GRCC graduate receives job before commencement



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 18, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids Community College student is graduating with a job in hand!

Benjamin Buurstra decided to attend GRCC to get his general education credits finished before transferring to Michigan State University: "By going to a school like GRCC before a university, I was able to take courses that are the same as what I would take at a university, but at a much lower cost."

Getting a job as a programming tutor in the computer lab at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center was a big accomplishment.

"At the time, I only had one programming course under my belt, so it was a big deal to me that I was able to have this position," he said.

"Ben has been an asset to the lab and the students," said Sue Del Raso, coordinator of the ATC tutorial and open computer lab. "He will be missed by me, his co-workers and the many students he has helped."

Buurstra will receive an associate degree during GRCC's commencement at 7 p.m. April 29 at the Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton St. W -- but he no longer plans to attend MSU. 

"I just recently got hired as an associate application development analyst (software developer) at Spectrum Health and will be working there part time until I have my degree at the end of April," he said. "I will be working there full time as soon as summer starts. My plan for next fall has changed because of this new position at Spectrum Health. I plan on attending Grand Valley State University and will be taking night classes and online courses to complete my bachelor's in computer engineering while continuing my full-time position at Spectrum."

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.