Beyond Interning: Externships

Nearly every college student has heard of an internship and most will have completed one by the time they graduate. Internships are a practical way to gain real world work experience before finishing a degree and can provide valuable contacts for networking. What are some other ways to gain work experience in college?

An externship is like a mini-internship, where a student shadows a professional on the job for a certain period of time. Some are short and last only a few days, while others can go on for weeks at a time. An externship is a bit like a campus visit for a prospective freshman; the student gets a sense of the true “flavor” of a certain position by following their mentor through each part of their day.

By completing an externship, the student is able to experience the perks and stresses of a job right alongside an experienced mentor, who is also available to answer any questions. The mentor can introduce the students to other professionals in the field, an important step in finding a career. Externships are especially practical for those entering more hands-on fields such as medicine, veterinarian school and the culinary arts.

An externship might be the right move for someone who does not have enough electives to complete an internship for credit. They are also practical for the student who needs to work during breaks in the school year as many of these programs are short and take place while classes are in session.

Another alternative to an internship is a co-op program, which is offered by several Philadelphia universities. A co-op program allows a student to spend a paid semester or a year working for a company. These co-op programs can take place near campus, near the student’s home or even in a foreign country of the student’s choosing.

Like internships, co-ops are an excellent way to gain real world experience and unlike internships, they offer an opportunity to get paid (sometimes quite well for a student) for the work that is being done. Although some may balk at the idea of leaving campus for a semester, most students come back glowing from what they refer to as “their best college experience”.

For those with an interest in politics, many campuses offer a “Semester in Washington D.C.” program, a cross between an internship and a co-op. Semesters in Washington usually provide housing for the student, while they complete a post with one of the numerous government agencies or private companies in the area. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” A semester in Washington is the perfect way to network with professionals in a chosen field of interest.

The best way to explore these options is to do some research online and to contact your campus career services center. You might also speak to your advisor about what students have done in the past. Whatever you decide, just remember this: even if the experience is a terrible one, you have still learned something.

You can contact Clare Herlihy at

Eagles President Receives Award

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Banner, was presented an award by the former President George H.W. Bush at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Philadelphia.

The conference gave out numerous awards besides the one that Banner received. The award, the Daily Point of Light, is presented to exceptional Philadelphians who have an impact on the volunteering sector of the community. Banner, along with Phil Behr, the Managing Partner at Navigator Equity Partners and City Year Greater Philadelphia, were there to accept the award. About 10 years ago, the two started a local branch of City Year, which is a national service organization that recruits people between the ages of 17 and 24 to commit one year to full-time community services. The program works closely with children in the Philadelphia School District, offering tutoring and mentoring opportunities, among other things.

The people in attendance were those who represented nonprofits, businesses, schools, government agencies and service programs.

The Point of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network is dedicated to help encourage people of all cultures and classes to volunteer in their local communities.

For more information on the Point of Light Foundation, please visit .

You can contact Sara J. Gamble at

Jerry Yang wins WSOP bracelet, $8.25 Million

Jerry Yang, a 39-year-old psychologist and social worker from California, won the main event of the World Series of Poker and the top prize–$8.25 million.

A quick learn to the game, Yang only began playing poker two years ago; as soon as he went from being eighth to first in chip amount, it was evident that he knew the game well. Once he gained first, he knocked out the other seven players to clinch the most coveted poker bracelet and an $8.25 million payday.

The no-limit Texas Hold’em main event, which is the biggest poker tournament of the year, began on July 6 and had a total of 6,358 players. Each of the players paid $10,000 to enter the WSOP.

Yang had the shortest stack of chips when the nine finalists began to play around noon Tuesday. The married father of six was an intimidating force at the table from the beginning.

The diverse final table started Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas and stretched on 16 hours later until Wednesday morning. The final nine came from all over from the world, including Denmark, England, Canada, Russia, South Africa and the U.S. Don’t feel bad for the others at the table; everyone walked away with over $525,000 and five walked away millionaires.

Over half the table was eliminated after a whirlwind of 60 hands and then everything slowed down for the remaining four. The final two players, Yang and Tuan Lam, lasted through 35 hands, which lasted longer than the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Main Events altogether, according to

After winning the grand prize, Yang said he would use the money towards his children’s education, as well as donating 10% of his winnings towards various charities.

You can contact Sara J. Gamble at

Philly Makes Top Ten

Philadelphia recently ranked number nine in Forbesmagazine’s “Top Ten Best Cities for Young Professionals” list, a testament to efforts made to retain recent grads and attract the best and brightest from other areas.

The multi-factor study was based on information gathered about the whereabouts and career moves of the graduating class of 1997 from Ivy League schools. It excluded those who stayed within the same state as their alma mater. In short, Forbes wanted to know what cities were so attractive to young up-and-comers that they were willing to relocate to them, sometimes from across the country.

