Archive for April, 2006

April 19th, 2006 by Campus Philly

no objection to salary increases

Most graduates do not expect to make six figures their first year out of college; however, Philadelphia law firms, such as Saul Ewing, Pepper Hamilton and Duane Morris, have recently all raised their first year starting salaries from $115,000 to $125,000. Others, such as Morgan Lewis and Bockius, have hiked salaries up to a staggering $135,000. According to a chart in The Legal Intelligencer, the salaries of first year lawyers at major law firms in Philadelphia have been steadily increasing over the past ten years and are still on the rise. With these salaries, who wouldn’t want to be a lawyer?

Well, it seems that a sensational salary does not always yield a happy employee. One such employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been working at one of the top Philadelphia firms for just over a year. The salary increase is completely driven by the type of applicants that law firms are looking to attract. If law firms could offer $60,000 to starting lawyers, then they would, but it’s a very competitive market. Despite his immense paycheck, the 60-to-80-hour work weeks and the general nature of the job have convinced this lawyer to pursue a different profession.

But will the salary increase attract a greater number of future lawyers? Bobby Careless, a senior at Temple University, has recently taken his LSATs and is more interested in becoming involved in criminal law than private practice. I wish the D.A.’s office would get a raise, but it is nice to also have the other option of making that much money. I don’t think it matters about the money in the long run though, because if you’re miserable in private practice you’ll eventually drop out, Careless said.

Donald Harris, a Temple Law Professor, states that the starting salaries at law firms are often referred to as golden handcuffs; they make it hard to complain about the workload, but they also make it very hard to walk away. It is paid to them so that they come on board, and then begin developing into attorneys who are going to some day run the firm, Harris said.

According to Harris, firms raise salaries to compete with other firms for the best employees. Philadelphia firms are competing not only with each other, but also with firms in New York to attract potential employees. The money to pay for these raises has come out of increased billing rates and increased spending budgets.

Harris suspects that there are a lot of people who gain little satisfaction from their jobs, but continue for the money. Of course he is not making this a generalization on the entire working population. I suspect, and hope, that many lawyers enter the legal profession with the sincere intent to provide service to the community. Money does not bring satisfaction. This does not mean it is not nice to make money, but as the sole motivator? I hope not.

April 18th, 2006 by Campus Philly

beating philly law firms inferiority complex

Philadelphia law firms have always looked at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a mixed bag. It is the area’s only elite law school and has consistently produced some of the city’s top lawyers. But less than 20 percent of its students wind up staying in town after graduation, while about 40 percent usually head for the perceived glamor of New York City.

Those numbers might have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some local hiring partners think marketing initiatives at Penn law school and elsewhere are hindered by Philadelphia firms’ ongoing inferiority complex about their firms and city.

Diane Downs, associate dean of career planning at Penn law school, said more students are looking at New York as an initial pit stop in their legal careers so they can pay back burdensome loans. Top New York firms pay $145,000, compared with $125,000 in Philadelphia, and offer larger bonuses. But New York associates pay a price, grinding out excruciatingly long hours while dealing with a substantially higher cost of living. Downs and several Philadelphia-area legal headhunters said they have received an increasing number of phone calls from Penn law school alums looking to return to Philadelphia after spending a few years in Manhattan. Students say local law firms are capitalizing on the good press Philadelphia has received recently by emphasizing positives such as a reasonable cost of living and growing cultural options.

Downs said the reason so many Penn law students leave town starts with demographics. Only 13 percent are from Pennsylvania and only 22 percent are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware combined. Conversely, 27 percent are from New York. Downs said the student population is becoming even more geographically diverse and that might not bode well for Philadelphia firms, which could face competition from firms in an increasing number of cities.

Mike Wang is a Bucks County native in his second year at Penn law school who spent last summer at Blank Rome and knows he wants to remain in Philadelphia after graduation. Wang said students head to New York for reasons involving money, lifestyle and professional opportunities. But he decided to stay because he enjoyed the quality of life and felt challenged by the work. Downs and several students said Philadelphia firms have done a good job emphasizing the quality-of-life issues but need to focus more on quality-of-work issues.

