May 23rd, 2014 by Jayson Flores
It’s finally here. Those three months that you’ve been looking forward to. Summer! You’ve made it through the last of your finals, packed all your belongings into the car (how did you acquire this much stuff? Seriously. What possessed you to buy yet more clothes/posters/books/random pieces of furniture from Craigslist?), and said goodbye to your college or university until September.
And then it comes, the dreaded question. Whether spoken by a concerned parent, a friend who wants to figure out whether you guys will have time to go to that music festival in July, or a classmate from high school you bump into at the coffee shop, it’s always the same question:
So what are you doing this summer?
And you panic. Because you don’t really have something figured out. Everyone else seems to have acquired a paid internship at the White House reporting directly to President Obama, or is in Australia working for a vet clinic that specializes in orphaned baby kangaroos (okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it certainly feels like this). But don’t worry! Campus Philly has got you covered. We’ve gathered together the best resources for finding a summer position even after the summer has already started. So take heart and go find that great position.
1. Campus Philly Careers
Not to toot the horn of the organization I write for, but Campus Philly has an extensive bank of positions. You can search jobs and internships, and get really specific with the industry, location, and even salary-range that you’re looking for. This resource is specifically here to help students to connect with employers in and around the Philadelphia area.
If it’s internships you’re looking for, have we got a website for you. Internmatch is free to sign up for as a student, and you get to search internships by zip code and narrow them down by field of interests. You can also select preferences like “nonprofit” and “summer” to further narrow your search. A feature that we think is great: each internship lists how many people have applied for that position.
3. In-Person Visits
If you are interested in working at a favorite shop of yours, whether it’s a chain store, thrift store, or restaurant, visiting in person can be a way to make your face known. You don’t want to come on too strong, but simply asking someone at the store if there are any openings can put you ahead of folks who are relying only on the internet to connect with these stores.
4. Friends and Family
These are networks that we often forget about. Connections that we could make through our friends and family are not going to jump out at us. Take the time out to call them, send an email, a Facebook post, or even a tweet. This is a low-pressure way to navigate the job market, and can often lead to really good professional connections.
5. Check the Organization/Store’s Website
This is a really basic tip, but it’s always important to check out the website of the organization or store that you’re interested in. Some of them have career or job pages, which will show what positions are currently open. This is especially true for online magazines and other publications. Not only is it important to check the website to see if openings are posted, it’s also important because you want to make sure you have a clear understanding of the organization before you go forward in the application process.
6. Read Up on Other Campus Philly Articles for More Advice
May 2nd, 2014 by Jayson Flores
That was the only word that I could use to describe Amanda Wyszynski the first time I saw her. Her aura says, ‘I’m cool and confident. I’ll show you, not tell you.’ She is not the loudest person in the room. Nor is she the person who talks the most. She waits, and chooses her words wisely. Because of this, when she opens her mouth, people listen. But don’t let the professionalism and talent scare you away: she is the furthest thing from cold. Her smile lights up a room, and she’s always making people laugh with her snappy jokes.
Mingled with the kindness is extensive editorial talent and patience. Wyszynski was one of the co-creators and the editor-in-chief of Loco Magazine, an online magazine created and run by students from Arcadia University’s Media & Communications Department. Wyszynski has helped oversee incredible growth in the publication, which is only a few years old. However, Wyszynski truly displayed her prowess as an editorial intern at Philadelphia magazine. Wyszynki reflects on her experience working at the city’s biggest magazine.
Campus Philly: Can you tell us about the process you went through of finding the Philly Mag internship? Where did you look?
Wyszynski: I knew I wanted to be in the city so Philly was an obvious choice because it’s so close to where I go to school. I really utilized my school’s internship database compiled of places previous students had interned and all the contact information. Once I heard back, I went through a series of preliminary tests that involved researching, fact-checking and editing test articles. That process was very different from any other hiring process I had been through with an internship before, and I’m grateful for it. Above all I think it really prepared me for what was to be expected!
CP: What interested you about the internship?
Wyszynski: Magazines had always been my main interest for a possible career path, so it seemed like a natural fit that I really experience it first hand. I knew I was going to be working in the editorial department and I thought that it could not only give me great experience for a potential job, but also the immediate skills to apply directly to the magazine I’m involved with at my university.
CP: What were your thoughts going into a such a reputable and strong publication as an intern? Were you nervous?
Wyszynski: I was definitely nervous, it’s always scary to enter a new environment as an intern and wonder how you’ll be received by the staff. Philadelphia magazine especially gave us as interns a lot of responsibility so I really went in every day with the mindset that it was a real job.
CP: What advice would you give to other interns who are thinking about interning with larger organizations?
Wyszynski: I think it’s smart to start small and work your way up. Smaller organizations have allowed for me to learn so much because of the smaller, more personalized work environment. When the staff is smaller you have the opportunity to get to know people a little more and it’s less intimidating to drop by someone’s office and ask questions or learn something new. Chances are that you are going to need to have a pretty fair amount of experience before you can be considered for an internship position at a larger organization, so starting small really is the best bet to actually gain that experience and bulk up your resume.
CP: What was your best moment or best learning experience during your internship?
Wyszynski: I was really fortunate to have a great supervisor for my internship who made it a point to get back to us with comments and pointers each time after we handed in an assignment. That was really the best way that I was able to learn, from those one-on-one moments.
CP: In addition to your internship with Philly Mag you started and ran your own publication, Loco Magazine. Now that you’re getting ready to graduate what advice to you have to other student editors?
Wyszynski: I think it’s important to focus on getting a really great team of people around you. At Loco Magazine we have a relatively small staff that has mostly been together from the start so we all know each other and work together really well. I know I can count on them when I need a favor and I know they feel comfortable reaching out if they have an issue. It’s not about being the boss or being in charge, but establishing a mutual level of respect and great working relationship from the start, especially as an editor, is the best advice I can give.
April 21st, 2014 by Jayson Flores
In honor of the spring weather that has (finally) arrived, we asked two of our editorial interns to highlight the best outdoor spots in Philly. Jayson Flores, our profile writer, lists his picks below:
Location: 201 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA
Why He Loves It: Think of modern interior design–except put it all outside, and add a river. That’s the Race Street Pier. This space is beautiful during the day and even more spectacular at night. The Pier features an extensive arrangement of lights along the rail and waterfront, making for a dazzling view.
Location: 6th and Race, Philadelphia, PA
Why He Loves It: Nature meets the excitement of the city in Franklin Square. The space features a mini golf course, food vendors, a gorgeous fountain, and it’s a great place to bring your family when they visit. There are also many quiet picnic areas where you can relax, if noise and excitement aren’t the goal of your visit.
Location: 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Why He Loves It: This is the perfect spot for those who really enjoy nature. The Morris Arboretum aims to explore the complex relationship between plants, people, and place. Quality education and vast amounts of green space is the name of the game at the Morris Arboretum. Enjoy and relax, and learn a thing or two along the way.
Location: 32nd and Powelton, Philadelphia, PA
Why He Loves It: Find a spot in this expansive 2.5 acre green space to hit the books, listen to some music, or to watch the clouds go by. Fawn over all of the dogs being walked through the park, or bring your own for a nice walk if you’re looking for a cool new spot to let them enjoy this weather too.
Location: 8708 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Why He Loves It: Escape the noise and rush of the city at Wissahickon Valley Park, a wooded valley that offers the perfect spot for joggers and runners who want to be able to enjoy their exercise. Run, walk, skip–do whatever makes you happy, because the space is yours. If you’re looking for some peace and tranquility in your life, this is the spot.
April 16th, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Everywhere you turn these days, it seems as if yet another article has been published detailing how few students are getting jobs after college, even those who had internships during their time as an undergrad. With things looking so grim, where can students turn for hope about their future personal success?
Sometimes the best option for college students is to seek out success stories from people a few years older than them—people who were college students just like them, who started out as interns and eventually were hired as full-time employees. People can and do make it. One such example is La Salle University graduate student, and Philadelphia Museum of Art employee (and former intern!), Amanda Komarnicki.
CP: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Komarnicki: My name is Amanda Komarnicki. I am from a small town outside of Lancaster, PA and I am 24 years old. I have always had a strong passion for the arts, appreciating it as an experience and creating it myself. I enjoy painting, drawing, and experimenting with other mediums. I also love the outdoors and being active. This past fall I hiked the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah Mountains for the first time and also ran my first full marathon – the Philadelphia Marathon of course!
CP: What is your educational background?
Komarnicki: For my undergraduate degree, I attended La Salle University on an academic and athletic scholarship playing for their Division I women’s soccer team. I graduated in 2012 with a major in art history and two business minors, one in management and the other in marketing. Currently, I am attending the La Salle University School of Business working towards my graduate degree. I will receive my MBA, concentrated in marketing, from La Salle this May.
