Nichols College News

Students Combine Serious Study and Serious Work

It’s become commonplace for students at many colleges to hold down part-time jobs, either on campus or in the larger community. But three Nichols accounting majors are breaking the mold, choosing to study fulltime and work fulltime for local businesses.

The students, all juniors, have carefully arranged their schedules to accommodate both responsibilities, and although they like the added income, they also say that their plunge into the world of work gives them a head start on the vocational realities after college.

Accounting Professor Melanie Fleming taught the three—Marissa Healy, Domenic D’Agostino, and Pauline Legor—in an advanced course last term, and agrees that their ambitious agenda is setting the stage for demanding occupations once they graduate.

“The work environment today involves multi-tasking and long hours, especially in the accounting field,” Fleming says. “By having this combined experience, they have a sense of what’s out there.”

Healy agrees, noting that she’s worked for a women’s retail chain at a store in the nearby Auburn Mall since she was 18. She became a store manager, which entailed additional responsibilities, this past summer.

“I asked myself, ‘Should I start my career now or put it off?’” Healy recalls. “But being a store manager at age 20 is an accomplishment and it gives me a step ahead in the game. You can be an accounting major and still have a career in a retail business.”

On some days, Healy stops by the store before proceeding to her 8:00am classes. “I’ve aIways worked a lot. I grew up on a farm, and work is what you do when you get up (before going to school),” Healy insists. “It’s not as hard as people think.”

D’Agostino, meanwhile, combines his studies and nearly 4.0 average with fulltime employment at a Best Buy electronics store. That job includes a 4am arrival on Sundays to change weekly prices on a vast supply of merchandise.

“It’s basically routine now,” D’Agostino says.

“They’re all motived,” Fleming says of the three students. “They have a goal and they’re aggressively trying to reach that goal. I’m amazed how they do it.”