Education and Experience Land Keene State Grad a Job
Like many recent Keene State grads, William (Liam) Puksta is looking forward to heading out into the real world and beginning his professional career when he joins Hitchiner Manufacturing as an associate engineer later this month. But it won’t be the first time the ambitious sustainable product design and innovation (SPEDI) major from Claremont, NH, has ventured out into the labor force and found employment in his chosen field. In addition to investing in his education, Puksta has also invested in himself gaining valuable work experience that has prepared him well for his post-Keene State days.
Home schooled until his senior year in high school, Puksta spent his summers and winter break interning with Design Standards in Charlestown, NH. That experience enabled him to get jobs, first with AF Gloenco Inc. in Newport, NH, and most recently Hypertherm, a multi-million dollar firm located in Lebanon, NH, that provides cutting solutions for industry.
The enterprising entrepreneur demonstrated his ingenuity at work and at home, designing an industrial automation machine that is now being mass-produced by Hypertherm and creating a mobile fold-up cart with a flat work surface for his dad, a locksmith who suffered a stroke, so he could move his tools from his truck to the job site.
Puksta transferred from New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) in Concord to Keene State in 2014 where he was able to add to his work experience with skills and training in the classroom that was applicable to the current job market. “I wanted to learn things I could actually use in my job, and when I found out about the Keene State SPDI program, I knew it was the place for me,” said Puksta, who also took business courses.
Interviewing and taking a tour of the Hitchiner facility with Will Ferguson, a 2014 Keene State grad now working with the company, Puksta, who eventually would like to get his MBA and work in management, feels he’s been very fortunate to have the experience and education needed to get a job.