CP: What interested you about the Philadelphia Museum of Art?
Komarnicki: What didn’t interest me about the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Its majestic building rising at the end of the Parkway is not only iconic, but the PMA is also one of the largest art museums in the United States. Filled with artwork at every turn, I could only dream of working at such a place. [To this day] as I walk to my office, passing some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, I can’t believe this is where I work.
CP: How did you go about attaining an internship with PMA?
Komarnicki: I began looking for internships during my freshman year of college and stumbled across the PMA Summer Internship program online. I knew I was looking for a museum internship, so I often checked specific museum websites. However, being a college athlete, I had to return to school early for preseason training, ending my summers in July, and could never fully commit to an internship program, as they usually go into August. Still, I kept the PMA on my radar and the summer after my senior year when my athletic eligibility was going to expire, I applied.
I [also] took advantage of the student resources at my university and worked hard to perfect my application essay and résumé. To show how much the internship meant to me, I hand delivered my application rather than faxing or mailing it and I chose to do a face-to-face interview rather than one over the phone. I studied the institution and practiced interview questions before my interview in order to be as prepared as I possibly could. My hard work paid off when, out of almost 300 applicants, I was one of 45 accepted into the 2012 PMA Summer Internship program.
CP: Can you tell us about your internship experience, as well as a really positive experience, and something that may have gone wrong that you learned from?
Komarnicki: The internship program at the PMA is wonderful. During the program, I was able to learn the inner workings of a major metropolitan museum, gaining valuable insight [into] the possible careers in the museum field. An extremely positive experience for me was being given the responsibility to complete my own departmental project. Having been placed in the Human Resources department, I was assigned to work on a museum-wide Wellness Program for employees. I researched and compiled a Wellness Plan that spearheaded activities and action steps for Year One of a museum-wide wellness initiative, which is still in practice by the museum today.
If I could change one thing about my internship experience, it would be to take better advantage of my time in Philadelphia. Luckily I am still in the area, but I wish I would have experienced the city more during my internship. I was unaware of Campus Philly at the time, but now I’ve learned that their program highlights things to do all around the city, including discounted and free events and even networking opportunities for students. I would recommend their programs to any college students interning in Philadelphia and looking to build a career in the city.
CP: When did you transition from intern to being an official employee at PMA? What was that like?
Komarnicki: After my internship ended, I went back to La Salle to begin graduate school full-time. Because I was staying in Philadelphia, I sent an email to the PMA Internship Coordinator letting them know I would love to stay connected to the PMA and that they could contact me if they ever needed assistance. Sure enough, the museum needed volunteers to help with Campus Philly’s annual College Day. I volunteered and used this as another opportunity to further my connections at the museum, which lead me to become a temporary Education Intern during [the] fall [and] winter of 2012.
In March of 2013, the Education Assistant to Public Programs & Interpretation position opened up and I applied. I submitted my application, went through several interviews, and was ultimately awarded the position in May 2013. It was a surreal moment. I had dreamed of working at the PMA since I found their internship program online in 2008… and was awarded with an official position in 2013. Now having been at the museum for almost a year, I can see that my journey to get here was well worth it. I consider myself extremely lucky to work in such an amazing place alongside wonderful colleagues, and I look forward to growing my career here as a museum professional, all while continuing to enjoy the amazing things Philadelphia has to offer.
CP: Do you have any advice for interns looking to get hired at their site?
Komarnicki: My recommendation for interns looking to get hired, not only at the PMA, but anywhere they intern is to stay connected. Of course it is important to excel and showcase your skills during your internship, but it is equally important to network during and after the program. If the place you intern is where you really want to get a job, you have to build connections that will last after your internship program ends. Show that you are willing to do the extra work by reaching out to them, volunteering, and expressing your desire to work in that field. I truly believe that hard work, persistence, and patience are key.
April 4th, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Are you looking to enjoy the art scene in Philadelphia, but also keep your stomach full with some of the best food Philadelphia has to offer? Look no further. This guide will help all the (literally) starving artists types who want a day of great art and great food. Let’s begin!
Starting in 30th Street Station, exit and make your way to 30th and Market. Walk and make the first left down S. 30th Street. Continue until you reach Chestnut Street, and make a right. Follow Chestnut until you reach your first destination, Shake Shack, at 3200 Chestnut Street.
Stop 1: Shake Shack (for dinner)
Why It’s Great: As the name suggests, their shakes are delicious. They offer a solid variety of burgers. But perhaps more uniquely they have a short menu of treats that you can bring home to your pet. In addition to the shakes, burgers, and pet treats, there is a wide selection of desserts to finish off your meal. Best of all, the prices are fantastic. Great for a student trying not to spend too much money on food.
Price Range: $
Continue on Chestnut until 36th Street. Make a left on S. 36th Street and follow that for a short distance until you reach the Institute of Contemporary Art on 118 S. 36th Street.
Why It’s Great: It’s free! It features works by the likes of such greats as Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, Richard Artschwager, Agnes Martin, and more. Nothing beats free, and few places in the city can compare in terms of artistic prestige. This is a must-see place for anyone interested in art.
Price Range: FREE
Finish going down S. 36th Street and head onto Sansom Street. Make a left and walk down the street until you reach Federal Donuts at 3428 Sansom Street.
Stop 3: Federal Donuts (Post-Art Snack)
Why It’s Great: Federal Donuts offer some of the delicious donuts in the city. And if you still have an appetite after the Contemporary Art Museum, you can also pick up some fried chicken. Flavors for the donuts include cookies and cream, pumpkin spice latte, sticky bun, and vanilla spice. Yum!
Price Range: $
April 3rd, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Philadelphia is home to a rapidly growing sustainability movement. At the forefront of said movement is CityCoHo, a coworking business aiming to empower living and working in an eco-friendly way. They are located at 2401 Walnut Street, and stand as a testament to an important cause.
They provide office spaces with amenities, comfort, technology, community, and fun—all of which are sustainable and green, of course. As a startup in Philadelphia, they’ve navigated one of the largest urban jungles in the United States and found their way to success. To discuss CityCoHo, what they do, how students can get involved, and more, we were able to reach Nicole Koedyker, community coordinator at The Sustainability NEXUS, and Max Zahniser, the co-founder of the non-profit behind CityCoHo’s space.
Campus Philly: What is CityCoHo Philly Nexus?
Nicole: CityCoHo Philly Nexus is Philly’s first coworking and event space for businesses, organizations, and individuals who are passionate about social and environmental impact. It’s Philadelphia’s new home for sustainability professionals and individuals who care.
Max: And CityCoHo itself is the for-profit company our non-profit teamed up with to create this great home for the movement.
CP: What is CityCoHo’s start up story?
Max: I’ve got a longstanding professional relationship with the building owner of 2401, which has done some great things with regard to green building even outside of our space – green roof, rainwater collection and re-use, higher performance windows and HVAC equipment, etc. It’s also smack dab in the middle of the figurative and literal bridge between Philly’s centers of gravity for higher education and business. The building owner also truly sees the writing on the wall with regard to environmental trends, green building, and even the growth of coworking as a growing and permanent segment of real estate. Meanwhile I had noticed that with the truly inspiring and necessary explosive growth in environmental and social sectors came a lot of symptoms of disintegration – confusion, redundancy, and at the very least missed opportunities for collaboration and compounding benefits. So when we met a few years ago it was an obvious fit. It took a few years for us to figure out exactly how to make it work [in terms of] space size, partnership structure, etc., but we’ve pulled it off, and we’re very excited to have just recently opened our doors to both coworking members, and sustainability- and tech-related events.
CP: What is it like to start and run an organization for sustainability in a city as large as Philadelphia, and why did you choose Philadelphia?
Nicole: Just like in any large city, there are always barriers to entry but we’ve started an organization whose mission is pretty unique compared to any competitors. Our vision of a providing a “safe haven” for non-profits, individuals, and businesses that have committed their life and career to making Philadelphia a sustainable place to live is what makes us feel successful. I personally love Philly because of its potential. I came here for school but I’m staying to make an impact. Over the years I’ve been here, I’ve seen such growth and expansion in the social and environmental industries. I think Philadelphia’s right on the edge of a tipping point that can make us the country’s greenest city.
CP: Do you have any tips or advice for students looking to start up their own organizations or businesses?
Nicole: Make it grassroots growth. Before you go out and start a business or organization, find other people who are interested in it. The reason that The Sustainability Nexus exists is because there are so many businesses and organizations with similar missions who are doing similar projects but aren’t talking to each other and collaborating. It fragments the movement. So find out if there’s an organization [that] has a mission like yours. Join MeetUp, find Campus Philly events, do anything that will get you involved in the community you want to be a part of and go from there. You’ll be amazed at what Philly is already doing.
