Hold the Autographs: Nichols College Rock Star, Saleha Ashfaq

Beginning college, Saleha Ashfaq had yet balance a job and school concurrently. While some would assume this was a result of poor work ethic or motivation, Saleha wasted no time proving that this couldn’t be farther from the truth – she quickly became a rock star among Nichols College students.

Throughout her college experience, Saleha has shown her worth as an employee. Every semester, this full-time college student has been occupied not only with her school work, but three simultaneous jobs. Her success is a catalyst of her will power, perseverance, motivation to learn, and her incredible ability to keep her hectic schedule organized.

Currently, Saleha is completing her second semester of her junior year at Nichols. She has already completed four internships while also employed as a Nichols’ teaching assistant and with Nichols’ Department of Career Services. Saleha gained more than one of her internships through the college’s Road to Success database. She has also attained other internships via student-professor networking and recommendations.

Saleha’s internship journey began when she interned with Hometown Bank of Oxford, Massachusetts at the end of her freshman year. From the internship description, she was aware they were looking for sophomores and juniors, but she sent her resume and cover letter regardless. She then followed up with Hometown Bank and secured an interview that offered her the position on the spot. Saleha has also interned with the Worcester County Memorial Park in their accounting department, with the Dudley District Court in the clerk’s office and as a tax preparer for AARP. Through these positions, Saleha, who is multilingual, has worked diligently to improve her communication skills, has conquered experiences that have made her fearful, has set herself apart from her peers, and has determined what she’s most interested in.

It is no surprise that Saleha is well respected among her peers, professors and co-workers. When Lori Smith, assistant director of career services, is asked about Saleha she responds resounding appreciation. Lori states that, “Her motivation and dedication are what really make her stand out. She is willing to take on any task and needs little direction. We provide her with the big picture of what we want and she does an amazing job.” Lori also commented that Saleha has incredible time management skills considering all she is involved in. She also remarked that Saleha is always looking for her next opportunity, continuously has a plan brewing in her mind and strives to gain as much professional experience as possible.

Saleha is the epitome of a Nichols College rock star, already succeeding in the business world. She demonstrates the power of working to achieve one’s dreams. Saleha has gone above and beyond what is expected of a college student and has proven her worth, not only as a student, but as an employee as well. It is without question that Saleha, combined with her resilient dedication and motivation, will achieve much success beyond the world of Nichols. She illustrates that hard work certainly does pay off.

Windfall: Literary Magazine!

Windfall. Nichols literary magazine provides a vehicle for student writers and artists to express their thoughts and ideas. The magazine is published once a year in book form and now adding a blog to post students creations all year round!

Check out their newly formed blog featuring all submited works at:


Please submit all poetry, short stories, lyrics, photography, art, or fiction writing to Windfall to be included in their hard copy Spring edition this year! All submissions must be sent to Fae.risio@nichols.edu by February 28th!



Nichols Has Your Back-Graduation to International Trade Deals in Six Months

There is no doubt that Nichols College goes above and beyond to help out its students find their future career after graduation. In fact, 91 percent of the Nichols class of 2012 was employed only six months after graduating. Nichols was fortunate enough to have one of our 2012 graduates, Danny Tamayo, take some time to speak with a room full of about sixty curious Nichols students, as well as Professor Goncalves, about life after Nichols.

Danny graduated last year with a degree in international business, a popular major among the Nichols College population. Now, not even a year later, he has landed a job as a junior analyst for an international trading company that trades agricultural commodities. Tamayo discussed how his job includes everything from analyzing every single aspect of the supply chain to try to cut down costs, to researching the new market and different countries. Tamayo said, “A good example would be right now, I was working to open the Columbian market for the first time for my company and we recently just made our first sale and now we’re into our second sale with the same client.” It sounds as if Tamayo is off to a great start at his new job.

It definitely helped that Tamayo did an internship his junior year for the Massachusetts Export Center where he practiced the very same skill sets he is using at his current job. As he went into more detail, Professor Goncalves asked Tamayo what exactly Nichols College has done for him especially in the international business program. Tamayo responded with, “Nichols is the type of school that has your back, that’s the way I would put it. They have your back on whatever you want to do and they help you do that. They provide you with the confidence.” Tamayo definitely made it clear, that without having attended Nichols, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today.

The job that Tamayo applied for required five years or more in the field, but he applied anyway. Tamayo said that, “if it wasn’t for Nichols providing me with that confidence of how to write a perfect resume, or how to approach my supervisor or my boss in an interview, if it wasn’t for Nichols doing that, then I don’t know if I would have the job right now.” Tamayo deeply believes with the fact that Nichols properly prepped him for the interviewing process, especially when the President of his company told him that she has been in the industry for twenty years and she had never seen a resume so organized and straight to the point. Anyone who has taken a PDS class can surely believe that.

It’s hard to believe that Tamayo’s first big project in the industry was selling light red kidney beans to Columbia considering Tamayo is actually Columbian and speaks Spanish fluently. It began with the recent free trade agreement for the United States and Columbia. Tamayo shared that, “It was basically just months of researching and learning the free trade agreement in and out and learning how to sell these beans.” Tamayo’s company sells different varieties of beans so in order to figure out how to get Columbia to buy, he had to research what sells, and what exactly people are eating.

Eventually Tamayo found out that light red kidney beans are extremely popular on the coast of Columbia. A light went off in his head when he realized that his company has a port right in the area where those beans are consumed, which means they could be sold right from the port. Once Tamayo had this figured it out, “it took months of researching and calling actual people and speaking to them in Spanish, one of them actually liked the idea of doing business with us.”

Over time, Tamayo got to know the client and built a relationship with them until they finally asked what Tamayo had to sell. The answer of course was light red kidney beans, which is exactly what the client wanted, imported to Tamayo’s main port. Tamayo made his first sale of 136 metric tons of kidney beans and with a smile on his face he said, “There’s no greater feeling than knowing you just sold this amount of beans that are going to get consumed by different types of people in this country.” With the first sale closed, Tamayo is on to his second sale with the same client, which is as equally as important because it means that he built a relationship.

With all his new success, Tamayo is thanking the international business program here at Nichols as well as sharing his advice. So what exactly is Tamayo’s advice for the Nichols students? “Just shine. If there’s one thing that the international business program showed me, and helped me understand, its that, the world is full of opportunities” It seems as if with the help of Nichols, Tamayo has discovered just how true that statement is.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community