“You hear people say that Philadelphia doesn’t have corporate or banking work,” said Chris Beals, a Penn law school student considering options in both cities. “The fact is that I don’t think most law students really understand what banking work really is, let alone whether a firm has a good practice. And I do think Philadelphia firms need to be more clear about the sophistication level of the work they do because there are a lot of misconceptions.”

Buffalo, N.Y., native Rebecca Lasher had never been to Philadelphia before enrolling at Penn law school nearly three years ago, but now she wants to stay after graduating this spring. She will clerk for a federal judge while deferring acceptance to Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. Most large Philadelphia firms have offices in other cities, so Lasher said young lawyers will receive work national in scope and sophisticated in nature. The problem is, not many of her classmates believe that.

“I do think the firms should have a primary focus [during interviews] on the quality of work and clients they have because this is perceived as a regional market,” Lasher said.

It seems that Philadelphia firms are spending a lot of time during interviews grilling students about their commitment to staying in the city and that has struck a sour chord with some at Penn Law. Many students said they were “interrogated” by hiring partners about whether they were interviewing with firms in other cities or why they were interested in staying in Philadelphia.

“The perception is that Philadelphia firms come in with a chip on their shoulder and have this ‘why Philadelphia?’ mentality,” Beals said. “I was told by more senior students not to tell them that I was interviewing in other cities. I think at one firm it really hurt me when I mentioned it. I know a lot of people leave those interviews frustrated that they have to prove their allegiance, and they don’t want to work at those firms.”

Elaine Petrossian, assistant dean for career strategy and advancement at Villanova University School of Law, said she received the same treatment a decade ago as a University of Virginia Law School student interviewing in Philadelphia and her school’s students still hear such questions today.

“The perception is that you need to be connected to Philadelphia somehow to get a job here,” Petrossian said. “I felt it as an out-of-state applicant. I felt that some people didn’t believe me and I had to justify why I wanted to be here. Firms need to take a more positive approach to selling Philadelphia because that sends a bad message.” Local hiring partners, though, say they have been burned by students using Philadelphia firms as a backup in case they don’t get a job elsewhere.

“We had a few students tell us that was weird during exit interviews, but it comes down to firms not wanting to spend a lot of money to train someone if they have no intention of staying here for the long haul,” said Matthew Jones, hiring partner at Duane Morris.

Jennifer Janiera is a North Jersey native in her second year at Penn law school. She applied only to Philadelphia firms and accepted a summer position at Saul Ewing. Once local hiring partners became convinced through a series of questions that she was not looking at other cities, she said the interview process took a much more positive tone.

“I think they are on point with asking because I know people that use Philadelphia as a backup,” Janiera said. “But Philadelphia firms definitely try harder when they know you want to stay here.”

Lasher said Philadelphia is not the only city where such questions are asked. She received the same inquiries while interviewing with Boston firms.

“I think it’s a fair question when you are investing $20,000 in a summer associate and not getting anything back from it,” Lasher said. “They might fear the only reason you are staying in Philadelphia is because you have an apartment here and that you are going to ultimately leave for a higher-paying city after graduation.”

Penn law students say despite the fact that Philadelphia firms are only 15 blocks away, New York firms have a much larger presence on campus with advertising and programming. Students suggest that Philadelphia firms might want to take better advantage of their proximity by inviting candidates to their offices rather than hosting events at University City establishments such as Pod. Janiera said Dechert held a reception recently at its new Cira Centre digs and received a positive response.

Drinker Biddle & Reath hiring partner Audrey Talley said her firm hosts a similar event at the Four Seasons, which is next door to its offices at One Logan Square. Student feedback leads her to believe that firms need to do a better job marketing themselves.

“We need to get past this Philadelphia inferiority complex,” Talley said. “I think we are projecting a defensive message. I’m disappointed that we as a legal community are not more confident because I think we have so much to offer.”

April 10th, 2006 by Campus Philly

stop the genocide

Since 2003 whole villages have been looted and destroyed, women raped, and men shot. Approximately 2 million people are homeless. The death toll is estimated around at least 300,000. This is genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

So what can we do about it? Most American students do not realize their own potential. Nor do most Philadelphia students realize how many resources are located right here. “People did not know anything [about the genocide], but when we explained, people became interested,” said Dr. Ibrahim, a Sudanese refugee who organizes most of Philadelphia’s genocide awareness events through The Darfur Alert Coalition.

Though many other groups in Philadelphia address the violence in Darfur, the Darfur Alert Coalition is one group focused solely on stopping the genocide. Its members are all part of other human rights, faith-based and peace organizations in Philadelphia. The group’s main function is to alert its members and the Philadelphia community of Darfur advocacy efforts and demonstrations.

“The primary way to achieve our goals is for the coalition to unite around the leadership in Washington-based Darfur activist groups, like Save Darfur Coalition and Africa Action,” said Lou Ann Merkle, co-founder and co-chair of the Coalition. Members of the Coalition speak at community organizations and college campuses. Recently, the Coalition organized the Sudan Speaking Tour, held in Philly during the week of April 2nd.

The speaking tour is leading up to a major demonstration in Washington, D.C. on April 30th. Hopefully, a good turnout will cause the people in Washington to take the issue more seriously. Reverend Isaac Miller of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia is a member of the Coalition who believes in the power of student participation. I’m not aware of any meaningful or positive movement that has not included significant involvement, Miller said.

The situation in Sudan is extremely complex, but the short-term solutions to stopping the genocide may be clearer. Darfur is a farming and oil rich region in Western Sudan. The Janjaweed, a rebel group comprised of several nomadic tribes, have been attacking rural farmers, burning their villages, and raping and enslaving women. Those who flee are forced into overcrowded refugee camps, which still are not safe from the Janjaweed. The Sudanese government backs the Janjaweed in order to gain access to the region’s resources, according to Merkle.

The only protection for the Darfurians, as reported by the BBC, lies in the recently created African Union, an organization comprised of African nations. The Union’s lack of resources, funding and troops (only 7,000 are currently in Sudan), all contribute to its inability to solve the problem. Focus has now shifted to the UN; because the UN is bigger and stronger, they could more effectively deal with the situation. But because a UN proposal for the transition of peacekeeping power from the AU to the UN was never passed, the UN must have permission from the AU to become involved. In turn, according to the BBC, the AU is being pressured by the Sudanese government to keep the UN out.

This is where student and community involvement in letter writing campaigns and rallies is important. The more pressure that is placed upon our own government, the quicker Washington will respond to the call. Log onto the Human Rights Watch Web site (www.hrw.org) for addresses of U.N. members, politicians in the United States, and even the rebel leaders in Sudan. “The international community is obligated, Merkel said. “They have a moral imperative to protect the innocent.”

For more information on the Darfur Alert Coalition, check out darfuralert.org. and check out genocideintervention.net for specific ways students can help.

April 7th, 2006 by Campus Philly

temple students converge on tech center

Jerry Hinkle, Temple University’s director of computer labs, was standing in the university’s new computer center when a student approached him. Hinkle braced himself for a complaint about the facility, which Temple opened in January, but it never came. Instead, Hinkle recalled, “He said, ‘man, this place is freaking sweet.’”

Those sentiments are being echoed by students all over Temple’s main campus in North Philadelphia.

Someone added a paragraph about the computer center to Temple’s page on Wiki-pedia, the collaborative, Internet-based encyclopedia. Others are giving it rave notices on MySpace, the social networking site.

“It’s become the hub of the campus,” said Timothy O’Rourke, Temple’s Vice President of computer and information services. “And the nice thing about it is it’s a study center.”

The center’s full name is the Teaching, Education, Collaboration, Help (TECH) Center at Temple University. It’s located in a former Bell Atlantic Corp. data center that Temple bought in 1997 and used little until last March when construction on the TECH Center began.

“As far as we know, this is the largest computer lab in the country,” O’Rourke said.

The TECH Center’s main computer lab is on the second floor. Walls and curves keep its size from seeming overwhelming. It’s also divided into color-coded subsections so students can more easily find friends and study mates.

The second floor also has six labs with specialized computers and software for music composition, software development and video editing, among other things.

Renovating the building and outfitting the TECH Center cost $15 million. Of that, $1 million was in contributions, largely from hardware and software companies. Temple is budgeting $500,000 a year to cover the cost of replacing the equipment as it wears out or becomes outmoded.

The Temple University Welcome Center, which is on the first floor, cost $1 million. The first floor also has a help desk for computer users at the TECH Center and everywhere else on all of Temple’s campuses; a faculty wing with centers to help Temple faculty and assistants become better teachers and more adept at using technology in the classroom; and a Starbucks that O’Rourke said the company “is thrilled with.”

The third and fourth floors have administrative offices.

Temple had — and still has — computer labs in other locations on its campuses. But consolidating some in a central location enabled Temple to provide students with a secure place to use a computer any time day or night.

Although more than 90 percent of Temple students have their own computers, the machines are in dorm rooms or apartments, locations that aren’t always conducive to studying. And, unlike the computers in the TECH Center, they don’t contain the more than 150 software programs Temple students can encounter in their classes.

Since the TECH Center opened, the student lab has had more than 250,000 users. On average, 5,000 students use it per weekday. Its peak usage so far was 6,610 students on March 27.

To prevent the building from taking on the feel of a student union, Temple forbids posting any notices.

The students, meanwhile, have kept it from turning into a social, rather than a work, center, in some instances shushing people who are making too much noise.

“They’ve really taken it and kind of claimed it as their own,” Hinkle said.

April 7th, 2006 by Campus Philly

the balancing act

The semester is coming to the end, and between work, school and maintaining your social life, it’s all too easy to lose your head. But through five simple steps, you can diminish stress, maintain your GPA, and still have a good time. Read on for tips on keeping cool under pressure.

Organize

To avoid scheduling conflicts, missed appointments and total mental breakdown, keeping organized is a must. While cell phones and computers are equipped with a digital calendar, technology can pull cruel tricks, leaving you lost on the blank screen that was once your agenda. A daily planner is virtually foolproof.

“This is my Bible,” said Lauren Eckhardt, senior at Chestnut Hill College. “I couldn’t function without it.” Depending upon style and size, the average daily planner will cost $5-$25.

Prioritize.

Take inventory of your workload often. Note the deadlines are quickly approaching and map your time accordingly. Taking care to effectively organize, prioritize and perfect your to-do list and finish the biggest tasks first.

Avoid Distractions.

Turn the cell phone off. Hide the i-Pod. Find a quiet well-lit area where you can read, write and work without disruptions or distractions. Blame it on your chatty roommates, the call of your comfortable bed, or the luring glow of the TV, but escaping your humble abode could mean freedom from trivial annoyances that hinder your work.

“I work exclusively in my school studio,” said Elizabeth Long, senior at Moore College of Art & Design. “Most times it’s a fortress of solitude, but it’s the best place to get down to business.” Utilize the campus library, the corner coffee shop, even your cramped cubicle for quality work time.

Purge Procrastination.

Delaying the inevitable is self-defeating. Heed the wise words of NIKE, and “Just do it.”

Relax. Refuel. Rejuvenate.

An integral and often neglected ingredient for success is physical health and well-being. Many of us pull all-nighter, subsist on a Ramen and Redbull diet and get little exercise. But should we be sacrificing our physical condition for the sake of our studies?