Max: We’re also in the planning stages of a sustainability discourse and project development “rolling” workshop. This will be open to all emerging professionals and entrepreneurs, students or otherwise, and after laying the groundwork of establishing a common lexicon, we’d launch into developing community projects, design and business plan competitions, and even new organizations. Perhaps other outcomes we can’t even predict.
CP: Back on the topic of students, are there currently any ways that they can get involved with CityCoHo? If so, what are those ways?
Nicole: CityCoHo offers plenty of free events every week for students to come and network with regional thought leaders and business professionals. In addition, we host SPARC (Sustainable Philadelphia Alliance for Regional Campuses), a group of student sustainability leaders from a lot of the Greater Philadelphia universities including Temple University, Drexel University, St. Joe’s, Villanova, and the University of Pennsylvania. They meet every other week to talk about student-led programs, campus campaigns, and just general student sustainability! They’re an awesome group and it’s a great way to hear about what other universities are working on.
CP: Finally, I don’t think we can ever hear it enough, because it is so important, but do you want to give a brief explanation of why organizations supporting sustainability are so important?
Max: Well that’s part of what we want to bring folks into the space to delve into now and then… but basically humanity is largely unconsciously trying to meets its needs in ways that hurt other humans, as well as the rest of living beings and systems. We’re poisoning the well – sometimes literally. Humans and other living systems are also life-support systems. If we don’t recognize our impacts and work to shift a whole bunch [of] trends then humanity will continue to, and increasingly, suffer, arguably unnecessarily. Most everyone we want to support through our space, community building, and programs are working on some piece of that big puzzle of problems, and/or are putting energy into unveiling the true potential of humanity on Earth. We want folks to be able to work on what are in many cases bleak and scary things, but still be able to have fun doing it. Because ultimately a strong community of happy and healthy change agents will be a lot more effective than a multitude of depressed people fighting huge and scary trends.
March 21st, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Want to go thrifting in the city, but not sure where to start? No worries! We’ve written up everything you need to know for a day of thrift shopping, including a pre-shopping sushi meal!
Starting in Suburban Station, follow the directional signs to the 18th Street exit. Once there, make your exit. You’ll be on 18th and JFK. Make a left at the end of 18th and JFK and you’ll hit 18th and Market. Continue on Market until 20th, and then make another left. From this point on you will walk until you reach Mizu Sushi Bar on 133 S. 20th Street.
Why it’s Great: It’s a smaller, lower-key spot with amazing food. You won’t have to deal with the noise or high prices of a crowded restaurant. The menu is expansive and the food is steaming fresh every time. Plus, the staff is very friendly!
Price Range: $$ (out of four) according to Google
Make your way down to 20th and Sansom. Make a right, and continue down a block past Moravian Street. You’ll find Sophisticated Seconds only moments after passing Moravian Street, on 2019 Sansom Street.
Why it’s Great: A smaller-sized store, Sophisticated Seconds has a charm that will pull you in, but it’s the unbelievable deals that will keep you there. The price in the store start low, but depending on the color of the price tag, you could get an even larger discount. This is a location you don’t want to miss. The store has both a men and women’s section.
Price Range: $
Head east on Sansom Street toward S 20th Street. Turn left onto S 19th Street, and then make a right onto Chestnut Street. Walk for a little bit, and you’ll find Second Time Around at 1728 Chestnut Street.
Why it’s Great: Don’t expect dirt-cheap deals in Second Time Around. However, like in Sophisticated Seconds, there are colored tags that can help lower the price. This is a higher-end consignment shop where you can find some great designers and brands. This is a wonderful place to buy formal wear or business casual wear. The store only sells women’s clothing.
Price Range: Between $$ and $$$
Cross the street and walk further down and you’ll find Buffalo Exchange on the same street, 1713 Chestnut Street to be specific.
Why it’s Great: The style in Buffalo Exchange is bold. The moment you walk in you’re treated to fiercely styled mannequins that give you a taste of what you can find within the store. Sometimes you’ll be wishing you could take the outfits right off of the mannequins. The pricing is really good, especially for the fabulous pieces that you can uncover. This is the perfect way for any thrifter to end the day. The store has a men and women’s section.
Price Range: $
March 10th, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Women’s History Month is about consciously and vocally honoring women who changed or are changing the world for the better. As such, the Philadelphia Prominent this week features a woman who found success in a field that has historically presented a glass ceiling to women.
