When searching for a college, your student will consider many options as they decide which institution is right for them. The strength of academic programs, types of campus clubs and activities, what the dorms are like, and the overall sense of where one fits when they visit. While these are all important elements to consider, there is another consideration that should be at the top of the list: Location.
The city of Worcester – a five-time recipient of the All-America City Award – is located in the heart of Massachusetts. As New England’s second largest city, with a population of 185,000, Worcester combines the historic charm of a small town with the conveniences and attractions of a thriving metropolis that caters to college-aged students.
As executive vice president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and president of Discover Central Massachusetts, I could share an endless amount of information about the numerous opportunities the city of Worcester affords to its community, specifically the 35,000 college students who make the city their home during, and sometimes after, they graduate from college. But today, I’d like to highlight the three areas that I believe will have the largest impact on your student’s college experience.
1. Vast opportunities for real-world experience – and to build meaningful connections.
With more 5,000 businesses located in the city – large Fortune 500 companies to start ups – Assumption students have access to internship opportunities in a myriad of industries from financial services and biotech to education and health care. Whatever your student’s interest, there is likely an internship opportunity to pursue, just minutes from campus. In addition to building skills that will enhance their resume, students build relationships with local businesses through their internship experiences, many of which lead to employment after graduation. There is currently $2.6 billion in private and public investment underway in the city. And if your student is entrepreneur-minded, check out Start Up Worcester, an initiative that helps to incubate new businesses to retain the bright graduates of the area’s colleges and universities – encouraging them to grow their business in Worcester, where they have access to everything they need to succeed.
2. Helping others builds a sense of purpose.
Being involved with volunteer work has so many benefits, including learning to work as part of a team, increasing self-confidence and providing a sense of purpose. The city of Worcester offers many opportunities to volunteer, and the college communities in the area are active participants. The annual Working for Worcester initiative, organized by Worcester college students, recently drew 1,100 volunteers to 21 sites around the city. The students tackled everything from cleaning up litter to building a new playground. This is just one example of the types of opportunities students have to give back to their community, providing them with a sense of accomplishment and pride that is invaluable (not to mention an addition to their resume that shows employers they are thoughtful citizens).
3. When they need a study break – culture, fun and entertainment is minutes away.
Your student will spend countless hours in the classroom, library, and buried in their books. But everyone deserves a little break now and then. Assumption students are provided an array of options to have some fun, literally just minutes away. With more than 70 cultural venues, including world-class museums, concert halls, theatres (including The Hanover Theatre, the venue for Assumption’s annual spring musical), and delicious eateries, Worcester offers plenty to see and do. Street festivals, shopping, outdoor recreation (trails, biking, hiking, skiing, ice skating), spectator sports like national regattas and ECHL hockey. Major acts like Cique Du Soleil, Harlem Globetrotters, and Monster Jam at Worcester’s large arena and convention center. Cool local music venues where many famous artists have played from the Rolling Stones to Steven Tyler. There is so much to explore within the city, whether it’s just for a quick break or an all-day adventure.
I hope this article has provided a snapshot of what Worcester has to offer your student. The next time you visit Assumption College, take some time to explore our great city so that you can experience it first-hand.
Best of luck to you and your family in your college search process.
Christina M. Andreoli
President, Discover Central Massachusetts
Executive Vice President, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce