After three consecutive summer internships with National Grid, Ryan Cormier ’22 was confident he could land a job with the utility company after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

But instead of heading directly into the workforce, Cormier decided to stay at UML another year and get an MBA from the Manning School of Business.

“I see myself gravitating toward leadership roles, so I thought an MBA would be a good way to help with that,” says Cormier, an honors student who also wanted to “enjoy another year of college” since his undergraduate experience was interrupted by the pandemic.

One thing Cormier enjoyed as an undergrad was playing trumpet in UML’s Hockey Pep Band. Growing up in Peabody, Massachusetts, playing in school bands with scores of other students had always been a source of “joy” for Cormier, and he was thrilled that he could help provide the soundtrack for River Hawk home hockey games.

“I couldn't see myself not being in the band when I came here,” says Cormier, who assumed he would keep playing in graduate school.

There was just one problem, however: Cormier was already maxed out at 12 credits in the MBA program, and the Hockey Pep Band was technically a one-credit course.

Fortunately, Dean of Business Sandra Richtermeyer approved the extra credit, and Cormier has been able to continue performing music from Count Basie, Miles Davis and others with his bandmates at the Tsongas Center.

“I’m glad I took the time to get the waiver,” says Cormier, who practices several hours every Tuesday with the pep band. “Learning to play trumpet is one of the best things I’ve done in my whole life. Never did I expect to continue for so long.”

Cormier spent his first two summers with National Grid as a design processing intern, gathering information and historical records on gas and electric lines for workers making repairs in the field. For the summer before graduate school, he became a corrosion compliance intern. He hopes to ultimately land a role in public works, which he sees as “an integration between customer service and engineering.”

Cormier says cost is the biggest reason he chose UML over several private universities. He is a member of the Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering and Tau Beta Pi Engineering honor societies, has worked as a campus tour guide and also served as a resident advisor for the past three years.

“I think I've made the most out of my four, now five, years here,” he says. “I don't regret a thing.”