Lydia Wiley works in-house as a managing attorney for a prominent insurance company in Philadelphia. Her story is one of perseverance, challenges, and guts. In her interview she provides advice for young women looking to pursue careers in law, as well as general advice for anybody looking to succeed in their post-graduate life.
Flores: Where were you born, and what is your educational background?
Wiley: I was born in Philadelphia in the Overbrook section. I went to Country Day School of the Sacred Heart for high school in Bryn Mawr, got my bachelor’s at Widener, my master’s in biology at Drexel, and my J.D. from Widener.
Flores: So law was the last degree you pursued. When did you know you were interested in law as opposed to biology?
Wiley: In my mid-twenties, I was working as a biologist. I was doing research, but I was unsatisfied. So I thought I could really be a great lawyer. I thought I had the skills, specifically the advocacy skills, and thought it would be intellectually challenging.
Flores: Did you feel that there were differences for you as a woman studying law, as opposed to your male counterparts?
Wiley: I thought there was a glass ceiling. When I started law school there was definitely a bias towards men. We [the women in the class] would be called ladies, which is sort of offensive and demeaning. There was also an expectation that we would not wear slacks, rather we would be dressed in the traditional blue business suit and white blouses. But that changed.
Flores: Did you find law school to be more fun or challenging?
Wiley: It wasn’t fun at all. It was very dry. I was working during the day and going to law school at night. It was all work or school—and I commuted to school, which was really challenging. However, it definitely taught me time management skills.
Flores: What happened after law school?
Wiley: I went to work for a major insurance company, doing major insurance defense litigation. There was lots of trial work and lots of arbitration work. It was a wonderful place to gain experience in litigation. After about six years, I transitioned to my current company, and took on a managerial role as well as a litigation role. This will be my 18th year with the company. I supervise defense attorneys at four firms, in three states, and I still do insurance defense work. I love what I do, and I’m good at what I do.
Flores: How do you feel about working in Philadelphia?
Wiley: I’ve never had a problem with a lack of civility in Philadelphia. And I’ve always found my adversaries in the city to be very respectful. I love practicing law here. It’s where I was born.
Flores: Do you think that things have changed for women in law?
Wiley: We no longer stick out like sore thumbs in the courtroom or law schools. There are greater numbers of women pursuing careers in law. They are taking on more partner and managerial roles in outside firms. It’s no longer a question of diversity, necessarily. I think that we’re almost there. Not quite, but almost. My company is there, but out there in the world we’re almost there.
Flores: What general advice do you have for boys and girls alike?
Wiley: Go with your gut. Explore. Law was something I thought I could do, and do well, and following it as a career path ended up leading to great results. Specifically, for young women, I think now they should be assertive, and they should have focus. They should be on their game with their knowledge base. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion, but also be a good listener. The path is clearer now, but women still need to be focused on what their objective is. I don’t think there’s anything in this country that is not achievable if you find the methods, the mean, and the heart to do it.
Flores: Is there anything else you’d like to add, any final words?
Wiley: I was in a non-traditional role as a woman. I was a single mother raising an infant toddler, and was able to find positions that afforded me the flexibility that allowed me to be involved in my daughter’s social and school life while not compromising my ability to work. I was able to make my non-traditional life work in a very traditional field, and others can too!
February 25th, 2014 by Jayson Flores
Ask Arcadia University students about Danielle Bartholomew, and you will be regaled with stories of her kindness, bright smile, and high intelligence. A passionate student, Bartholomew has also traveled extensively and been involved in many extracurricular activities. Most impressively, she has overcome the dreaded triangle of college, which dictates that there are three key aspects to college life (a social life, sleep, and good grades), and that college students can only have two at a time. Bartholomew knows more than her fair share of students on campus, maintains a strong GPA, and gets enough beauty rest to keep herself looking constantly refreshed.
But Bartholomew’s success extends beyond college life. She is one of the lucky (read: very hardworking) students who has solid opportunities for post-graduation life. It is through her diligence and resourcefulness that she has been able to successfully navigate the often overwhelming landscape of opportunities and pathways that come with being a business major. If you’re looking to succeed in business (or in your higher-ed experience), read on!
Flores: Let’s start with the basics and your background. How old are you? Where were you born? Where have you gone to school? And what’s your major?
Bartholomew: I’m 21 years old and I was born in Boyertown, PA, a rather small town and a stark contrast to Philadelphia. I’m a senior International Business & Culture major from Arcadia University and I’ve been fortunate enough to have also spent semesters at City University in London and La Fundación Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain.
