Category Archives: Featured

Career Fair 2013: The Opportunities Observed

Nichols provides their students with tools to achieve success during and beyond their time enrolled as undergrads. Through Nichols’ Professional Development Seminar curriculum, students learn how to present themselves confidently to employers while highlighting their strengths. Nichols requires real life implementation of these skills that are then utilized at the annual Career & Internship Fair. The event is organized by the Office of Career Service. Of course the Career Fair is attended by many companies year after year, because they have had terrific results from previous Nichols hires. After the career fair eight companies scheduled on campus interviews, where 53 Nichols students will get a chance to further demonstrate their aptitude.

This year’s career fair, held on February 20th, featured 70 companies and organizations, and welcomed 353 Nichols undergrads with opportunity for employment and internship experience. General consensus among students suggests that the career fair was extremely beneficial even when opportunities focused on their specific majors were limited. Below is Jason Dekow, an alumni interviewing candidates for Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

“The fair was great – a good way to practice how to approach and employer. It also provided a quality networking opportunity that we all need in order to get a job when we leave school. It was also nice to see all the businesses that value the Nichols College education and students.” – Pat Hoey, Class of 2015

“At the career fair I was spotted by the recruiter from Old Navy Company because I was wearing a leopard print belt. Because Old Navy is a trendy, fashion forward company he told me he was trying to spot students who looked trendy and had their own personal style. We began talking about the internship positions they have available for the summer, one of which I became very interested in. I now plan on applying for an Old Navy internship within the next few weeks. Before attending the career fair Old Navy would not have been a company I would have even considered doing an internship for. .” –Jillian Stadig, Class of 2014
“Walking into the fair was very overwhelming at first, with all of the tables and filled room of students and companies, figuring out where to even begin was a challenge. I skimmed the rows of tables until I found Enterprise.Once I reached the table I stood to the side and waited as other students gathered information from the representatives. All three of the representatives were Nichols Alumni. I think being able to see people who you once had class with take on a position at the Career Fair is very personal. This lets students know that it is very possible to obtain a Career from an Internship, it makes the fair that much more important and reminds students to take it seriously. ” – Kendra McAuliffe, Class of 2014

Before I went to the career fair I was actually extremely nervous about talking to potential employers. I made sure that I had ten updated copies of my resume, and a nice size stack of business cards. I headed to the career fair with a group of my friends. However, I made sure to break away from the group of people that I was with in order to make a better impression on potential employers. Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce: This internship is located in Whitinsville Massachusetts. They are looking for multiple interns, and the internship is unpaid. However, it is a wonderful experience that will fully engulf you in the world of events. The intern will be working to plan events that bring businesses together to learn how to better plan events.” Abby Gould, Class of 2014

“One of the biggest things that I took away from the Career fair was when I was talking to Christina Graham (2012 Graduate) from Enterprise Rent a Car. I asked her what her biggest piece of advice would be for someone graduating and going into the real world and she said that you really have to strive to do your absolute best, and not to settle.” William O’Brien, Class of 2013.

Patrick MacDonald (C/O 2014): Student & U.S. Army Specialist

February Student Spotlight: Patrick MacDonald

Age: 21
Hometown: Bellingham, Ma
Major: Criminal Justice Management
Class: 2014

Patrick MacDonald is a member of the junior class at Nichols College, along with being a part of the United States Army Reserves. Despite being heavily involved with the Army, MacDonald finds time to be involved on campus. He holds one of the most important and time consuming campus positions, a Resident Assistant, a member of the Criminal Justice Club, a sprinter on the track team and  a participant at a local affiliate Crossfit.  When asked the most difficult part of managing all his activities, MacDonald notes the difference between military life and college life. He stated, “The military is very strict and you’re always on a schedule. In college, you have more freedom and you are responsible for waking yourself up for class in the morning.”

Like many other students, MacDonald fell in love with the small school and tight knit community that Nichols has to offer. He said that at other schools he would have just been a number in a class but at Nichols he has a name. Another reason Pat chose Nichols was because he got the opportunity to meet and speak with Professor Kimberly Charbonneau at “Accepted Students Day.” Charbonneau has been the biggest help to Pat over the past few years at Nichols and has set him on the right track for his career.  Her ability to obtain internships for her students is crucial in this.

