My Experience Working at Bernard Nickels & Associates
The first day I came into work at BNA, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from a
background as a camp counselor, I was inexperienced working in an office setting. While I was
fairly confident in my abilities to do whatever was asked of me, I was slightly nervous. This was
my first “real” job. However my nerves quickly subsided as I was immediately greeted with
cordiality and assistance from everybody in the office, who all sought to make me feel as
comfortable as possible. Within only a few days I felt at home, and within a few weeks I felt like I
was a true part of the team. I was even affectionately given the nickname “grilled chicken” (now
just GC) due to my penchant for bringing in grilled chicken for lunch.
This isn’t to say I was never put outside of my comfort zone. I am thankful during the
course of my internship, I was consistently challenged and trusted to take on responsibilities in
multiple areas. I assisted in research, called potential candidates, helped draft emails to clients,
and even wrote a blog for the first time!
BNA truly does live by its motto of “extreme service”. I found this to not only be true in
the amount of care each candidate and client receive, but also in the amount of help I personally
received. Whether it was the coaching I received before making my first calls, or the career
advice I obtained, I always felt everybody truly cared and wanted me to succeed. BNA manages
to be a fun, positive, and sometimes (often) crazy work environment, while at the same time
remaining productive and focused on the goals at hand. I was consistently blown away by the
amount of dedication and passion was given to each candidate and client. Everybody here
genuinely wants to help people find the perfectly suited job. At the same time, everybody is
constantly looking out for and respecting each other.
During my three months here at BNA, I learned many lessons I will take with me back to
school, and for my career beyond. Some were basic, like what it’s like to commute to the city
and work in an office. I improved my communication skills, and gained a new appreciation for
the importance of a “REAL” phone conversation. I learned the ins and outs of the recruiting
industry and gained a better understanding of the career trajectory I will potentially take after
graduation. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned is nothing worth achieving is easy.
When I started searching for candidates and making calls, I was coming up short. I wasn’t
finding the right candidates and my attitude about it was admittedly apathetic. It wasn’t until I
received an impassioned lecture from my manager, where he explained to me if I wanted to
achieve anything worth achieving, it would require hard work. You can get by in life if you don’t
challenge yourself, but if you want to go above and beyond you must be willing to go out of your
comfort zone and take chances.
I figured at the start of the summer this internship would simply be something to keep me
occupied for the summer, and give me something to do during the week. I could not have been
more wrong. I will greatly miss the team here at BNA. It was a privilege to work at a company
that not only values production and profits, but values teamwork, camaraderie, fun, and most of
all extreme service.
By: Andrew Shlafmitz