On Thursday September 26th at 1:30 pm, four Nichols College Alumni gathered in Davis Hall to share their life-after-Nichols experiences with current Nichols students. Students poured into rooms 205 and 207 once the doors opened. A quick scan of the crowd showed very few open seats and eager students with notebooks and pens poised to learn. A required event for seniors taking their PDS classes this fall, the alumni panel proved very beneficial to those in attendance.
Ryan Gervais is a Nichols grad from 2008 and 2010 with an MBA. Megan Sherman graduated in 2010, as did Danielle Flavin. Kevin Richardson is the most recent graduate of Nichols College, from 2012. All four students have found success in the business world and attribute that success to Nichols College. Kevin Richardson was quick to point out that the teamwork skills learned while in school helped him immensely in his field. The other three panelists agreed, adding that Nichols prepares you for the real world.
Danielle Flavin brought laughter and successfully formed a connection to the crowd when mentioning how much she hated the PDS (Professional Development Seminar) classes while at Nichols but pointed out that the portfolio she produces at interviews is incomparable against other candidates. Ryan Gervais mentioned the importance of learning the interview skills created in PDS – skills certain to come in handy upon graduation – Danielle does approximately 25 interviews each week and regaled the crowd with the do’s and don’ts of interviewing.
With a team of twenty working underneath her, Megan Sherman gave key advice on having a positive attitude in the workplace and owning up to it when you falter. Also touting the merits of PDS classes and the resume building learned at Nichols, Megan gave the audience horror stories of resumes she sees that brought plenty of laughs among students.
Kevin Richardson was also quick to jump on the PDS-praise train, adding in that Nichols preps students realistically for the job market, and gives them the skills they need to succeed beyond the interview. Kevin stressed the need for those just starting in their careers to broaden their horizons, be flexible, and stay professional. Above all, Richardson notes – market yourself.
As the program came to a close, director of Alumni Relations Bri Callahan asked each of the alumni, “Why do you stay in touch with Nichols?” The responses were typical. To come back and see all the changes, to continue to network, to stay in touch with old friends, and to stay involved. Perhaps the most interesting of answers came from Megan, who complimented Nichols on the resources used to set the path for student success, and then stated, “I owe so much success to Nichols, which is the main reason I give back [sic] to the college.” That answer rang true. An understanding settled over most of the students in the audience at that moment, and that one answer is sure to have convinced at least one student that it’s no small bones to be a Nichols Alumni.
Perhaps the true mark of a Nichols student is the politeness in which the alumni were received. Students sat with rapt attention, taking notes and genuinely listening to the advice of their peers. One can only wish the man constantly rustling around, digging in his bag, and shuffling papers took note. As this reporter remained impressed with the attentiveness of the crowd, that one distraction stood out like a sore thumb.