Making it as a Miner


Cornell “Nick” Nichols III produces short films about college life. Photo by B.A. Rupert

If there’s one piece of advice Cornell “Nick” Nichols III heeded from his mother growing up, it’s this: “Work with what you have to get where you want to go.” And that’s just what Nichols did.

Watch the video:Β 


After graduating fifth in his class with a 4.0 GPA from Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis, this former Project Lead the Way participant found himself searching for the right financial opportunity to continue his education. Although he was always interested in attending S&T, his “not great” ACT score kept him from getting an attractive financial package. So when the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff offered him a full ride, Nichols took the opportunity.

After a year there, Nichols was looking for more challenging courses and reapplied to S&T. He received a transfer scholarship and enrolled in the engineering management department.

He encourages prospective students to “find out what you want to do with your life and stay focused on achieving it.”

Now a senior, Nichols has settled into the Rolla community. A student diversity mentor, he’s also a member of Phi Beta Sigma, the Diversity Leadership Council and the 2013 Black History Month Committee. He’s also launched Limitless TV, aka “the college student broke and hongry,” producing short films about everything from the rules of road trips to how college students feel. The crew also includes Matthew Woodard, Dre Ross and Erik Calloway.

“College is not all about getting an academic education. It’s also about getting a life education and preparing to get ready for the real world β€” away from our parents, on our own,” Nichols says.

That’s why Nichols has already had two internships β€” one with Hallmark in Kansas City, Mo., the other with Pratt & Whitney in Springdale, Ark.

“I liked learning on the job before I had even taken some of the classes,” he says. “At Hallmark, I got to see the process of implementing a plan, creating solutions.”

With both positions, he was able to get to see the “life of what you want to do after college.”

Ultimately, Nichols plans to work in the entertainment industry doing a mix of directing, acting and editing.

Story by Mindy Limback

Video by Terry Barner

Learn more about transferring to Missouri S&T.


  1. Dear Nichols
    a greetings with great respect and great love from India
    wow, my dear young man you have taken the first step in your walk of life by being here at Missouri S&T, and doing what you really love, a place where you can do it honestly, the proof is my son Muthukumaran Loganathan who is pursuing his PhD ,Mechanical Engineering under the guidance of Dr.Douglas A. Bristow is one such student who took the first step to be with Missouri S&T and that i am sure will land him the giant leap in life to achieve remarkable findings which will certainly benefit the world.
    thank you my dear for being what you are and doing it with zeal and passion, love,sharing and caring
    keep it up
    thanks for every one ,especially terry barner for the video
    thanks to the Existence for bringing all of us to Missouri S&T
    With love and gratitude

  2. Yay Cornell! This is awesome. I love watching your videos and seeing you and campus because you’re always so fun & positive πŸ™‚

  3. Tamala Morris says

    Great job! What’s the link to your videos?

  4. Cornell Nichols says

    Thank you. The link to the videos are