They also looked at factors, such as the size of the never-married 20-to-35 year old population, nightlife and cost-of-living-to-salary ratios– all important factors for the younger set. When it came to Philadelphia, Forbes determined that Philly’s position as a university town was a benefit. The lower cost of living compared to other major Northeastern cities was also a plus, especially in light of the fact that salaries weren’t as high as what is being offered for comparable positions in New York and Boston.

Forbes also had good news for singles in Philly: the city is 11th in the country for the highest number of never-married people in the 20 to 35 year age range. They also said that Philadelphia was the 11th most popular city for grads that were ten years out of college, which means that the young, single population here is also educated.

The eight cities ahead of Philly should come as no surprise to anyone: New York snagged number one, San Francisco at number two, followed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Seattle at four through seven. Surprisingly enough, Minneapolis, MN, a Midwestern town famous for bad winter weather, came in ahead of Philadelphia at number eight.

So what factors kept Philadelphia out of the top five? For one, Philadelphia only ranks 23rd on the list of best big and small businesses, a poor ranking considering the population size of the city. All of the cities in the top five of the top 10 best cities had a ranking of 15th or above in that category, with most in the top ten.

Philadelphia also lags behind in the high tech industry when compared to traditional meccas like San Francisco and Seattle. The technology industry brings about numerous high paying jobs that attract some of the best-qualified candidates.

Many have cited the city’s crime rate as a deterrent to attracting young professionals. Since big cities like New York and Washington, D.C. ranked ahead of Philadelphia, despite similar crime rates and patterns, this doesn’t seem to be a valid factor either.

Although the mystery of Philadelphia’s place on this list and similar lists has yet to be solved, it is nonetheless a positive to make the list in the first place. Two thumbs up for the City of Brotherly Love.

You can contact Clare Herlihy at

Phillies Lose 10,000 Games

With the amount of disappointments Phillies’ fans have had, it is no surprise to anyone that they were the first sports team to reach a total of 10,000 losses.

The loss that brought the team across the threshold (something that no other team in sports history has reached) was during a home game on July 15, 2007 in Citizens Bank Park against the St. Louis Cardinals.

While the Phillies are the first to hit the 10,000 milestone, they are not the team with the worst-losing percentage–that title belongs to the Tampa Bay Devils Rays, who in their 10 seasons, have a winning percentage of .397. The Phillies are in fifth place on that list, with a percentage of .468 in 125 seasons.

At the game on Sunday the Phillies performed in front of a sold-out crowd, who by the ninth inning, realized that the inevitable would happen in front of them. Standing proud and applauding, as booing turned to cheering, fans held signs that said “10,ooo N Proud,” as NL MVP Ryan Howard struck out, ending the game.

This franchise has fallen on hard times and is no stranger to having seasons where they lose 100 games. They have only one World Series title (1980) to their name in the 125 year history.

Not too far behind the Phillies are the Atlanta Braves, with 9,681 defeats. The Chicago Cubs come in a not-so-close third place, with 9,426 losses.

The loss on Sunday was almost a shutout; however, in the bottom of the ninth to lead the final chance to win, Michael Bourn hit his first career home run. Shortly after, Chris Coste reached home because of an error that was caused by a hit from Chase Utley.

What’s done is done and now the Phillies must put the milestone behind them and concentrate on shrinking the five-game lead that the New York Mets have on them in the NL East.

On the pages of the Metro, a fan’s sign read the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

That is just the way fans should see it.

You can contact Sara J. Gamble at

Taking Back Sunday gives back

Taking Back Sunday recently returned from overseas, where they were on tour with Lostprophets. After sometime at home, the New York-based quintet is heading back on the road. This time, they’ll be joining the Projekt Revolution tour and will also be performing four shows for the Boost Mobile RockCorps.

The Boost Mobile RockCorps is a community project that enlists the help of young people throughout several cities. Once they sign up, they perform four hours of community service and in return, are given a ticket to an exclusive concert.

Last year, Taking Back Sunday played a show in NYC, where all five boroughs were represented. This year, TBS will play shows for volunteers in Portland, Houston, Chicago and here in Philadelphia.

How did they become involved with Boost Mobile RockCorps? Matt Rubano (bass) said, “We like getting involved with volunteer things and giving back whether we’re involved or not in the community. With some of our accomplishments and successes, we can have an impact on the communities.”

When asked about the nights of the individual concerts for volunteers, Rubano said, “The point is already accomplished. There’s definitely a more intimate environment. I enjoy the idea that someone does hard work…we put on the same show regardless.”

He went on to say that “the spirit of the night is about positivity.”

