Katie Swank—Campus Involvement: The Key to Success

What does it take to obtain a position with a company such as EMC, a global data storage company? Nichols 2012 graduate, Katie Swank, who starts working there fulltime in June, says the key for her has been to gain leadership experience on campus and to pursue an internship.

During her four years at Nichols, Swank has been active in a number of ways. As a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) for the Professional Development Seminar (PDS), she worked with first year students. “Being a TA for two years helped me learn how to be up in front of a class building my communication skills. This carried over to my job since I am in front of hundreds of students speaking at EMC's new hire orientations,” she says.

Swank says that her Human Resources classes have helped prepare her for some of the basics of her job such as interviewing skills, writing job descriptions, and recruiting. In addition, this semester her senior HR Seminar class focused on international issues. She found this very beneficial since EMC is a global company with 50,000 employees worldwide. “I oversee the intern/co-op program which hosts more than 500 students each year. Staying current with issues that may pop up in my career has helped me move past obstacles and learn from them,” she says.

Swank’s internship has been invaluable in helping her to gain a foot in the door at EMC. Her hard work has paid off as she was offered and has accepted an Associate Program Manager job at EMC. She will continue to co-run the intern/co-op program for all of North America as well as handle some recruiting through campus visits, career fairs, and networking events.

“Attending Nichols is all about what you make it,” says Swank. “The more you involve yourself in activities on campus, the more you will benefit from your Nichols experience. Most of the skills I gained for my career were through all of these experiences in addition to my classes and internship. I learned that the more involved I became, the more I got out of my education,” she adds.