Public 2-Year Schools

Middlesex County College Alumnus Scores NASA Visit

Bharg Shah with Professor Meenu Jain

Bharg Shah ’17 was a precocious 6-year-old in elementary school in India when he heard his principal over the loudspeaker with a very special opportunity. He announced a program that would send two dozen of the young students to a NASA research center in the United States.

Bharg was heartbroken when he learned he couldn’t go.

But two of his friends did, and they returned with stories and photos that fueled the second grader’s desire to learn as much as he could about science and visit NASA.

Twelve years later, that dream will come true this fall.

Mr. Shah, a 2017 MCC graduate in Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, was part of the NASA Community College Scholars program, conducted by the University of Oklahoma, in which he took on online course for six weeks. He scored a 96 percent in the class and was then offered the opportunity to go to the NASA Research Center in Langley, VA for a four-day workshop. The visit will reinforce what the students learned in the class, plus discuss scholarship and internship opportunities. He will also build a robot.

“When I get to NASA, I have to program and build a robot that will work on Mars,” he said. “This is a dream come true.”

He is now at Rutgers and hopes to go into automobile aerodynamics.

While at MCC, Mr. Shah was vice president of the STEM club and a peer tutor in the Learning Science Center and in the Veterans Center.

“He is a very sincere student,” said Professor Meenu Jain. “He was in two of my classes and is a terrific student. I am very proud of him and predict he will be very successful.”

Website Now Features Career Coach for Job-Seekers

A new feature on the Middlesex County College website will allow users to explore careers, build a resume, and learn about in-demand fields and how much they pay. The site is available to everyone and is free.

The link is A link to Career Coach is on that page.

“This is an extremely easy way to find out about linking academic work with careers,” said Charlotte Quigley, manager of career services at MCC. “While we acquired it for our students, we want everyone to know they are welcome to access it. It might be useful for middle and high schools students and their parents beginning to look seriously at careers, for college students who want to know what is available, and also for seasoned workers who want to change careers. Career Coach is a great tool.”

Ms. Quigley said people can start with a broad outline of their interests, and then discover which careers fit into their criteria, or they can start with a definite career goal, and then use the site to find out how to get there.

“For example, a student might know that he or she is interested in the field of psychology,” she said. “This site will give them job titles, whether demand for workers in these jobs is growing or shrinking, the level of education they will need, and the salaries they can expect to earn for each job. Students and job-seekers can also take the opposite tact; they may say, ‘I want to be a clinical psychologist,’ and then the site will tell them what degrees they will need to get there.”

A listing of jobs currently available is also included. She said the site is updated frequently, so job information is current. It defaults to the Middlesex County area, but can be changed to any geographic area in the country.

Another feature is a resume builder.

“The site will allow you to customize a fully-functional resume,” she said. “It looks professional, is spell-checked, and can be done quickly.”

The site also has an interest assessment tool; students can answer questions about what they enjoy doing, and the site will recommend possible careers based on the answers.

“It looks at how their interests mesh with careers,” she said. “It helps them determine what jobs they may be interested in – and, equally important – what would not be a good fit for them.”

Ms. Quigley said she hopes Career Coach will assist many people in their career search.

“We know from research that students connected to careers are more likely to persist to graduation,” she said.