My name is Sabrina Boggio and I am a member of the class of 2014 here at Merrimack College. I am working on a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Aside from the classes required by my concentration, I have taken additional interest to the marketing, psychology and Spanish classes that I have been a part of during my time here at Merrimack. Originally from Lawrence, MA, I have commuted for the first three years of college and will be moving on campus for the first time my senior year.
My on-campus involvement has taken the form of clubs and on-campus jobs. Earlier in my college career, I participated in the Merrimack Programming Board (MPB), I worked as an orientation leader for commuter students, and I was even fortunate enough to be the photographer for the Beacon Newspaper when our hockey team made it to the TD Garden for Hockey East. I’ve been lucky enough to work on campus as well, and have gained experience in retail by working at the campus bookstore in addition to working at the McQuade Library and now the O’Brien Center for Student Success (formerly Career Services).
I found my calling when I participated in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox’s Catalyst Program. The Sandbox is a nonprofit that is boosting the economic and social well-being of greater Lowell and Lawrence by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation. Their Catalyst Program spans throughout area colleges, high schools, and community programs to support student entrepreneurs and to launch their ideas. Through this program, I created Women’s Path to Employment (WPTE) to help my neighbors in the Lawrence community. Growing up in Lawrence, I saw that many of my friends were part of single-parent families where the mothers were struggling and lacked financial independence. With an unemployment rate that is almost twice that of the national rate, I saw an opportunity to help my community. WPTE is a mobile nonprofit that provides career clothing to women to prepare them for their interviews and although there were similar programs elsewhere, there were no such programs like this in Lawrence. Through the support of the Sandbox’s network and through participating in the first 2 out of 3 stages of the Catalyst Program, I was able to move on and become a finalist in the Sandbox’s first Winter Accelerator Program.
The O’Brien Center at Merrimack has also had a lasting impression on me and my experiences at Merrimack College. At the O’Brien Center, I am a Career Peer Advisor and my roles include anything from scheduling appointments and responding to emails or phone calls, to sitting down with fellow classmates to critique their resumes, to assisting in event management, web design, and social media. Although our office has been expanding since I was first hired, the O’Brien Center is just the perfect size to have the individual attention as a student employee that one needs to grow professionally without getting lost in a large organization.
Through participating in MPB, working at the O’Brien Center, and creating WPTE, I have been able to apply what I have learned in the classroom about management and marketing to the events and projects within each of these three areas. I got a taste of event management while being a member of MPB, but I was able to get a more in-depth experience through working at the O’Brien Center. Here, I was actually asked to organize the first annual Majors-Minors Fair for students who were unsure about what major, minor, or concentration that they would like to pursue or add on to an existing major, etc.
Lastly, what I’ve learned in the classroom in the Girard School of Business has also transferred to my off-campus employment. I have served as a social media marketer for four businesses/organizations thus far and I am currently participating in a broader marketing internship with an “ed-tech” startup, known as Balefire Labs. I obtained the position through my network in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox and with the support of the O’Brien Center and the Girard School of Business. Balefire Labs is a tremendous startup that aims to improve children’s education by guiding parents and educators in navigating the confusing world of educational apps. They understand that there are other app-review services out there but Balefire Labs plans to differentiate themselves by using objective criteria as developed by the team’s expert, Karen Mahon Ed.D., to evaluate each app for its educational effectiveness. I am very thankful for this opportunity and look forward to bringing back what I learn during this summer internship to my last year at Merrimack College.