All posts by Ryan Finnegan, Class of 2014

Ryan Finnegan, a Senior at Nichols College, is studying English Education and has been a part of the Social Media Department since freshman year! As a photographer he has excelled in the world of technology of Photoshop, Final Cut etc. He has enjoyed working for Claudia and that he is now apart of this great new publication! If you see him with a camera at either a cultural event or around campus don’t be afraid to smile for some great shots for the blog. From a time when “Team Web” was only by a freshman minion to a new heard of bison that have taken on the team with open arms. Thanks for everyone’s hard work and we hope that you enjoy the new Nichols Chronicles!

PDS on Alumni Relations Panel

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.

Lisa Taylor: Professor on Campus, Poet at Heart

A photograph of Professor Taylor captured by her husband

Quiet and reflective, Lisa Taylor is a successful poet new to the faculty here at Nichols College. Having joined the English department, Professor Taylor feels lucky to be here, stating that Nichols simply felt like home the first time she walked on to the campus, a feeling many students have also experienced. She stumbled across the ad for an English Professor rather by accident, though Taylor believes fate determines our path. As her path has led to teaching two expository writing classes this semester, Nichols students are sure to benefit.

With an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast in Maine, Taylor brings more than just a degree to the table. This is a woman with four published books of poetry and a short story collection in the works. She has connections with not just writers and published authors but with successful sports management professionals as well, a combination that so molds to the Nichols lifestyle that one simply has to concede that fate lights our pathways and guides our destination. Utilizing these connections, Nichols students and alum will be pleased to learn Taylor has secured a visit from Irish author Alan McMonagle, who will grace the College with his presence in late October. McMonagle will present a free reading along with Taylor in the Fels Student Center on October 27th from 3pm – 5pm.

In addition to the academic and professional qualities Lisa Taylor had to offer, she also brings her beliefs in hard work and the ability of the underdog to succeed. Within twenty minutes of speaking with Professor Taylor, she wanted to know who I was and what made me tick. With 25 years in the public school system and nine simultaneous years spent teaching college, it’s not an act – she truly cares about each student as an individual. Professor Taylor took the time to offer advice and support to a student she had just met. How admirable a quality is that! With the belief a mentor/mentee relationship is not something to be taken lightly, Taylor remains in contact with her own mentors from both grad school and a fellowship spent in the wilderness of Ireland one summer. The care Taylor takes in knowing her students became more evident as she offered me grad school advice, writing tips, and support.

Professor Lisa Taylor is an asset to the community here at Nichols College.

Interview: Recruiters Jason Dekow ’06 & Kevin King ’07 on What Makes Nichols Students Terrific

There are a variety of traits that can help a student stand out in a crowd. But what is it that makes Nichols students terrific? Two recruiters who attended the recent career fair shared some of their thoughts on this question. Jason Dekow, a Nichols graduate from the class of 2006, who represented Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, stated that “Nichols students are terrific in a number of ways”. Students impressed possible employers by being well dressed, professional and engaging. Those who really stood out to recruiters had done prior research on the companies they were interested in. Kevin King, Nichols graduate from the class of 2007, who represented WB Mason at the career fair, believes that “the small class sizes at Nichols allow students the opportunity to learn values that they would not learn in other larger colleges”. Nichols focuses not only on teaching students to succeed in the classroom, but also in a professional setting. Students learn how to market themselves through the way they dress, act and prepare for any given situation. This is what makes Nichols students so terrific.

Both recruiters mentioned that Nichols students have drive that is not often seen in most college populations. Nichols students are working toward their future career, and they are driven to find the one best suited to them. Kevin offers a word of advice, “Know where you want to be at the next stage in your life.” Recruiters are looking for individuals who are passionate about what they do and who have the drive to continue improving and advancing in their careers. Having this drive can set you apart from a sea of others looking for the same opportunities. It is this drive that sets Nichols students apart from other college students.
Jillian Stadig Class of 2014