Video DescriptionNick Grace '20 took advantage of every opportunity presented to him by Endicott College throughout his four years: personal and professional. He shared his story with prospective students and families during Virtual Accepted Students Day 2020.
Text Transcript0:01 - Hello Class of 2024, and congratulations
0:03 on being accepted to Endicott College.
0:06 My name is Nick Grace and I'm a senior Marketing major
0:08 with a minor of Photography from Stoneham, Massachusetts.
0:11 I'm so excited to welcome you all
0:13 to the Endicott family.
0:14 This is truly the start of your Endicott experience.
0:17 I would have loved to welcome you all in person
0:19 at our traditional Accepted Students Day.
0:21 Due to the circumstances in today's world,
0:23 I will be sharing my story, insights,
0:25 and give some advice to you all in this fashion.
0:28 Four years ago, I attended my own Accepted Students Day.
0:31 Now in just a few short months, I'll be walking
0:33 across the stage at Commencement and my time
0:35 as an Endicott student will be complete.
0:38 When people say these four years fly by,
0:40 what they don't tell you is that they actually will
0:42 and it's not just a saying.
0:44 Before you know it, you'll be in your final months
0:46 of college wondering where the time went.
0:48 As a Photography student, I am taught to capture
0:50 the moments that make a story.
0:52 Likewise, your college experience is a collection of moments
0:55 that make up your unique college story.
0:57 This is a story that will have its ups and downs
1:00 but will change who you are and put you
1:01 on to the path to who you will become.
1:04 You won't remember every single moment of your college days.
1:06 But the ones you do will be the moments
1:08 that stick with you for the rest of your life.
1:10 To start, I vividly recall moving in freshman year
1:13 and introducing myself to people in my res hall.
1:16 Nervous of course, but so is every incoming student.
1:19 I remember having to push myself
1:20 out of my comfort zone a bit because, at the time,
1:22 I was not nearly as outgoing as I am now.
1:25 This decision pushed me to walk into a kids' room
1:28 when I saw he also had a camera.
1:30 Little did I know that pushing myself at that moment
1:32 would lead me to a friendship,
1:34 a roommate for the next three years
1:36 and someone who I consider to be a brother.
1:38 During college, you'll have times where you need
1:40 to push yourself out of your comfort zone,
1:42 but don't be afraid.
1:43 On the other side is something amazing
1:45 and you won't know unless you try.
1:47 Later that year, I'd go on to be hired
1:49 to become an orientation leader.
1:51 Believe it or not, I still have that email
1:52 that was sent to me the day I was hired.
1:54 This is a moment that not only changed who I am,
1:57 but allowed me to make an impact
1:58 at a place that I love so much.
2:00 Over the last three years,
2:01 the orientation team has become my family.
2:03 This family consisted of a hundred plus people
2:06 from all different backgrounds and majors.
2:09 In addition to becoming an orientation leader,
2:11 it introduced me to the incredible Student Affairs staff.
2:14 One member of this staff, Brianne Mcgann would not only
2:17 become a mentor to me but would be there for me
2:19 in my toughest times and honestly,
2:21 changed my life for the better.
2:23 I would then go on to being hired by Brianne
2:26 to become one of the first student leaders
2:28 to lead our first ever Onboard program.
2:31 I remember the day she walked into our meeting room
2:33 and gave my fellow orientation assistants and I
2:36 a blank schedule and we were tasked with creating
2:38 a summer program that helped new students adjust to college,
2:41 make new friends and most importantly have fun.
2:44 This past year, Onboard helped more than 200 new students.
2:47 I encourage you all to go on an Onboard retreat.
2:50 It is an incredible way to start your college career
2:52 and make friends before you even step on campus in the fall.
2:56 Onboard became my passion project
2:58 and it gave me so many great moments to look back on.
3:01 Saying goodbye to a program that I had helped create
3:04 is going to be difficult but I know it is in good hands,
3:07 and I'm proud that it will be a part of the legacy
3:09 I leave at Endicott.
3:10 So while you are at Endicott,
3:12 invest in the community and leave Endicott
3:14 a little bit better than you found it.
3:16 Leave a legacy that will last
3:17 long after you cross the stage.
3:20 While I consider the orientation team part of my family,
3:23 another part of my Endicott family
3:24 came from the most unexpected places.
3:27 It came in the form of the Endicott College Dance Team.
3:30 If you had told me as an incoming freshman
3:31 the team I would photograph the most
3:33 would be the Dance Team, I probably would have laughed,
3:36 but little did I know how much
3:37 this team would become a family to me.
3:39 While I do not dance and trust me, that's for the best,
3:42 this team and Coach Nikki have treated me like
3:44 I was out there dancing right beside them from the start
3:47 even giving me my own senior day.
3:50 I was there for their lowest moments and,
3:52 of course, their proudest moments,
3:53 like winning their first-ever national championship.
3:56 Being there for them through it all
3:58 taught me that during college,
3:59 all of your moments won't be about you,
4:01 but you can be there for your friends and teammates
4:03 in their lowest moments and cheer them on
4:05 during their proudest moments.
4:07 So when you arrive at Endicott,
4:09 find the people who make up your Endicott family,
4:11 the people who build you up and support you no matter what.
4:14 Be there for them, and they will be there for you forever.
4:17 I promise you, they are out there,
4:19 they may just come from the most unexpected of places.
4:22 Furthermore, one winter night, I received a Twitter DM
4:25 from ECGulls, Endicott's athletics account run by
4:28 Shawn Medeiros, Endicott's Sports Information Director,
4:31 saying that he had seen my work and asked
4:33 if I was interested in photographing our athletic games.
4:36 I was so pumped about this opportunity
4:38 since this was a goal of mine
4:39 before I had even stepped foot on campus.
4:41 Since that moment, I have taken photos
4:43 at countless athletic events, games,
4:45 and most importantly championships,
4:47 thankfully most of which, we were on the winning end of.
4:50 While this opportunity gave me a solid portfolio,
4:53 more importantly, it gave me two mentors.
4:56 Shawn and David Le, Endicott's staff photographer.
4:59 Both of these individuals invested in me
5:01 from the start of my college career.
5:03 They invested hours of their time and shaped me
5:05 into the person and photographer I am today.
5:08 So while you are at Endicott, find your mentors.
5:11 Endicott's faculty and staff are some
5:12 of the kindest and caring people I know.
5:14 Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it,
5:17 talk to your professor after class,
5:18 get to know your RD or work-study supervisor.
5:21 These people are there for you and they will become
5:23 some of the most influential people in your life.
5:26 Speaking of influential people in my life,
5:29 I was lucky enough to have two best internship coordinators,
5:32 Prof. Marie Wilson and Prof. Mary Ellen Fidrych.
5:35 These two people had believed in me
5:37 and helped me since the first day of the internship class
5:39 as a freshman and then again as a junior.
5:42 Prof. Wilson connected me with my first ever internship
5:44 with an event and wedding photographer
5:46 and would help me almost daily with anything I needed.
5:49 And Prof. Fidrych, calling me out
5:51 during my fall semester junior year
5:53 for not emailing my dream internship site.
5:56 Without Prof. Fidyrch's guidance,
5:57 I may not have chased my dream internship.
6:00 For me, my dream internship was
6:02 at Duke University Athletics,
6:03 photographing their men's basketball team
6:05 working for an idol of mine in the sports photography world.
6:09 Well, apparently being called out and held accountable
6:11 was exactly what I needed.
6:13 That night I decided to chase that dream
6:15 and write a blog on why interning at Duke
6:17 as my dream internship and I cold emailed
6:20 the head photographer at Duke at 1 A.M.
6:23 I really didn't think it was gonna work
6:26 but at least I knew that I had tried my best.
6:28 After not hearing back for a while, I almost gave up.
6:31 Until one day, I got a call from a Texas phone number.
6:34 To be honest, I thought it was a spam call,
6:36 but I answered it anyway and boy,
6:38 I'm glad I did because it was a call
6:40 from Duke's head photographer Regan Lunn.
6:42 After some persistence and emailing back and forth,
6:45 I was offered an internship at Duke Athletics.
6:47 A few months later, I was heading down to North Carolina
6:49 and got to live out a dream I had since I was a child
6:52 and something that I worked really hard for.
6:54 What you don't see, however, are the countless times
6:57 I would skip hanging out with my friends
6:59 to photograph a game or the hours I would spend
7:01 with David, Shawn and Prof. Wilson
7:03 perfecting my portfolio and my resume.
7:05 College is a time to chase your dreams.
7:07 If you work hard during your four years, I promise,
7:10 you will be in the position to achieve every goal
7:12 you set out to accomplish, and in my case
7:14 and hopefully your case, exceed expectations.
7:17 I can proudly say that my hard work paid off
7:19 and in a few short months, I'll be starting
7:22 a post-grad photography internship with the Boston Red Sox.
7:25 In fact, if Accepted Students Day were
7:27 to have happened on campus,
7:28 I would have been leaving campus immediately
7:30 following my speech to photograph their home game.
7:32 These moments I have shared with you
7:34 have created my Endicott story.
7:36 The people in it have helped shape this story
7:38 and me into the person I am today.
7:40 I could not be more grateful for every moment
7:43 I've spent at Endicott.
7:44 I know that leaving Endicott and my Endicott family
7:47 will be one of the most difficult things
7:48 I will do in my life.
7:49 But I know that I will forever be a Gull
7:51 and the people here will forever be a part of my family.
7:55 Class of 2024, while my story is ending,
7:58 yours is just beginning.
8:00 I challenge you to seek out the moments
8:01 that make up your Endicott story.
8:03 Create a story that you'll be proud of four years from now
8:06 and never forget that every day is a great day to be a Gull.
8:09 Thank you.