As the first member of her family to attend college, Tara Montgomery knows first hand the hard work and sacrifices necessary to realize her dream of a college degree.
After being out of high school for eight years, Montgomery enrolled in the Building Technology and Design department at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) and quickly discovered what makes the college’s approach to higher education unique. She graduated from the college in 2011 with an Associate’s degree in Architectural Technology.
Montgomery, a 30-year-old resident of Charlestown, works for General Electric Aviation as a machine maintenance supervisor, managing a staff of more than 25 highly skilled professionals. She is the first woman to be hired in this role in the site’s 110-year history.
A 2002 graduate of Holy Cross High School in Connecticut, Montgomery previously worked full time at Abercrombie and Fitch and moved to Boston where she began looking at colleges in the area.
“Based on my interest in building, design, and construction, I found that the structure of the program at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology embodied a lot of the things that I was interested in,” said Montgomery. “BFIT provided an affordable education and it had the specific classes that I wanted to take And once I started the program, I really fell in love with it.”
Montgomery started working at GE in Lynn in August, 2012, after participating in a mandatory co-op program during her senior year at Wentworth. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Facility Planning and Management.
“I had a co-op with GE and I did a good job and they hired me full time,” said Montgomery.
In her supervisory position at GE, Montgomery has managed ironworkers, electronic repair personnel, mechanics, carpenters, and plumbers.
She credits BFIT for giving her a fresh start and a solid foundation in pursuit of employment.
“Benjamin Franklin Institute definitely caters to people of all ages and all different backgrounds and it’s a diverse school which I liked a lot,” said Montgomery. “I was 25 years old and one of the older students and there was a mix of people right out of high school, some in my age range, and some older people who were already in their trade and needed to go back to school to further their education – you really got a broad spectrum of individuals to be around.”
Montgomery said that the BFIT staff dedicated itself to helping each student achieve his/her potential in small classes. “The professors, staff, and faculty genuinely care about their students.”
Montgomery also enjoyed studying with the international students.
“It was nice to meet people from Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia – all over the world and that was a really good experience.” she said. “I would definitely recommend BFIT to all students.”
She is grateful to BFIT and is happy to be employed at a highly respected corporation such as GE.
“I’m super happy where I am right now – I feel fit to grow within the company. I think this was a great starting point for me especially right after earning my Bachelor’s degree. I feel honored that I’m the only woman who’s ever held my position at GE.”