According to Dr. Daniel Higgins, a licensed chiropractor and practicing physical therapist of the Chiropractic Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, the answer is no. According to Higgins, emotional distress leads to muscle tension and physical pain. Plus, the seemingly temporary stressed-out state can have long-term effects, such as depression and anxiety. Dr. Higgins advises a disciplined regimen of regular cardiovascular exercise, conscientious eating and guided relaxation. Dr. Higgins reinforces this advice with a simple statement. “Just as nutrients feed the body, nutrients feed the mind.”

April 6th, 2006 by Campus Philly

control your textbook prices

“Effort is to success as fuel is to the car,” is one of those anonymous quotes that can be found online. But it is one of Gunter Pfau’s favorites. His own effort has led him to achieve success with Stuzo.com, the Web site he started that has made buying and selling textbooks cheaper and easier for local students.

Traditionally, options have been limited when it comes to buying textbooks. Choices are limited to the university bookstore or online book sites, and prices are often steep. Many students, like Jared White, a freshman entrepreneurial studies major at Temple, rely on the campus bookstore. “It’s easily accessible and almost a guarantee that you will find the book you are looking for,” White says. “Also, I don’t really know where else to go.”

Thanks to Pfau, students like White have another option. Pfau, a Temple Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies undergraduate, started Stuzo at Temple University in December 2004 when he realized how much money he was losing to Temple’s bookstore each year. While Stuzo is similar to other online market places, such as Amazon.com and Half.com, which also allow users to buy and sell used books, Stuzo’s sellers are all local, which makes transactions easier.

Stuzo provides three different types of transaction options. Students can meet on campus to exchange books; they can use postal services; or they can use Stuzo Spot, an on-campus location where they can drop off and pick up without the buyer and seller ever even having to meet. Students can pay by cash, credit or debit card.

“Students are completely in control because they can enjoy the comforts of either on-campus transactions or online transactions,” Pfau says. “This just makes the whole process much less of a hassle and more convenient.”

In order to take part, students only need to fill out a basic member profile. All members are required to register with a “College/University” e-mail account in order to ensure the safety of the Stuzo.com community.

As for Stuzo’s future, the company is in the process of recruiting sponsors to provide the financial means to prosper. “Money is the key to Stuzo.com’s growth,” Pfau says. He is open to any financial help, but since it is a new business, not many sponsors are willing to take a chance supporting Stuzo. “It’s a tricky process,” he says.

Pfau hopes that students will spread the word about Stuzo.com to other schools. Currently the Web site is used mostly by Temple University students.

Visit www.stuzo.com to control what you pay for textbooks.

April 5th, 2006 by Campus Philly

return of the mba

First the international students scaled back their applications to American graduate business schools in the wake of 9/11. Then the recession took hold and the job market tightened. Fewer people wanted to give up their full-time jobs for full-time academia. At the same time, some companies began cutting back on their tuition reimbursement, a major incentive to many students. Then word of recent grads remaining unemployed longer after completing MBA degrees scared off people who might have considered business programs.

Faced with a dwindling pool of potential students over the past several years, many universities across the country and in this region began evolving their MBA programs by adding new concentrations, shortening degree programs, experimenting with online courses and accepting younger students with fewer years of work experience.

Business schools were forced to evaluate their offerings and alter their programs to meet the market’s demands. In other words, schools had to practice what they preach in the classroom and treat business education as the business that it is.

“All the business schools are looking very strategically at the product portfolio that they have, and realigning it with the needs of the customers out there,” said George Tsetsekos, dean of the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University.

In 2002, nearly a quarter of a million people took the Graduate Management Admission Test, the qualifying exam required by MBA programs. In 2005, there were only about 211,000 test takers, a decline of more than 15 percent. Only recently have the numbers improved.

Full-time MBA programs were the hardest hit, with 82 percent of the nation’s accredited schools reporting a decline in applications following 2002, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a St. Louis-based organization that accredits business administration and accounting programs.

Even the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s elite graduate business schools, saw application numbers tumble from 8,371 in 2002 to 5,654 for last fall, a 32 percent decline.

