Lab Science Program Offers New Career Direction
The 31-year-old Haverhill resident had invested five years educating himself in history — one of his two favorite subjects. Armed with a bachelor’s in history and a master’s of education in history he entered a job market with few prospects. Frustrated, he went to work in retail sales while exploring ways to capitalize on his other interest — science.
Costas discovered NECC’s lab science program and was immediately drawn in. “It’s a great degree. All the professors are great and you gain lots of hands-on-experience in a working lab,” he says. “Students are actually allowed to conduct experiments under the guidance of professors.”
Costas says he was lucky to gain additional experience working as an assistant to the NECC lab technician.
Last year, after receiving an NECC scholarship provided by Covanta Energy, he was invited to work at Covanta as an intern working directly with their environmental compliance specialist. Instantly, it felt like home. The internship gave way to a full-time summer position and a part-time position when he returned to school.
“After working in this field I realized this is my dream job,” says Costas.” “This is the field where I want to be in the future.”
Costas graduated in May with an associate degree in Laboratory Science. In the fall he will enroll in a dual master’s program in environmental policy and pollution reduction at UMass Lowell.
He would encourage anyone with an interest in science to pursue the lab science degree.
“I should have started here first. It is affordable, the professors are excellent, and you receive hands-on experience,” he says. “For anyone serious about science, this is a great option.”