Professional Development Seminar

Set yourself apart, from the start.

Nichols award-winning, four-year Professional Development Seminar (PDS) helps you develop the career skills you need to start your career the right way.

You won’t just leave Nichols with a degree, you’ll graduate feeling confident, qualified and prepared for the professional challenges ahead and the lifelong learning opportunities you’ll encounter.

Custom-designed by Nichols faculty and staff, the seminar fills the gap between the professional skills required in the workforce, but not included in the typical college curriculum.

Each year, you’ll take one of four one-credit courses that build upon one another. From your first year to your last, the required PDS coursework helps you transition into the college environment, learn successful study skills, present yourself professionally and position yourself for internships and your first job.

Before you graduate, you will:

  • create future goals and a plan to achieve them
  • write a winning resume
  • evaluate internship and job opportunities
  • build a presentation portfolio that showcases your knowledge and abilities
  • learn how to interview effectively for the job you want


PDS instructors typically hold a Master’s degree or higher, and are members of the faculty or staff of the College. In the Freshman PDS, the instructor is assisted by a Teaching Assistant, an upperclassman who is trained to assist with this course.

Instructors teaching PDS participate in specialized training prior to the beginning of the semester and throughout the semester.

All PDS courses are taught as seminars – a less formal atmosphere with a maximum number of 22 students per section.

Senior PDS Fashion Show

Praise for Nichols PDS


“Excellent students! Good preparation and communication skills, as well as overall appearance.” –Jodi Morgan, Small Business Service Bureau

“Our experience working with Nichols College interns and college hires has been a positive one. They are well spoken, confident, professional and work well within different team environments.” –Mary Martin-Somers, Allmerica Financial (now The Hanover Insurance Company)

“The caliber of students at Nichols is always among the highest of the schools we recruit at.” –Ed McKenna, One Stop Business Centers

“Students are well prepared, professional and motivated.” –Peg Cote, Commerce Insurance Company

“Your students are top notch!” –Shaun Beauregard, Accountemps


“During my interview with (my current employer), I was asked many of the questions we prepared for in the PDS program. I knew what to talk about on the first interview and what to talk about on the second. I don’t think I could have been any more prepared for the types of questions I was asked. The mock interviews in class and with recruiters were really beneficial. Yes, the Internet helps, too, but role-playing really makes the difference.”

“I used my portfolio in a major scholarship competition and became one of the finalists. The judges were amazed. They had never seen anything like it before from a business student. The PDS was particularly helpful to me in sophomore year when we looked at the past, our future goals and what we need to do to achieve them.”

“The PDS sharpened my professional skills. My internship supervisor was extremely impressed with my interviewing skills, especially with the questions I asked- an area that is stressed in the PDS. I also can’t say enough about the support we received for resume construction. I have developed a power resume.”

“My portfolio brings together everything I am proud of - papers, presentations and other interests, such as art and photography. I am very glad that I did it.”

To learn more, contact

Andrea Becker
Director of Professional Development Seminar

Maureen E. Butler 
PDS Events Coordinator