Course Testimonials

Pharmacy Technician

Surbhi Patel finished MCC’s Pharmacy Technician program this year. A mom of twins, Patel – who is from Billerica – was interested in working in a job that allows for flexible hours and weekend availability. She was looking to get into a healthcare field and Middlesex provided her with the medical training and knowledge she needed in order to break into the industry.

“You have better exposure to the subject with someone guiding you instead of learning on your own,” she said. “Professor George gave us thorough information and explanation of the material.”

Although the idea of taking online classes made her nervous, Patel said her professor and MCC helped ease her fears after just the first class. The “helpful and coordinating staff” made a difference in her education.

For student Grace McLaughlin and Laurette Bruny, Middlesex Community College has provided a stepping stone to their future career paths. Both enrolled in MCC’s Pharmacy Technician program

McLaughlin believed Middlesex was a positive investment for the future – especially “given the certification and skills I’d acquire by the end.”

“The instructors were knowledgeable in their fields and because of that, were able to provide advice and instruction beyond the textbook that would help students to prepare for the ‘real world,’” McLaughlin said. “I was well-prepared for my certification exams at the end of both classes.”

“While I was studying for the certification exam, I could ask the pharmacists or technicians questions I had come across,” she said. “It was also valuable to hear about their academic and professional experiences in the pharmacy field which helped me to consider my own future decisions

Bruny entered the program with a medical degree from the Dominican Republic. Also excited about the accessibility of the Pharmacy Technician program, she believed that Middlesex would be the best option to “maximize my post-university experience” in the U.S., allowing her to get back into the industry and hone her skills.

“I enjoyed everything about the class,” Bruny said. “It was very helpful and educational. MCC gave me the opportunity to take the course online and I was able to finish the program shortly.”

When considering her options, Bruny wanted a career that allowed her to communicate with people and answer their questions. Thanks to the program’s externship requirement, she not only had the opportunity to practice her skills, but interact with customers.

“Throughout this period, I have learned a lot and I believe I have all the skills needed to perform my duty effectively,” Bruny said. “I was able to communicate with customers and practice multiple tasks, preparing and filling prescriptions.

Calling her experience at Middlesex “very good and beneficial,” Bruny too feels as though she has been provided the skills and opportunities she needs to move forward in her academic and professional pursuits. “The class will help me reach my goals as I am interested in the medical field,” Bruny said. “I will be able to be involved more with healthcare and plan to pursue my career.”


MS Excel Certificate

Instructor Melissa Troche is fantastic! The online class experience was great, although we only had a small group. It may not have worked as well with a larger number of students. I learned a lot and was given enough practice opportunity to make much of it stick. Melissa circles back to things making us remember what we learned earlier. She also does a great job of explaining the concepts as well as demonstrating the functions of MS Excel.


Non-Profit Management

Kerri Keeler is a Development Associate with Mill City Grows in Lowell and has moved into working for a nonprofit after years working in corporate jobs. Keeler chose MCC due to the flexibility in the schedule and affordability of the class.

“I loved the practical, real world examples that were used to illustrate each concept and showcase successes and challenges experienced by other organizations,” she said. “MCC’s course was a great way for me to get myself up to speed in my new career in nonprofit work quickly and with a solid foundation for me to learn more as the work grows.”

This is the third certification course Carl Gallozzi has taken. He is a retired Hewlett-Packard Company Relationship Manager in the Server Division now focused on his volunteer work. He credits MCC’s course for helping him learn a strong overview of the subject matter.

“The modules about both strategic planning and fundraising are also extremely timely and valuable,” he said. “I would recommend these courses to obtain an overview from a practiced professional – who is knowledgeable and supportive.”


Technical Writing Certificate

MCC offers a Technical Writing Certificate for job seekers interested in writing for a variety of industries that are actively hiring employees – such as IT, software, education, journalism and business.

During the pandemic, MCC is offering live, virtual instruction for remote learning so participants can remain safe and healthy while receiving a high-quality education at an affordable cost. Developed in cooperation with an advisory board and taught by industry leaders, the curriculum is a blend of standards and knowledge of how to write clearly and concisely for an audience, and provides a vast range of tools used by professional writers.

Lois Kilberg, a recent graduate of MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate, has done technical writing in the past, but she needed to upgrade her skills and writing samples in order to be relevant in the field. Kilberg’s goal was to find a job that allows her to work remotely.

“[MCC’s program] was extremely helpful,” she said. “I improved greatly as a writer and learned new skills and concepts. I ended up with recent writing samples that I could use in my job search and I could put new skills on my resume. As a direct result of the new skills and writing samples that I gained from the program, I now have a fully remote technical writing job that perfectly fits my situation and needs!”