Contributing to the drop in admissions was the lure of executive MBA programs, which experienced a lift in admissions during the same period that full-time MBA applications declined. Executive MBAs target working professionals with business experience who want to earn a degree without disrupting their careers.

Executive programs have attracted stronger candidates in recent years, according to Bob Ludwig, director of external communications for the McLean, Va.-based Graduate Management Admission Council, which oversees GMAT testing.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management, for example, reported that despite a decline in overall applications, 25 percent of the people in this year’s entering executive and professional MBA classes already hold advanced degrees and many hold terminal degrees, such as doctorates and law degrees.

Other schools began accepting less qualified students to compensate for declining enrollment, said Rich Sorensen, chairman of the AACSB and dean of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

“There was a quality erosion in the MBA market,” Sorensen said.

Rather than concede to a constricting market, Drexel began offering a variety of new programs to entice strong candidates. They created the LEAD MBA, an accelerated degree program that part-time students complete in two years.

Last year, they began MBA Anywhere, an online program using audio-visual lectures, video illustrations and cases, interactive exams and virtual labs. In the fall, they introduced a new concentration in entrepreneurship, an area Tsetsekos said is of growing interest to students as well as to recent graduates.

In May, Drexel will open a 7,000-square-foot site in Great Valley, Montgomery County, to better serve students who prefer not to come into the city for classes.

“The applicants are very educated consumers,” Tsetsekos said. “What we see are a lot of students looking for alternatives. They are much more educated about what they need and the options that they face.”

Tsetsekos credits the new offerings for a 38 percent increase in the number of applications last fall over the previous period. Enrollment has jumped from 680 in 2000 to 923 for the current school year. Of the 923 enrolled, 64 percent are part-time students. The Rutgers University School of Business in Camden has increased its applications and enrollment in recent years by adding locations around South Jersey, from Atlantic City to Mount Laurel to Voorhees. The school also offers classes at corporate locations for companies such as Lockheed-Martin and Virtua Health.

To attract more students, La Salle University is doubling the size of its campus in Newtown, Bucks County. Saint Joseph’s University appeals to suburban students by offering classes at Ursinus College in Collegeville.

“We are continuously re-evaluating the current curriculum and making changes in courses and deleting courses that do not seem to be as much in vogue or relevant,” said Adele Foley, associate dean of graduate programs at St. Joseph’s. For example, “we eliminated the whole area of e-business which was a big trend a few years ago.”

Next fall, Temple will launch a pharmaceutical management track within its MBA program to satisfy the growing demand of one of the region’s major industries.

“The colleges are filling these niches,” Ludwig said. “If a school is in an area where there are companies hiring those graduates because they bring a skill set that is marketable to those companies, schools are starting to look at that.”

Administrators at Temple used the period of decline in applications as a time to reconsider the value of its program. “We ratcheted up all our standards in terms of all our admission standards — GMAT scores, work experience, quality of work experience, undergraduate GPA,” said Robert Bonner, assistant dean of MBA programs. “We’ve always had a great MBA program and great graduates, but we really wanted to make our output of our graduates even stronger.”

The average GMAT score increased to 666 for the class that entered during the current school year. In 2001, the average GMAT was 611. Temple only accepted 67 students last fall.

“Our enrollment probably could have increased during that time if we wanted, but the dean made a very strategic choice to be the part-time MBA program of Philadelphia,” Bonner said.

Villanova University’s graduate business program enrollments have remained fairly consistent at around 700 students in recent years, but their demographics have shifted. From the fall of 2001 to the fall of 2005, the percentage of women has nearly doubled from 23 percent to 43 percent. Students of color have increased from 3 percent to 14 percent and international students have increased from 3 percent to 6 percent.

GMAC’s Ludwig said that people of color and women are a growing population in business schools across the country. And students in MBA programs are getting younger and younger. The number of GMAT test takers who are under 25 years old has increased to 33 percent in 2004 from 28 percent in 2002, according to GMAC data.

