Spotlight – Nikki DiOrio, Assumption College
Director, Career Development and Internship Center, Assumption College
Nikki received a BS in Finance at Penn State University. She is currently pursuing a MEd in Higher Education Administration at Northeastern University. Nikki has been at Assumption College for 3 years and in her current role for a little over 1 year.
What was your career path to get your current role? Prior to joining the Career Center at Assumption College, I worked for 10 years at Liberty Mutual Group. As a supervisor in the Portfolio Analysis Center, I was responsible for recruiting, onboarding and training college hires, which got me really interested in recruiting. From my supervisor role, I moved to Liberty’s Corporate University Relations team in Boston, where I was responsible for school selection, reporting, recruiting for HR and Finance Rotational Programs, and relationship management with several colleges and universities throughout the US.
What was your first job? My first job after college was as a personal lines underwriter at Liberty Mutual Group in Williamsport, PA. I got the job through PSU’s career center and on-campus recruiting process!
Why did you choose this career? I chose to make a career change into higher ed for two reasons: personal balance and to help students succeed. While I loved working in Corporate America, my role in University Relations required a lot of travel and that glamour wore off after awhile. I really wanted to be able to help the students who were bombing their interviews and to give honest feedback to those who put pictures on their resumes!
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? In my current role as Director, the most important skill is balancing multiple priorities. On any given day, I meet with a student about finding a summer internship, run to a meeting across campus with my peers in Student Affairs, have lunch with an employer and work on the First Destination Report. Being able to understand where to spend the time is critical to getting everything done (well) and being able to devote time to the students.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? Corporate America was the best training to develop this skill! Every day I make a to-do list and meet with my team weekly to rebalance.
Did you have a mentor? While I don’t have a formal mentor, there are a few people who have really made an impact on my development and who I turn to for advice. What I appreciate most about these individuals is their honesty in providing me feedback so that I can improve and their encouragement when I need it most.
Did you hold any EACE leadership roles? If so, how have they helped in your career? This year, I’ve served at the Co-Chair for the PR Committee and have served as the PR Co-Chair for the Conference Committee in the past. These roles have helped me to develop a professional network that I can connect with for ideas and advice. In addition, I learned a lot about PR and marketing from my co-chairs in each role.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? My career change and promotion to Director of the Career Development & Internship Center is my biggest accomplishment. It took a major leap of faith for me to change my career and I feel so fortunate every day when I come to work.
What is your advice to students looking for their first job? When looking for a first job, I encourage students to be open to relocation – a great first job is not always across the street from Mom & Dad’s house.
What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role? Build your network and talk to a lot of people. Having an understanding of the recruiting process from an employer perspective is just as important as understanding a student’s perspective. Understanding both makes it much easier to bring the two groups together.
What was the best career advice you have ever received? Don’t be so direct, it rubs people the wrong way. I think about that advice every day!
Nikki visited her career center while in college.