For Ashley Nesmith '17, success shouldn't just be measured in dollars and cents. "I love the idea of having a goal that focuses on helping others, rather than maybe just making a profit," she says.
At Bryant she found the perfect combination of studies to support that ambition, mixing a major in Management with a Sociology major that focused on Service Learning, which emphasizes community engagement and presents students with the opportunity to apply classroom theories to real-life problems.
Nesmith found inspiration and support from dedicated professors like Sandra Enos, Ph.D., and Judith McDonnell, Ph.D., who brought real-world issues and current events into their coursework and encouraged her to explore new ideas and develop a broader perspective.
She examined issues ranging from refugee resettlement to the plight of children with incarcerated parents to the issues faced by the nation’s education system, performing fieldwork as well as looking at case studies. For her senior capstone, she worked on developing innovative fundraising ideas for Ronald McDonald House, a charitable organization.
"I think that businesses and non-profits are moving toward a socially-conscious and maybe even socio-entrepreneurial way of thinking," says Nesmith. "My work with the Ronald McDonald House brought together both the business side of my studies with the sociology side. I know that is going to be really useful for me in the future."
Nesmith also knows that her Bryant education has prepared her to continue finding new ways to succeed. "My whole Bryant experience – my professors, my extracurricular activities, the incredible community – has made me more confident in my ability to go outside my comfort zone," she says, "both to pursue my own goals and to help other people."
Studied sociological and cultural issues at John Cabot University in Rome for a semester
Ronald McDonald Directed Study in Social Entrepreneurship
• Researched problems faced by non-profits including overhead, market saturation and donor retention
Research Project: No Degree of Separation
• Developed a report on the refugee crisis, focusing on Rhode Island but also taking an international viewpoint
Service Learning Project: Children of Incarcerated Parents
• Conducted and analysis of Rhode Island’s criminal justice system and the effects on children of having an incarcerated parent
Development Intern, Easter Seals NH
• Developed a brand requirement guide for new branches of Veterans Count, identified potential clients for outreach, promoted events on social media and through Constant Contact, assisted in large event preparation, developed materials to maintain relationships with donors
Program Intern, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester
• Aided in the match making process, planned program and fundraising events, developed high school education plans, researched new cost effective options, child safety training, and progressed social media marketing
Research Intern, Colliers International
• Assisted Research Manager in a commercial real estate office. Updated and verified property information in the marketplace and assisted with data entry.
Alternative Spring Break
• Volunteered at St. Anthony Catholic School, Food and Friends, and Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC
Colleges Against Cancer
• Worked alongside a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society
Bryant's purposeful student life delivers co-curricular immersion with an inspiring, collegial community. Students forge deep connections that last a lifetime.