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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Shares Industry Perspectives with BHCC Students, Faculty, Staff

Friday, September 19, 2014

Seventeen Vertex administrators and scientists visited Bunker Hill Community College on September 11 for a day of career discussions and sharing of industry perspectives with faculty and students in the business and science departments. Vertex is one of 15 corporate partners taking part in the College’s popular Learn and Earn program, which provides students with paid work experience in prestigious Greater Boston companies.

Student Vertex Volunteers  The Vertex team included Senior Vice President of Human Resources Tom Connolly, Principal Scientific Fellow & Vice President of Materials Discovery & Characterization Pat Connelly, Vice President of Cystic Fibrosis Sales Dan Meyers, several scientific fellows and researchers, and others aligned with the mission of supporting STEM education on the company’s Annual Day of Service to the Boston community. The Vertex team interacted with more than 400 students and 25 faculty and staff members across business management, marketing, accounting, biotechnology/biological sciences, engineering and computer science programs.

“We are pleased and grateful that Vertex sent so many employees to get to know our students and experience their potential and enthusiasm firsthand,” said Sharon Schaff, Director of Career Planning, Internships and Learn and Earn. “This kind of event grows the partnerships we are working to establish between Boston businesses and Bunker Hill Community College, and allows for better understanding of interests on both sides.”

The College welcomed the visitors with a Meet and Greet in the morning followed by an afternoon of multiple class visits, networking luncheons for faculty and students in business and science, curriculum roundtables, employer panel discussions and individualized student coaching sessions with Vertex professionals. “Hearing directly from the field about career paths for both business and science majors in the biotech industry was eye-opening,” said Cora Miller, Learn and Earn Program Coordinator. “This type of professional development is critical to our students’ success.”

The Learn and Earn internship program prepares BHCC students for the workplace by providing the opportunity to work in a corporate setting at a major company. Learn and Earn launched in 2011 with the support of Governor Deval Patrick and members of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), a non-profit public policy coalition of 16 influential Massachusetts CEOs. In spring 2012 the College placed 20 interns at five firms, where they worked one or two days per week. Since then, the program has grown to include between 45 and 60 students per semester working 16-to-40 hours per week.  For more information, visit www.bhcc.mass.edu/learnandearn.

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About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.