Business major finds work out of the office

One of the most important things Peterborough native Tyler Whitney learned while attending Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., was that he could not spend his professional career sitting behind a desk pushing papers. While earning a degree in business management, Whitney gained valuable experience outside of the classroom.

“While in college I had a internship doing marketing research. The internship made me realize that I could not sit inside all day.”

After graduating in May 2013, Whitney, 23, moved back home and learned about a job opportunity in the ConVal School District’s maintenance department.

“I had worked four summers as a maintenance guy for the district while I was attending Bryant,” said Whitney.

The job vacancy was for lead grounds keeper for the district; Whitney applied and was hired in August. As lead grounds keeper, Whitney is in charge of a small group of employees that are responsible for the year-round upkeep of school grounds in the district.

“We are responsible for setup prior to athletic events at the schools, and ensuring that maintenance records are kept. We also do snow removal in the winter,” said Whitney.

The Contoocook Valley Regional School District is comprised of 11 campuses. To maintain grounds of the 11 locations, Whitney is in charge of a crew of four during the summer and just one full-time employee during the school year.

“We hire groundskeeping interns, usually high school or college students, during the summer. My crew works with the other members of the maintenance department around the district, electrician, plumber, etc.”

Although Whitney does not work in a typical business management role, he still uses various skills learned while earning his degree.

“My job involves overseeing the upkeep of all of the machines and equipment we use in the department. I use organizational techniques I learned at school to keep well-tracked records. It’s important to keep track when dealing with taxpayers’ dollars. People like to see their money going to good use.”

Whitney reports to the director of facilities, and is pleased with where he is at this point in his career.

“I enjoy working outside doing groundswork. I hope to continue to grow within the ConVal maintenance department. I’d like to expand my skill set, so I can have more knowledge as I go forward on my career path. I look forward to taking on more responsibilities; I’m not 100 percent sure where I’ll be in five years, but I can guarantee I won’t be working from behind a desk.”

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