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As they head through the summer, Nichols juniors are handing out their personal business cards, thanks to a unique initiative created three years ago by two Nichols alumni.
As part of their Professional Development Seminar, all juniors are eligible to receive 250 free cards with the Nichols logo and listing contact information and college major.
The program was started by Matt O’Connor ’93, a vice president at the career- and employment-based company Monster.com and Paul Washburn, Jr. ‘92, a senior equity analyst at insurer FM Global, and is aided by local business Kerrin Graphics and Printing.
“Since I work in the employment space,” explains Monster.com’s O’Connor, “I wanted to do something innovative leading to positive employment prospects for Nichols students. These business cards go beyond sending out resumes and emails.”
Elizabeth Horgan, the director of the Nichols Career Services Office, notes that the cards come in especially handy in meeting the almost 75 potential employers at the annual spring Career and Internship Fair held in the Nichols Athletic Center. “It’s not uncommon for the employers at the Career Fair to say that they were impressed that students gave them a card,” Horgan observes.
The students themselves are impressed by the new cards, Horgan adds. “When they pick up their cards, they have a big smile. It’s as if they’re realizing, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m official.’ The cards validate that these students are professional.”
In fact, Horgan encourages the juniors never to leave home without them. “We tell them, ‘Keep these cards on you—in a plane, in a restaurant, at a wedding—you never know when you are going to meet someone.”
O’Connor has received thank you notes from juniors who have made a positive impression on potential employers with their cards, which, he insists, provide both intangible and practical benefits. “I think it gives them a certain level of confidence and allows them to ask for a business card in return. And it shows a level of initiative in having something before you’re actually required to have it.”