the experience:academic and student life
the potential:admissions and enrollment
the foundation:resource development
Diary of a Student on a Champion Career PathOct. 23, 2008 Nicole Remington ’09 wishes she could trade her heels for sneakers, and her suit for a comfy sweater. But, that wouldn’t fly today, not at Johnson & Wales University’s Career Conference.JWU’s Career Development Offices have not sugar-coated the current hiring landscape. Students are told to be flexible and innovative as they scour for positions. Look for entry-level versus management positions so they can pounce when something opens up. Volunteer so employers can test drive their skills. Don’t just “network,” leverage every resource they have inside and outside the university.Like countless JWU students, Remington is primped, armed with meticulously checked résumés and looking for a job. The Sports/Entertainment/Event (SEE) Management senior attends classes from 7 to 11 a.m. and works at the Howley Bread Company (a.k.a. Panera) corporate office until 5 p.m. She’s won their nationwide Associate of the Quarter and Associate of the Year awards, so why not stay?“I want to work in events,” she says as she joins the line at the Champion Exposition Services booth.Based in Middleboro, Mass., Champion provides exposition and corporate event services. A top North American general service contractor, it donated equipment to create a tradeshow classroom lab at JWU’s Providence Campus. Every term students spend four weeks planning and staging every detail of a trade show. “In tandem with Johnson & Wales’ exceptional curriculum, this innovative educational approach offers a vital experience that will prepare students for the challenges they will confront during their career,” says Bob Priest-Heck, Champion’s chief executive officer.Oct. 24, 2008 Champion’s special events account executive, Maren Cameron ’06, account executive, Laura Stiles ’07, and vice president of business development, David Connor, call back a handful of candidates. Three will be selected. “We come to campus to speak in classes about hospitality trends and issues,” says Stiles, who did an internship, a co-op, worked part-time in her senior year, and was ultimately hired as a junior account executive. She’s risen through the ranks and now enjoys recruiting at her alma mater.Remington’s got an interview — a winter externship is at stake.Oct. 29, 2008 Interview complete. “The trade show class came in handy,” says Remington. “Everything started coming back and connecting.” She beams. Beginning Dec. 1, 2008, she is a Champion exhibits intern.Dec. 2, 2008 “Nicole fits in perfectly,” says Cameron whose love for events and propensity for practical learning attracted her to JWU at 25. She found her niche during her internship that involved a rotation in every department at Champion. She leap-frogged from project manager to account executive as she increased business with Fidelity from one to four events in a year. “We have 700 clients now,” she smiles, “and I fully expect to help grow that as the economy gets better.”While Champion’s revenues are down from last year, “the return on investment through internships is huge,” Cameron says. “We gravitate to JWU, and have a lot of our alums here.”Feb. 16, 2009 With three months to graduation, what is Remington doing? “I’ve learned so much,” she says. “I like what the company does, what they stand for and how they do business.” Champion not only committed to her three-month spring co-op, a full-time position opened up in exhibitor services and Remington got the job. It’s a foot in the door.Online > www.championexpo.comPoised on Champion’s stairway to success are (l to r) Peter Crepeau ’08, Kristen Aragao ’06, Maren Cameron ’06, Nicole Remington ’09 and Laura Stiles ’07.