Sweet success: A 2005 grad’s journey from RIT to her dream job at Hershey’s

It is every child’s fantasy to work in a chocolate factory. Nicole Heiges ’05 (industrial engineering) turned this dream into reality when she started a new job with The Hershey Company a week after her RIT graduation.

The University Magazine captured Nicole’s final days at RIT leading up to commencement, where she delivered a speech to her fellow graduates in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Heiges, of Dillsburg, Pa., was constantly in motion in those last few weeks. She juggled exams and projects, worked in RIT catering, planned for her family’s visit and said many goodbyes.

As a result of three co-op experiences at Hershey’s, she landed a job offer as an industrial engineer well before graduation.

She’s now at the chocolate factory making sure several plants are operating efficiently.

“I feel I am well prepared to work at Hershey’s full time,” says Heiges. “Co-op prepares you for the real world because it gives you real situations to think about. . . . I will miss RIT, but I am really excited about working at Hershey’s.”

To view an audio slide show of Nicole, with excerpts from her graduation speech, visit www.rit.edu/magazine/sweetsuccess.

The University Magazine, Fall 2005