The How and Why of Student
Sustainability Across Campuses

I get by with a little help from my friends – The Beatles

“A couple of us were interested in holding a conference with other students from Philly-area schools and that’s how the idea to connect with other students arose. We realized there was no platform or network for students who were working on sustainability initiatives, so that’s when I got the idea to create that network.”

This was the plight that Sara Allan, the cofounder of Sustainable Philadelphia Alliance of Regional Campuses, faced in 2013. She and a few others on campus realized that “power in numbers” definitely applied to students working in sustainability in Philadelphia. But when they wanted to organize a conference, they realized that there was no way to even know which students were interested and how to contact them. Thus, the idea for SPARC was created.

But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves in the story.

As Allan herself puts it, “I’ve been interested in sustainability for a really long time — I was involved in high school environmental groups and the Green Schools Alliance, so I came to college knowing I wanted to volunteer and work with student groups.”  While this story is fairly par for the course for many students who become very involved in sustainability and environmentalism, there are definitely “some students who dabbled a little bit in environmental issues in high school and want to learn more, and then some people who are just exposed to it for the first time in college,” explains Allan.

When she started at Penn, she become involved first as an Eco-Rep and later through the Student Sustainability Association at Penn, the umbrella organization for the twenty or so green groups on Penn’s campus. It was through her work at SSAP that she realized “the power of collaboration between the groups that could improve communications with the administration. When pooling resources and working together, even more can be done.”

Thus, the idea for a conference was born, resulting in the realization that there was no way to even know where to begin in contacting students across regional campuses.

“It was like ‘Wow, okay, we want to host a conference and there’s not even a way to get in touch with all of these people, even though a lot of us do want to get in touch with each other. There must be a lot of interest from other schools,'” says Allan.

SPARC was launched in January 2014 to promote collaboration among student sustainability groups from Philadelphia-area colleges and universities. The governance structure of the group is two-fold: student fellows and advisory board members.

“The idea is that we have student fellows, who are the main drivers of the organization. We want it to be student-led so students have even more professional opportunities — they get to really guide this organization, but because there’s a lot of turnover because a lot of the students who are getting involved are either juniors or seniors in college and they’re going to be potentially leaving, we also need an advisory board, which would lend us professional advice and access to their networks as well,” explains Allan.

Lindsay Bushong, a current student fellow from Drexel University, says that working with SPARC has been an empowering experience for everyone involved.

“My main responsibility is engaging students at my campus to be more involved in either citywide events and organizing or SPARC events and brainstorming sessions. I also help those student groups by providing the different resources that SPARC puts together or answering questions about issues such as starting their divestment campaign,” says Bushong.

It was after their first brainstorming session that Bushong saw students really beginning to understand the power of a student sustainability network.

“We had representatives from all over the area come together and it was really powerful. I think that’s when students started to realize ‘If I talk to the kids at Temple who are doing this instead of just envying their project or their garden, we could have the same thing and we can have an even bigger impact.’”

Successes for SPARC over the past year and a half have included SPARC Sustainable Food Week, partnering with sustainable organizations across Philadelphia ranging from CityCoHo to the Sustainable Business Network, and filing to become a nonprofit.

Interested in becoming a student fellow for SPARC? The applications are right here. There are also six working groups that you can join (focused on the topics of food, energy, waste, transportation, publications, and curriculum integration) that seek to expand the resources that students across campuses have access to. Just want to keep up on news? Check out their blog.

South Philly Spotlight: South Street

Start exploring South Philadelphia at South Street, known for its diverse, urban feel and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re in the mood to shop, eat, or just appreciate the exciting atmosphere, there’s something that everyone can enjoy.

Start your day at Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen, the tasty Jewish deli known for its huge portion sizes and delicious, freshly cut meats. Since 1923, the deli has served satisfied customers with breakfast, sandwiches, salads, smoked fish, dinner entrees, and desserts. Their specialty: huge hot pastrami sandwiches or breakfast sandwiches overflowing with tons of meat.

Next, head over to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a museum with walls covered in mosaics by award-winning mosaic mural artist Isaiah Zagar. At Magic Gardens, you can sign up for a tour, see an exhibition, or just walk through on your own. You will see fully mosaicked gallery spaces, sculptures, and different types of tiles. This unique, creative type of art can’t be found at any other site in Philly, and taking photos is encouraged!

If you’re into music, check out Repo Records, the underground music sanctuary that has been a huge part of South Street’s culture for the past decade. Repo specializes in buying and selling new and used metal, punk, indie, hip-hop, classic rock, jazz, R&B and soul CDs, cassettes, and LPs.

For a quick lunch, stop by Lorenzo and Sons, the legendary pizza shop known for having arguably the best pizza in the entire city. Cash-only and no indoor seating, Lorenzo & Sons will only serve you an oversized plain slice of pizza, but it’ll be the best plain slice you’ve had. Or try Jim’s Steaks, the delicious cheesesteak shop that opened in 1939 on South Street, now with three other Philadelphia locations. You’ll always see a long line outside of the original location on South Street, but the tasty, hot cheesesteaks made to your liking are well worth the wait.

