NECC Computer Science Major Gets Internship Through Hack.Diversity Program
Northern Essex Community College computer science major Anthony Mirely was recently accepted into an internship through The New England Venture Capital Association’s Hack.Diversity program. The program aims to address the underrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields at Boston’s fastest-growing, most innovative companies. For his internship, the 30-year-old Lawrence resident will be working alongside the lead scientific analyst at a company called Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Though Hack.Diversity’s overall goal is to create a increase in minorities working for these companies, the process is very selective. Mirely is one of just 18 students selected for the organization’s 2017 cohort, which requires students to demonstrate both academic proficiency and boundless enthusiasm for their chosen field. That’s no problem for him, though: he’s been in love with the world of computers since long before he decided to pursue a career in it.
“I’ve always been very passionate about computers in general,” he says. “I knew this field was something I loved, but I actually decided to go to medical school back in the Dominican Republic. Once I came to the U.S., I decided to finally follow my passion.”
The very concept of the internship often languishes under old cliches about getting coffee for one’s superiors, but Hack.Diversity is committed to placing students in a setting where they can really make a difference. For his part, Mirely says he will be working with Vertex Pharmaceuticals on the analysis and release of medication used to treat cystic fibrosis — an interesting combination of his current career interest in computers and his past as a med student.
Mirely credits his professor and mentor, Ethel Schuster, for getting him started with the program — and says both her instruction, as well as his experience at NECC as a whole, was invaluable for learning how to solve the sort of problems required at a company like Vertex.
“The computer science program at NECC has been very on-point in teaching me real-world problem solving abilities,” he says. “It’s prepared me very well for just about any job in this field.”
Interested parties can check out Mirely’s profile as part of Hack.Diversity’s 2017 cohort on the program’s website at hackdiversity.com/anthony-mirely/.
Northern Essex offers associate degrees in computer and information sciences, with concentrations in applications, computer science transfer and information technology. Students can also pursue certificates in computer networking, computer security, help desk and web design.
With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, 8,500 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu.