Student Success Story: Colin Cunniff
Brought to you by The O’Brien Center for Student Success
Colin Cunniff, a major in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, decided early on that a Co-op was necessary to break into the Engineering field. Colin is participating in a Co-op at Walsh Construction in Foster, RI, where he is currently working as a Project Engineer on the replacement of the Kittery Memorial Bridge. “Although you are in college for additional time to do co-op, it’s a benefit because it provides you with the hands on experience and increase your chances for a full time post grad opportunity,” Cunniff said.
The project began in January of 2012 and is anticipated to finish in July of this year. Cunniff is finding the experience both valuable for his career and his personal life. He explained that the construction of the bridge will aid the rebuilding of the local economy, which has been suffering since the closure of the bridge. As such, because of Cunniff’s support, local merchants will now be able to increase business in response to the new and easy access to Kittery through the bridge.
Cunniff will also witness a little piece of history at the opening ceremony for the bridge. Eileen Foley, 95 and former mayor of Portsmouth, N.H., will do the honor of cutting the ribbon when the bridge opens just as she did nearly 90 years ago as a little girl.
Through his experience, Cunniff has learned the appropriate verbiage of the industry. He has also gained a better understanding of how his lessons in school relate to practical experiences in the field. Cunniff explained, “You get a true education on the language used in the industry. As a professional, you will be expected to know the terms and language. Doing a co-op provides you with that education.”
Are you interested in experiencing valuable Co-op opportunities like Colin? Come by the O’Brien Center for Student Success and visit ADVANTAGE, Merrimack’s online job database, to explore your options!