BTE Student Stories

James JT Sinnott

Written By: James “JT” Sinnott, Pathway to Success Participant

BTE Alumni Site: Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA

My name is James Sinnott, and I am a Mechanical Engineering major at Widener University in my junior year. I was a Bridge to Employment (BTE) participant throughout my high school years from 2016-2019, which led me to the amazing Pathway to Success program. I have been a participant in Pathway to Success, or what we like to call it- Pathways- for two and a half years now, and it is one of the best programs I could have possibly had the opportunity to join.

Initially, I wanted to join the program to be better prepared for life once I graduated from college, as well as grow personally and professionally. This program has given me many opportunities to learn and develop skills to be used both in college and in the real world. Pathways does not really feel like a program, but rather like a big family where everyone always has your best interest at heart. The program has allowed me to grow closer with friends and have people to go to, if I ever need advice or have questions about the future. I have also been able to grow professionally by being able to get feedback on my resume and cover letter and learn how to make a great elevator pitch in the event I meet someone who I might want to work with or work for. An elevator pitch is basically selling yourself by telling someone what you can do and how good you are at it without boasting too much. This is definitely a skillset that has been useful, especially when applying and interviewing for internships and other professional opportunities.

“Through Pathways, I have also attained many new connections, and my network has grown immensely connecting me with people who truly want to help me for my future.”

The Pathway to Success program has connected me and other participants with career counselors and Johnson & Johnson professionals. Through those connections, I developed a portfolio and skillsets that ultimately helped me attain a DePuy Synthes internship. There, I am learning a role and skills I am actually interested in, something that I most likely would not have gotten otherwise!

My FHI 360 program coordinator is amazing and always tries to get us help for what we would like to learn. During our Pathways online forums and winter seminars, we have learned how to manage money efficiently through budgeting, and how to handle school loans, as well as how to successfully manage our college workload. All of these were really helpful lessons. Some of my favorite Pathways’ experiences are the times we spend just gathering and talking about what we are all doing, and what we plan to do in the coming months. The non-formal times are usually the best because we can just relax, be ourselves, and have a fun time without being serious all the time. I would 1000% recommend this program to anyone who feels that they not only want to improve their lives professionally, but personally as well. The friendships and connections you can make through Pathways are great, and they are relationships that you can carry with you into your later years. I know that I am going to stay in touch with some of the great people I have met because they are so helpful and will give me the criticism I need, not the criticism I want.

“The Pathway to Success program is a gateway to something greater, and I truly believe that this program has put me a step above all my friends who are not in the program.”

If you have the chance to join the big family that I am a part of, please do! I promise that you will not regret it!