Success Stories

Profiles of Success

Whether it is starting a business, obtaining a rewarding and challenging internship, or gaining a job upon graduation, Nichols provides its students with the tools required to excel in their chosen career path.

We invite you to read the real-life stories of our students listed below to learn how they each have used their Nichols education to achieve success in their own unique way. 

Kenneth Doane II: From Pro Wrestler to Book Author

Growing up in nearby Oxford, Massachusetts, Kenneth Doane ’16 always dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler. After high school, he embarked on a wrestling career full-time when he signed with Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). However, after 11 years in professional wrestling, in 2012, Doane took on a new role as a sport management major and football player at Nichols College.

Read more about Kenn Doane II.

Darcy Russell: Teaching for America

Darcy Russell, ’13 has recently been selected for the 2014 Teach for America Corps, which recruits recent college graduates to teach children growing up in lower-income urban and rural communities. More than 55,000 people applied for teaching positions this year.

Read more about Darcy Russell.

Anna Dyakiv: Selling the Boston Celtics

For Anna Dyakiv ’14, the best part of her internship with the Boston Celtics happens right before the game. Before the players come onto the court, she leads a group of children to create a “tunnel” to high-five the players as they enter. “We get to lead the children onto the court and allow them to view the performances before the game,” she says. “All of them are thrilled to be there.”

Read more about Anna Dyakiv.

Kevin Richardson: Developing Leadership Skills On and Off Campus

From a student musician to hockey player to accounting and finance club member, Kevin Richardson ’12 made the most of his college experience and now carries those diverse experiences into the workplace as an Enterprise Risk Services Consultant at Deloitte & Touche, LLP.

Read more about Kevin Richardson.

Ibrahima Kalil Kourouma: From Nichols to Guinea

Upon graduating from Nichols College in 2004, Ibrahima Kalil Kourouma made a promise to return to his homeland in the West African country of Guinea to “give others a chance to excel.” With stops in Massachusetts, North Carolina and Canada to continue his education and gain experience, he has fulfilled that promise and is working with the Guinean government to help improve the lives of his fellow Guineans through new technology.

Read more about Ibrahima Kalil Kourouma.

Nicole Gawlik: Making Dreams Come True at Disney

Since the age of 3, Nicole Gawlik ’15 knew that she wanted to help others experience the magic she felt while visiting Disney parks and resorts. This past spring and summer, Gawlik’s dream came true when she was accepted into Walt Disney World’s Spring Advantage six-month internship program.

Read more about Nicole Gawlik.

Bryan Gill: Advocating at the Worcester County DA’s office

When Bryan Gill ‘13 entered the Criminal Justice program at Nichols, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. However, he’s now found his niche as a Victim Witness Advocate for the Worcester County DA’s office.

Read more about Bryan Gill.

Melanie Gajewski: Capturing Nichols on Video

Senior Melanie Gajewski has had an animated existence at Nichols, not just because she has a lively interest in so many fields, but because she is becoming an accomplished videographer and animator. A General Business major with concentrations in Marketing, Business Communication, and Economics, Gajewski is most well-known for her animated rendition of a Rubik’s Cube, famous for decades as a colorful and challenging puzzle.

Read more about Melanie Gajewski.

E.J. Landry: A Big Four Partner with Deloitte

E.J. Landry ‘86, a Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP has seen many changes in his 27 years in the accounting field and credits Nichols for giving him a solid preparation for his career. As a partner, Landry has responsibilities for his clients and Deloitte’s 180 people in the New England Enterprise Risk Services practice. He also spends time giving back to the community through his involvement with uAspire, Goodwill, United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, National Association of Corporate Directors, and St. Malachy Parish in Burlington, MA.

Read more about E.J. Landry.

Crystal Dennison: Tutoring Students for Success

When Crystal Dennison began her studies at Nichols in 2009, she never knew how much she was capable of achieving. She has come a long way since then ultimately becoming the head tutor in the Academic Resource Center during her senior year. The Center provides academic support to students through individual, group tutoring and review sessions, in-class workshops, and much more.

Read more about Crystal Dennison.

Andrew McCluskey: Serving up Social Media

When Andrew McCluskey, ‘12 started working part-time for Sodexo while in college, little did he know it would lead him to a position as Sodexo’s first-ever Social Media Manager.

Read more about Andrew McCluskey.

Jesse Plouffe: Bringing Children's Sneakers from Design to the Store

When Jesse Plouffe graduated from Nichols in 2003, little did he know that he would end up developing some of the hottest children’s sneakers as a Sr. Product Developer at New Balance.

In some ways, one could compare Plouffe’s job to being a house building contractor. The position requires him to know much information about many areas but not become an expert in any. As a product developer, he has his hands in everything from design, fit and wear to costing, sourcing, production, and marketing.

Read more about Jesse Plouffe.

Jason Gonzalez: On the Case for Criminal Justice

Supervising inmates and helping to ensure the security and integrity of the jail and House of Correction can be an intimidating job given that more than 1,000 inmates are housed there. However, as a Corrections Officer there for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Jason Gonzalez feels prepared for the position as a result of his education in Nichols Criminal Justice (CJM) Program.

Read more about Jason Gonzalez.

Maria Balabanova: Networking in International Business

When Maria Balabanova, a native of Russia, came to the United States to study, she looked at numerous schools but ultimately chose Nichols. “I wanted to come to the United States to learn more about the American culture, to understand how Americans do business, and how they think. After looking at a number of schools, only Nichols felt safe and like I was at home. Plus, I also really liked the idea of playing tennis while being in college, and Nichols gave me that opportunity.”

Read more about Maria Balabanova.

Robert Kuppenheimer: Pursuing a Passion for Investing

Since he made his first stock market investment in the 6th grade, Robert Kuppenheimer ’69 has continued to pursue his passion for investing.

Read more about Robert Kuppenheimer

James Coghlin, Sr.: On a Mission to Promote Early Cancer Detection

Ask Jim Coghlin, Sr. why he has worked tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research and he offers several reasons: personal experiences and a desire to serve the community and carry on a family tradition.

Read more about James Coghlin, Sr.

James Dunbar: Guarding Businesses and Much More

Founder and Chairman of The Dunbar Companies James L. Dunbar came to Nichols College with a vision. “During the years that I attended Nichols College, I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur in the security field. I was considering public policing and the border patrol in addition to armored car services,” he says.

Read more about James Dunbar

Jessica Porter: Winning at The Orange Bowl

In the past six years, Jessica Porter has moved from interning at the World TeamTennis National Headquarters in New York City, to working as a Sales Representative for the Miami Heat to serving as an Account Executive at the Orange Bowl Committee. How did she do it? Hard work says Porter.

Read more about Jessica Porter

The Rush Brothers: Entrepreneurs in the Making

Imagine competing against nearly 300 aspiring entrepreneurs in the 6th annual New Product Innovation Competition and winning a $15,000 prize. That’s just what Nichols grads Jason Rush ’08 and Dan Rush ’12 did when they presented their product ShoutBot, a new iPhone app to a panel of judges.

Read more about The Rush Brothers

Steve Carella: From Fear to Leadership

When Steve Carella entered Nichols College in the fall of 2008, he was overcome with fear, he says. Much has changed since then. His almost perfect grade point average as a double major in Finance and Accounting earned him the honor of Class of ’12 valedictorian.

Read more about Steve Carella

Steve Miller: From theory to practice

Nichols sophomore and General Business major Steve Miller recently had the opportunity to put his Nichols class experience to work at a local Watertown public meeting. He was one of the local Watertown residents who spoke up at a public meeting supporting a proposal to scale down the number of apartments from a proposed 222 apartments. And he credits his skills—and gumption—in making his public presentation to the Business and Society Management course he had just taken at Nichols.

Read more about Steve Miller

Nichols Students Beat out Big Schools for Internships

This summer, two Nichols students, Emily Widdison and Taylor Ross, will embark on a twelve-week paid summer internship program at the Hartford Financial Services Group. The two beat out 100 candidates from larger, more well-known business schools for the opportunity.

Read more about Emily and Taylor

Success is Sweet for This Nichols Student, Robert Russo

In 2008, Robert Russo decided he wanted to start his own business selling by chocolate-covered strawberries. He continued to sell these delicious treats when he became a student at Nichols College. Russo says that he selected Nichols because he had aspirations of owning his own business someday. “I knew I wanted to own a business, and I felt that Nichols could help me do that and succeed,” he says.

Read Robert's Success Story / Video by: Jon Natale, Class of 2013

Scoring an Internship at the N.E. Patriots

Nichols Senior, Mackenzie Walsh, ran the equivalent of a perfect pass route when she networked her way into an internship with the New England Patriots football team this past semester.

As an intern in the Patriots marketing department, part of Walsh’s job description includes writing proposals to present to companies,” she says. “That includes working with advertisers such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Nike to make sure their brands are clearly displayed in strategic locations around Foxboro Stadium,” she adds.

Read Mackenzie's success story.

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.

Read Katie's success story