make your resume sparkle

Congratulations, you’ve made it to college. You’ve survived your first semester (or your second or third). You’ve made friends. You’ve pulled all-nighters. You’ve even convinced your parents that you really do need a car on campus. All this, while maintaining a high GPA and an active social life. You deserve a pat on the back—but before you kick back in celebration of your collegiate success, there is one more thing to check off your To-Do List to ensure your future success. You need to join a student professional organization (SPO) in your field. Not only will it add an impressive line to your resume, but it will afford you invaluable opportunities to network and make connections with potential employers.

Many students join an SPO to learn more about their chosen industry. Glenn Todaro, a junior at St. Joseph’s University joined the Accounting Society to get more connected to his major. “I wanted to know what doors a degree in accounting could open up for me.” Arnie Kohen, career counselor at Drexel University, agrees. “A professional organization is a good link between academia – the way we talk, our language, our majors – and what the employer wants, which is a totally different language and culture,” he says.

What exactly makes an organization “professional?” According to Marcia Robinson, Temple University’s Associate Director of Corporate Relations at The Fox School of Business Center for Professional Development, “whether it’s in networking events or resume writing or interviewing skills, there is definitely a professional development component. It’s not just ‘Let’s get together and socialize.’”

It seems simple. If your dream is to work in product marketing, join the American Marketing Association. Does engineering excite you? Participate in your university’s chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Have a passion for PR? Enroll in the Public Relations Student Society of America. But what if your university doesn’t have a student professional organization in your field? Both Kohen and Robinson agree that starting your own SPO is a great way to make your resume sparkle.

In the fall of 2005, Cheryl Ellis, a senior Journalism major at Temple University founded the Temple University Society of Professional Journalists (TUSPJ), a chapter of the larger, national organization. TUSPJ currently boasts nearly 20 members in its first semester and is steadily growing.

“Starting your own organization or participating as an officer really shows employers that you’re interested in your field,” Kohen said. “It makes you stand out.” Enjoy college life—for most of us, the experience only lasts a few years. Go to classes, parties, and football games. But don’t forget to also join a student professional organization. You’ve already made it in college. This will help you make it in the real world.

phillycarshare

The great thing about going to college in a big city is having a plethora of stores, restaurants, and bars right at your feet. Unfortunately, sometimes your feet have to walk a little bit farther than you’d like. Public transportation is convenient, but it’s not always ideal when it comes to grocery shopping or moving furniture, and some of the area’s attractions could be so much more enjoyable with a car. Then again, with the cost of insurance and gas prices skyrocketing, who has the money to own their own car? Thankfully, Philly has an innovative way for you to get around. It’s called PhillyCarShare.

Started in 2001, PhillyCarShare is a non-profit organization that stations cars around the city who pay for only as much as they drive. Since people give up their own car for a shared one, congestion in the city is reduced and the customer saves money on gas and insurance. At added environmental benefit is the use of hybrid cars. With around 3,000 Philadelphian customers, PhillyCarShare has about fifty cars stationed all over Philadelphia. The cars are parked anywhere from 12th and Wharton streets to 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue, but the bulk reside along Market Street. As of now, PhillyCarShare is most convenient for students on Penn and Drexel’s campuses, but Temple will hopefully also become part of the project.

“We continually expand to new neighborhoods and are very interested in Temple and its neighborhood,” says Tanya Seaman, executive director and co-founder. The financial benefit of this program is that you pay as you go, with the money going toward gas, insurance and the upkeep of the cars. The flat rate for driving is nine cents per mile—less than half that of most car rental companies. Customers can choose a monthly or yearly membership, and they can have an “Insomniac Discount” which pays a low rate for use for two hours between midnight and 8am.

The members of PhillyCarShare include not only individual residents, but also businesses. It’s a program that gives people the option to drive, even if they can’t afford a car. “People can save money and use it for other things. It may make the difference between home ownership and renting,” says Seaman. PhillyCarShare receives much of its funding from federal, state and local-government grants. “We use this money to purchase and lease brand-new cars,” says Seaman. All the cars are cleaned and maintained on a regular basis and there is an assortment of vehicles that cater to your need and location.

