Nichols College News

Mission Possible: Seniors Take the Career Leap

The Class of 2011 faces the daunting task of finding meaningful work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in February 2011 released data showing unemployment at 8.9 percent, and that’s a gut-level reality check for Nichols seniors who are now making it their business to start careers.

“Can-do” snapshots are provided of three Nichols seniors who have secured employment before graduation. They all told us that they felt “very prepared” to meet the competition head on, thanks, in part, to the Professional Development Seminar’s focus on practice interviews and the development of resumes and portfolios, as well as the Office of Career Services ramped-up effort with the Nichols Career Fair, recruiting sessions and job clubs.

Our three successful job hunters made intelligent career decisions by taking incremental, critical steps to hone their talents and skills…two as early as their freshman year! And they strategically planned to get what they want by “getting out there,” putting in long hours at internships (some multiple), making contacts in their area of career choice, and staying focused on the goal of realizing a return on their educational investment.

We salute these Nichols new hires as they embark on their road to success.



Senior: Mary Kate Frodema
Hometown: Springfield, MA
Major: Finance
Minor: Management
Campus Activities: Athlete: Field Hockey and Softball
  Vice President of the Student Athletic Advisory Council
Position: First Investor's Corporation: financial service representative
  Agawam, MA


How She Did It: Mary Kate says it all started at the 2010 Nichols Career Fair when she inquired about an internship with the recruiter from First Investor’s. After filling out a lengthy questionnaire and interviewing, she landed one of the five internships available from a pool of 500 candidates applying.

During her May-August internship, Mary Kate had an opportunity to learn about First Investor’s investment products. She also help plan and execute a networking seminar for existing financial service representatives at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

At the end of her August 2010 internship, she was told she had a permanent position after graduation.




 Senior:  Kevin Quinn
 Hometown:  Manchester, NH
 Major:  Accounting and Finance
 Campus Activities:  Head Resident Assistant Copper Beech II
   President of the Accounting Club
   Treasurer of the Class of 2011
 Position:  Alexander, Aronson and Finning & Co., P.C.: staff accountant
   Westborough, MA
 How He Did It: “Internships are the way I got my foot in the doors,” says Kevin Quinn, who started positioning for one in his freshman year by attending the Nichols College Career Fair. “By the time the accounting firms came to campus in my third-year, they had already seen ten of my resumes. And that made an impression on them!”

His first internship was with Graham Shepherd P.C. from January to April 15, 2010. His second internship was with Alexander, Aronson and Finning & Co., P.C. from June to August 13, 2010.

It’s interesting to note that as President of the Accounting Club, Quinn had an opportunity to mingle with several Nichols accounting alumni at its annual dinner on November 17th, including Brad Sullivan ’01, a manager with Alexander, Aronson & Finning, and Marie Shepherd ‘88, a partner with Graham, Shepherd.

“My parents are really ecstatic that I have a job,” says Quinn, “and so am I!”


 Senior:  Wachira Sittikong
 Hometown:  Wayland, MA
 Major:  General Business
 Minor:  Psychology
 Campus Activities:  Marketer and Photographer, The Fischer Institute
 Position:  Yoong Tong Thai Restaurants: manager
   Northborough and Chelmsford, MA
 How He Did It: Wachira Sittikong, or “New” as he’s called on campus, has worked since he was 11 years old in his family’s restaurant business. It was there that he learned the value of a dollar. “Early on, I was taught to take on responsibility and to work hard,” he says.

Today, his family has full ownership of two Thai restaurants in Northborough and Chelmsford, MA, and partial ownership of another five on the East Coast.

Sittikong states that his family never expected him to go into the family business, but his Nichols business courses served to reinforce the fact that he has a very “entrepreneurial” spirit and really enjoys the food service industry.

“I have learned so much from Professor Mary Trottier and Director Blanche Milligan of the Fisher Institute,” notes Sittikong, “I want to thank them for their guidance. And I can’t wait until graduation, because I plan to use my creativity to help my family’s business thrive.”