At Bryant, students receive assistance with every step of their career search process, from choosing a major to landing their first job. The University’s Amica Center for Career Education employs a comprehensive, hands-on approach that sets up Bryant students for a lifetime of success. Ninety-nine percent of Bryant graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation and their median starting salary is $60,000. Just as important: the students find their “best fit” path to personal satisfaction and professional achievement.
“The Amica Center is a lot more than just what people traditionally think of when they think of a career center,” says Abbey Chmura ’22, who will be joining PwC’s Consulting Solutions Practice in the fall. “They help open your eyes to all of the opportunities that you can have for professional and personal success.”
The staff of the Amica Center, she says, helped her plan both her course of study and her future after graduation, in addition to helping her with key professional development elements such as interviewing for jobs and preparing her resume. “The Center staff doesn’t just say, ‘This is what you should do,’” says Chmura. “They talk with you about what you want to do and where you want to go and then help you turn your goals into a plan.”
“Every student’s path is unique because every student is unique. We want to help them bring their individuality to their career,” says Amica Center Career Coach Nicolle Potvin. She likens her role to that of an athletic coach. “We’re here to teach students, support them, guide them, cheer them on and help them get better at the things that will help them do what they want to do,” she says.
"Whatever their interests are or whatever their major is, we have the resources and the opportunities to help them build their path.”
That means helping students discover the kind of career that will make them happy. “At its base, career education involves learning about yourself, and from there, learning about what you can do with your values, your skills and your interests,” Potvin notes. One-on-one career coaching sessions with Amica staff help students tackle the big topics–including deciding on a major that best fits their passions and interests and developing a job search strategy. Walk-in “Quick Question" sessions provide a venue for them to perfect the small details.
That personalized approach can make a world of difference, says Chmura. “I think it's incredibly important because it helps them understand a student’s specific needs and goals,” she says. “Sometimes students might be afraid to ask questions in a large program, especially if it’s something they find difficult to talk about. But when it’s just one person sitting across from you, then you can have a conversation.”
Those conversations change as students progress through college and learn more about themselves and their field of study. “We support all Bryant students throughout their entire four years,” says Potvin. “Whatever their interests are or what their major is, we have the resources and the opportunities to help them build their path.”
Those resources can often make a key difference. In addition to counseling sessions, the Amica Center’s wide range of programing covers everything from resume writing to preparing for job interviews to negotiating salary offers. This semester more than 50 career development events helped students gain a competitive edge.
“Our alumni network is both extensive and impressive–it’s one of the most impressive advantages Bryant students have.”
Connections and community
Currently, more than 1,000 organizations actively recruit Bryant students through Bryant Career Connection (BCC) and through on-campus and virtual recruiting engagements. This past August, the Amica Center upgraded BCC, which is now powered by Handshake, resulting in significantly more postings locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally (a 439% increase from 2020). More than 4,800 jobs and 2,900 internship opportunities were shared via BCC this semester.
The positions are reviewed by Amica Center staff to ensure that they’re viable for Bryant students. “These are recruiters and employers who know Bryant’s reputation and the caliber of our students and want to hire them,” Potvin says. “So, when students apply to a posting they found on the BCC, they're already at an advantage because these companies are looking directly at them.”
The Amica Center also helps students make important connections with professional mentors, including among Bryant’s 50,000 alumni. “Our alumni network is both extensive and impressive–it’s one of the most impressive advantages Bryant students have,” Potvin says. “Our students are very close with our alumni network and so many of our alumni are very happy to help out students from their alma mater.”
That sense of community extends to the student body. Chmura now works at the Amica Center as a career advocate, where she draws from first-hand experience to help students figure out their own paths. “We’re able to relate to students in a different way because we are students too,” she says. “They come to us with the same questions we’ve gone through.”
She’s excited to pay forward the support she’s received. “The Amica Center has helped me become so much more knowledgeable in a number of different areas. I can give back a little bit now and use what I've gained to help other students.”