Hands on experience
Rachel LeRoy dreams of a career in dentistry. At Berry, she is gaining valuable experience in … carpentry. Don’t see the connection? Let future CEO of the Viking Furniture student enterprise explain it to you.
“It’s a hands-on job,” Rachel stated. “Dentistry isn’t something you do on the computer; you have to use your hands. I’m definitely using my hands in my carpentry shop, so I see a lot of parallels.”
Rachel was placed in the college carpentry shop as a freshman. Though not aware of Berry’s student enterprise program at the time, she was excited by the opportunity. In the year and a half since, she has risen through the ranks to her current role as CEO in training, responsible for overseeing the construction of Adirondack chairs, small tables and child-sized rocking chairs. The fruits of her labor can be seen around the campus and are also available for purchase online.
“I think that the skills I’m learning about how to manage employees and take stock are preparing me for what I’m going to have to face in the dental world with different employees,” Rachel said. “I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to build Adirondack chairs while I’m in school, so this is definitely an added bonus.”
Viking Furniture is one of a growing number of student enterprises on the Berry campus offering increased levels of experience and responsibility for highly motivated students. These enterprises are one component of the nation’s premier on-campus student work program, which employs approximately 1,800 students each year.
Even though Rachel worked hard to succeed with Viking Furniture, none of it would be possible without the generous scholarships she was awarded upon admission to Berry.
“It’s a blessing to be able to be here and do what I’m doing and know that in the end, someone believes in me and is making my dreams possible,” she said. “Berry’s opened up so many doors. I’m really happy to be here.”
By Casey Cox
Student Editorial Assistant