A Sigh of Relief: Nichols Seniors Get Hired at AAF

Big congratulations to go out to the four Nichols seniors, Katie Birdsall, Tom Haggerty, Nicole Champney, and Danny Greiner, who got hired as staff accountants at Alexander Aronson Finning Company, a business of certified public accountants, this past semester. While all four ultimately got the same position at the same company, three out of the four took a different path to get there. Tom, Nicole, and Danny found out about openings at AAF with the help of Nichols and Road to Success.

These three seniors ended up applying and found themselves in an interview with a total of fifteen Nichols students and a grand total of twenty six applicants. With the help of their “personalities and leadership skills”, as well as “time management skills and good grades”, all three made it to a second interview. Nichols provides a very strong accounting program, so while they all felt nervous; there was definitely a sense of confidence.

On edge, eventually, Tom, Nicole and Danny all received a package in the mail to inform them that they had got the job. All three of the seniors expressed a great feeling of relief, knowing that they have a job after graduation. It certainly makes for a less stressful last semester of college. Katie Birdsall was the only one who didn’t have the typical, formal interview process, for she had an internship this past summer that lasted the course of nine weeks. When a human resources employee from AAF came to the Nichols campus last year that was when Katie was first introduced to the company. Katie was interviewed for a staff accountant internship and got the job for the summer.

Throughout the internship Katie acknowledged that she understood everything they were teaching her. She moved at a faster than normal pace and really latched on to the software that they use. Katie was an extremely dedicated intern who was eager to learn and asked a lot of questions which undoubtedly attracted AAF to her work ethic ultimately leading to a job offer.
Katie was offered the position of staff accountant during her exit interview which is basically a recap of how she did during her time at the company. Katie was hired to start and June, and says, “I’m nervous about working full time and finding the time to study for CPA exams.” No doubt, going from a full time college student to a full time accountant will be no easy task and it will take some getting used to.

As a staff accountant, these four new employees will show up at a client’s location and spend the whole day auditing them. If more work needs to be done, they will return to their home office in Westborough to finish up. Only about 20% of their time is spent in the office which means lots of traveling around. One amazing aspect of their job is that AAF has offered to pay for them to go to school to get their masters as well as CPA’s.

When asked why AAF hires so many Nichols students, AAF employee and Nichols alumni, Kevin Quinn said, “I believe AAF hires many Nichols graduates because of the sheer determination that Nichols graduates have as well as being a well prepared individual to enter the workforce upon graduation.” There is no doubt that Nichols helps shape young professionals and Kevin agreed when he said, “I feel Nichols College prepares you in a way to be very successful upon graduation, if you are willing to embrace what the school has to offer. I see a lot of young professionals enter the workforce who are very timid and not sure what they are about to embark on however I feel as though AAF notices that Nichols students are well equipped to be a valued asset right away.”
These four seniors have made it a long way to become young professionals. One thing the seniors would recommend to freshman or incoming Nichols students is to get involved. They stressed that grades are very important as well as being in a club, sport or having a job outside of school. Being phenomenal students certainly worked out for these four new AAF employees.

Driven Part 1

Taylor Therrien knew from a young age that she wanted to own and drive a race car someday. When her dad told her to save her money, she did just that. At the age of fourteen she went up to her dad with all the money she had saved, which was enough to purchase a car. They purchased a Dodge Charger and then worked on it to prepare it for racing.

In 2009, she broke through the racing circuit at Seekonk Speedway, participating in the races that take place every Friday night. In her rookie season, she earned two feature wins. After four seasons she has a total of nine wins and earned the “Most Popular Driver” award for the Sport4 division. She is one of five women that participate on Friday nights and there are a total of eleven divisions. In the 2013 season Taylor will be moving up to the Sport Truck division which is a big accomplishment for someone who is still only nineteen years old. The truck is currently being modified, and after the modification are done, the truck will visit Nichols College.

Taylor loves Nichols College for numerous reasons and is glad that she made the choice to come to here. She first received a post card from Nichols that caught her eye and was very personal. Then Taylor decided to make a visit, and this gave her a good idea of what being a Bison was like. She noticed how teachers knew students on a first name basis and that gave her the feeling of being part of a community.

Since Taylor is a Sports Management major, she has had a lot of contact with Professor Lipptrap and Professor Harmon. She says they have both spent numerous hours helping her to succeed more and more each day that she spends at Nichols. All of Taylor’s hard work over her past two years here is starting to pay off. She has landed a practicum with the Providence Bruins, and A.H.L. affiliate for the Boston Bruins, for the spring semester. She notes that this opportunity, along with all the other connections that the school possesses, will help her succeed in the work place and in finding a job after her graduation in 2015. Her career goal is to work for the New England Patriots or New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Taylor makes a valid point when she states, “Nichols isn’t small, it’s just close knit.” The closeness of the Nichols community makes this a special place for Taylor and many other students. Students like Taylor realize that the one on one attention the school provides will help the success of graduates in finding a job after graduation. Taylor is a resident of Coventry, Rhode Island and commutes back and forth to school on days she is in class. For Taylor, it is worth it to make an hour drive everyday to be at a school that will lead her to success in the future. She is clearly driven not just on the track.

Ingredients and Creativity at Chocolate Innovations

At Chocolate Innovations, Rob Russo has lived up the name having created many new and exciting flavors using ideas from customers and his own culinary creativity. One of his pride and joys was suggested by a Nichols student; a peanut butter cup sandwiched between two Oreo cookies then submersed in chocolate. From there it spun out of control and he started making new creations every week. Sin-a-bon Truffles, Macadamia Butter Cups, Expresso Truffles, and a devilish Lava Cup which is a peanut butter cup with a scorching finish of chili oil.

He has been developing gift ideas as to try to step into the  weddings, corporate gifts and holiday specials market. In these cases he found through experience and schooling that more options may not always be better. So for Valentines Day this year he offered two boxes; “I Love Valentine’s Day” and “I Hate Valentine’s Day” in addition to a limited production item. The boxes go beyond name and are more of an idea; “I Love Valentine’s Day” is the traditional idea of Cherry Truffles, Chocolate Strawberries and a Strawberry Rose. Whereas the “I Hate Valentine’s Day Box” is aimed at new age ideas of Chocolate Bacon, Oreo Cups and Cakeballs. The limited production item is also unique and different, this year it is a strawberry rose with a white chocolate base and pink, blue or purple accents added. The idea is to make a good selection of items universally liked so you can reach a broad target market.

As Rob continues to expand his business, try his products give him feedback and he will continue to use fine ingredients to create unique and delicious products.  He is quite active on Facebook, so follow Chocolate Innovations there.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community