“We are attracting a group of individuals very early in their career, very talented, and the average age is coming down slightly,” said Judith Silverman Hodara, senior assistant director at Wharton.

The average age of this year’s enterin
g class was 28, down from 28.9 in 2003, with current first-year students ranging from 21 to 40. The average amount of work experience is 6.4 years with a few students coming straight from the undergraduate level. “We are starting to see individuals who have been out of school two to three years as opposed to five or six,” Silverman Hodara said. Millennials, the vast group of people born in the early ’80s, are reaching an age when they will be considering graduate business schools and that has many universities anticipating good times to come.

“All of us compete for students directly or indirectly,” said Tsetsekos. “The prospective student, the consumer, is the winner in the end.”

April 5th, 2006 by Campus Philly

graduates see possibilities in startups

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is renowned for placing graduates, especially of its MBA program, with large corporations and financial-services firms the world over. Now, a branch of Wharton’s Management Department has begun two efforts to get them involved with startups, including some in the Philadelphia area.

Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs recently hosted an event called Start-Up Night, at which representatives of four venture capital firms talked to Wharton students about internship and job opportunities at their portfolio companies. Two of the venture-capital firms, TL Ventures and Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners, are based in Wayne and their representatives mentioned some area companies.

“There was a very conscious decision to have two local firms involved,” said Megan Mitchell, the associate director of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs. “There are wonderful stories in this area and I don’t think the students always think about Philadelphia first.”

About 80 undergraduate and graduate students showed up to listen to the venture capitalists, who talked about companies located everywhere from Scranton to China.

Students who registered for the event ahead of time got their résumés, their class standing and the type of position they’re looking for placed in a book that was distributed to the venture capitalists, who will make it available to their portfolio companies.

Since not all startups are in a position to offer high-paying internships, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs also has begun a fellowship to supplement the salaries of students who take an internship with a startup.

Recipients of the Wharton Entrepreneurial Intern Fellowship get $1,500 in addition to their pay from their internship. In exchange, they must act as “ambassadors of entrepreneurship” in the year following their internship. That entails promoting the entrepreneurial career path to other Wharton students and helping to keep the fellowship program going.

Only two fellowships are being offered this year. The number and amount of the fellowships may be increased, depending on the program’s success and the demand for it.

April 4th, 2006 by Campus Philly

chris webber needs a timeout

It’s the fourth quarter with 4.9 seconds on the clock. The Sixers, with a 93-92 lead, have just dribbled the last 23 seconds away, pivotally using the clock to their advantage. The ball is in Webber’s hands, he’s wide open, and…

And he blows it, by not shooting, causing a shot clock violation and the automatic turnover that leads to the Pacers lay up and their 94-93 victory. Webber, with his trademark frown, also blew help-defense coverage on Stephen Jackson’s game winning bucket. And he also took the final shot with 2.9 seconds left for the win, but came away with a sloppy jump shot that didn’t even hit the rim. To think, all these C-Webb mistakes, and his three previous air balls and four turnovers in one quarter weren’t even mentioned. No wonder he’s constantly frowning. Chris—it’s time for you to stop losing games.

This isn’t a knock on Chris Webber entirely. The power forward is averaging a cool 20 and 10, has great passing skills for a big man, and shoots 76.5% from the free throw line. So yes, he’s a good guy, and a wonderful second banana to Allen Iverson when they’re getting along; Webber plays a mean 28 minutes of basketball.

Problem is, games tend to be 48 minutes, and in the final 20 minutes Chris Webber turns losing games into an art form. His phantom timeout in Michigan as time expired is historical, and he could never get his team over the hump in Sacramento, always using his role players as a crutch in the end of games. And now in here in Philadelphia, where he can hide in Iverson’s six-foot shadow, C-Webb can’t produce when he needs to.

