Ever wonder what advice a recruiter would offer to job seekers? Hear what Ryan Soldo of Alexander, Aronson and Finning has to say.

By Jillian Stadig

Nichols offers on-campus recruiting to students and alumni in both the fall and spring semesters. Employers who are seeking fresh talent schedule interviews on-campus. Recruiting schedules, job postings and career events are all posted on Road to Success, our online recruitment database. This is a great opportunity that many take advantage of.

Often times, job seekers leave an interview wondering what impression they left on the interviewer. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could gain some advice from them prior to the interview? Here’s your chance to hear what advice Ryan Soldo, Recruiting Director for Alexander, Aronson and Finning shared with Jillian Stadig during a recent interview.

It’s not every day you get the chance to sit on the other side of the table and interview a recruiter, but it’s an opportunity you should take advantage of if you can. On Friday, October 4, I got the chance to sit down and talk one-on-one with Ryan Soldo, Recruiting Director for Alexander, Aronson and Finning, a certified public accounting and business advising firm located in the greater Boston area. They were on campus recruiting for a staff accountant position. Ryan has previously recruited Nichols graduates and hired four Nichols graduates in 2013. They continue to return to campus each year looking for talent and professionalism.

Nichols students have opportunities that students at other schools do not offer, through both Career Services and the PDS program. Ryan’s advice, use these services to the fullest. “I can always tell the difference between the students who have made the most of these services and those who haven’t.” As a recruiting director, one of the first impressions Ryan gets of a job applicant is their resume. So what makes one’s resume stand out to him? “Format and uniformity is important to me. Make sure your spacing and margins are all equal, if not it can look unprofessional.” He also stresses that unless you are looking to go into a creative career field, such as graphic design, keep it simple, no borders, pictures, thumbnails, or colors. Format is important but it’s not the most important thing recruiters’ look at. “I want to see a GPA. If you don’t feel confident enough in your GPA to put it on your resume then make sure you make up for it by having a good list of soft skills, activities and experience.” Overall, Ryan wants an applicant’s resume to show that they are organized, involved and able to multi-task. “If you did extracurricular activities or held a job while in college it shows you are organized and able to multi-task, and that is a critical part of being successful in this field, comments Ryan.”

As we have learned through PDS, Ryan stresses that appearance and hygiene are key when going into an interview. “I interviewed someone at a college a few years back who hadn’t shaved. He was a good candidate, but that was it, he lost the interview right there.” Body language is also important. Sit up straight, but not too straight. Ryan’s words of advice, “Try to mimic the posture of the person who is interviewing you, if they’re leaning back a bit you can lean back a bit.” It is important to gauge the atmosphere in an interview and always be aware of your surroundings. The last interview tactic Ryan touched upon was preparedness. We all know how important it is to do our research beforehand. “Know a little bit about our company,” Ryan says. You don’t have to know the whole company history, but you do need to understand what it is they do. He also stresses the importance of having a list of questions prepared. “If you don’t have any questions, it makes you look uninterested in the position. Everyone has questions.”

RJ Travisano: Mohegan Sun Casino Internal Security

By: Jillian Stadig

There is a lot that goes on behind the haze of second hand smoke at the casino. Nichols College senior RJ Travisano was given the opportunity to see the workings of the Casino from a new perspective through his summer 2013 internship with Internal Security at Mohegan Sun. Throughout the summer, RJ learned not only about what it takes to run a casino safely but also how the security team works together to ensure the safety of both themselves and patrons.

How does a college student find an internship opportunity like this one? In RJ’s case, networking worked in his favor. After telling Professor Charbonneau, head of the Nichols College Criminal Justice Program, that he did not want to do a “normal” police department internship, she made a call to someone in her network that works at Mohegan Sun. One successful interview later, RJ was offered the internship position as part of the internal security team. Although the position was unpaid the amount of knowledge and networking opportunities RJ gained was well worth it. Some events RJ experienced through his internship included detaining a panhandler, seeing a person ejected for stealing a tip cup, and recognizing counterfeit money.

Working with the internal security team at Mohegan Sun RJ learned the ins and outs of the casino. An important part of his job was “learning the language and codes the officers used in their daily routines,” as well as learning the different locations and zones around the casino and their importance. Throughout the summer RJ shadowed a number of different members of the security team, many of them being either ex-military or ex-police force. One of the more exciting things RJ had the opportunity to do was work the “swing shift” meaning he was on duty until midnight, the busy hours for the casino. Considering most special events occur at night, this is an important time where a variety of different things could happen. RJ worked the swing shift on a night that a Glo event was going on. Glo is a popular event among young adults that, in this case, involved a pool party with brightly lit colors. On the same night there was also a popular concert and the regular Mist dance party occurring. Because there was so much going on in one night RJ experienced how important it was to tighten up security. Celebrity appearances at the Glo party required extra security, crowd control was necessary for the concert, and of course, the table games needed the necessary protection as well.

One of the most “interesting” times RJ had over the summer was the night that he worked the grave shift. For this shift he worked with dispatch, which in a sense controls the way the casino works. Almost everything security does must first go through dispatch. Access to many different areas of the casino must be given by dispatch. RJ learned that it is essentially the job of dispatch to make sure security and the casino itself runs smoothly.

Working with the Mohegan Sun internal security team gave RJ the experience of working with a security team that handles a number of different tasks, all with high levels of importance. Depending on the day of the week the security team consisted of anywhere from around 30 to 60 officers and supervisors dispersed around the casino areas. He worked closely with supervisors and investigators on cases of cheating, counterfeit money and drug trafficking. RJ learned that some drug traffickers use the casino as a way to trade “dirty” money for “clean” money. Working with internal security gave him a greater understanding of the Criminal Justice field.   There are many jobs other than police work that many students are not aware of. RJ’s tip for other students looking to do an internship, “make sure you’re doing something you want to do and always make sure you’re having fun with it.”