TBS is involved in several other community-related projects as well. For the past two Christmas seasons, the band has offered holiday cards to raise money for three separate cancer charities. “The first season, they went so fast,” Rubano said, “The second year, we sold even more.”

The band also took a few days off from recording of their latest album, Louder Nowto work with Habitat for Humanity. They were able to work on a house frame for one of the many victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“I just remember the feeling of being connected to people that I’d never meet,” said Rubano, “The feeling is priceless. Everyone should experience it, especially in their community. It’s a sense of empowerment.”

You can contact Brittany Sturges at

Flyers Update

The Flyers started off this month with a bang. They received the top free agent in the pool, Daniel Briere. A former Buffalo Sabre, Briere is being looked at to fill in as the big leader that the Flyers lacked last year with the Peter Forsberg’s departure.

Briere was 10th in the league, with 95 points in scoring last year. He had 31 goals and 63 assists. If you recall the Flyers meltdown in the ’06 playoffs, you will remember that Briere had a lot to do with it. He finished the series with nine points.

The former Sabre is known for his leadership and playmaking ability. He is a very unselfish player who looks to set up his teammates rather than taking the shot for himself. However, Briere knows when to take the game into his hands. In game one of the ’06 playoffs against the Flyers, he had 14 shots on goal, one which won the game in overtime. Both Briere and Gagne on the same line should prove to be very explosive; with Knuble on the other wing, it could be one of the highest scoring lines in the NHL.

The Flyers also made a deal, sending Joni Pitkanen (defenseman) and Geoff Sanderson (forward) to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Jason Smith(defenseman) and Joffrey Lupul (forward). The latter is a very young player with a lot of upside.

In other hockey news, former Flyer fan-favorite, Jeremy Roenick announced his retirement from the NHL. Roenick was always known for his great personality, which is hard to find in a sport where many of the competitors don’t even speak the same language.

He retires as arguably the best American-born player to ever play in the NHL. Roenick played in nine all-star games in his 18-year-old career. He ranks third all-time in goals among American-born players, trailing only Mike Modano and Joey Mullen.

You can contact Chris Sherwin at

New Deck Tavern

My father and I entered the New Deck Tavern around 11:30 on a weekday. The Irish pub and restaurant was quiet—the calm before the storm. As we sat down and began looking at our menus, groups of people began trickling in on their lunch break. It wasn’t long before the place was packed and it became obvious that the New Deck was a hit.

Our waitress was very friendly. I noticed that she, along with most of the waitresses there, had Irish accents. This is a nice touch to add to the Irish decor that fills the tavern. Tea cups and mugs line the door frames; they look as though they could be souvenirs sent straight from Ireland. A Notre Dame hat and West Catholic pennant hang over the bar. I had to laugh when I noticed the digital counter informing me that there were only 258 days, 19 hours, 34 minutes, and 5.11 seconds left until St. Patrick’s Day.

Though the New Deck has only been in operation at its current location since 1986, the three row homes that it occupies actually date back to the 1800s, according to the restaurant’s official web site. Prior to its Sansom Street home, the Deck (as it is often referred to) was located on Walnut Street, where it opened in 1933.

The Deck maintains much of that early 20th century appeal. Its walls are covered with ads for barbeque sauce and beverages from that time period.

After admiring the interior design, we started off with potato soup. This signature soup is made with chunks of potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions. It was a delicious, hearty start to our lunch.

The menu is filled with Irish-themed meals and appetizers. Some of the Deck Favorites include Ashford Castle Alfredo (penne pasta, cajun spiced chicken, and plum tomatoes in a cream sauce with Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper) and Ulster Fry (pub shrimp, Maryland crab cakes, and battered cod, with Irish chips, tartar sauce, and malt vinegar). For desert, there’s Irish bread and butter pudding and a variety of Irish coffees.

I decided to go with the crab cake sandwich and fries. It was much better than any crab cake sandwich I’ve ever had–crunchy breading on the outside, warm and tasty crab meat on the inside. The golden, crispy fries really topped it off. They’re very generous with their portions (I couldn’t even finish my sandwich).

My father had a Deck burger, a favorite of his, as he is no newcomer to this tavern. The Deck burger is served with Colby and Jack cheese, maple cured bacon and Portobello mushrooms.

After our meal, I knew I wanted to come back to the Deck and try some of the other entrees on the menu. It’s a great place to just come with your friends, kick back and have a delicious meal.

The New Deck Tavern
3408 Sansom St.

You can contact Erin Pollock at

Life After Graduation

For incoming seniors, the choice between graduate school and finding a career can be difficult. Preparing for graduate school involves more standardized tests, studying and applications, something that many of us were glad to leave behind once we got into college.

