All posts by Nikki Anderson, Class of 2014

A writer at heart, Nikki is in her senior year and looking forward to wherever her path leads next. She enjoys reading, writing, music, art, dancing, and laughing.

To be or not to be…an English major/minor at Nichols College.

The answer is yes. Major in English. Minor in English. Do something that has to do with broadening your horizons in the world of reading, writing, imagination, and contemplation. You can utilize these skills beyond the classroom, despite what you may have been told. Writing and communication skills go a long way in almost every field I can think of, except maybe if you were to be a mime (although the drama classes may come in handy here). The “people skills” you learn with an English degree will take you anywhere. You learn persuasion, negotiation, mentoring, supervising, instruction… these are desirable skills when hiring a new employee.

All too often we English majors hear this question after admitting our degree goal: “Oh, you want to be a teacher?” We answer, and if the answer is no, the next that comes? [Insert odd and uncomfortable look here] “So…what are you going to do, then?” Well, person asking who generally has no idea what an English degree entails, I am going to do lots of things. I can enter the business field if I so desire, the service or hospitality world, or the world of retail. I can go to grad school. I can go to law school. I could even start my own business, or…yes…teach. The answer is that I have foundation skills that far too many others are lacking these days.

The English department at Nichols is unbelievably incredible. The professors generally come from high-ranking universities and colleges, and are genuine human beings who care about their students. The small classroom size and individual attention open opportunities one might not get in a larger pool of candidates.

You don’t have to major in English (although you should). You can minor. You should absolutely and positively make the choice to minor in English. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so, as pointed out in the first paragraph by the list of “people skills” obtained. If you are an International Business major with an English minor, this showcases your ability to communicate, understand, and negotiate with others. That’s impressive. Same for any other major combined with an English minor. Just do it. It’s important stuff.

Besides all of these excellent points, English is fun. How can you not love reading? There are all different things to read, you know! And writing is one of the best releases from a day of frustration. The theater, film, poetry, music — all of these things have to do with the English language. Dive in. See for yourself.

The In and Outs of Career Services

Fels Student Center, Home of Career Services

Liz Horgan, director of Career Services here at Nichols College, describes herself in five words: caring, open-minded, self-motivated, sarcastic, and impatient. If you know Liz, right now you’re smiling because those words so embody who she is. If you have not yet met Liz Horgan, there’s no time like the present. She’s more than just five words though — Liz is a person who knows how to succeed, and knows not to take success lightly. As we sat down to lunch recently, Liz let me know that her favorite time of day is not a particular time, but those moments when students come in to share their success stories. Not just because they have had a great moment in life, but because they took the time to share it.

Liz taught my 3rd-year PDS (professional development seminar) at Nichols. As an adult student and a recent transfer, I am not even going to pretend I was an easy student. I initially refused to create a LinkedIn account, complained constantly about the portfolio I needed to produce, and was just a complete brat at the start. Clearly Liz saw something in me, because she listened to my nonsense, put me (gently) in my place, and formed one of those student-mentor relationships I am certain will continue beyond my graduation. Liz looks at each student for who they are, not what they offer. She saw that I was a good student and wanted to cultivate that. She took into account that I was having a hard time adjusting and took the time to guide me where I needed to be. You should see my resume — seriously. I thought I had nothing and maybe even felt like I was nothing but according to my resume, I am reasonably spectacular. But enough about me!

In addition to her duties with Career Services, Liz also is an educator at Nichols College, teaching as many as two PDS classes each semester. Just this year Liz is educating her first 3-credit course, a class offering students the chance to learn about self-assessment, resumes, cover letters, using social media to your advantage…basically, a course in how to excel and succeed in the workforce. There’s no question she is the clear choice to teach such a course. For 22 years, Liz worked in property management. Eighteen of those years were spent in college recruitment. Now leading the team in Career Services, Liz is able to see both sides of the equation in hiring with a point of view from both employee and employer.

