From Student Athlete to Research Analyst
As Nicole Dolcimascolo’20 explores her passion for multiple sports and studying abroad, because the sky is the limit, she walks us through the journey from Beloit to working as the full-time Research Analyst at Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Cooperation (WWBIC).
How did your high school experience prepare you for college?
I would say that writing-focused academics during my high school years equipped me with critical thinking for the rigors of Beloit College. Apart from that, I actively participated in many extra-curricular activities, from sports (soccer, basketball, and lacrosse) to music involvement and volunteer activities. These experiences have trained me to efficiently manage my time and be curious to try new things.
Why did you choose Beloit College?
I was looking for a college that not only teaches me to learn but also to think. For me, Beloit College was the full-package college that I was looking for.
How was your transition from high school to college?
Coming to a place where you have never been before or far away from home is overwhelming. It was intimidating at first when I had to make new connections, meet new people, and do everything on my own at once. However, when I got to Beloit, the support system that I found immediately through the Lacrosse team, FYI class, and my courses helped me go through the first few weeks of being in a new place. My freshman year was about exploring and discovering many different fields (both academics and non-academic activities) to figure out what would keep me intrigued and excited to do in the future. I continued playing lacrosse and have got my lacrosse team as my second family at Beloit, being with me on and off the field, during and after Beloit. I was honored to have the Marjorie Brown Leff Music Scholarship to continue playing clarinet in the Beloit College Wind Ensemble.
Could you please tell us some of your fondest experiences at Beloit College?
During my sophomore year, I joined Kappa Delta (KD) Sorority. In KD, I have found my lifetime relationships and learned how to lead and incorporate with other people serving as the Vice President of Community Services & Residential Assistant. At the same time, I was appointed as the Captain of Beloit College Women’s Lacrosse. In terms of my academics, I fully declared both of my majors, Sociology and International Political Economy, after one year of exploring and discovering.
Besides on-campus opportunities, Beloit College also offers students a chance to experience off-campus. During your time at Beloit, did you take this opportunity? If you did, could you share with us your off-campus experience?
Yes, I did take the opportunity to get myself outside of Beloit and the United States. During the first semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a life-enriching experience. Being exposed to others’ perspectives, learning about new cultures, and meeting new people, everything was just amazing and eye-opening. I’ve broadened my perspective and strengthened my communication skills. And not to mention the chance you will have to travel around Europe while still getting your credits done.
Any milestones that you attained in your junior year?
After 3 years of hard work on the lacrosse team, I received the best Junior male and female athletes at Beloit College award - Jassen’s Award. I’m forever grateful to have the team as my company. For me, lacrosse is a team sport. Every success that I had in lacrosse was built on the team’s effort and all the members’ patience and persistence.
How did your experiences at Beloit College help shape your career development, especially in preparing for your post-Beloit journey?
For senior year, I was lucky to sharpen my skills through many opportunities at Beloit. I worked with Professor Laura Grube on a demographic analysis project for Belmark Associates. I also got involved in the Duffy Partnerships program, where I interned at the House of Mercy Homeless Shelter. This internship combined my interests in Sociology and Economics which helped me better understand the local community and grow as a student and worker. Professor Carol Wickersham and my site supervisor were my support system and pushed me to learn every day.
Could you share with us the work you are currently doing?
I’m currently working as a Research Analyst at Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC). At work, my main task is evaluating the effectiveness of business corporations that help underrepresented entrepreneurs (women, veterans, people of color) start their businesses and learn about the business world. It also is my first job after graduation, and I got it with the help of Professor Diep Phan.
What advice would you give to first-year Beloit College students?
Beloit is a great community so take time to find your people. For me, the beauty of Beloit is that the professors dedicatedly invest in your success. I felt comfortable talking to my advisors and other professors whenever I needed career advice or just wanted to talk something through.