Name: Nicole LoPresti
Class of: 2008
Position: Case Coordinator
Employer: Lowell Treatment Center
Summary: While attending Rivier College, Nicole was very active participating in off-campus activities. During her sophomore and senior year, Nicole had the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience by completing two different internship programs. She also found time to give back to the community by participating in a 20 hour service learning program with the Youth Council of Nashua. Throughout Nicole’s four years of college, she continued to demonstrate her communication and leadership skills by coaching two competitive cheerleading squads.
What type of preparation and/or research did you do to help you obtain your internship positions?
I completed Internship 1 during my sophomore year, at Billerica Memorial High School with the school Social Worker, and I completed Internship II during my senior year with the Manchester Juvenile Probation and Parole Office. My Social Work professor, Sally Booth, helped me to obtain both of these internships. Since psychology is such a broad area of study, Sally assisted me with narrowing down my interests. Still unsure of what specific field of psychology I’m most interested in each, internship definitely helped to narrow down my options. Before sending out my resume, I worked closely with the Career Development Center and researched their website throughout the process of creating my resume.
Did your internship experiences help you secure your current position at Lowell Treat Center?
Yes, both internships gave me great hands-on experience generally with at-risk youth. The only difference now is I’m working with at-risk youth within their home setting, as opposed to solely the school or probation setting. Internship II especially prepared me for the number of responsibilities that my current position entails, such as case management and contact with other providers.
What type of service learning experience did you have and did that experience help you in determining your career direction?
I completed a 20-hour service learning at The Youth Council in Nashua as a course requirement. The basis of the service learning was celebrating Child Assault Prevention (CAP) month and preparing for the CAP rally. We did skits in local middle schools to demonstrate different ways of being safe and we sold bracelets that read “Keep Kids Safe”. I did this service learning very early in my college career, but it definitely gave me a good kick start in the right direction.
What was your most important accomplishment while attending Rivier?
Hands-on experience was the most important accomplishment at Riv. My internships were #1, but also doing research papers for psychology classes gave me great experience. I was able to interview individuals and survey students throughout the research and preparation of my papers.
What Career Development Center services did you utilize?
I was first introduced to CDC during a classroom presentation. Students were able to obtain several useful resources handed out during theses presentations. We were also encouraged to utilize the website, which has been a useful resource even nearly a year after graduation! I’m constantly utilizing the website while updating my resume, and searching for employment. I’ve also used it in order to explore several Psychology/Social Work careers. Marie Sullivan, Assistant Director, has personally helped me update my resume and explore different careers.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give current students to better prepare them for their careers?
My advice is to enjoy college as much as you can, but at the same time prepare for “the real world” as early as possible because once graduation comes there is no time for preparation. You have to be ready for your career if you choose to begin work immediately following graduation.
What job search techniques did you find most valuable?
Internships and collaboration with professors were most valuable in my job search. Assistance from Professor Booth, Dr. Goodman, and of course Marie Sullivan was extremely helpful in learning the job search process and finding out what career path I prefer.