Career Services is located in the Fels Student Center and offers services for Nichols College day and evening students, as well as alumni. Even if you have graduated five years prior, you still have the option to come back to Nichols and seek help. Career Services has books for those wanting to read them, from guides on nailing an interview to workbooks about mastering the GRE. Career Services also offers web-based services to locate jobs such as Road to Success, which lists available jobs in the area; and CareerShift, an awesome new program that allows the job searcher to input criteria that will search potential employers as well as the employer websites. Why is this so awesome? Simple — at Career Services, the belief is that it is all about getting your resume in front of the right person. The technology behind CareerShift allows you to locate exactly who that person might be. Just how can you be sure your resume will impress? Try Optimal Resume, just one more service Career Services offers. Optimal Resume offers the user hints, tips, and tricks to get your resume near-perfect — definitely a must-use website for those writing a resume! There are so many things you can get from a visit to Career Services. If you want to bring in a list of companies you want to work for, Career Services will do their best to reach into their vast networking system and pluck someone they know, using social media and alumni to their advantage. They also offer one-on-one career coaching by appointment.

It’s important to know about the annual Career & Internship Fair here at Nichols. This year the event takes place on Tuesday, February 25, from 1:00 – 3:30.  You can head over to the Athletic Center and speak to one of over 70 companies regarding employment and internships. Commonly called the ‘Career Fair’, this event was spear-headed by Cheryl Alderman and each year just becomes better and better. Liz does what she can to assist, but insists all credit go to Cheryl for the successes of this event. Don’t miss out on this event — mark your calendars now!

If you have yet to do so, pay a visit to Career Services. There’s no time like the present.

 

 

 

Oh, Molly…

The name Molly is seen as unpopular, outdated…some even say it’s ugly. A quick review of internet blogs concerning the popularity of the name Molly shows mixed emotions. Some love the name and some hate it. Some seem to think it means “girl with glasses and braids” when it actually has a rather beautiful meaning behind it. Molly means “star of the sea” or “wished-for-child” but none of these facts makes the name any more favorably viewed. Once a popular girl’s name, now the name Molly ranks 59th for babies named in 2013. We can reasonably conclude that this is an un-popular name.

But don’t worry, Molly. Your name is extremely popular in drug form. Usage of Molly, commonly thought to be the purest form of ecstasy one can get, has skyrocketed over the past decade, considering the emergency room visits that have doubled since 2004 from usage of this drug. This is scary, and it’s right in our own backyards.

Ecstasy is a popular club drug that induces euphoric feeling and mild hallucinations. Made up of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (did you catch the methamphetamine in that?!) Molly is what drug dealers would like you to think is the “safe form” of ecstasy. It’s not. Molly is more commonly than not a combination of synthetic stimulants and any number of chemicals mixed in a little pill stamped with a winsome picture that people just keep taking. Methamphetamines are made from pure chemicals… so is Molly. Do not be fooled that this drug is in any way safe to take.

After a public safety notice was sent out on October 5th, an attempt was made to get Nichols students to speak out about this drug. Only one came forward, under strict condition she remained unnamed. “When I went to the clubs, we would take ecstasy. It made me grit my teeth and yeah I felt all happy and warm and just wanted to dance and snuggle and hug everyone. But when you come down from the drug your jaw hurts because you’ve been gritting your teeth for hours and you don’t even realize it. And then you are like depressed for days. So yeah it’s fun for a bit but then it just sucks. It’s not worth the way you feel like sh—after. Seriously. I took Molly once and it wasn’t any different. I got higher I guess because I couldn’t see straight but the comedown was all the same. I just laid in my bed for like two days and ate a bunch of food and cried about everything.”

While hoping for more students to come forward, what we can see above gets the point across – it’s not worth it. After four reported deaths this summer (deaths this summer in Eastern cities, as reported by npr.org and abcnews.com) and pop culture artists attempting to make this drug look cool, it is important to educate yourselves and learn what drugs can do. Sure it seems fun, and given a club environment, you might not know you’re overheating and overdosing before it’s too late. When speaking with friends and colleagues about this article, the statement was made, “Whatever happened to just having a few beers and smoking a joint?” While in no way does Nichols College or this reporter condone the use of illegal drugs or promote drinking underage, you do have to wonder – what’s up with all the drugs? Are we so bored? Have we become such a boring culture that we need stimulants to have a good time? Can we not just have a glass of wine and intelligent conversation? When did Molly come to play, and why? Who decided this was a good idea?

It’s not. Don’t do drugs. It’s too much of a chance in what are the most important days of our lives. College is fun enough. Don’t mix it up with chemicals.