Category Archives: News & Views

IWL Holds First Speed Networking Social

By Olivia Barrett ’16W
IWL Program Coordinator

Being a senior in college, especially at a business school, I feel I should be proficient in networking. But when given the opportunity to put these skills to a test last spring, it is safe to say, I was less than pleased. It was a male-dominated setting with significantly older professionals, and I found it a little overwhelming. Improving these skills quickly became a top priority for me. From that day on, I now take the initiative to attend any and every networking opportunity that I am offered. In addition, I also suggested that the Institute for Women’s Leadership hold a networking event.

frontdeskAfter weeks of preparation, we recently hosted our first-ever Student-Professional Networking Social. The IWL invited faculty, students and professional guests to come together in Daniels Auditorium. The evening was separated into two parts: the first section was speed networking and the second section was a “mocktail” reception.

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For the speed networking img_0121section, students and professionals were paired up for five minutes to have one-on-one conversations that were guided by prompted questions about networking. At the end of the five minutes, students would rotate one seat to the left, giving them the opportunity to speak with nine professionals over the course of the evening. During this time, the room was buzzing with conversation!

img_0145The “mocktail” reception that followed was a fun and interactive way to simulate an actual networking event. This portion of the evening enabled students and professionals to circulate around the room and connect with individuals that were of interest or professionals they had not had the opportunity to meet. A lot of the attending professionals spoke very highly of the Nichols students whom they had met throughout the evening. It was a night full of great conversation, networking advice, and connections.

All in all, this was a great event that I believe students and professionals alike were able to benefit from. In the future, I hope the IWL will host more Networking Socials, and who knows, maybe I will even get to come back as a professional in the near future!

Visit from MA State Auditor Suzanne Bump

by Nicole Zheng ’19, member of the IWL Student Advisory Panel

img_0096Suzanne Bump, former State Representative and State Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, is currently the Massachusetts State Auditor. She is the very first woman to serve in this role and has become an inspiring role model for women striving for leadership. Auditor Bump visited Nichols College on October 4, 2016 to give a speech about public leadership, her experiences, and her roles in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In her speech, I admired how honest she was, especially about her failures. While Bump experienced her disappointments, she also conveyed that if it weren’t for her failures, she would not have the opportunities she has today. She delivered a message that to be successful, achievements and accomplishments should be balanced with failures, otherwise you would not truly understand what ‘success’ is. I can relate to this. I have had my share of failures and I sure felt discouraged from trying again, but then I pulled myself together again and looked at other opportunities. I learned that if you do not get what you expected, do not stop trying and working hard. Focus on doing better or direct your focus towards other opportunities because it is not about one thing you do, but all of the things you do. I want to thank Suzanne Bump for being such a strong and courageous woman to step up and inspire many students like me to become better leaders.

MA State Auditor Bump with Nichols Accounting students and faculty
MA State Auditor Bump with Nichols Accounting students and faculty

Meet New IWL Program Coordinator Alexandra Vojtila

by Alexandra Vojtila ’17

  • alvSenior at Nichols College
  • Double major: Economics & Business Communication
  • Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) Program Coordinator
  • 4th Year on IWL Student Advisory Panel
  • Economics Club
  • Poetry Club



Where I am From:
I come from Southington, CT, where the bears, coyotes, and deer frolic around my back yard. As much as a I love being surrounded by towering green pine and birch trees, I equally love being 10 minutes away from Hartford, a city bustling with insurance companies and a myriad of food establishments and people from all walks of life. I have a patient mom who would do anything for me and a hilarious dad who is 6’5″ and loves talking business with me. I have no siblings and one dog (that my mom considers to be another child). I went to small private Catholic schools since pre-school, and I thoroughly enjoy being at a small and intimate college like Nichols where I can feel like I am surrounded by family in a community-based environment.

What I Love:
Cooking is a passion of mine. I like to look at recipes and throw my own twist into the dishes that I create. Growing up, I often went out to lunch and dinner every day, so once I began cooking, I enjoyed teaching myself. I enjoy giving my time to those in need. I spent over a month in Haiti living at an orphanage and building medical offices, a play scape, and a school resource room. I also spent two weeks in New Orleans, Louisiana, where I helped to rebuild homes of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. I enjoy traveling and I recently spent five months in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where I studied and got a better understanding for life outside of the United States. In my free time, I like to read, cook, spend time with my family, go on adventures with my friends, and research architecture.

My Life at Nichols:
When I began at Nichols College, I knew right away that I wanted to get involved on campus. After dedicating many of my earlier years to sports, I was no longer allowed to play because of several back surgeries. I decided to try a variety of new clubs revolving around different subjects. I joined the Campus Activities Board, the Poetry Club, the Economics Club, and the one with the most impact, the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Throughout these different clubs on campus, I met new students, new faculty, and new friends. I had things to look forward to and I was never bored. I even found new passions that I would have never known I had. I even added on another major because I enjoyed class time so much. If you looked back and asked the high school version of me if any of this would have been possible, she would have laughed and shook her head.

Being a part of the IWL:
When I was a freshman, I received an email inviting me to an intimate dinner including myself, other students, a few faculty members, and a female guest speaker who was a successful business woman. I was attracted to the idea of getting to talk to a successful female one-on-one and to eating a catered dinner other than Lombard. I signed up, showed up at Daniels Auditorium, and I was hooked. Since then, I applied to be on the Institute for Women’s Leadership panel as a freshman, and four years later, I’m still a strong member of the panel. I enjoy meeting with our mentors, helping other females around campus gain confidence, and raising awareness. Recently I was even promoted to be the Program Coordinator for the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Now, instead of going to the events that I love, I can help to create them and make them a reality!

Alexandra joins Olivia Barrett ’16, who is finishing her last semester as an IWL Program Coordinator.