If you’re interested in art, check out B Square Gallery, opened by local artist Heather Bryson in 2000. Bryson showcases unique handmade jewelry, functional art, paintings, and other types of art by talented local artists, including herself. Philadelphia is full of many skilled artists, and the ones that frequent South Street are no exception.

Once nighttime hits, go see a show at Theatre of Living Arts. The TLA dates back to the late 90s as an art house movie theater, and was converted into a concert hall, movie theater, and theater over the years. Now, the TLA is a mid-sized concert venue known for its great acoustics. The standing-room-only venue offers shows nearly every day, whether it be local or national music acts, and concerts of all genres.

For a late dinner, head over to Brauhaus Schmitz, Philly’s best authentic German bier hall and restaurant. Opened in 2009 by German-born food expert Douglas Hager, the restaurant strives to give Philadelphians a real taste of all the delicious food and beer Germany has to offer. The menu offers ethnic schnitzel and sausage, soups and salads, entrees and appetizers.

To end your eventful day on South Street, check out the hilarious Society Hill Playhouse, specializing in comedy acts for people who “hate theater.” This century-old playhouse is located right off of South Street and hosts local and national stand-up comedy acts, along with other entertaining shows. They offer a cabaret on the first floor that seats 99 people and a main stage on the second floor that seats over 200, making this historic building the perfect spot to pick a show, bring a big group, and laugh all night.

South Street has so much to offer, and visitors of all ages can enjoy these delectable restaurants and small eateries, unique galleries and music shops, hilarious and entertaining shows and much more.

Top 5 Events: Outdoor Summer Fun

We all know that summer isn’t going to last forever, so take advantage of the sun and the warmth by spending as much time outdoors this week. Whether you want to get nibbles for a dollar on Baltimore Avenue, see tall ships all up and down the Delaware River, watch a documentary on a brilliant stand-up comedian, experience ballet and taiko drumming, or go berry picking, all the events take place in the Great Outdoors of Philadelphia.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll
When: Thursday, June 25, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 51st Streets Cost: Free, but bring dollars to spend!

This is the perfect chance to explore West Philadelphia, if you haven’t already. The Dollar Stroll will be taking place from 43rd to 51st Streets, with local restaurants and shops offering samples and deals for a dollar. Get ice cream sandwiches from Milk + Honey, pizza slices from Fiesta Pizza, injera rolls from the Gojjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar, two-minute Muay Thai lessons from 8 Limbs Academy, or plant starts from Greensgrow West. There will also be music, food trucks, jugglers, Polynesian dancers and more!

Tall Ships Festival at Philadelphia and Camden
When: Thursday, June 25 – Sunday, June 28 Where: Delaware River Waterfront (between Market and Spruce) and Camden River Waterfront (between Cooper Street and MLK Blvd) Cost: $16 for day pass

Tall ships are coming to the Philadelphia and Camden waterfront for a long weekend! Both domestic and international ships will be on the Delaware River, including L’Hermione from France, Picton Castle from Canada, Sagres from Portugal, and Philadelphia’s own Gazela. There will be a four-day festival in honor of the tall ships, which will include performances by sea shanty group The HardTackers and steel drum group Trinidelphia, fireworks, and a cannon battle! Of course, the highlight of the festival will be touring the ships, which you will be able to do from morning until evening. Bonus: the world’s largest rubber duck will also be there.

Summer Film Series at Liberty Lands: “Call Me Lucky”
When: Friday, June 26, 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. Where: Liberty Lands Park, 3rd and Wildey Street Cost: Free!

Created in 2010 to show cutting-edge independent cinema, The Awesome Fest is kicking off their summer film series at Liberty Lands with the film “Call Me Lucky” on June 26. The film depicts a character portrait of brilliant stand-up comedian Barry Crimmins. The screening will take place at Liberty Lands, a two-acre park in Northern Liberties that was reclaimed from vacant urban land. Enjoy the summer night and a great documentary!

40th Street Summer Series: BalletX and Kyo Daiko 
When: Saturday, June 27, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Where: 40th and Locust Streets Cost: Free!

Experience the best of contemporary ballet and taiko drumming on the green space behind the Walnut Street Library in West Philadelphia! Part of the 40th Street Summer Series held every summer, the kickoff will feature a performance by BalletX, with ten dancers from the contemporary ballet company performing excerpts from Matthew Neenan’s Switch Phase and Sunset, o639 Hours, Cayetano Soto’s Malasangre, and Jorma Elo’s Gran Partita. Afterwards, Kyo Daiko, Philadelphia’s community taiko drumming group, will perform traditional Japanese percussion.

Berry Picking at Linvilla Orchards
When: All summer long, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Where: 598 Linvill Road, Media Cost: Bring money for berries!

Summer means berries, lots and lots of berries. Borrow a friend’s car and head out to Media for a day of berry picking this weekend or next week at Linvilla Orchards. Blueberries are your best bet right now, and there are also cherries, peaches, and summer squash! There is also fishing available at the farm’s local pond. Take advantage of the summer sun and have a day of outdoor fun (and deliciousness).