PhillyCarShare is a convenient and environmentally safe way to burn rubber—instead of burning a hole in your pocket. Their Web site features a table of estimated times and prices for sample trips, such as King of Prussia Mall, IKEA and the Philadelphia International Airport. For more information on their plans and perks, visit www.phillycarshare.com.

reel opportunities

After winning numerous awards in film and working with stars like Bill Cosby, Chris Rock and Oprah Winfrey, what’s next? For Philadelphia native and renowned filmmaker Michael Dennis, the answer is easy. He’ll return home and create opportunities for local filmmakers to succeed.

Michael Dennis, also known as “Mike D.,” is offering a venue for Philadelphia filmmakers to be seen and heard through monthly showcases at the International House at 37th and Chestnut streets in West Philadelphia. His production company, ReelBlack, a full-service production company based in Philadelphia, showcases lesser known African American films that range from rare 1970s throwbacks to modern-day gems. For example, this past Valentine’s Day, Reelblack Presents featured Aaron Loves Angela, Harlem’s 1975 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet featuring Irene Cara and Philly native Kevin Hooks.

Dennis’s experience in the industry along with his education at NYU’s Film School and the American Film Institute’s Masters program, has helped ReelBlack become a major success. Dennis is responsible for selling over 800 DVDs independently, and in addition to DVD sales and film showcases, reelblack.com has monthly DVD giveaways to promote independent films and filmmakers. Dennis knows how instrumental the help of others can be. “My success is because of the sacrifice of many people before me,” he says.

He got a head start in the industry by working on Jonathan Demme and Oprah Winfrey’s Beloved. According to Dennis, it is easier to be a filmmaker today than it was when he first ventured into the industry over 15 years ago. Nowadays, a skilled film student with a camcorder, a computer, and a story in their heart can produce and distribute their works.

“There are a lot of trial and error as well as ups and downs but you must keep yourself in the position to continue to make films,” Dennis says. “You must stay in a position to continue to create.” He also compares filmmaking to chess. As in the mind-challenging game, you must always think two moves ahead. Dennis suggests that filmmakers should always think beyond the film. “Film is an art. It’s a business to a lot of people, but it is an art,” he says.

olympics in philly

Philadelphia is not only the birthplace of soft pretzels, Tastykakes and cheese steaks. It is also the home of one of the most notable figures in our nation’s history, Benjamin Franklin, as well as the Liberty Bell, the first American flag, and countless other historical landmarks that trace back to the birth of our country. Our city’s rich history and culture serve as a reminder of many of the values that our country was founded on. What better way to honor the City of Brotherly Love than by bringing the most illustrious sports competition in the world—the Olympics—to Philadelphia? While some pessimistic residents think it will never happen, others think it’s a real possibility. According to Larry Platt, editor of Philadelphia magazine and former member of the Philadelphia Olympics board, our city is the most qualified United States city in the running to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago seems to be Philadelphia’s greatest competition, with a great number of already established sports arenas. However, Philly’s edge over Chicago is its prime location on the East coast. It’s unknown whether or not other possible U.S. cities, like Los Angeles or San Diego pose a significant threat to Philadelphia’s chances. Platt says that Philly is the farthest along with requirements, but we still need a permanent location for swimming, track and field, and tennis facilities. The other sports complexes could be temporarily structured and then knocked down. This isn’t too much to hope for, considering that 21 new sports complexes were built Greece for the 2004 Olympics, according to Platt.

Along with the new sports arenas, Philadelphia also needs to improve in the area of transportation, including SEPTA and the airport. “These are things that really need to be done anyway,” Platt said. “The Olympics would act as a jumpstart to get it done sooner.” Another deciding factor in Philadelphia’s Olympic bid is, of course, money. Hosting the Olympics is not cheap, especially if the extension of SEPTA and the construction of sports complexes are necessary. However, the Olympics are capable of yielding a $12 billion economic impact, Platt added. Atlanta became the country’s leader for new housing and hotel rooms after their Olympic village was converted into high-end condos after they hosted the event in 1996.

