Elevator Speech Competition


On Thursday, March 31, Nichols College held it’s 4th Annual Elevator Speech Competition in Daniels Auditorium. A record breaking 25 students competed to win up to $1400 in cash awards donated by sponsors such as Robert Half Technology, Mohegan Sun, the Nichols College Fischer Institute, UniBank, Barnes and Noble, the O’Connell Family, and Marsh & McLennan Companies.

An elevator speech is a clever and concise sales pitch about yourself or a product that you would deliver to an employer or client during the duration of an elevator ride. In the business world, having an elevator speech planned and ready to go is as essential as having a business card readily available. With that being said, the participants brought a diverse collection of stories of activities, actions or events they’ve experienced that make them who they are today. From sick loved ones to vast aspirations, every participant had a unique story, and that’s what makes this event so remarkable.

The event was nerve wracking for the 25 participants. After every speech the audience awaited comments and feedback from the judges along with their scores. Each judge would hold up a number between 1-10 and then the numbers would be recorded and added up at the end to determine the winners. However, the competition towards the end went a little bit different than expected. There was only one participant who received a 10 from all four judges; that participant was Ariff McLaren­, class of 2019, who received the 1st place award. The award for 2nd place came to a tie between Jimmy Phillip, class of 2018, and Zachary Pina, class of 2019. In order to break the tie, each of them was asked the question, “Why is an elevator speech important?” and given one minute to come up with their answers. After the judges evaluated both candidates, they announced Jimmy Phillips as the 2nd place winner of $400 and Zachary Pina the 3rd place winner of $300.

Along with our first through third place winners, the judges announced Kaitlyn Baron, class of 2019, as the honorable mention and she received $100. The judges’ choice award went to TJ Roche, class of 2019, who also received $100.

A huge thank you to our judges President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Patrick Holland `88, Kim McCarthy `92, and Mackenzie Walsh `12 for participating in this event and giving the participants feedback that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.



My first day here on the hill still feels like it was yesterday. I never was one to believe in the cliché saying, “It fly’s right by,” but it’s so true; it really does fly by in the blink of an eye. From living in Shamie Hall as a freshman, to living in the Copper Beech Apartments with five girls that I know will be in my life forever, I never thought a college can feel so much like home. From paint nights with free wine on Friday nights (if you’re 21 of course), to SGA day with tons of obstacle courses and seeing faculty in dunk tanks, I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.

One aspect of this campus that I will miss the most is being known by the staff and faculty and always feeling welcomed. Whether I’m going to grab the mail or working with administration, everyone knows my name even if I’ve only met him or her once or twice. The tight-knit community feel that I’ve experienced here is irreplaceable. Even when going to Wow Café for lunch with my roommates, the people there know our orders and are always so friendly. I sure am spoiled to have been able to spend my four years here with staff and faculty who make the worries and stresses of college disappear.

Aside from meeting life long friends and feeling such comfort when stepping on campus, the academics and guidance provided by the staff and faculty is the reason why I’m so successful today and feel ready to enter the working world. It wasn’t even the fact that professors that you maybe only had class with would send you internship opportunities or full-time positions, but just the confidence and encouragement they instill in students is something that really sticks out. My sophomore year, my advisor Nicholas Barnes, actually built me an internship right on campus that was based on a semester long consulting project I had done for him in a previous class. He was so impressed with my time and commitment; he wanted to reward me in gaining even more experience in consulting which is something I will take into the workplace with me. That opportunity alone helped me gain so much confidence and it was then that I realized the faculty and staff truly care about our success here at Nichols; and that’s something every prospective student should consider.

Even though I’ll miss getting out of class everyday and going to hang out on the Copper quad with my friends, Nichols has done everything to prepare me for the real world and although my time here is coming to an end, Nichols will travel with me no matter where I end up in life. The lessons on life, friendships, professionalism, and real-world experience are aspects I will always remember and thank Nichols College for. Once a Bison, always a Bison!

Second Annual President for a Day


On Tuesday, March 29, Nichols College held it’s 2nd Annual President for a Day, where President Engelkemeyer and an undergraduate student switched roles for an entire day to experience a day on the hill in a different light. After President Engelkemeyer and the application committee reviewed all the candidates, they were pleased to announce Irving Eggleston as the winner.

“I wanted to be president for a day because I was really interested in finding out what the president’s day-to-day tasks really entail. The average student sees the president at graduation handing out diplomas or at alumni and sporting events on campus, but there’s much more that goes into her position,” says Eggleston.

“The Committee and I enjoyed reviewing the applications and the selection was a difficult one. I’m excited to work with Irving and to switch roles with him on the 29th,” President Engelkemeyer explained.

Irving Eggleston is a double major in accounting and sport management and will be graduating this May. He started the day by giving a presentation to the president’s council highlighting three things he would change on campus. His suggestions included extending the dining hall hours, creating a shuttle service to local plazas around the Webster and Dudley areas for students who don’t have vehicles, and creating an annual spirit week in the fall semester that students and faculty could participate in.

While Eggleston took on the responsibilities of the president, she too had a busy day. President Engelkemeyer attended Irving’s Political Science class at 9:25am, Governmental & Non-Profit Accounting at 10:50am, and Prophets, Guides, and Gurus at 12:15pm. Shortly after, she headed to Irving’s residence hall, Copper Beech, where she spent time with his roommates playing video games and getting to know Irving’s day-to-day routine.

“I love the President for a Day Program.  For me, it provides an opportunity to get to know more students through the classes and activities that are a part of their day.  In the classrooms, I learned how to meditate, how to determine the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations with respect to their stated focus, and details about the electoral college that I didn’t know.” President Engelkemeyer explained.

Irving learned that the president is a main factor in Nichols rapid improvement over the years due to her ability to successfully handle so many different things all at once. From handling residence life situations, to giving presentations highlighting the new renovations happening on campus, she still makes time for the students and is always willing to listen.

“I would highly recommend students to apply to become the president for a day because of the experience you gain as well as the knowledge you take away from it. I was able to get every question that I’ve ever had here answered in one day, which is something that should entice students to apply in the years to come,” said Eggleston.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community