Once business administration major Jack Barron saw his scholarship package from UMass Lowell, it was a “done deal.”

“That was definitely a big deciding factor — and being close to home,” says Barron, a commuter student from Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Included in his first-year scholarship package was a $4,000 Immersive Scholar Award, part of a program that gives students the opportunity to spend 250 hours working on research or projects related to their studies, either on campus or in the community.

Barron, whose concentration is in marketing, chose to work for the Office of the Provost during the summer following his freshman year.

“It’s kind of like my first real real-world job, and it’s been a great experience,” says Barron, who works two to three days a week with Paula Haines, senior director of curriculum assessment and accreditation, and

Assoc. Teaching Prof. Matthew Hurwitz, director of the River Hawk Scholars Academy.

Barron’s primary role has been to develop marketing materials for the UML Inquiry Scholars program, which trains students to conduct student-led focus groups for campus clients (such as the Core Curriculum Committee) to gather insights into relevant questions. In addition to creating recruitment materials for the clients and student participants, Barron has been tasked with developing a social media campaign for the program.

“Getting into that mindset of thinking like a marketer and using the vernacular of someone who’s in the field has been a valuable experience,” he says. “And Paula and Matt have been great mentors. That’s one thing I didn’t know coming to UMass Lowell — there are so many people here who are willing to help point you in the direction you want to go.”

“Jack is great — focused, curious and self-directed — and we’re lucky to have him as an Immersive Scholar,” Haines says.

Barron always saw college as “a steppingstone to a better life” and originally envisioned himself becoming a pharmacist. But he ultimately decided to follow in the business — and UML — footsteps of his mom, Laurie Barron ’93, who earned an accounting degree from the Manning School of Business.

From his fourth-floor workspace at University Crossing, Barron has a perfect summertime view of the “peaceful” campus below. But inside the Office of the Provost, he enjoys being immersed in the busy day-to-day operations.

“Just getting to talk to people in the office and hearing the different conversations that they have on a professional level, it’s definitely interesting to learn about that aspect of the working world,” he says.