Nichols College News

MISSION POSSIBLE, PART 2: Seniors Take the Career Leap!

Is there a recovering economy in terms of the job market?

On April 15th, the Associated Press reported that Massachusetts unemployment rates dropped to "8 percent in March as 3,200 jobs were added during the month."  April data released by the U.S. Labor Department indicates that the country has added 68,000 jobs in January and 194,000 in February, principally in professional and business services. Also, the Labor Department stated: “Companies are advertising more jobs than at any time in the past two years, suggesting that April will mark a third straight month of strong hiring."

And Nichols own economist, Dr. Hans Despain, offers these two points to consider:

  • “The good news for Nichols students and the job market is that medium-sized firms say they are planning to hire. This is a very good, macroeconomic indicator that the job market will be turning around. Most of these jobs are in business-related fields, especially in management, sales and marketing.”  
  • Accounting graduates will do fine, and finance and economic majors will find jobs quite easily, but may have a difficult time making a decent income because of the over-staffing phenomena. Over-staffing of temporary workers, independent contractors, commissioned employees and internships, is rapidly increasing today, particularly in real estate, insurance and finance.”

Nichols 2011 seniors seeking employment have a tough, but not impossible road to navigate in realizing a return on their educational investment. Surely, Nichols Professional Development Seminar’s focus on practicing interviews and the developing resumes and portfolios, as well as the Office of Career Services ramped-up effort with the Nichols Career Fair, recruiting sessions and job clubs, will help provide a competitive edge.

Here are three profiles of seniors majoring in Management who are poised to take the career leap. We salute these new hires as they embark on their road to success.









Senior: Daniel S. Cafasso
Hometown: Bethany, CT
Major: Management
Minor: Marketing
Campus Activities:

Resident Assistant Budleigh Hall
Community Service Leader for Student Athletic Advisory Council
Treasurer of the Student Athletic Advisory Council
Treasurer for the HR/Management Club
Honors Scholar Student
Golf Team, Spring/Fall


Ocean State Job Lot; assistant manager
Waterbury, CT

How He Did It:

“I’m just completing my honors thesis on corporate outsourcing and believe that there will always be a need for managers,” says Daniel S. Cafasso, who knew he wanted to be a manager before he came to Nichols College. And he wasn’t shy about making it happen.

It helped that Nichols alum, Justin Dolan, worked as a manager at Ocean State Job Lot. “I call him up and asked to meet with him to discuss the company in terms of on-the-job training and growth,” says Cafasso, “and basically, I really liked what I heard.”

Ocean State Job Lot is a New England retailer with 102 stores. So, Cafasso had to go through a series of interviews with District Manager Jerry Ballard, Regional Recruiter Charleen Klick, Recuiter Grace McDonna-Nay.

Cafasso plans to continue his business education by earning an M.B.A. and eventually a Ph.D. “I have some big-goals after I leave the Hill,” he says, “and I’m ready to get started.”











Senior: Lauren E. Koenig
Hometown: Holden, Mass.
Major: Management
Minor: Marketing
Campus Activities: Resident Assistant in Copper Beech II

Sherwin Williams, management trainee
Worcester, Mass.

How She Did It:

Lauren E. Koenig came to Nichols because she knew she would be more successful on a smaller campus where the professors knew her personally. “I went to a technical high school for cabinet making, and originally, I thought I might want to start a small, wood-working business,” she says.

Koenig used Nichols Career Services’ online “Road to Success” Program over her 2010 winter break to search for internships, and then, applied to Fortune 500 Sherwin Williams for a summer internship from June-August.

“When I got the paid internship and started in the Worcester store, I found that I had an affinity for the retail work. I already knew a lot about stain products and about the staining process,” she says. After the summer, Koenig continued to work part-time, three-days a week, as well as handle her resident assistant responsibilities on campus.

“I formally accepted a full-time position in March,” she says, “and my parents are as thrilled as I am. The company has a policy of promoting within, and I plan to climb up to the top of the corporate ladder.”










Senior:  Stephanie M. Haskell
 Hometown:  East Bridgewater, Mass.
 Major:  Management
 Minor:  Psychology
Campus Activities: President of the Campus Activities Board
Resident Assistant in Remillard Hall
Executive Advisory Board Member
Student Government Association Member
Work Study - Student Activities
 Position: Graduate School for Higher Education Administration (M.S.)
NOVA Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
How She Did It: “Watching Resident Directors, such as John Pepin and Leigh Soucy, work with college students has been inspirational,” says Stephanie Haskell. “I love being a resident assistant and actively participating in campus activities.”

“I want to make a difference in another person’s life,” Haskell says, “and not just sit at a desk all day.” A conversation in her junior year with Student Activities staff opened her eyes to the possibilities of a career path in higher education that would keep her actively involved with college students. In addition she could use many skills learned from her business and psychology courses: “Accounting will definitely help me manage a large budget!"

In fact, Haskell has attended four conferences of the National Association for Campus Activities and thereby, increased her understanding of campus program planning, concert management, leadership development, and more!

Haskell applied to three graduate schools for a master’s in College Student Affairs and got lots of help prepping for her interviews from Director of Student Activities Joe Ginese and Assistant Director Beth Gionfriddo.
“I knew that if I was going to go to grad school, I had to do it right after my May graduation from Nichols,” she says.

“I am thrilled that the complete package at NOVA includes room, board and tuition. All I have to pay for is my books, says Haskell. “But, most importantly, I’m launching a career that fits my personality.”