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Grad lands job months before Commencement

05/21/2014

As an MCLA student, Isaiah Butler '14 of North Adams, Mass., put his computer science major to work when he implemented an electronic meeting solution at MountainOne Financial in downtown North Adams. That experience was only the beginning: several months before his May 17 graduation, he was offered a full-time, permanent position there in information technology administration.

Other work completed during his summer internship at MountainOne included deploying iPads to company directors and senior management so they could view electronic meeting materials. He also assisted MountainOne's marketing department with their rollout of a web-based fulfillment center.

As these projects were completed and his internship drew to a close, MountainOne's Information Technology (IT) department offered him a position as a part-time employee, which Butler maintained throughout the remainder of his college career.

His computer science major, with a concentration in software development, was a natural fit for Butler, as he'd been involved with computers and information technology since his early childhood.

Butler decided to attend MCLA because, in addition to being close to home, it was the "financial responsible" decision. And, "Being able to have a class where there are only seven students and being able to communicate with a professor who knows you by your name is a huge benefit. Whenever I had a problem, these professors were always so open, and they will talk to you," he said.

It was one of his professors who approached Butler about the summer internship at MountainOne, and encouraged him to apply for the position.

"At a larger school, I highly doubt that any professor would have taken the time to seek me out amongst thousands of students," Butler said.

In addition to his work at MountainOne as a student, Butler served as president of the MCLA Computer Society, and was a senator-at-large in the College's Student Government Association. The experience gained from these leadership roles, he said, benefit him as an employee.

He also spent three years working as a helpdesk consultant for MCLA Computer Support Services.

"This gave me a lot of experience with working for IT in higher education, and laid the foundation for the skills that I needed to succeed at MountainOne. Working at MountainOne gave me experience with working in IT at a financial institution," Butler said. "Information technology plays a huge role in finance right now, and the need for skilled IT professionals continues to grow."

He continued, "In today's day and age, internships are incredibly important to employers, as they like to see previous experience - even in entry level jobs. It made obtaining my future career so much easier."

Across the country and the Commonwealth, the demand for technology and computer professionals is high. "This field definitely has job openings everywhere," Butler said.

He encourages others interested in computer science and technology careers to consider MCLA.

"The STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and math - are still growing and they really do need people to fill these positions. MCLA really is at the forefront of computer science."