Alumni & Career Panels to Help You Succeed

The Young Alumni Panel, facilitated by Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement Brianne Ross, was held on March 9th. The panelists were Courtney Carey ’12, Inclusion Instructional Assistant, Cunniff Elementary School; Ryan Paradis ’10, Financial Analyst, PanAgora Asset Management; Sean Smith-Vaughan ’11, Intern to the General Counsel, Office of the State Counsel/law student at New England Law; and Mackenzie Walsh ’12, Staffing Manager with OfficeTeam. The panelists offered valuable advice to students about how to adjust to life in the real world after Nichols.

The following day, Career Services hosted their annual career panel in Davis Hall. Employer Relations Associate Abby Gould introduced the four female panelists and asked them a series of questions. The women were Stephanie Cormier Gregoire from Key Program Inc., Tracey Lee Wellesley from Financial Group, Nancy Gervais ’98 from State Street, and Sara Campbell from the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center. The panelists are all actively involved in hiring and the focus of this event was to acquire branding and interview practices.

One of the questions I found fascinating was whether employers look at social media accounts when hiring people. Most of the women said no, but they do look at a candidate’s LinkedIn page. I found this noteworthy because growing up, and since being at Nichols, I have always been told that employers will look at everything. The panelists all agreed that sometimes they might glance at a person’s profile picture on Facebook just to see what he or she looks like. Therefore, students should always make sure that their picture is appropriate and that their privacy settings are updated and set appropriately.

Another point that I found important is when the interviewer asks a candidate if he or she has any questions, he or she should always have a few prepared. Nancy said there is nothing worse than hearing, “No I don’t have any questions,” because it makes a person sound unprepared or uninterested in the company or position. Stephanie advised us to write down any questions ahead of time so we do not have to memorize them. She told us that they are interested in our questions and want you to ask any that you may have. Tracey added to always make eye contact with the interviewer(s) and say thank you at the end of the interview.

Even though I am only a freshman, this was very informative. I will be going on interviews for internships soon. As a matter of fact, I recently had an interview, and this panel really helped me understand what I need to work on. It is also beneficial to hear from the people doing the hiring. The information and the do’s and don’ts that they provided us with is invaluable.

Overall this was a great event, and I plan to attend next year’s panels as well. I guarantee this benefited everyone who attended because I know they provided me with valuable information and enhanced my knowledge of the interview process.

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