Flores: What made you choose International Business as your major?
Bartholomew: When I was 16, I had the privilege to spend a year in Italy as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. I had never been out of the country, or even on a plane before, but I knew there was so much more to the world than the sheltered bubble of my hometown. So I decided leave my family and friends, hop on a plane, and live somewhere new for 12 months! It was a very humbling and truly transformative experience. New cultures, languages, and people enthralled me. I knew that moving forward I needed to incorporate this passion into my career. I decided on Arcadia because it is a prominent school for study abroad and has so many unique opportunities to study abroad. How I became an International Business major is funny actually, because Arcadia had two majors that had “international” in the title. I started off as an International Studies major, went to London, took a politics class, and realized I hated arguing. And so ended my brief love affair with IS. The next semester I switched to the other international major, which was business, fell in love with it, and never looked back.
Flores: How have you excelled in the classroom? Do you have any advice for students that are just getting started?
Bartholomew: This is a tough question because everyone learns differently – but I am very much an organizer and a list person when it comes to my studies. Ask my roommate about my shoe collection and I’m sure she would laugh at the word “organizer.” But it helps me to see all of my tasks and assignments written in a daily planner. I can visualize what needs to be done and set my focus accordingly. My advice to other students would be to try different tools and methods and see what works best for you. Some people don’t like using planners and instead program reminders into their phones, others are able to simply remember all that has to be done, and that is entirely acceptable. You just have to test the waters and find what works best for you.
Flores: What have you done outside of the classroom to move forward? And what have you gained from these activities?
Bartholomew: I was very involved on campus, in everything from the executive board for orientation to hosting a weekly radio show with my best friend. Looking back on my undergrad experience, I am so thankful for these activities because they equipped me with very useful and transferable skills in the business world including public speaking, leadership abilities, and critical thinking but also minor, but super-important, skills like formal email etiquette. I strongly suggest that every student become involved with something, anything at their school that they are passionate about. The experience and skills you learn will give you a much needed competitive advantage in the “real world”.
Flores: Many students struggle to find their professional identity. Where did you learn how to conduct yourself in the business world, while still a student?
Bartholomew: Professionalism does not come naturally to everyone and sometimes it can be hard to know what is considered “appropriate” and what is not, and that is okay. For this, I would reference my previous response and really stress the importance of getting involved and obtaining leadership experience. Through my activities, I had exposure to actual business opportunities and was able to learn and grow professionally through them.
Flores: Being International Business, you’ve been abroad a few times. Where did you go and overall what has studying abroad given you as a student and as a businesswoman?
Bartholomew: I have been very fortunate and was able to study in Italy, England, Spain and Mexico. Each experience was unique, influential, and had a large impact on my development and growth as a student, professional, and world citizen. One of the most important skills I learned from studying abroad was the ability to live, work, and thrive in cultures and surroundings that are different than my own. This is easily transferable to an office atmosphere where you have many different work styles, traditions, and expectations.
Flores: What will you be doing after graduation?
Bartholomew: I’m currently working part-time at an international digital marketing firm in Philadelphia. It’s been a wonderful experience and hopefully, if all goes well, after graduation I will be offered a full-time position!
Flores: Any general words of wisdom for other students?
Bartholomew: My biggest piece of advice to students is to take advantage of all the opportunities for growth that are all around you as an undergraduate. These experiences will provide you with valuable knowledge of yourself, others, and the world. Also be sure to utilize the tools available to you as well! I found both my internship and job on Campus Philly’s online internship database. The opportunities are out there; you just have to take them!
February 17th, 2014 by Jayson Flores
As winter continues to pummel Philadelphia, many businesses are slowing down as they attempt to cope with the snowy onslaught. Photographer and blogger Conrad Benner, of “Streets Dept“, however, has seen his business thrive as Mother Nature transforms the city into a wonderland. He has taken to the streets throughout this cold front to capture Philadelphia’s unique beauty and, more specifically, its street art.
Benner is a Philadelphia-based photographer who has worked with other locally-focused websites like Philebrity.com and Philthy Mag. But it is his blog “Streets Dept”, and the connected Instagram account, that have truly made him a major player in the city’s art scene. Some of his biggest honors include being named: one of Philadelphia’s “Best Blogs for Travellers” by The Guardian, the #1 Philadelphian to follow on Instagram by Philadelphia Weekly, and one of “8 Instagrammers to Follow in 2013” by Philly.com. He’s had photos published in magazines across the print and online magazine market, including TIME and Harper’s Bazaar Spain. Looking at his press page, it’s clear that he’s truly made a name for himself with his photography.
