Jesse K. Nichols ’11 chose Shenandoah University because of its Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business and Men’s Lacrosse program. During his time at Shenandoah, Nichols met many local and national business leaders and was part of multiple milestones at the university. He witnessed the opening of the Brandt Student Center and the inauguration of President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
Nichols says he benefited from having great advisors, such as Professor Emeritus Bruce Gouldey, Ph.D. and former Dean of the Business School Randy Boxx. “They helped me in every step of the way from selecting classes to additional support on coursework,” said Nichols. “They helped make me the man I am today. I could email, call, or drop in their office any time and for that, I truly thank them.”
Nichols is the director of team and talent for The St. James Sports and Active Entertainment Center in Springfield, Virginia. As the director of team and talent, Nichols has principal involvement in and oversight of the search, staffing and human capital development. He helps in developing and enforcing a code of conduct for the company, which includes reviewing ethics policies, overseeing disciplinary action, negotiating/reviewing employee benefit policies and insurance, and facilitating conflict resolution between employees.
Nichols’ most rewarding experience in his position at The St. James Sports and Active Entertainment Center was helping to launch the first location in Springfield, Virginia, and leading the hiring process for more than 300 employees.
Nichols believes through his class research projects and presentations, Shenandoah prepared him for his career. The assignments simulated real-life projects and helped make tasks in his early career more manageable. “My senior year I had a class with Dean Randy Boxx,” said Nichols. “He would take us and visit the large employers in the region for a sit-down meeting. I still reflect on those meetings and lessons learned from that course.”
Nichols’ advice to students is: “The most important things to be successful are communication and being a good teammate. No one can do it alone, so take care of your team and always communicate through issues. This will help you in almost any situation.”
Written by Harley Ryan ’16
Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs