Coming from a school with about 1,000 kids to UNH with over 13,000 made me feel out of my comfort zone for one of the first times in my life. The first week: meeting tons of new people, finding your new friends, and getting into a rhythm of classes was extremely difficult and overwhelming.
One class that I didn’t know much about was FIRE. I had heard about it in brochures and at Accepted Students Day, but didn’t really know what it was. After a few classes I figured out what it really stood for: to make the transition to college easier and to start the process of developing us into business professionals. We were assigned to a group of 20 strangers all in the same position. We asked questions with our peer advisor and were given some fantastic opportunities that other majors aren’t given. And boy did I take some of these for granted!
I always thought, “I’m only a freshman, I still have plenty of time”. Then the first semester was over in the blink of an eye. Second semester started and I knew I wanted to get more involved. There were all these opportunities I missed first semester and to my luck there were even more this time around. Through the FIRE Program, I was given the opportunity to be an Igniter, which lets me represent my class, help plan events, and give feedback on the program. Since the start of the new semester I’ve attended many networking events, the FIRE Career & Internship Fair Bootcamp, and the UNH Career & Internship Fair. I’ve met incredible people from my FIRE alumni advisor, Todd Boucher, to many employers that work with UNH. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone, which FIRE really motivated me to do.
I attended a networking event before the Career & Internship Fair, which helped me build the confidence to talk with complete strangers and expand my network. Additionally, at the FIRE Career & Internship Fair Bootcamp I worked on my resume, practiced my elevator pitch, and how to nail an interview; all with faculty, alumni, and employers. This was one afternoon I will always remember because it gave me more confidence, which carried over into the following week. At the Career & Internship Fair, I felt more motivated and comfortable to talk with employers. I talked with many of them about future positions and internships. Not only did I make several connections on LinkedIn, I have learned what it takes to be a desired applicant in a competitive marketplace.
If it weren’t for the FIRE Program, I wouldn’t be as involved as I currently am on campus. It has allowed me to make my first-year experience more enjoyable and fulfilled. I have absolute confidence, even as a freshman, that I will be able to secure multiple internships and a job post-graduation throughout my career at UNH and Paul College.
About Charles Lamplough ’20:
Charles is a first-year Paul College student from Stow, MA. He is a Business Administration major, planning to concentrate in Finance and Marketing. Currently, he serves as an Igniter in the FIRE Program, and is interested in working for a professional sports team or as a stock broker after graduation.