Soda sales, retail and manufacturing were just a few of the odd jobs Tim Cunningham had after graduating from Timberlane High School in 2006. He took a few community college courses in between, but it wasn’t until 2014 when he felt ready to tackle his next challenge.
“After a few years working odd jobs, I knew it was time to go back to school,” says Cunningham.
He enrolled full-time at Manchester Community College and majored in marketing. He was also working full-time at Concord Awning and Canvas in manufacturing.
During one of his business classes at MCC, Cunningham met Peter Telge, the owner of the Stark Mill Brewing Company in Manchester. Telge pitched a marketing and social media internship to the students. Cunningham was the only one to take the opportunity, one that would provide him direction on his future career.
Cunningham interned at the brewery twice a week while finishing his degree at MCC and working full-time. When he was laid off from his job, Telge hired him to work at the brewery.
“I did their social media and worked at the brewery for two years,” says Cunningham. “I was the only student to raise my hand for the internship, I’m glad I did. It was a great experience and I ended up getting a job too.”
After graduating from MCC in 2017 with the President’s Award for the highest GPA, Cunningham transferred to the University of New Hampshire at Manchester.
“The transfer process was great. You really get a one on one treatment,” says Cunningham. Through the college’s Pathways Program, it was clear which classes would transfer into UNH Manchester from MCC.
UNH’s campus in Manchester was an easy choice for Cunningham, whose two brothers were at the main campus in Durham.
“UNH is a really good name to have on my diploma,” says Cunningham. “When I came here I felt like there were a lot of people who are serious and focused. They are here to get their diploma and learn. It’s a great education and there are no more than 10 students in any of my classes.”
He’s also pretty happy with the campus location in downtown Manchester and the options it provides when he’s looking for lunch or a change of scenery to study. “My friends and I will go to local cafes and work on group projects or study. It’s nice to have it all so close,” he says.
Now a senior in the business program at UNH Manchester, he has no regrets and has enjoyed the challenges and growth.
“Professor Bill Troy makes us think differently about how we approach things,” explains Cunningham.
A recent class visit to a Career Fair at UNH Durham is a great example. “We not only met employers, but we also analyzed the fair from a services perspective. If we represented one of the companies there, what we would do differently to get more interest?” he says.
Cunningham recently started his own consulting service helping small businesses with social media. He graduates in December 2018 and plans to pursue a creative career in marketing.