“A lot of people are concerned with where all this money is going and how it could go to the school district, which no doubt needs it,” said Platt. However, “when Los Angeles held the Olympics, they made around $230 million which funded their schools for a long time thereafter.” There is still a long road ahead before a host city is chosen. Platt says that the Philadelphia committee will continue to raise money for the United States bid, which will take place sometime in 2007. This bid will cost anywhere from $5 to $7 million dollars, which will all be privately funded.

If Philadelphia wins the bid, it will go on to compete with representative cities from other countries. Hosting the Olympics will provide a great boost to the city’s image for both residents and outsiders. “It would be good for Philadelphia to just have the passion and go for it,” says Platt. “What better way to be regarded as a world-class city than to host the Olympics?”

minority students: roads to success

Finding a summer internship can be an arduous task for anyone in this highly competitive market, but it is also one that is well worth the effort. There are resources available that can make the road to finding the perfect internship easier to navigate, and for minority students, one such organization is INROADS.

INROADS is a non-profit organization that trains minority students for careers in business. Their mission is “to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.” Many students who aspire to attain corporate careers can benefit from an internship with an organization such as INROADS.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” inspired INROADS’ founder, the late Frank C. Carr, to leave his own corporate position to help pave the road for minority students. Chicago was the birthplace of the organization, and armed with a mere 25 student interns and 17 sponsoring corporations, INROADS set out to infiltrate corporate America. Today, the non-profit organization is highly successful and is partly responsible for the presence of minority leaders in corporations today.

INROADS interns usually have a career interest in Business, Engineering, Computer and Information Sciences, Sales, Marketing, Allied Health Care, and or Health Care Management. To be eligible, students must be high school seniors planning to apply to or already accepted at an accredited university, or college freshmen or sophomores at an accredited university. Students must also have a minimum GPA, which varies by affiliate.

So, INROADS sounds perfect for you? Well, you should know that being chosen for a paid internship in your field of study is not an easy task, and the INROADS internship is no exception.

The first step is to visit the Web site, www.INROADS.org, where you will find the history of INROADS, general information about INROADS’ clients, intern success stories, and an application link. The application itself is quite painless with general questions about your education, employment, community involvement, and general personal questions.

After your application is processed, you will be contacted by a local INROADS affiliate, who will provide information about the mandatory Talent Pool Training seminar. This training usually takes place on a Saturday and Sunday, for a minimum of 8 hours each day. The purpose of the training is to teach students about job readiness, resume writing, interviewing skills and information regarding the corporate environment.

Following the training, your resume will be sent to INROADS’ corporate clients that match your education and career aspirations. The INROADS corporate clients are the companies that actually hire the students for internships. This clientele consists of over 600 national and international companies including Target, IBM, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Next is the interviewing process, which is held by each corporate client. Students may have interviews with more than one corporation and these may be held in person or over the phone. If all goes well, you will be offered a position with one of the clients, becoming an INROADS intern.

Once accepted, the INROADS intern is immediately put to work. This is not an internship where you “fetch” lattes. Your work and ideas count. Examples of this are featured on INROADS website as brief “success stories.” These profile students’ internship responsibilities in several industries. One intern, who worked at Phelps Dodge Corporation, conducted online bid events for goods and also worked one-on-one with suppliers. Another intern’s responsibility was to monitor online transactions at Williams Energy Marketing Trading. INROADS internships provide students with real, corporate experience.

INROADS internships last during summer break. Many clients also allow their interns to work part-time during the semester and return to work during other school breaks. Once the internship is completed, students are able to take advantage of summer training and community service programs the next summer.

Also, interns can attend a two-day Leadership Development Institute conference, which is held within a particular region. Through the conference students are able to meet other INROADS interns from other affiliates.

Sherri Lurry, a senior at Penn State, was a first year Upstate New York Intern. “My INROADS experience has allowed me to gain real life experience in Accounting. The seminars and training sessions throughout the summer enabled me to gain the skills and talents needed to become a successful professional and asset to my employer.”

INROADS Manager Larry C. Boyd describes the organization as having, “one of the most seasoned affiliate staffs in the Enterprise.”

a conversation with the soul men

Businessman Craig Spencer, founder and CEO of Arden Group of Philadelphia, and New Jersey rock star Jon Bon Jovi are getting ready to begin their third season as majority owners of the Philadelphia Soul.

Initially reluctant partners, the duo leads an expansion franchise that in its first two seasons has the led the Arena Football League in nearly every off-field category, including ticket revenue, corporate partnership revenues and charitable donations. On the field, the team — with a new coach and largely overhauled roster — is aiming for its first playoff appearance. The team’s new slogan: “Time to Win.”

Spencer, Bon Jovi, team President Ron Jaworski, new General Manager Rich Lisk and AFL Commissioner David Baker recently sat down with Philadelphia Business Journal reporter John George for an interview that covered the upcoming season, why the team won’t have any bobblehead giveaways this year, and what was behind those T.O. T-shirts.

PBJ: How has being an owner of an AFL team differed from your expectations?

Jon Bon Jovi: It’s a lot more work than I expected. I think we both thought the team was basically going to run itself. I don’t know where these pipe dreams came from. It’s a full-time job, year-round. But also, owning the team has given us more pleasure than we’ve ever imagined.

Craig Spencer: It’s obviously fun; it’s sports. We’re having a ball. I wish we were doing a little better on the field, but off the field it’s been as much fun as I ever could have imagined. The partnership has been a pleasure.

At first I said no because I don’t do a lot of partnership deals. It was very interesting what the league did. They had two guys interested in a team and they could have just said whoever gives us the most money gets it. But they insisted we meet. Bon Jovi: I was opposed to [a partnership] as well. I don’t have partnerships in anything I do. … I ultimately realized with my creative instincts and Craig’s administrative background we’d be able to make this thing fly.

PBJ: (To Ron Jaworski). You spent a lot of years trying to get an AFL team for Philadelphia.

Ron Jaworski: Prior to getting involved with Jon and Craig, I had tried for about 10 years to bring arena football to Philadelphia with two different ownership groups. I just felt this was a great football town and arena football would work here.

When Craig first called me to see if I still had an interest in being involved, quite honestly, I didn’t. I was a little bit hurt by not getting the team. Craig was relentless in calling me. One day I was golfing and he got me on the 12th hole. I just made a birdie and I must have been feeling good. He finally convinced me to join.

PBJ: Let’s talk about this year’s slogan: “Time to win.” Philadelphia fans can be pretty tough. Are you worried that kind of a pledge could backfire — like when the 76ers failed to win a championship for years after that “We Owe You One” campaign back in the late ’70s.

Jaworski: When we were playing Dallas last year and we were getting our asses kicked. I was upset. We were all upset. We were getting our ass kicked, to a team from Dallas, in our building, and our fans were booing when we headed into the locker room at half-time. You can take that two ways. I took it as a positive. They cared enough to boo us. To me, that elevated us to the major leagues in this town. People cared enough to be angry and boo us. Since that time we’ve worked tirelessly to make this team better. Our focus has been ‘how do we win football games.’

Spencer: I think “Time to Win” is exactly what it says. We feel the pressure to win. We are all highly competitive people, and we think our fans deserve a winner. We are doing everything in our power to win. If we don’t win it isn’t going to be because of lack of desire or lack of opening up our checkbook. We spend as much as we are legally permitted to spend. We have a hard cap. I think if we don’t win, our fans will see the effort we made. I don’t think we’ll lose an awful lot of fans. Our goal is to start winning.

PBJ: The team got a lot of publicity with its “We don’t want T.O. either” T-shirts you made during the whole Eagles and Terrell Owens mess.

Jaworski: They showed them on Monday Night Football.

Bon Jovi: Character is the foundation of this organization. If you are not a man of character, you’re gone. Team captains have been relieved of their positions here. Stars are gone for lack of character. If we can be one example to this sporting community, it’s that we insist on character and not characters. If I can give your kids a role model, we are helping to fulfill something that is lacking in pro sports. The T.O. thing is an example of what I don’t want our fans experiencing.

