It’s never too early to start planning for a bright future. This August, 16 Bryant students from across the country and representing a wide range of majors attended Bryant’s virtual Career Jump Start, an intensive one-day program hosted by the University’s Amica Center for Career Education. Through the Jump Start, students learned and practiced invaluable career development skills with Amica Center Career Coaches, and even had the opportunity to practice their interview skills and network with representatives from Bryant’s recruiting partners.
“I knew when I first heard about the Jump Start that I had to be a part of it,” says Anna White ’26, a first year Biology major who is studying to become a child psychiatrist. “I knew it would help me get a better understanding of my career goals and how to reach them and that it would be a really great experience.”
Christopher Cardolino ’26 who will be studying Finance at Bryant, is amazed at how much he learned over the course of a single day. "The Jump Start program is an excellent opportunity for students to engage with employers from the real world and prepare for real world careers,” he says. “It offers valuable insight into topics like writing cover letters and resumes, but, most importantly, this incredible opportunity also expands the confidence of the students."
Jump Start is a great start
At Bryant University, 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.
The Career Jump Start program, says Amica Center Associate Director of Career Services Veronica Stewart, who helped to organize and teach the session, is a great way to begin the career search process. “The Jump Start program sets time aside for students to work on some essential career planning activities,” she says. “It’s geared towards students who are just beginning their career planning journey so that they can build a really solid foundation of the pieces that they will need to develop and expand on over their four years.”
The program, in addition to offering career development education, provided an introduction to the Center’s nationally recognized programs. In addition to one-on-one career coaching sessions, career-preparation workshops cover areas such as cover letter writing, interviewing, networking, and personal branding. During Résumé Rally sessions, recruiters from major employers review students résumés with them, offering advice and pointers regarding the career search process.
“I think it’s really valuable to be able to talk to experts and make connections with people who are going to be your mentors for the next four years. I don’t think many people get that opportunity."
Even the small details are covered. "Dress for Success" classes provide useful tips on professional attire and LinkedIn photobooth sessions ensure that students have the perfect headshot to accompany their job-hunting profile.
The Jump Start also introduced the students to the Amica Center’s Career Coaches, who will work with them throughout their college careers on finding and preparing for professional opportunities. “The Jump Start is an opportunity for us to get to know students and for them to get to know us, so that we can start to build a rapport” Stewart says. “We’re excited to work with them individually and help them create their own paths.”
Making those connections, White notes, is a good way to start the college experience. “I think it’s really valuable to be able to talk to experts and make connections with people who are going to be your mentors for the next four years. I don’t think many people get that opportunity,” she says.
Preparing for bright futures
The full-day Jump Start covered a wide range of topics. A session on practical professional development skills, for instance, focused on elements such as creating the perfect resume and cover letter and leveraging networking sites like LinkedIn. “We went over so many things, from building our resumes to practicing our elevator pitches to how we present ourselves in a professional manner,” White says. “It was such a good opportunity, and such a good experience, to go over the practical things we went over and all the little things I’d never even thought of before.”
“We want students to be able to put the skills they’ve learned into practice as quickly as possible so they can become comfortable with them and begin to build confidence.”
Other sessions helped students look inward so they could prepare to create a best-fit path to success. The Jump Start participants all took career assessments in advance, in preparation for an in-depth discussion of their interests, values, and personal and professional aspirations.
“It was very interesting to just hear all of the different students talk about their strengths and how that could apply to a specific career,” says Ben Regazzini ’26, who is still deciding on his major. “It allowed me to do some self-reflection on what sort of career might fit me.”
The day culminated with practice networking sessions with representatives from The Hanover, Enterprise, Amica Mutual Insurance, and the US Civilian Marine Corps Student Internship Program, just four of the 300+ companies and organizations in Bryant’s extensive recruiting network. “We want students to be able to put the skills they’ve learned into practice as quickly as possible so they can become comfortable with them and begin to build confidence,” Stewart explains.
It was a great conclusion to the day, Regazzini notes. “It felt like a very unique opportunity, and I was really happy with how it went,” he notes. “I really enjoyed being able to practice building a connection with the representatives.”
"My favorite session was meeting the employers," agrees Cardolino. "The experience brought me out of my comfort zone; however, this allowed me to grow. I learned how to discuss my skills and qualifications as well as how to prove my value to a company. My outlook has changed because I am now excited and ready to jump into an interview with a prestigious corporation instead of feeling self-conscious."
“Opportunities like the Jump Start help us to figure out not just our career goals but who we are as people and we can make sure our paths are tweaked to fit us specifically.”
The hands-on experience he gained, was one of the best parts of the program, Regazzini states. “There’s only so much you can simulate in a classroom,” he says. “I think there's tremendous value in actually being able to speak with employers and network like we did—especially if it’s your first time. It really sets in stone what you learned and helps you build confidence for the next time.”
Helping students prepare for the next opportunity—and empowering them with the confidence to explore all of their options—is one of the key goals of the Jump Start, Stewart says. “We want to help them understand that there are so many majors, internships, and occupations for them out there and that it’s okay for them to explore over their time at Bryant,” she points out.
“As first year students, we’re going into college with so many questions,” White notes. “Opportunities like the Jump Start help us to figure out not just our career goals but who we are as people and we can make sure our paths are tweaked to fit us specifically.”
For Regazzini, who’s still deciding on his path, the Jump Start was a great opportunity to develop the tools that will take him wherever he chooses to go. “One of the things I’m most excited about for my time in college is the independence and flexibility I’ll have in deciding what I’m studying,” Regazzini says. “I’m really looking forward to discovering what I want to do for the rest of my life and how to get there.”