MCC students learn the value of networking at Burns & McDonnell events

Burns & McDonnell’s Gabe Hernandez (center, with an MCC trophy of appreciation) and MCC-Business & Technology president Dr. Jackie Gill (left) are shown with students in the Early College Program.

MCC students experienced the power of networking March 23-24 during two events with Burns & McDonnell representatives at the Business & Technology campus.

The visit included a presentation from Burns & McDonnell employees, as well as an opportunity to speak with individuals from several departments at the full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm based in Kansas City.

“It’s very important to be a part of our community and the educational institutions in our community,” said Gabe Hernandez, vice president for substation projects in the Transmission and Distribution Services division, as well as a member of the MCC Foundation Board of Directors. “What better way than to help show the opportunities and create a pipeline to the future opportunities at Burns & McDonnell.”

Hernandez was one of the organizers of the event Thursday night for students in the Engineering Technology program and Friday morning for students in the Early College Program. Mike Cline, coordinator of the engineering technology program, and Jessica Ramirez, MCC’s associate vice chancellor of advancement for MCC, also helped plan the affair and were among the attendees.

“It’s extremely important that we engage our students with potential employers,” Cline said. “We’re grateful that Gabe and so many professionals at Burns & McDonnell took the time to share their experiences and offer advice to our students.”

In addition to a presentation on the services and opportunities Burns & McDonnell offers to clients and prospective employees, Tara Torok, a college recruiter for the firm, spoke with students about the characteristics the company looks for when hiring.

She listed a technical skill set, people skills, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, taking initiative and anticipating problems as important traits to the company.

During the Early College Program event, Dr. Jackie Gill, president of MCC-Business & Technology, welcomed students and Burns & McDonnell before presenting a trophy of appreciation to Hernandez. The trophy was designed in the campus Fab Lab by technician Jen Dec.

“It’s wonderful to see a company of Burns & McDonnell’s stature connecting with our students,” Gill said. “Our mission is preparing students, serving communities and creating opportunities. We hit all of those points with events like this and with our partnership with Burns & McDonnell.”


View a photo gallery from the events on the MCC-Business & Technology Facebook page.


Join us at 6 p.m. April 20 for Gold Collar Career Exploration Night at the MCC-Business & Technology campus. You’ll have the opportunity to hear about our programs, including engineering technology, meet with instructors, tour of state-of-the-art facilities and apply for admission, which is free.

We define Gold Collar jobs as careers in which you make $30,000 to $80,000 per year, are in-demand locally and require two years or less of college. Register for Gold Collar Night.