BY JORDAN D’AURIO
Nichols College Career Services held an event on Sept. 28, called “Career Exploration Night,” through which several panelists answered questions pertaining to common concerns seniors have upon graduation and starting the job interview process. This was the first in a series of three events dedicated to seniors. The second one was held on Sept. 29 and the third held on Sept. 30.
As a senior, I gained insight into not only the interview process but also little tips such as which job titles to look for, which websites post the most legit jobs, how to negotiate a salary, and other useful advice. Career services and the professors on campus have done an amazing job making the interview process for seniors as easy and as less stressful as possible, and I couldn’t be any luckier to have such a support system.
The panel consisted of five panelists representing different areas of the workforce: Jesse Plouffe `03, New Balance, senior product developer; Eric Gobiel, Nichols College, assistant director of athletics and head men’s lacrosse coach; Andrew Danna, Fastenal, district manager; Sean Vail `12, The Bozzuto Group, property manager; and Chantal Alfonso, manager of Corporate Traveler USA.
They were asked a series of questions such as:
- What is your typical day at work?
- What is a success story your most proud of?
- What is one professional mistake you’ve made that you learned the most from?
What struck me the most was hearing the panelists talk about the on-the-job mistakes they’d made over the years. It felt comforting to hear that we’re all going to make mistakes- and that it’s OK to do so.
Andrew said: “Don’t try to do everything yourself, use the power of the people around you.”
This quote really made me realize that in any kind of job I end up in, I shouldn’t think I’m in it alone; there will always be someone to help guide me, which is not the perception I originally had on entering the work force.
The panelists also touched on social media, which was something I was happy they addressed. The consensus was to enjoy social media and use it to leverage yourself-but to be safe and smart, and to keep your profiles private. It was stressed to us how serious employers take inappropriate activity on social media; even if you’re the ideal candidate for a job, you could be eliminated from consideration because of your online activity.
After the speaking portion was over, I had an opportunity to network with the panelists. Each sat at a table and welcomed students who had questions about finding employment and related topics. I took full advantage of that opportunity and was able to get some business cards and was told to contact them if I had any questions, which I greatly appreciated. I sat down and spoke with Chantal, who explained to me her duties as a travel manager at Corporate Traveler and what her job entails. I’ve never heard of travel managers and was so interested in what the job had to offer. I’m strongly considering looking into her company and her position specifically.
Nichols College continues to amaze me with the opportunities they present to the student community; I’m excited to see what the next Career Services event has to offer!