College is meant to be a transformative experience. Our education today is aimed to prepare us for the lives we’ll lead tomorrow, and the mission of the Honors Program is to enhance that education even further. Our Honors Program alumni are eminently prepared to enter the workforce, and we need look no further than some of our recent graduates to see this. Kira Cameron, who graduated last spring, is already making strides in the professional world. Since June of this year, she’s worked as a financial analyst for Raytheon, a major weapons manufacturer and defense contractor, in their Missiles and Defense Department. She credits Merrimack and the Honors Program as factors in her early career successes.
“I think one of the things Merrimack does best is help you develop people/communication skills,” Cameron said. “I communicate with a lot of people in different departments in my role so it’s been nice having that background of working with others and knowing how to communicate effectively.”
Cameron believes that the organizational and social skills she developed at Merrimack play a major role in her day-to-day job. In particular, she said that the rigors of the Honors Program taught her to balance responsibilities and stay organized despite being busy, something crucial for her current job. She’s found balancing responsibilities to be a major challenge in her current job, but stated that she got used to that sort of dynamic through the Honors Program, and was, therefore, better prepared for it. By the time Cameron graduated last spring, she was already used to working hard and balancing tasks, which gave her a distinct advantage in entering the workforce.
Aside from organization and communication, Cameron believes that the Honors Program helped her develop a “leadership mindset.” The Honors Program teaches its members to take charge, something that Cameron says had helped her take initiative and help other Raytheon recruits. Just five months into the job, Cameron says she’s already training even newer employees, something she would be less prepared to do without what she learned through the Honors Program.
Cameron says that Honors students would do well to focus on developing those sorts of skills in their time at Merrimack, especially communication and interpersonal skills. Communication, she claims, is a crucial factor in landing a job. “A company can basically train you for any skill,” she said, “but they can’t really train you on being a good communicator, so it’s great to come in with that skill.”
As our Class of 2022 prepares to advance into the workforce, Cameron has one last bit of advice for our Honors seniors. “My advice from a career perspective would be to start applying to jobs now and apply to as many as you can,” she said. “I’d also emphasize the importance of interpersonal and communication skills.