PBJ: What new things do you have planned for the upcoming season?

Rich Lisk: One is Super Soul Sunday (on Feb. 5). Bon Jovi will perform at half-time. There’s also going to be a lot more in terms of customer service for our season ticket holders. We’ll have lunches with the GM and the coaches. We’ll be sending special gifts in the mail. I’m not big on giving away 2,000 bobblehead dolls. I like doing things like sending signed programs out to fans as a surprise, or taking 75 or 100 fans out to lunch with the coaches and the front office staff and letting fans ask whatever questions they want for three hours.

David Baker: From a league perspective, we have two new teams, the Utah Blaze and the Kansas City Brigade. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary. We also have a new video game with EA Sports that will be released Feb. 7. These days, as all of us who have kids who are gamers know, a video game is maybe more valuable than a television deal. It will teach kids our game and our players. And we have a new commercial for Arena Bowl XX in Las Vegas. Ron Jaworski will be featured prominently.

PBJ: What has having a Philadelphia franchise meant for the AFL?

Baker: It’s been great. At first, I was really skeptical because I had another rock ’n’ roll star, who shall remain nameless, involved with the league. I wasn’t impressed by the guy. When we first met Jon, he wanted us to go to one of his concerts. I thought I was little old to be going to a concert. After getting to know Jon, he really impressed us with his concerts and how he treats his fans. I did have to veto a trade involving an autographed guitar. I don’t think [NFL Commissioner] Paul Tagliabue ever had to do that. We had to work hard to get Craig and Jon together, and we had to carve out a place for Ron. I think this is really a perfect ownership group. They work enormously hard for their team.

tipping the interview scale

Congratulate yourself! Landing a job interview is the first step toward getting a new job. Now all you need to do is demonstrate that you’re the ideal person for the job. In order to gain insight into what employers are looking for during an interview, we spoke with professionals in the Philadelphia area who hire new employees on a regular basis. I compiled these tips based on their expertise in order to help you prepare you for an interview and ultimately—to help you land your dream job.

1.) Arrive on Time- Arriving late to a job interview makes a major impression, and it’s not a good one. If you’re late, your employer will assume that you’ll be late to work. You should always arrive 15 to 30 minutes early, just to be safe. You should be waiting for them, not vice versa.

2.) Dress Appropriately- While some people try to deny it, appearance does matter—especially in a job interview. Employers want someone who not only acts the part, but also looks the part. Before you enter, straighten your tie, smooth out the wrinkles on your pants and make sure there are no remnants of breakfast on your shirt. Depending on the setting, you may also want to consider concealing body art such as tattoos and piercings, which are not seen as professional in many typical business settings.

3.) Your Resume-Prepare a detailed resume that outlines your education and credentials, and bring it with you to the interview. It helps for the interviewer to be able to refer to your resume as you converse about your work experience and interests. Whether you volunteer at a homeless shelter or work nights bartending at a restaurant, your resume should show that you’re ambitious and willing to work hard. .

4.) Come Prepared- Prior to your interview you should research the company that you’re interviewing with. This shows that you’re excited about what they do and eager to get the job. You should also anticipate and practice possible questions you might be asked and prepare answers. A list of sample questions can be found at Web sites like http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_question_database/.

5.) Communication- Now that you’ve made it to the actual interview, you have the opportunity to show the employer who you are and what you will bring to the table if you are hired. The interview is a chance for them to not only assess your qualifications, but also for them to see your personality and communication skills in action, which are also very important to most employers. Remember to fully answer the questions asked, but also to stay on topic. If you’re asked to describe yourself, keep it concise and to the point. Demonstrate the very best version of yourself.

And before you even accept an interview, you should assess whether or not you genuinely want the position. Employers want to hire people who have career plans that are consistent with the position they are applying for. They also want people who are passionate about the job tasks and eager to start working. Your goal during an interview is to demonstrate how your background and interests have prepared you for the position at hand, and to show them that you genuinely want to be part of their company.