Meet Tara M., BFIT class of 2011.
Tara currently works for GE Aviation as a Machine Maintenance Supervisor, managing a staff of more than twenty electricians, carpenters, plumbers, control repair technicians, and mechanics. Tara is the first woman to be hired in this role in the site’s 120-year history.
As the first member of her family to attend college, Tara knows first-hand the hard work and sacrifices necessary to realize her dream of a college degree. “It’s about the choices you make and what you’re willing to give up in the short term for your long term goals,” Tara says. “When I walked across that stage at graduation, I felt so accomplished.”
Tara first enrolled in a large 4-year university where most of her classes were held in large lecture halls with little to no hands-on learning. The lack of attention and practical application of skills was what made Tara decide to drop out in her first year. Eight years went by before she decided to try again and earn her college degree. She’d always been interested in buildings and architecture. “From a young age, I loved to see how an empty space becomes a finished building.”
A web search led her to Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT). After touring the college and meeting with the admissions team, Tara knew that it was the right place for her. “I liked the small size and the fact that the college was located in the heart of Boston.”
Tara enrolled in the Building Technology and Design Department and quickly discovered what makes BFIT’s approach to higher education unique. “For me, being able to use my hands and apply what we learned in lecture immediately was enormously helpful. The professors really cared about the work that we did. They were always around to help. Because the college is small, they have the resources to help you. Everybody knows you by name. That support helped me become a better student and stay on track.”
After graduating from BFIT in 2011 with an associate of science degree, Tara took advantage of the college’s articulation agreement with Wentworth Institute of Technology and transferred all of her credits, earning her B.S. degree in Facilities Management in two years. Soon after, she was hired by GE Aviation. GE Aviation is the world’s leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial and military aircrafts. GE Aviation is part of General Electric, which is one of the world's largest corporations.
“I got my job with GE Aviation because of my technical background in architecture,” Tara says. She credits BFIT with giving her the technical knowledge and with teaching her the 21st century communication skills necessary to be successful in her leadership role in management.
Please take a few minutes to watch the program video for the college’s Building Technology & Design program to learn more and to hear from Tara directly.