Justin Skrzypek, Engineering Student

Justin Skrzypek knows that he enjoys being the go-to person in work-related situations. There's something about talking to someone who is dealing with any number of issues, and helping to guide them on the right path, that appeals to the Engineering major. Engineering still feels like a calling to Skrzypek, but he's also interested in perhaps eventually moving on to a Business Management major, or working toward degrees in both fields. The beauty of starting at Northampton is that he feels he has the freedom to weigh his options for a while.

"There's a value to it – getting professors from other schools, but with the cost of attending here. It's like going to one school, but getting a mix of several other schools," Skryzpek says of his NCC experience so far. "I knew what my options were before I came here, and I've found that this is a nice transition to a four-year school. It eases you into the college atmosphere."

Skrzypek got his first taste of what NCC might be like when he received an application to become a Presidential Ambassador. The ambassadors are a group of students who assist with campus events throughout the academic year, enabling them to make connections not only with their peers and with the college staff, but also with the outside community. Potential ambassadors go through a round of interviews with a panel, and, once they're confirmed as an ambassador, are expected to keep their grades up while they navigate a path that balances both school and work.

"I'm learning time management," affirms Skrzypek. "I structured my schedule so that I have classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and so I scheduled my job in between on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have nights to do homework. I've been working since my sophomore year in high school, so I feel now as if I have a bit more of an obligation to make this work. The people with jobs don't want to be lazy."

Skrzypek is hopeful that he'll be able to transfer to Lehigh University after he completes two years here. In the meantime, he's looking forward to discovering what NCC has in store for him.

"With work, it's kind of tough to get involved, but I'd like to maybe get involved in sports like golf or baseball, or other clubs or activities. I like having that freedom to try things," says Skrzypek, "as long as it fits into my schedule."

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