But his success and passion goes beyond the quality of his photographs. Benner explores the city looking for artistic inspiration that is new or undiscovered. His about page explains that he specifically does not, “recycle news.” Rather, he goes, “out on the streets and [discovers] things.” His focus is on street art, but he photographs other aspects of the city, like abandoned spaces or captivating sunsets. The combination of passion for street art, explorative photography, and smart social media make “Streets Dept” a blog that all Philadelphians should get to know.
Flores: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me! I think the best place to start would be by discussing your educational and artistic background.
Benner: I went to public school in Philadelphia, specifically Adaire Elementary in Fishtown. Then I went to Central High School. I took a break before going to college. I’m 28 now, but at 24 I started going to community college. I only took classes that I was interested in. I took classes like art history, writing, political science, and sociology. I didn’t continue because I ended up getting the job that I have now, which I partially earned through my freelance writing and blogs. But community college was great when I went there though; great teachers and great people.
Flores: What was your inspiration to start “Streets Dept”?
Benner: I had been freelance writing since I was 20 for different blogs and magazines. Around that time I got my own camera, and started just taking my own photos. I sort of wanted to take ownership of something that was my own. Freelance writing really wasn’t really making me that much money, so it was always sort of just a side thing that I did. For the blog, I didn’t really care if I made money, as long as I owned it. I looked at the different content I was providing and noticed that what I was talking about mostly was street art. My blog was really unique as there wasn’t one then and really aren’t any now. Street art is huge in Philadelphia, but it wasn’t really represented. There was little to no attention paid to street art. It was like an elephant in the room. There were so many great artists and no one talking about it.
Flores: What fascinates you the most about street art?
Benner: I’ve always sort of been interested in it. I researched street art blogs as a kid. I think in Philly what’s most exciting is that there can be something new every single day that you walk through the city. It’s really exciting and it excited me, so I thought it might excite other people too. That’s really what confused me as to why no one was really talking about. I never went to art school. What I’ve learned I learned through the blog. My appreciation comes through what I see.
Flores: What kind of camera do you use?
Benner: I use a Canon Rebel.
Flores: How do you manage all of your responsibilities between work, taking photographs, and all the writing and social media that comes with it?
Benner: I work endlessly. I sort of think that the only way you can really do something is if you’re passionate about it. I work 9:00 – 6:30 everyday. I go home and go through my content and look for ways to expand. I still write freelance pieces as well. I just work non-stop. The only reason I can do that is because I’m really excited about it. It’s so natural now. Especially with things like Instagram I can just easily post my work. You find the time to do the stuff that you really love.
Flores: I think one of the biggest questions about your photography is: why Philadelphia? What keeps you here?
Benner: I liked growing up here. I always sort of imagined myself moving to New York or California. It’s different when you’re older though. When I was growing up it was around the time when the city started changing. People started moving here. I had friends who moved to New York and then moved back within a year. They had no time to do anything except work [in New York]. Philadelphia is a great place to live. There’s a great community of artists and schools. And it’s really starting to keep people here. It’s also a central location, so it’s great for travel. You can rent an apartment here really cheaply, and then use that extra money to travel. You can’t necessarily do that in some of the other cities.
Flores: Going back to your photography: what’s your process, if you have one?
Benner: When I first started the blog I would just walk around and photograph stuff that I liked. At that time I had artists emailing me about pieces, so I would seek out the locations. Now I get emails about going and meeting artists. A lot of it is still just walking around a ton. Even in blizzards and freezing cold. People send photos, and the community really communicates. It’s hard to do stuff in the winter, so posted content can decrease. There’s a bunch of fog and not much else. When I do find stuff I post it on Instagram. I don’t currently have ads, and don’t really see myself having ads. So I don’t try to post like six times a day to get people to click stuff. I’m freer to do what I want because of this independence.
Flores: Do you have any advice for budding photographers?
Benner: First, don’t expect any results over night. Nothing happens over night. Experiment. I never took classes on photography. I just taught myself. I played with my camera for hours and learned that way. It’s more exciting that way. The best way to learn how to do something right is to do something wrong 100 times. I like to photograph a lot of stuff, but I picked a subject that nobody else was talking about. See what you can be successful at. What aren’t other people doing, and then do that really well.