The MCTC News Blog

Ahmed: Using Career Services to Get Ahead

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

ahmed, mctc student“When I started at MCTC, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. That’s why I studied Liberal Arts—it gave me the most options for transferring,” said Ahmed Abdulle, MCTC alum and current University of Minnesota student.

Ahmed’s story represents the experience of many students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College: he went to high school in the Twin Cities, knew he needed to go to college, but didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, so he entered with a broad plan to get his generals out of the way and then transfer to a four-year college.

“I needed a work-study job while in college, but I wasn’t even sure of where I could work,” Ahmed said. “I connected with MCTC’s Career Services department and they helped me so much. I actually wound up working with them in a work-study job. While helping to pay for some of my studies, I learned about how to be professional, develop confidence and keep my mind open.”

Through Career Services, Ahmed connected with Minneapolis Urban Scholars, a 12-week leadership development internship program aiming to provide students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with professional experience in order to develop leadership skills and create career pathways to positions of influence. “Through my internship with the City, I had the opportunity to meet the mayor and the City Council several times,” said Ahmed. “The people I met working with the City are people who both live and work right here. They know the community well, and they were committed to diversifying the city’s workforce specifically with programs like Urban Scholars.”

Now studying IT Infrastructure at the University of Minnesota, Ahmed has a goal. “I’m focusing on the strategic, business, planning side of IT along with the traditional topics like networking and storage,” he said. “I’m a tech-savvy person, but I’m more interested in focusing on planning.” Ahmed is currently interning with a cloud team at Thomson Reuters to support some of its business units.

“When I started college, I didn’t know what I wanted to study or what my skill level was,” he said. “The Career Services staff helped me understand my strengths, areas for improvement, how to develop work ethics and how to network. I was able to drawn on their experience and knowledge base to get ahead in life.”

MCTC All-State Academic Team Members Recognized

Posted on: March 19th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Two Minneapolis Community and Technical College students were named to the All-State Community College Academic Team this month. The All-State Academic Team is an opportunity to recognize two-year college students for their leadership, academic achievements and community college service. Zamzam Yusuf and Sara Osman, Liberal Arts students, joined a handful of students from other Minnesota community colleges at the recent recognition ceremony of academic success and community service.

The All-State Academic Team was introduced 20 years ago to honor and recognize two-year college students for their leadership, academic achievements and community college service. These teams offer scholarships and scholastic recognition to Phi Theta Kappa members. Minnesota’s public community and technical college are proud to be a part of a tradition that showcases the high achievements of students who are committed to success in the classroom and service to their communities. By recognizing these students, Minnesota demonstrates a commitment to scholarship and community service as essential objectives in the state’s public community and technical colleges.

Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, symbolizes excellence in higher education and a commitment to students. It has recognized and encouraged scholarship among two-year college students for more than 80 years, providing stimulation and enrichment while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. For these reasons, the American Association of Community Colleges has designated Phi Theta Kappa the official honor society for two-year colleges.

March Phonphiboun, World Citizen Award Winner

Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Photo: March PhonphibounAn associate’s degree was only the beginning for March Phonphiboun.

The Mathematics and TRIO work study student began his studies at MCTC in 2010. “In high school, I wasn’t in an academic state of mind,” said March. “I barely graduated, and when I got to MCTC, my performance kept getting worse.” After seeing his first semester grades, he began asking himself some hard questions. “I had had enough. It was then my journey with self-discovery and improvement began.”

March worked hard—both in his studies and in tandem with his studies. “I had to pick up part-time jobs during college to help pay bills,” March said. “On top of studying, dealing with personal issues and working to improve myself, it was a difficult time for me.” During his time at MCTC, March fed his interests in leadership and interpersonal communications. “There are so many things you can do when you develop leadership skills. You begin to notice life working for you.” In December of 2012 March graduated with honors, receiving his associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. However, he wasn’t done learning.

March’s ideas, experiences and personal growth had given him energy and a new direction to pursue. In January 2013, March began a new course of study at MCTC: mathematics. This time, he was empowered to use his new skills and confidence to apply for a scholarship to help pay the way.

“An adviser in the TRIO Starting Point program suggested I apply for the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award,” said March. The application called for an essay addressing how people of the world are connected to one another. “In my essay, I wrote about how world citizens aren’t so different from one another. As a team, world citizens can expand the existing pool of knowledge.” March also described his concept of a program aimed at making STEM fields approachable to non-STEM majors.

Last fall, March joined the North Star STEM Alliance and had the opportunity to attend the national conference for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers in Philadelphia. “Among countless things, the conference taught me the importance of networking. Communication skills can be one of the biggest assets you can have, especially when moving laterally within a company or organization.”

This will be March’s final semester here at MCTC. He will transfer to the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in computer science. “Every day is an opportunity to learn and improve,” said March. “I like to believe that once you stop learning, you stop living. I’m getting ready for the future.”

A welding instructor with a liberal arts background

Posted on: April 10th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments
Todd Bridigum, MCTC instructor

MCTC welding instructor Todd Bridigum inspects the work of a student

What sort of academic background would you expect of a welding instructor who also teaches machine tool technology and HVAC-R, and dabbles in the art of printmaking?

Todd Bridigum has a bachelor’s degree in English.

Todd fell in love with visual arts and sculpture while he was studying for his bachelor’s degree. After completing his degree he went back to school for welding and metal fabrication. He worked in a manufacturing company for several years before joining Minneapolis Community and Technical College as a welding instructor and faculty coordinator. He also has his own studio space where he continues his studies in printmaking, drawing and metal sculpture.

Todd’s liberal arts background has come in handy—he was given an offer to write a book on welding. Since its publication, his book How to Weld has received international demand.

Read more about Todd here.

MCTC Alumna Susan Niz Releases her First Book

Posted on: July 14th, 2011 by insidemctc No Comments

Kara, Lost Book CoverIn Susan Niz’s first book, Kara, Lost, 16-year-old Kara flees the suffocation of her suburban life, trading in her home and family for a gritty, anonymous existence on the streets of Minneapolis. First-time novelist and MCTC alumna Susan Niz offers a universal story of yearning for place, acceptance and identity.

Niz attended MCTC from 1994-96 as a liberal arts major. She soon transferred to the University of Minnesota where she majored in English and minored in Spanish, graduating in 1997. She returned to the U of M to complete a Master’s in Education. She is now a writer and ESL teacher.

Susan NizNiz has begun her writing career with several recognitions, including the 2010 finalist for the Loft Mentor Series Competition in creative non-fiction for memoir series, Her Name is Guadalupe and the 2009 Editor’s Nomination for the Million Writer’s Award for Seed Words

“In Kara, Lost, Susan Niz’s wonderful eye for detail and uncanny insight bring a troubled teenager’s world to life. Kara’s fierce determination to forge her own path in life and the challenges she faces on every front ring true. So true, in fact, that at times I wanted to put down the book and go find that girl and give her a home. A masterful debut,” says Alison McGhee, a Minnesota Book Award Winner.