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Learning By Doing

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Experiential learning is a cornerstone of any good business and leadership education. Whether it’s internships, faculty-led travel, consultation, or simply connecting with fellow students and alumni to talk shop, every day you’ll find new opportunities to dive in and learn on the Nichols campus.

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Hi, I'm Ashley, and I'm a general business major. Hands-on experiential learning is an important part of the Nichols academic experience. Here you'll be involved in consulting projects, course-related travel, internships, and much more that will set you apart from your peers.

You see, the thing about determination is that's the difference between winning and losing.

The elevator speech competition is you just give a one-minute pitch about yourself and basically what you can bring to a work environment. My speech was just about my hard work and determination and how I got it from my father. Practicing just being confident in front of anyone that you're talking to. So once I learned how to do that, I just felt confident doing that amongst 200, 300 people in the crowd. And it was just amazing to do that, and I can carry that no matter where I go.

It was a crazy experience. I love the atmosphere. Everyone at Nichols just sees you winning that. Everyone talks about it the next day, getting emails from professors and even the president saying, you did a great job.

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I had the opportunity to lead two international student trips that were part of a course that a professor in economics and I co-taught. So we went to Thessaloniki, Greece. We went to Lisbon, Portugal. And then separately, I partnered with a professor in psychology, and we led students to Washington DC during a presidential inauguration.

The great part about these trips is that students are traveling with their faculty members. We have a chance to introduce them to our connections and our networks, our professional networks. We can introduce them to people who are working in careers that they want to aspire to.

So in Portugal, for example, we went to a startup company that helps incubate people with new business ideas. And we went to people who work in drug and rehabilitation facilities who talked about the criminal justice system in Portugal. We went and met with an attorney who works with the UN Human Rights Commission, and she works on the refugee crisis. So our students interested in law had an opportunity to meet with her one-on-one. So that sort of personal experience, that guided experience, is really something we try to offer students when we take them on these short-term study abroads.

We're going to Portugal-- Lisbon, Portugal-- with a class of 20 students, and we get to do a debate with another class there at a college. We get to visit local businesses and different excursions too like museums and history. There's so much history in Portugal. Being able to go to another country and study like exactly what you're learning in class is an insane opportunity.

A great opportunity this year was for our students to go to the Northeast Sales Competition in Rhode Island. It was a chance for them to put their sales skills to the test. We thought this would be a great opportunity for our students to get experience trying to sell software to a real company. They had to participate in the process of discovery, identifying the needs and wants of the customer, and then identifying a way for them to help them understand their needs and then sell the software to them.

The team did a fantastic job. We had about a dozen students go down and participate. They competed against schools from all around the country. It's one of the major sales competitions in the United States. So it was a great opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience in selling.

You go into a room with six executives, and you pitch them the product, whatever it is. And then you go on to different rounds, and we made it to round three. So that was exciting. It gave me a chance to be a leader and to really grow as a student and be able to not only do well in the classroom but get opportunities like internships.

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