Meera Nagarijan, a 2019 graduate of the program, wanted to get back to work after 12 years away while raising her children. She started MCC’s Technical Writing Certificate to gain relevant skills and learn about current trends. She considers the program a “launchpad” for her new career.

“The program was a perfect blend of the art of writing plus technology,” she said. “It gave the students a detailed semester of the do’s and don’ts of writing technical content and another semester with an overview of the several tools and technologies one needs as a technical writer in today’s world. I personally benefited from the course a lot – it was exactly what I needed.”


Personal Enrichment

MCC alum Scot Weisman, instructor and developer of MCC’s Backyard Beekeeping course, believes taking personal enrichment courses helps people lead more fulfilled lives.

“I think it is important to stay connected with the world around us and to continually strive for personal growth,” he said. “We should always be trying to learn about new things – it makes our lives more interesting and rewarding.”

Brian Noël got into beekeeping because he wants to make a positive impact in the world and help the environment. Bees are vital to the planet, but hives are struggling. From MCC’s course, Noël learned how beekeeping is “a long-term commitment” – but one he has enjoyed diving into.

“I had been toying with the idea of starting beekeeping for nearly a decade but I did not know where to begin,” he said. “The class gave me a solid foundation in beekeeping fundamentals and it gave me the confidence I needed to get started on my own. I now have two hives and well over 10,000 bees.”

Having taken courses at MCC before, Noël expected great things from the course. He finished the class just before the pandemic and as he is working from home and no longer has a long commute, has enjoyed the time he has been able to dedicate to beekeeping. The hobby has also offered a much-needed, safe distraction during these challenging times.

“Learning new things is important to being a healthy person,” he said. “It’s enriching, can be fun and you learn more about the world around you. Plus you get to learn a bunch of interesting bee facts that you can use at parties.”


Nurse Assistant/HHA

Rachel Twerefour came to Middlesex Community College to start working in the health-care industry as soon as she could. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell, she chose MCC’s Community Education and Training’s Nurse Assistant certificate program to gain patient-care experience before applying to medical school.

Based on recommendations from her UMass Lowell pre-medical advisers, Twerefour decided MCC’s program was the best fit for her. While the program best matched her schedule, she also found it to be the most affordable.

"MCC’s Nurse Assistant program prepared me for the future by teaching me the core values and skills that are needed to be the best health-care professional I can be.  The clinical experience was enlightening and extremely helpful -- performing techniques learned during theory and skills lab helped solidify everything I had previously learned in the program.  My experience at MCC was excellent".


SHRM Essentials of Human Resources

In the SHRM Essentials of Human Resource (HR) Management course, participants gain foundational knowledge in addition to an introduction to behavioral competencies essential to success. The course is geared towards current and entry-level employees who are starting out in HR, or for those who are looking for an effective way to boost their employee management skills.

Throughout the course, students learn topics related to the HR function, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, learning and development, performance management and employment law. Once the course and modules are finished, student are awarded a certificate of completion.

“SHRM's HR Essentials is a great foundational course with a little bit of ‘everything HR,’” said Carla Patalano, MCC CET Instructor. “Having this professional development lends credibility to individuals who are either considering HR roles, are new to HR, or have had HR duties assigned to them. We have a lot of fun in this class! I go out of my way to keep the energy level high in the online sessions and focus on interaction via polls, activities, breakout rooms, chat, etc.”

Lisa Marie Noke-Kearney – of Billerica – has been taking classes at Middlesex to earn an associate degree in human services. Having worked for a number of years as Director of Human Resources, she wanted to take CET’s SHRM Essentials of HR Management course to learn more about the field as it is in current times.

From bringing her experience in the field into the classroom to breaking down the information with examples, Noke-Kearney believes that Patalano was an effective instructor. She also appreciated the details that went into the slide presentations, the overall outline of the course, and being able to take it from home.

“That was the best class I’ve ever taken online,” she said. “She got everybody involved. The dynamic of being with your classmates was really fun. People weren’t sitting around not raising their hand or not being engaged – you wanted to be part of the conversation. In our breakout groups, everybody felt good about what they were learning and what they were doing.”

“Having both the education and hands-on experience really helps,” she said. “Taking the class has helped me look at things in a different way. It’s preparing me to work with clients and helping me think or stand in someone else’s shoes.”

“The quality of the teachers are amazing,” she said. “They work in the field so I felt a connection to them. I really enjoyed my peers, I loved the flexibility of both campuses – I could go to Lowell or Bedford – and I like the variety of what Middlesex has to offer".



Last Modified: 3/13/24