Crystal Wojcik ’21, a business major at MCLA with a concentration in accounting, is staying local after graduation, starting her career as the finance director for her hometown of Adams, Mass.
She’ll start her new job full-time two days after her graduation in May; right now, she’s working part-time, receiving training from the former town accountant/finance director, Mary Beverly.
“Everything I learned in my accounting concentration is applying to this job,” Wojcik said. “We are at the hands of the town taxpayers and the hands of the state—a lot of municipal accounting is about following those state guidelines, but there is a huge overlap in theory.”
Wojcik started interning for the town in May 2019, as a financial assistant for the Adams Community Development Department. It was a good fit, and the town leadership offered her a part-time position during the following semester; she also ended up working full-time during summer 2020.
When she heard that Beverly would be retiring, she didn’t initially think of applying for the job, but got encouragement to do so from Beverly and other town leadership.
“She is a remarkable young woman and thoroughly impressed her interview panel,” Town Administrator Jay Green told iBerkshires when it reported on Wojcik’s new position in February. "In addition to the benefit of recruiting a younger generation into local government, she is ready to take on this critical position and capable of it. She will represent the town well and will introduce a contagious energy in the role."
Small towns and municipal governments are facing a major recruitment challenge; it can be hard to find qualified young people to fill roles when long-term town employees retire. “I’m hoping I can bring energy into the role and inspire other people my age to get into government work,” Wojcik said.
One way she’s hoping to do that: Starting an internship program with the town of Adams and local colleges, including MCLA and Berkshire Community College, so other accounting students can gain experience and learn more about municipal government.
“It almost feels like a dream come true,” Wojcik said. “I went to MCLA because I wanted to stay here. My life has been established here. I never really wanted to leave the Berkshires; I’m close to my family, my grandparents are my neighbors! I’m excited to be able to stay local.”