Nichols College News

Career Fair Takes Center Stage

The world of work came to campus on March 6th, as recruiters from almost 75 companies, government agencies, and non-profits met with more than 300 Nichols juniors, seniors, and alumni at Nichols’ annual Career and Internship Fair. Over the three-hour event, held in the Athletic Center, students made close contact with a range of potential employers.

 

“This is such a great opportunity in an hour or two to have those face-to-face connections under one roof,” says Elizabeth Horgan the director of Career Services at Nichols. Horgan adds that the number of companies and organizations on hand was up more than 40 percent over last year.

The job titles available covered a wide swath of corporate America—from management trainees at large retailers Staples and Old Navy/Gap, Inc.; to financial services representatives at insurance companies MetLife and the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; to client training specialists at medical software developer Meditech.

“I’m happy Meditech was here,” Horgan adds. “They’re working with hospitals to go paperless, and as part of the implementation, they need people travelling to hospitals around the country to show them how to use the technology.”

Criminal Justice Management students presented themselves to representatives of the Federal Air Marshall Service, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the Connecticut and Massachusetts State Police, and Kohl’s Department Stores, which was seeking a trainee in loss prevention and management.

Those in Nichols’ Educator Preparation Program checked out employment opportunities at the Harford Public Schools, which was hiring in academic subjects across the board, and City Year Boston, the well-respected organization that places recent college graduates in educational positions at the city’s public schools.

Taking a cue from the new Hospitality Management major, fair organizers attracted such hospitality-based businesses as The Publick House Historic Inn (in nearby Sturbridge, Massachusetts) and amusement park Six Flags of New England.

Good Prep for Good Jobs

Nichols Employee Relations Coordinator Cheryl Alderman notes that her job is made easier by the level of preparation that students bring to their job search. “What makes Nichols stand out is how we get our students ready for the professional world,” she says.

That message isn’t lost on company representatives like Donald Gorczynski from Old Navy/Gap. “Nichols students have business savvy, and are prepared, energetic, and engaged,” he says, adding that two have been hired by his company in the past two years.

Horgan points out that Nichols students have benefited from a yearly Professional Development Seminar, which stresses job-seeking skills and techniques. “The PDS program is just so unique to Nichols,” she says. She adds that her own PDS students begin every class with ‘elevator speeches,’ 30-second presentations (about the time available to talk to someone on an elevator) in which they cover their essentials as a job candidate.

Those attending the Career and Internship Fair came additionally equipped. “We encourage the little things,” Horgan explains. “Don’t travel in groups, do your homework (about the companies or organizations), and be respectful of the recruiters’ time.”

“I used to be a corporate recruiter,” Horgan continues. “I used to work on the other side of the table at career fairs, and I know what it is that makes students stand out.”

Juniors also arrived with a free set of 200 personalized business cards containing the Nichols logo, their major area of study, and their contact information, thanks to the joint generosity of Kerrin Graphics and Printing in Dudley and Nichols alumni Paul Washburn, Jr. ‘92 and Matthew O’Connor ’93. Washburn is a Senior Equity Analyst at insurer FM Global, and O’Connor works as a Senior Vice President at the employment firm Monster Worldwide.