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Posted 5/11/2018

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By Ann Marie R. Harvie
USACE, New England District

Maryellen Iorio went back to college March 20, but it wasn’t to pick up another degree.  The New England District Project Manager participated on a career panel at MassBay Community College in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts as part of the Partnership in Education agreement the New England District has with the college.  “The experience was very positive,” she said. “It was a small group of students, many who were non-traditional students returning to school after raising children or working at other careers.” 

"Ellen did an excellent job weaving in her background of how she became a Project Manager,” said Mark Anderson, STEM Coordinator for the District.  “She also provided great tidbits related to skills necessary and what students can do or look out for if they want to pursue a career in the Project Management field.”

“The students were very engaged and asked lots of questions,” said Iorio.  “They asked about what classes and training are required to be a project manager, what types of organizational skills. We discussed the need for “soft” skills and the importance of communication and understanding team dynamics.” 

The free career panel was open to all students, especially those enrolled in programs that are part of their STEM department such as the sciences, engineering, bio tech, etc., according to Anderson.  “Indications are the students were thrilled with the event and found it very valuable,” he said. 

Iorio also felt the panel was valuable.  “These are students who are exploring their career choices,” she said.  “Engaging with them could influence their choice to enter STEM learning.  This is an opportunity to create a pipeline from community colleges to science and engineering careers.  Not only does this make a huge difference in people's lives but it can create a stronger workforce with people coming in having diverse experiences.”