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A Bump In The Road Leads To An Amazing Future

January, 2019
  • QCC alum Josh Biernacki
    QCC alum Josh Biernacki

Sometimes, just when you think you have your life plan figured out, something goes awry. It was that way for QCC alum Joshua “Josh” Biernacki, who had made a plan to join the Marines after graduating high school.  Today, the Marines are a distant memory and he is poised to begin the next chapter in his life as a high level technical recruiter at an IT consulting and recruiting firm in Boston.

Mr. Biernacki’s journey to QCC began circuitously. He had decided to forgo all college applications and went to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) after his high school graduation with the intention of entering the Marines. It was there that he found out he would have to fill out a lot of waivers and paperwork in order to be considered for the Marines due to the fact that he was deaf in one ear. Not wanting to hold up his life while he went through the lengthy process, he decided that he would forgo the Marines and signed up for classes at Quinsigamond Community College two days before the semester began, enrolling in the General Studies Mathematics program. He said he chose QCC for its convenient location and affordability, but quickly realized there was much more to the college.

“There are infinite opportunities at QCC and you’ll save yourself so much money. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I first came here. I wasn’t a people person.This school opened the doors for me to be able to learn book skills and people skills,” he said.“Personal growth was everything to me at QCC.”

Breaking Out Of His Shell

Mr. Biernacki acknowledged that he had been bullied in both middle and high school and because of this he said he was not a very social person. Once at QCC, he made the conscience decision to change this behavior.

“The first or second week of classes the college had a Club Fair that I went to and it was there that I decided to run for Student Senate. It was at the Club Fair that things started to click for me and I knew I had to introduce myself to people. My goal was to go and meet 15 new people each day,” he said. “To this day I have lifelong friends from that journey.”

He became an active member of student life on campus, while also taking classes and working three jobs. One of those jobs was in the fitness world, an area he still enjoys today, working part-time as a trainer.

During his time at QCC he was the Student Senate Treasurer (2010); Student Senate President (2011); Student Trustee for the College (2012, 2013); was a member of the Massachusetts Community College Trustees Association (2011-2013; was QCC’s Representative on the Student Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (2011-2013) and he served as President of the Student Advisory Council. He also was the Student Representative on the Governance Review Team, was a QCC Student Ambassador, was on the 2011-2012 nationally placing math team, was a QCC Student Orientation Leader, and was the Student Representative on the All College Committee.

As someone who once described himself as, “never really getting along with anyone,” he had become one of QCC’s best advocates and a shining example for others. He attributes his success to the many mentors he had at QCC, from Maureen Giacobbe in Career Services, to Cheryl Pike from Student Life, former QCC President Gail Carberry, Joseph Adams in TRIO, Mishawn Davis-Eyene in Admissions, and alum David Chapin Jr., former QCC student trustee and current QCC Guardian.

“Everyone gave me so much time and personal attention. It was amazing. The staff really cares. What I learned here I can relate it to wherever I go. I always tell people that without QCC, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today,” he said. “Here you are not a number… you are never a number.”

Mr. Biernacki graduated from QCC with two associate degrees, one in Business Administration and one in General Studies Mathematics.  For several years he worked in a variety of sales and management positions at numerous companies (and was offered every job he had interviewed for), before realizing his true passion – to work closely with people and to help them find their ideal job.

He is quick to note that the advice, guidance, and support he received at QCC was invaluable and helped to get him where he is today.

“Put everything you can into QCC and you’ll get out twice as much,” he said.

Mr. Biernacki continues to follow his own advice and recently came back to QCC attending the college’s Career Fair as a recruiter. 

 “In my previous position at QCC, I worked in the Career Services Office. During that time, I had the privilege of meeting, and getting to know, Josh. From the moment I met him, his tremendous motivation and enthusiasm were evident.  It was that drive which brought him to the Career Services Office often, to pursue internships, job opportunities, or to update his resume. I recently reconnected with him when he was visiting QCC as a recruiter and am happy to say he still embodies the greatest personal and professional attributes a person could offer,” said Coordinator of Instructional Technology & Assessment Maureen Giacobbe. “I am confident Josh will succeed in any goal he pursues.”

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