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Laura LaPrerriere

Faces of NECC Laura LaPerriere

It took Laura LaPerriere just five years to journey from an honors student at North Andover High School to MBA graduate thanks, in part, to Northern Essex and its business transfer program.

After graduating from North Andover in 2004, Laura considered studying medicine at a large city college. After exploring two different schools over two semesters, she found herself at Northern Essex.

Laura, who was long on drive, but short on direction, enrolled at NECC where she regrouped, refocused, and redefined her goals.

Initially, she thought she would complete a few classes and transfer to UMass Amherst undeclared. While at NECC however, she discovered an affinity for business and created an academic agenda – earn an associate degree in business transfer and transfer to the prestigious Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

“Taking classes at Northern Essex, saving money, and transferring into the business school I wanted just made so much sense,” she said.

Armed with ambition, Laura graduated in three semesters. She received a $10,000 annual Presidential Scholarship to attend the Isenberg School and graduated from there in three semesters as well.

“I feel the classes at Northern Essex really prepared me,” she said.

At 23, Laura graduated in December 2009 from Simmons College’s 16-month accelerated MBA program with a focus on human resources.

“I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without Northern Essex. I am so thankful the adviser pointed me in the right direction,” she said. “I was so lost. It gave me direction. It’s really a life changing place. You can figure out what you want and if it’s right for you.”