The game against the Indiana Pacers is a perfect example. During a close game he constantly contributed when there was plenty of time on the horizon, but once it was within 15 minutes he collapsed. He couldn’t accurately shoot his jumper and he couldn’t power inside. He didn’t take advantage of great passing by his teammates, and he surrendered on defense like the French. And the Pacers knew it and attacked him on offense and left him open to concentrate their defense on Iverson. The Sixers knew it, and had him on the bench for four minutes. And when it was critical for him to get active, what did he do? Add to his 2.5 turnovers per game average. Delicious pass after delicious pass, Webber couldn’t cash in on the easy would-be assists from Iverson in the fourth. No problem in the first, but when it’s crunch time, Webber loses his bite.

It happens too much. And it’s irritating, because the season is winding down and Philly is in trouble; sports pundits are looking to fix the Sixers with Iverson trades and the canning of Mo Cheeks when the problem lies in Webber. He’s expensive, and combined with Iverson he’s poisonous. Plus, he always has a look on his face like his puppy was just hit by a car.

He doesn’t need to be traded. He just needs to get his act together in the fourth quarter before the playoffs. Because he may lose a game for the Sixers now, and that’s painful, but if Webber decides to go limp in the postseason…well, he’ll really have a reason to frown.

April 4th, 2006 by Campus Philly

if i were pat gillick

Being Pat Gillick must be pretty good. Aside from turning 69 during the upcoming season, you have to appreciate a man who has spent the majority of his life involved in front-office operations of major league baseball clubs. Starting in Houston, and then working with the Yankees, he eventually landed in Toronto, winning five division titles and two World Series titles. After stints with the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners, he comes to Philadelphia to finally get the Phillies to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. He’s had success in almost every place he’s been, which means two things.

One, I think I’d enjoy being him. Two, I think he could rub some of his luck onto Broad Street.

So what would I do if I were Pat Gillick? Bring in Aaron Rowand is a great start, and so is giving Ryan Howard his first full season as first baseman. I like sending Jason Michaels out of town (with handcuffs or without), and I’m sure he’s exploring every way possible to ship David Bell’s perpetual mediocrity. And let’s applaud the Tom Gordon pick-up, a savvy reliever and a true professional pitcher in every sense of the word, has proven he can work under pressure.

Well, those were the big moves. Now, as Gillick, what next? Ryan Madson is a good insurance policy but why leave it to chance? Enter Arthur Rhodes, a 36-year-old reliever who has been through the battles. My bullpen is full of solid arms and there are always pleasant surprises during spring training. Last season, the Phillies proved that they could hang in there when key players such as Randy Wolf go down. Wolf won’t be back until July, so the team will have to continue on the way they ended last year.

When Wolf returns, presumably he will join Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle, and Brett Myers. Competing for the fifth spot will be Ryan Franklin, a Seattle castaway and probably Madson or Gavin Floyd. When one looks at this compilation of pitchers, an immediate truth becomes evident; there is no real ace of this staff. But remember, I just sent away Robinson Tejada for an outfielder last week, so who knows what big name (Bobby Abreau) I may ship for an ace in the rotation.

With a team that came so close to getting to the post season, not much will be needed to fix this team. Unloading oft-injured (his back problems from 2003 have flared up again) and pedestrian third-baseman David Bell would do wonders, while Mike Lieberthal is pulling a Brad Ausmus in Philadelphia. He’s been around and provided some leadership, but couldn’t hit T.O.’s ego with a club. He’s almost an automatic out, but the issue is that there is a lack of solid hitting catchers available. As long as he provides steady defense behind the plate, he gets a pass. With a newly restructured bullpen that has a mix of veterans and youth, this should be an interesting focal point through the season. The Ryan Howard watch will be in full effect and we’ll see how successful he will be in replacing Jim Thome at first.

The Phils don’t need to do much to make that last step into the postseason, but no doubt the addition of an ace would help ease any fears. That, and prevent a relapse of our opening day spanking by the St. Louis Cardinals. There needs to be a delicate balance between purging young studs like Floyd and Madson for the immediate future and playing conservatively to hope for progress. Pat Gillick has won before and he’ll probably win again