communications
• Construction, Utilities, and Manufacturing; and Health, Beauty, and Wellness.

Fostering connections with industry experts allows our Career Enrichment teachers to not only help our students envision what they want to do for a living, but also how to get there. By broadening their understanding of prospective careers and the connection between the classroom and the real world, any career choice is possible. 

We are incredibly grateful to the many industry experts who, in partnership with our Career Enrichment department, made this event possible. Take a peek at the schedule:

8:05 – 9:20 a.m. Science, Tech, Engineering, Math (STEM) Panel:
• Kristin Gothier, Associate Director of Microbiology, Sanofi Biotechnology
• David Gustafson, Accountant, Entegris
• Cassidy Bayen, Sales Engineer
• Chris Stevenson, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
• Mike Hartwick, Lead System Operator, Rhode Island Gas Control
• Kerri Noble. Assistant Virtual Design Construction Manager / Architecture Consigli

8:05 – 9:20 a.m. Uniformed Services Panel: 
• Paul Patriarca, Chief of Police - Town of Princeton
Guest Expert• Lieutenant Eric French, State Police Officer / Reserves Massachusetts
• Anthony Sullivan, Environmental Police State of Rhode Island
• Jack Belliveau, Worcester Firefighter & Army Nat. Guard
• Jessica Roberts Civilian EMS & Army Nat. Guard Combat Medic
• Racquel Goncalves, BVT Student & Army Nat'l Guard MP Recruit
• Jason Graves, Industrial Electrician, EverSource & Air National Guard, Cybersecurity/Intel

9:50 – 11:05 a.m. Business Management & Operations, Entrepreneurship, Communications & Sales Panel:
• Nana Agyemang, Sales, Harr Toyota
• Abby Ursoleo, Media Relations Manager (PR), The Hanover Insurance Group
• Nicole Bangma, Owner / Hair & Makeup Artist LaFrance Glam Studio
• Tim Lagarce, Director - Program Management, Fidelity
• Ryan Duffy, Director of Operations / Inside Sales Tierney & Dalton Associates
• Nicholas Mazzarini, Branch Manager, Central One Federal Credit Union
• Vinny Tingley, Former Business Owner, Tingley Home Services
• Preseton Sanford, Marketing Manager, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company

9:50 – 11:05 Health, Beauty & Wellness Panel: 
• Molly Awiszus, Athletic Trainer, BVT
• Maurina Wilson, Therapist North, Star Recovery
• Symantha Gervais, NICU Nurse, UMASS Memorial
• Brianna Morais, RN Med Surge, Milford General Hospital
• Courtney Aldrich, Makeup Artist, Owner Traveler Beauty Company
• Brian Diembra, Barber, Major League
• Dr. Wayne Chan, Orthopedic Surgeon, UMass Memorial
• Erin Ostroskey, Dental Assistant

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. Construction Trades, Machining & Utilities Panel:
• Dylan Ramos, Electrician, DP Collaris, Electric
• Todd Cournoyer, Head of Manufacturing, Primetals
• Colin Gervais, General Contractor, Gervais Remodeling
• Ronald DeSantis, Building Inspector, Commonwealth of MA
• Joe Fitman, Construction Field Coordinator, LC Anderson HVAC
• Jeremiah Driscoll, Senior Project Manager, Consigli
• Dave Perry, Master Carpenter, United Brother Carpenter's Union
• Kyle Raposo, Senior Project Superintendent, Consigli