Searching for a career can be equally nerve-wracking, especially for those who don’t know exactly what they want to do yet. The prospect of leaving a cozy dorm existence on a familiar campus to take on a new job in a new city is enough to send many college seniors diving back under the covers in fear.

So how do you go about deciding which is the best option for you? If you’re leaning more towards graduate school, start researching programs that interest you now and pick up a GRE prep book. The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is the pre-requisite for nearly all post-graduate programs.

Think of the GRE as the SAT for graduate school: it is broken down into a math and verbal section, only with harder questions. Educational Testing Services, the company in charge of the GRE, offers a free download of GRE Practice software, which simulates the computer program that is used to administer the GRE general test.

Some competitive graduate programs also require you to take the GRE subject tests, which cover specific areas of content knowledge. Research the programs you are interested in and see what they require for admissions.

If you balk at the idea of taking the GRE in the middle of senior year or can’t seem to decide which graduate program interests you, then maybe taking some time off to work is best. Look into career fairs offered by your school and start polishing your resume over the summer.

Make sure the experiences you list on your resume are aimed at the sort of careers that interest you; a healthcare company is going to be more interested in the hospital internship you did last summer than your experience writing for the school newspaper.

Try making several different resumes, so that they will be ready by the time fall career fairs roll around. You might also want to contact your campus career development center to make an appointment to talk with a career services advisor once school starts.

Graduate school can be costly and working for a year or two, while living at home, might help you save enough money to defray some of the tuition. Many MBA programs, especially the more prestigious ones, encourage prospective applicants to work for a few years before applying, as candidates with real-world experience tend to perform better in that sort of program.

Conversely, if you know that it would be difficult for you to get back into academic mode after working for a few years, it might be best to go to graduate school right away. Having a job you love or starting a family makes it even more difficult to go back to school; so many students opt to continue right into a post-graduate program.

Choosing between graduate school and a career is not an easy decision and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For some people, a few years spent away from the college environment to gain professional experience allows them to take their graduate program more seriously and offers a richer perspective on what they are learning in the classroom. For others, heading back into school right after their undergraduate graduation makes it easier to transition to the heavy load of graduate school.

Whatever your path, the key to making the right choice is to start researching your options early and listen to the best advice: your own instincts.

You can contact Clare Herlihy at

Palestra Documentary to Air on ESPN

The film, The Palestra: Cathedral of Basketball will air nationally on ESPN Classic on July 5 at 10 p.m. EST.

The documentary traces the evolution of college basketball through the rise of the most historic arena in the country. It also depicts how the Palestra came into existence.

The film was written, produced and directed by Mikaelyn Austin and her production company, Philly Philms. Austin graduated from Penn in May of 2004 with a degree in the Fine Arts. During her tenure at Penn, she played for the women’s varsity basketball for four years. As the tri-captain of the team during her senior year, she helped lead the Quakers to the 2003-2004 Ivy League Championship title.

The film marks the first production lead by Austin and her company. The reality and heart put into the documentary comes through Austin and her experience of playing on the Quakers. Austin finally realized why so many people admired the building when she first took steps onto the floor as a freshman in 2000.

“There was this energy that seemed to seize the air as if the building had encapsulated a piece of excitement from every game it ever hosted back to 1927,” claimed Austin.

The atmosphere is what most say separates the Palestra from the multi-million dollar complexes these days, where the majority of seats are nose-bleeds.

Some notable cast members include:
Sen. Bill Bradley, who captained the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic basketball team in 1964. Bradley went on to have a Hall of Fame career in the NBA followed by a prestigious political career path.
John Chaney, the former Temple Owl men’s basketball (a team who is an original member of the Big 5 in the film) is also in the movie.
Harry Kalas, better known as “Harry the K” also makes an appearance. Kalas has broadcasted over 5,000 games for the Phillies during his 35-year-old career.

The Palestra received its name when a professor of Greek Studies suggested the name during the early 1900s. He drew his inspiration from ancient Greece. It was in the Palestra where young men would train and hone their skills to compete.

“Oh, how I wish you could see it. I wish you could walk in from a cold Philadelphia night to smell the wood and the dried sweat and the popcorn. This is a place with magic in the air, a palace in spite of itself. It’s an echo chamber with 9,200 seats and the warm familiarity of a neighborhood bar. It is, quite simply, the best basketball arena in America,” proclaimed Joe Rhoads, a writer from Dallas.

The documentary will also air on ESPN Classic on August 4 at 8 a.m. EST. It will also be broadcasted on ESPN U on July 11 at 10 p.m., July 16 at 9 p.m. and July 27 at 9 a.m.

Even though the face of basketball changes time and time again, arenas like the Palestra remind us why America fell in love with basketball.

You can contact Sara J. Gamble at