MacDonald began to envision joining the military in his junior year of high school and then decided to commit during his senior year. He saw this as an opportunity to advance his career and get him started in the right direction. It has given him experience in the work field since his goal is to one day be a Massachusetts State Police Officer. Through the military, where he is in the military police, Pat earns “promotion points” toward his career. During this journey over the past couple of years, his parents have been his biggest support system. They have always supported what he does and his dad encouraged him to choose this route since he is in the Marines as well as being a police officer.

Upon graduating from Nichols in the spring of 2014, MacDonald hopes to continue his education to earn his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He plans on taking the State Police exam that is coming up this April. Once he takes the exam and graduates from school, his goal is to be accepted into one of the police academies in Massachusetts.

An Experience Not to be Forgotten-CJM Graduate Jason Gonzalez

Jason Gonzalez spent twelve weeks in the Corrections Academy and that has led to recently being employed at the Worcester County House of Corrections as a Corrections Officer. This is an accomplishment to be proud of, all within several months of graduating from Nichols. As Jason started his speech to the Nichols students, he began with, “It was an experience I will never forget.”

Jason, who graduated in 2012, returned to campus to have a very enlightening conversation with the current Criminal Justice majors on his experience in his most recent endeavor, the Corrections Academy, and how Nichols has helped him on his path. Returning with Jason was 1970 Nichols graduate, Mike Bird who is now the Supervisor of Parole Board.

Throughout the discussion, Jason made it very clear that there are four main points he wanted to stress that are necessary in his career of criminal justice. The first one being, attend to detail. During his twelve weeks at the academy, detail during inspections and every day routines were key. Jason said, “Every day we would have inspections and I would fail. The field is truly not meant for everyone. I went into it blind and was shocked.” Being perfectly put together at all times is what may separate a good corrections officer from a targeted one. For instance if you don’t have your shirt perfectly ironed and tucked in, the inmates seem to take note on you and act on it.

The second point Jason made was you must have precise communication skills. Although Jason works in a dangerous environment, he informed us, “I don’t carry firearms. I don’t have any spray or weapons. All I have are my communication skills.” This may come to a shock to most people but it really just proves how well you must be able to communicate. Jason pressed the issue that inmates are people too, and the best weapon is actually your mind and words.

Verbal Communication is absolutely necessary when you are dealing with people who haven’t been out from behind bars in so long. Jason said he learned most, if not all of his communication skills at Nichols. In his business communication classes he learned the importance of appropriate hand gestures and posture. Jason said, “You have to look squared away. All you have in this field is your reputation. You must demand respect, but most importantly, you have to give respect to earn it.”

The third valuable point Jason shared with the students is, start now. The most helpful thing a criminal justice major can do for themselves is start right now. Jason said, “Discover if you are fit for this field now. Shave every day, work out every day, and try to live the lifestyle that you would as a Correctional Officer. You’ll be more prepared and you’ll find out if it’s for you right away.” Nichols is great with helping criminal justice majors out in this area, considering there have been sixty internships in the past four years in the criminal justice program, with twenty-five this year alone.

Last but certainly not least, Jason suggested getting involved. When you are involved on campus, it makes you a well rounded person as well as helps you stand out. Jason had an outstanding academic and extracurricular background at Nichols. He was an RA for two years, Student Ambassador President, a member of the criminal justice club, a member of Investment club and also worked with Public Safety as a dispatcher. Jason said, “Getting a four-year degree is a social norm nowadays. Everyone has one. It is what you do while you are at school that sets you apart. Get involved.”

Jason was most grateful for the education he received while attending Nichols. More specifically, he was grateful for Professor Charbonneau, who helped him feel more prepared and confident in a field that often scares people away. Jason has gained so much knowledge from the criminal justice program here at Nichols; he has been able to use it on the job. For that, not only do his coworkers respect him but so do the inmates. So far, Jason has been extremely successful in his field and has been able to show his talent. Now, Jason is first on the list for the Smithfield Rhode Island Police Department.