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Haverhill Grad Transfers to UMass Lowell for Accounting

Submitted by on May 10, 2019 – 8:19 pm

Business Transfer major Peter Orfanos

Peter Orfanos is no novice when it comes to time management. The Haverhill resident, who graduated from Northern Essex with his business transfer degree in May of 2019, managed three part-time jobs, a full-time course load, and a range of community service activities – and did it all with a can-do attitude.

“It’s definitely tough to juggle everything, but I love the challenge of it,” he says. “I try my best to compartmentalize and prioritize, working through projects one at a time rather than trying to multi-task too much.”

For Orfanos, who is the first in his immediate family to attend college, NECC had long been a part of his plans. Upon graduating from Haverhill High School in 2016, he was eager to continue his education in his hometown, which he knew would provide him with an accessible, affordable, and high-quality start to his college career.

“Attending NECC had always been in my mind,” he asserts. “I knew I wanted to go to college immediately after high school and I knew that I wanted to get my general education requirements completed at an affordable price. NECC just made sense.”

Several semesters into his education, Orfanos took an accounting course with John Sabbagh, professor emeritus, and became inspired to pursue a career in business. Sabbagh, recognizing the spark, recommended him for an accounting tutoring position on campus.

Orfanos has only continued to thrive while engaging in his studies. In addition to tutoring on campus, he held an internship at Helfrich Brothers Boiler Works, where he assisted with accounting needs, and participated as an active member of Alpha Beta Gamma and the Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) program. Outside of campus, he also organizes parades and festivals for the Greek Orthodox Church in Haverhill and works at a family-owned pizza shop in Bradford.

His commitment to academics and service has not gone unnoticed. Before graduating, Orfanos was nominated for both the “29 Who Shine” Award and the Outstanding Student Award, two highly selective honors.

In a letter of recommendation, Sabbagh wrote “In my teaching career, I have worked with more than 10,000 students at multiple colleges and Peter ranks in the top five percent of students with whom I have worked.”

Upon graduating, Orfanos is continuing his undergraduate career in UMass Lowell’s accounting program. He expresses his gratitude for the role that NECC has played in helping him get there.

“NECC has helped me grow not only as a student, but as a person,” he says. “It really helped me evolve into who I want to be by encouraging me to extend myself and find opportunities to network. I can’t emphasize that enough.”

NECC offers associate degrees in accounting and business transfer. For more information, please visit