After more than a decade as an industrial engineer designing production processes, Nelly Blanco accepted a new job responsibility: designing facilities layouts.
Each day, Blanco worked with construction managers to arrange work spaces, including electrical, mechanical and network utilities. But the more time she spent on the job, the more she wanted to gain a better understanding of the technical details surrounding electrical and mechanical engineering.
To build her skills, Blanco enrolled in Howard Community College’s construction management certificate program – one of three options for students to prepare for success in architectural, engineering, project management or general contracting jobs.
Since 2020, Blanco has taken classes in everything from scheduling to surveying. Most of her classes have been online, which made it easier to balance being a student, a mom and a full- time employee, she said.
“I wanted to go back to school, and I thought this would be a good start,” Blanco said. “I like the college. I love the facilities, and I love that they stay current with technology. The instructors have also been great.”
Eventually, Blanco said she will earn a master’s degree in the field. Armed with her new skills, she also hopes to become a project manager.
“As an industrial engineer, I have a vast array of skills and knowledge,” she said. “But I always like to learn more.”
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