Zach Broder, a senior Business Administration major and Economics minor at The University of New Hampshire (UNH), has a lot to say about his personal experience in his Business in Practice program (BiP). Compiled of courses ranging from How to Talk Stocks to Business Development and Strategic Skills, BiP offers students a wide variety of opportunities at Peter T. Paul’s School of Business and Economics (Paul).
Broder is actively a part of Paul’s honors program and the student-run investment group called Atkins. The BiP courses are made requirements for Paul honors students, meaning Broder has participated in courses. One that comes to mind for him is Krystal Hicks’ “College to Career: How to Stand Out in Today’s Job Market.”
Hicks is dedicated to her position in BiP. Hicks is the Founder and Career Strategist at JobTalk. She helps people set goals, build resumes, and advises tactics for the job market. “Jobs have been my job for 13 years,” Hicks said. As an instructor, Hicks reflects some of those skills onto her students. Initially, she worked as Director of Career Services at UNH and has communicated with BiP-specific classes she would like to see for PAUL students. “I wanted to teach the class I wish I had as a student,” Hicks said.
Specifically, Hicks’ ability to enhance Broder’s sales skills and service management is what stood out the most to him. “She touched upon a lot of networking and LinkedIn [,] how to speak to professionals and how to transfer those skills into the real world,” Broder said. This is Hicks’ 3rd year working for BiP and the seventh class she has consecutively taught.
Hicks’ course is exceptional in preparing students for the future and setting them on a professional path. Personally, Broder knew what he wanted to do full time since he was in high school. Hicks just filled in the pieces of how Broder could get to where he wanted to be. In Hicks’ course, students were given the task of researching a disruption in the industry they were interested in working in and then posted it to LinkedIn. For Broder, he was fortunate enough to have his father, Michael Broder, owner of BHB Pest Elimination, repost his article. A magazine company read it, blasting off Broder’s career.
“The whole class focused on the article. We did research and interviewed people. It was a cool assignment. It pushed people out of their comfort zone,” Broder said. In one of Broder’s interviews, he was able to speak with a director of sales at BHB. He learned a lot about how the industry was affected by COVID-19.
Hicks also asked students to make a video resume. She wanted students to create a more engaging introduction and then post it to LinkedIn for job opportunities. “So now you’re leaving my class with an actual tangible thing that can help you stand out in the market,” Hicks said.
In addition, Hicks invited business professionals besides herself into the classroom. Hicks welcomed Deryck Boulanger, a UNH Paul alumni working for Facebook doing data science, marketing analytics, and advertising technology. “If I could take anything away from him it would be to do what you love and you’ll do well at it and enjoy your work,” Broder said. Broder also thought it was “cool” to see an actual UNH alum succeed in such a well-known business.
However daunting, students cannot smoothly execute the transition from college to the real world without the proper skills. Hicks’s suggestion? “Don’t be afraid to fail,” Hicks explains the importance of taking risks to stand out. “You have to unwire and wire and unlearn and relearn what is and isn’t acceptable,” Hicks said. Broder believes Hicks’ class prepared him for that transition, “In class, you’re learning the principles of real-life and how to do a job but when you are actually working, but the principles still apply. There are a lot of underlying themes that are the same but need to dwell deeper into the themes.”
Broder now works as a Sales and Service manager for BHB Pest Elimination. Much of his role depends on leading and training technicians and working in line with the Directors of Operation. This past summer, Broder has helped develop a new flight program alongside his father, the Directors of Operation. Broder’s priority was to make an infographic to show the roles of everyone else.
BiP is a major factor in the success of UNH business students. The unique collaboration with real-life business professionals gives students a chance to learn the skills needed for today’s job market instead of the job market 30 years ago. “[You’re] studying with people still in the business world. It gives more perspective,” Broder said. He adds that Hicks’ course was the first class he suggests people take because she provides information on networking so students can find their dream job.
Hicks genuinely believes BiP courses have helped students prepare for the future. She thinks every college at UNH should have BiP courses. Students are not always sure where they will end up, and Hicks thinks BiP is a response to that uncertainty. “[BiP] is deliverable when it comes to feeling secure in your college career,” Hicks said. Hick concludes her thoughts with the two factors that secure BiP’s success, “The content is way more relevant. It’s less theoretical. It’s more practical. It’s hands-on… You have adjunct faculty members. We work full-time during the day. We’re still in our fields.”