Nichols College News

Senior Gets Jump on Her Career

Bonnie AlvaradoSenior Bonnie Alvarado may be plowing through her final term at Nichols, but her new career is already off and running. In February, Alvarado begins commuting to Beverly, Massachusetts three days a week for a newly-minted position at LGC, a biotech company which is well-established in England and Germany and this past summer acquired Beverly-based KBioscience, which specializes in genomics and DNA sequencing.

As Marketing Coordinator, Alvarado will be working on newsletters, email campaigns, and database management of all marketing information—and building on her double major in International Business and Business Communication at Nichols. When she starts working full time after graduating in May, she’ll spend the next three months learning the ropes at the company’s two European sites.

With LGC eager to fill out its staff in the United States, the company asked Alvarado to start almost immediately at 24 hours a week, in addition to completing her college course work. “It was something I wasn’t nervous about,” Alvarado insists. “I can balance school and work.”

Alvarado is honing her soon-to-be-applied skills through a seminar in International Business and another in Strategic Management, as well as an independent study in Advanced Economies and Emerging Markets.

Nichols Knowledge Helps

Alvarado’s current course work includes profiling different countries with an eye to what products might sell successfully there.

“Right now I’m reading about China,” she says by way of example. “We’re looking at how businesses are doing, demographic problems, and (the challenges of) a different culture. You can’t go into a country and sell products without knowing the culture. You’ll just lose money.”

Alvarado figures to use that knowledge as her new company gets to know the American market better. And that’s not all she’s taking from her undergraduate career.

“One of the other things I’ve liked about Nichols is that we had to do a lot of presentations and teamwork,” Alvarado adds, pointing to Professor Art Duhaime’s Strategic Management class. “He takes the time to criticize our presentations so we don’t make the same mistakes in the real world that we make in class. We’ve really learned to take the time to do the work correctly.”

Alvarado also values her time spent in internships, especially her most recent one during the second half of 2011 at internationally-known software maker Cognex (where she eventually received a permanent job offer as well.)

“You can really gain a lot of valuable experience, especially if it’s the right company and doesn’t treat you like an intern but more like an employee,” she observes “That will give you an advantage in the job market right now.”

A Successful Job Search

Alvarado entered that job market in earnest last fall. She applied to LGC in the middle of November, and three interviews and several test marketing exercises later, she had her job. “I knew that marketing was what I wanted to do,” she explains. “It was my passion. And I was thrilled at getting this opportunity right after graduating.”

“She really pounded the pavement,” says Professor Luanne Westerling, the department chair of Nichols’ Business Communication department. “And she had the confidence to track down a job that met her needs. I think she’s proof that there are good jobs out there, but you have to look for them.”

At summer’s end, Alvarado will return from Europe to LGC’s Beverly facility. She will also begin an MBA program, funded in full by her new employer, at a university to be determined.

If that sounds like taking on too much during the first years of a career, Alvarado begs to differ, “In the end, it’s going to work out because I’m doing something that I love.”