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CIS Grads Hooked by Wakefly Digital Marketing

June 2019
  • From left: Zach Berridge and Chris Tousignant
    From left: Zach Berridge and Chris Tousignant
  • The STEM Starter Academy sponsored a visit to Wakefly in March for students to learn about the company and its technologies.
    The STEM Starter Academy sponsored a visit to Wakefly in March for students to learn about the company and its technologies.

Two talented QCC students who secured internships due to QCC’s Tech Apprentice program reeled in full-time employment with Wakefly, a digital marketing company located in Marlborough. The students were attracted to Wakefly through QCC’s Tech Apprentice program, a partnership between QCC’s Office of Career Services and faculty in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program. This program prepares CIS students to interview for internship positions by bringing together employers from local firms to campus for a “speed interviewing” event. Each student meets with each employer in a timed-interview until all interviews are completed. The employers then follow up and directly contact students who they are interested in pursuing for possible internships.

The Tech Apprentice program has had a strong appeal for Director of Human Resources at Wakefly, Joe Tomaski. His initial interactions with QCC were as an employer participating in Career Services Job Fairs on campus when he was working for a security firm. He said he found many good candidates at the QCC fairs. Once he joined Wakefly, Mr. Tomaski found the Tech Apprentice program was a great fit for identifying students who were seeking careers in web design and other digital marketing activities.

“The students brought portfolios highlighting their work along with their resumes, and explained how they would bring value to Wakefly,” Mr. Tomaski explained. “That impressed me and showed that QCC had prepared them well.”

QCC graduates Zach Berridge and Chris Tousignant started as Tech Apprentice interns at Wakefly and became full-time employees several years ago. Mr. Berridge had a non-traditional pathway into the field of digital design and marketing. He had earned a Bachelor’s degree in counseling at Westfield State and held jobs in a few different career areas before deciding to transition into working with computers. Mr. Tousignant had started his studies in biochemistry at a four-year college in New York state; however, after suffering a life-threatening event in his first year there, he returned home and wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue college at all.  At the time Mr. Tousignant’s brother was attending QCC in the CIS program and encouraged him to register for classes. He did, and found that he was comfortable with both the campus environment and the coursework. Mr. Berridge worked full-time while attending QCC and took most of his classes online, while Mr. Tousignant was able to attend most of his classes on campus.

When asked what made them successful at Wakefly, Mr. Tomaski remarked, “Mr. Tousignant and Mr. Berridge were self-starters who went above and beyond to bring value to Wakefly.” 

Both Mr. Berridge and Mr. Tousignant encourage QCC students to pursue internships to gain practical experience, and suggested students learn about and take advantage of all the resources available at the college. Each alumni said they felt well-prepared to enter their digital marketing careers thanks to the Tech Apprentice program.

“Professors, the GAA tutoring help center, job fairs, the career services office – all were incredibly helpful,” Mr. Tousignant said.

 “Wakefly has been an excellent supporter of QCC, providing resources including student internships, mentors for QCC students and hosting student tours of their office,” said Coordinator of Career Services & Credit for Prior Learning, Joe Whitney, adding, "Our STEM Starter Academy sponsored a visit to Wakefly in March that was well-attended.”

For more information on the Tech Apprentice Program, email jwhitney [at] (Mr. Whitney) or CIS Professor CTrivedi [at] (Charulata Trivedi.)