Shawsheen’s Belski Enjoying Coop Job With FLIR
Co-op program benefits students and companies.
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by Shawsheen Tech.)
Shawsheen Valley Technical High School’s cooperative education program is beneficial to students for many reasons.
One of them, as senior Shannon Belski of Tewksbury can attest to, is its knack for helping build careers.
Belski is currently working at FLIR in Billerica, which stands for Forward Looking Infrared Radar. FLIR produces night vision goggles, but Belski spends most of her time on projects dealing with construction and maintaining the facility.
“The work she does there has nothing to do with the product,” said Robert Guelli, one of Belski’s instructors at Shawsheen Tech. “She studies drafting [in school] and her full-time job is working with the head of maintenance. They do space planning and a lot of redesigning and relocating of officers and cubicles. In a big company like that, they move people around a lot.”
Belski admits, she didn’t know much about space planning before arriving at FLIR, but since starting there, she’s actually planning to pursue it as a career.
“I really enjoy seeing the changes that we’ve made,” said Belski, who plans to attend college in the fall.
Since starting in the summer, Belski and her colleagues at FLIR have made several changes to the building including a new fitness area.
Not bad for a student that attended Shawsheen Tech to pursue culinary arts originally.
“She’s a good kid and she is hard working,” Guelli said. “She is always happy and smiling. She came into the job with good skills [from Shawsheen] and she is very dependable and reliable. I just knew we were going to get good feedback.”
Guelli was right.
“We’ve had nothing but good students from Shawsheen Tech,” said Brian Friberg, the facilities manager at FLIR, “but Shannon is probably the best so far. She has a good mix of a personality that is outgoing without being too outgoing and she’ll tackle anything. Since the day she came she has been pretty outstanding.”
Friberg said FLIR has been using Shawsheen students for the past six years or so and that Belski has continued a tradition of talented employees.
“Her CAD skills are very good and she has the intangibles that all of the Shawsheen students have,” he said. “She works without a whole lot of supervision and she’s not limited to just drafting skills, her administrative skills are also quite outstanding. She’s not just sitting at a desk drawing lines and you can tell she really enjoys it.”
Friberg said he’s confident that Belski will be a success not matter what her career choice ends up being.
“I am not sure which direction [her career] will take her,” he said, “but I suspect she is going to do very well no matter what she chooses.”