All posts by Allison Souza, Class of 2013

… 3,2,1 – Isaac Redman’s My Countdown App

When bored at his summer job in his home state of Maine, Isaac Redman, app developer, began his search for something to occupy his interest and inspire excitement. In doing so, he decided that he wanted to focus his efforts on designing a website. Through research, though, Isaac discovered that he did not have the resources to do so, but instead stumbled upon a website focusing on the creation of apps – this was the spark that ignited a fire.

Through further research, and the completion of the book App Empire, Isaac took a chance and began the development of his countdown app, My Countdown. He had discovered that countdown apps were extremely popular amongst the consumer and decided this was his best avenue. Aware that he didn’t have the tools to program the app on his own he hired a programmer in Ukraine. Isaac was able to design two versions of his app through a summer’s worth of planning and hand sketches. One version would be available to users for free and the other would be available for 99 cents. The difference, you ask? The free version allows one to count down by days and customize events with a picture, but the 99-cent version allows a user to customize with a picture, countdown by days, hours and minutes and eliminates disruptive advertisements.

Isaac’s My Countdown app has done well since its release in November of 2012 with 1,000 downloads. At this time, Isaac has exhausted his marketing funds, but plans to resume marketing efforts over the summer of 2013. He is eager to work with his Ukrainian programmer to improve the app with push notifications and frequent updates. His biggest goal is for the app to eventually support a majority of all languages in an effort to gain market share. With one app under his belt, Isaac plans to eventually release other apps, which he will base off the popularity of apps trending at that future time. Isaac demonstrates that the use of entrepreneurial skills can lead one to success especially with an increasing need for instantaneous technology.

Ready, Aim, HIRE!

Target, a company who focuses on finding employees with similar attributes to fit their core values, has, for years now, been developing a relationship with Nichols College for recruitment and hiring purposes. They have made appearances at several of Nichols’ previous career fairs including this years’. The company offers Nichols students high quality internships with guaranteed potential for a full-time position following.

The process for securing a spot as one of Target’s leaders is very detailed and involved – probably to ensure an applicant’s actual interest. Although the process is involved many Nichols applicants agreed that the progression was extremely beneficial. Once applications, resumes, cover letters and requests for interviews were submitted through Nichols’ online Road to Success database, Target notified applicants they were interested in interviewing. Applicants then met Target employees at the Nichols Career Fair through a Target meet and greet. Target also provided an info session for eligible applicants prior to interviews.

Several interview candidates, including Gabriella Sarkis, Kat Floridia and Noelle Palazzi, agreed that the information session was an extremely beneficial portion of this process. During this time, applicants were provided with interviewing tips and were further informed about the company. Applicants were also provided with one on one time when current Target employees provided further direction for the interviewing stage. This simple act of guidance provided several applicants with a feeling of being well prepared come interview day.

A theme of leadership shined not only through interaction between applicants and current employees, but also through the entire interview process. Applicants determined that the characteristic of leadership was top priority when selecting a candidate for an internship position. Candidates were interviewed through scenario-based questions in which they were assessed based on three major components: the situation, their behavior and the outcome. If candidates made it past their first interview they were offered a second interview at Target’s district office in Windsor, Connecticut. Two Nichols students, Gabriella Sarkis and Noelle Palazzi, prevailed to second round interviews making Nichols very proud.

Second interviews required both Sarkis and Palazzi to be even more prepared than they were for their first interviews. Both applicants further familiarized themselves with the company and organized two copies of their resumes, cover letters and recommendation lists prior. They also prepared their answers for possible interview questions and constructed outlines as personal guides – a skill that Nichols College has instilled into their student body. Once their interviews at the district office were complete they waited to learn their fate with the company.

Sarkis has been hired by Target. Both Noelle and Gabby , appreciate the knowledge they have gained from working so closely with Career Services and Target and their employees throughout this process.

15-40 Connection and Nichols Undergrads Refuse to Let Cancer Win

Many of us know someone who has been impacted by cancer whether they fought the battle or supported somebody else who did. This semester, the Sport Management and Hospitality program’s Event and Conference Management class teamed up with Massachusett’s local non-profit 15-40 Connection – their goal to create, plan and execute events that raised awareness for the non-profit’s mission of the early detection of cancer.

15-40 Connection is a non-profit organization located in Westborough, Massachusetts. The organization was started by Nichols College alum Jim Coughlin to raise early detection of cancer awareness amongst people whose ages ranged from 15 years to 40 years. The biggest concern is that the cancer survival rates of this age range have remained stagnant since 1975. The organization works to diminish this statistic and provide the public with the resources and education that promote the recognition of cancer at its earliest stages.

Nichols Business professor Bryant Richards, Mohegan Sun executive, decided to take a hands on approach with his Spring 2013 event planning class. Instead of presenting content filled PowerPoints and lectures Richards sent his group of undergrads into the real world and pushed them to take create successful events while satisfying the mission of 15-40 Connection.

Many students enrolled in the class had never planned an event before. Even though this was the case, students formed teams and took on the challenge. Since January, students have been perfecting their events. As a result, the Nichols campus will be swarming with 15-40 Connection awareness events starting next week as four of the six event planning teams make their debut with a 5K (Sunday 4/7), haircut-a-thon (Monday 4/8), 3 v. 3 basketball tournament (Tuesday 4/9) and scavenger hunt/race (Wednesday 4/10).

Starting next week, come out and help the teams accomplish their mission and support the movement to improve cancer survival rates amongst 15-40 year olds. Team up with 15-40 Connection and Nichols event-planning students as they strive to make a difference!