January 21, 2022
When searching for a college or university, your child will consider many options when deciding which institution is the right fit: the strength of academic programs, types of campus clubs and activities, what the residence halls are like, and the overall sense of where one fits when visiting. These are all important elements to consider, however, there is another consideration that should be at the top of the list: Location.
While none of us expected to be facing the challenges presented to us from the pandemic, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the city of Worcester, located in the heart of Massachusetts and New England’s second largest city, is a five-time recipient of the All-America City Award. Worcester combines the historic charm of a small town with the conveniences and attractions of a thriving metropolis that caters specifically to the 35,000+ college-aged students who make the city their home during, and sometimes after, they graduate from college.
There’s an endless amount of information that could be shared about the numerous opportunities the city of Worcester affords to its community. On behalf of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, I’d like to highlight the three areas that I believe will have the largest impact on your child’s college experience.
Vast Opportunities for Real-World Experience – and to Build Meaningful Connections
With more than 9,000 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 their interest, there is likely an internship opportunity to pursue, just minutes from campus. Students will not only build skills that will enhance their resume, students will also build relationships with local businesses through their internship experiences (many of which lead to employment after graduation!). And if your child is entrepreneur-minded, check out StartUp 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.
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, places over 1,500 volunteers to more than 20 sites around the city. The students work to improve existing and create new recreational facilities for Worcester youth. 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).
When They Need a Study Break – Culture, Fun, and Entertainment is Minutes Away
Your child will spend countless hours in the classroom, library, and buried in textbooks. But everyone deserves a little break now and then. College students in Worcester are provided an array of options to have some fun, literally just minutes away from campus. With more than 70 cultural venues, including world-class museums, concert halls, theatres (including the renowned Hanover Theatre), and delicious eateries, Worcester offers plenty to see and do. Street festivals, shopping, and outdoor recreation like skiing and ice skating. Spectator sports like national regattas, the Worcester Red Sox, and ECHL hockey. Major acts like Cirque Du Soleil, Harlem Globetrotters, Monster Jam, and famous musicians (such as Luke Combs!) at Worcester’s large arena and convention center. Cool local music venues, great restaurants, like Flying Rhino and West Side BBQ, and coffee shops like Root and Press and Fuel America. Worcester is also home to more than 60 public parks, as well as biking and hiking trails such as the Worcester Greater Land Trust and Blackstone River Greenway. 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 child, and that next time you visit Assumption, you are able to take some time to see what opportunities are available so you can explore our great city and experience it first-hand. Even if in-person options aren’t possible, I encourage you to see what virtual opportunities are available so, from the comfort of your own home, you can still get to know the great city of Worcester.
Best of luck to you and your family in your college search process.
Executive Vice President
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce