Outstanding Grad: Nicole Mastin, Department of Management

Nicole Mastin
Nicole Mastin poses with Cam the Ram on the CSU campus.

Graduating senior Nicole Mastin could probably host a TED Talk about getting the most out of the College of Business undergraduate experience … if she could find time to squeeze it into her calendar.

Don’t blame her if she doesn’t have the bandwidth, though. Management students may know Nicole Mastin from classes in Rockwell Hall. Or from First Generation Business Association meetings. Maybe they recognize her as the woman who came to their class to recruit for the Women In Business Association. Or maybe it’s from the Society of Human Resource Management events, as a facilitator in the Career Management Center’s mock interviews, a member of Honor Society, a peer mentor or part of the study abroad program that went to Ecuador earlier this year.

“I’m the kind of person who loves to take naps. I have to plan them into my day because it’s really just like one thing after the next after next,” she said with a laugh. “Now that I’m graduating in December, I’m so glad that I took all those risks and kind of joined everything like the past few years. It has been kind of nonstop, but it just exposed me to so much.”

Nicole Mastin
Nicole Mastin recruits members for the Society of Human Resource Management at a College of Business event.

After balancing academics, extracurriculars and part-time jobs, Mastin may not have had a lot of time for sleep, but she cites her busy schedule as critical part of her success as a Biz Ram. As a first-generation student, she came to campus with many of the worries common to those with her background. That feeling was magnified her first days on campus when she discovered so many of her peers had a much more formed view of the workings of college because of insider knowledge passed on by family members.

Not content to wait to find her footing at the College of Business, Mastin found the next best thing to family to help navigate college. She built her own on-campus support network from the ground up.

“Coming into CSU, I felt a little off compared to a lot of the people I’m talking to you just because I didn’t really have any family or anyone to talk to you about what the college experience was going to be like,” she said. “I think that actually kind of give me an edge up because it pushed me to get involved as many things that I could.”

She turned to the Women in Business Association, where she made personal connections that flourished into friendships as she connected with likeminded Biz Rams. Membership in that club helped clue her into other engagement opportunities, including participation in the First Generation Business Association and the Society of Human Resource Management. It didn’t take long for an interaction in WIBA to snowball into a campus lifestyle built around participation in CSU’s extracurriculars.

Attending club meetings proved to be much more than a mechanism to ease the transition to College. They introduced Mastin to friends that quickly helped define her life on campus. So when the opportunity to serve as the WIBA membership officer arose, Mastin jumped on it. Pretty soon, she found herself in front of Business classrooms making short pitches to students and talking to incoming freshman at Ram Welcome.

“It was just so fun getting to talk to incoming students about what they can get involved in and all the things that they can do,” she said. “That was just really fun to me to be with them.”

Although her extracurriculars largely focused on developing business skills and served as a supplement to her classwork, Mastin ultimately found them an essential extra dimension to her growth at the College of Business.

“Having real life experiences through internships and having speakers come into the different clubs and organizations has really just put in perspective how many extra things that I’ve learned just based on being in those,” she said. “Although it can be really scary and hard and it’s a lot of work, it really pays off in the end to just put yourself out there.”