Top 5 Careers:
Climbing the Job Ladder

Every industry has its own job ladder and chances are, you have plans to climb your industry’s all the way to the top. Because we want you to succeed, we’ve compiled this list of five awesome opportunities which will give you valuable experience. TherapyNotes, LLC and Beneficial Bank are looking to hire someone who has previous experience while Bancroft, LIFT, and the International Sculpture Center want to hire someone straight out of school. No matter what rung of the ladder you’re on or want to be on, there is a position on this list for you!

TherapyNotes, LLC: Quality Assurance Engineer

Do you already have a couple of years experience in quality assurance and are looking to move up the job ladder? If so, this opportunity is for you! TherapyNotes is looking to hire a Quality Assurance Engineer, who will work with the software development team and project managers to ensure that all TherapyNotes software is free of defects and meets end-user requirements. Other responsibilities will include creating and executing test plans, performing application tests, and collaborating with developers and project managers on product and feature design. Plus with a salary between $55,000 and $65,000, you won’t ever have to eat Ramen noodles again!

Bancroft: Program Associate

Are you interested in social services and healthcare? The program associate position at Bancroft, a nonprofit organization that provides services to those with brain injuries, autism, or other intellectual disabilities, is perfect for you because it incorporates both industries. As a full-time program associate, you will have the opportunity to supervise, instruct, and provide guidance to people with disabilities. Responsibilities will include following medical guidelines to administer medication, assisting the assigned person(s) with schoolwork or employment activities, and gathering behavior data from the person(s) served. Apply today!

Beneficial Bank: Head Teller

If you’re interested in enhancing your customer service experience, Beneficial Bank has the position for you. As the Head Teller, you will be responsible for carrying out normal bank functions, such as processing deposits and withdrawals, educating customers about products and services, and training new tellers. To apply, you must be able to complete all teller duties and have a strong understanding of bank policies and procedures, have roughly two years of customer service experience, and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Apply for this paid position before someone else does!

LIFT: Member Service Associate

Because this position doesn’t require any previous experience, it is great for a student or an individual interested in possibly starting a career in the nonprofit realm. LIFT, an organization which helps community members gain economic stability, would like to hire advocates who will work directly with community members to help them create and reach goals by connecting them to housing, employment, and educational resources. This one-year position can be considered an internship or volunteer position.

International Sculpture Center: Executive Assistant

Do you consider yourself a highly motivated and organized individual? If so, an executive assistant position at the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, New Jersey is great for you. The main responsibility of this position is providing administrative support to the executive director which consists of assisting in the areas of grant proposals, research, and presentations. And of course, what’s better than working around art all day?


Fishtown: More Than a Cool Name

We have to admit that Fishtown is a pretty cool, cartoon-esque name for a neighborhood. The town earned its quirky name from its past as a hub for shad fishing — the fish industry eventually faded, but the name stuck. Located north of Center City, the town is still a traditional working-class neighborhood but recently there’s been an influx of vibrancy. The town has history, good eats, and local art that we wanted to share with anyone wanting to get to know Philadelphia a bit more.

Like most neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Fishtown is super accessible by public transportation. Just take the Market-Frankford Line toward Frankford to the Girard stop, and walk east along Girard Avenue or north along Frankford Avenue.

It’s a common misconception that the entirety of Philadelphia’s history and America’s founding is located in Historic Philadelphia, clustered around Independence Hall. But overlooking the Delaware River, Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown has claim to its own bit of history. In 1863, William Penn and a Lenape tribe signed a peace treaty under an elm tree in what is now the park; a statue of Penn commemorates the occasion. Come for a relaxing picnic or a stroll along the banks of the Delaware.

So after a morning or afternoon visit to the park, what’s next? Food, of course! The good eats in Fishtown have the tendency to be awesome and quirky. Pizza Brainthe world’s first pizza museum and pizzeria, is definitely not an exception. The super large (so large it won a Guinness World Record) pizza memorabilia collection covers the entire shop. Over in the pizzeria, one of their famous pies, the Forbes Waggensense, landed a spot on Nylon Magazine’s “The 15 Best Slices of Pizza in America” and the food blog The Daily Meal’s “101 Best Pizzas in America.”

Pizza Brain isn’t the only record-breaking establishment in town. Frankford Hall has the city’s largest beer garden and is a wonderful place to spend any warm summer night. Authentic German food accompanies the large selection of beers, so stop by for the curry fries and spätzle as well as the lager.

If you’re looking for something a little more green than the typical German fare, there’s always Greensgrow. Thanks to this urban farm just across the neighborhood divide in Kensington, Fishtown residents and visitors have access to everything from arugula to zucchini. A nationally-recognized urban farm, Greensgrow has been a source of fresh produce since 1997, and their farm includes a 6000-square-foot greenhouse and a pig named Milkshake. Check out their event calendar for cool upcoming ways to check it out!

Weekends are a popular time in Fishtown, USA. On the first Friday of the month, the neighborhood hosts an art crawl on Frankford Avenue, a great event to support local artists. And if you want to venture just a little further north to Kensington, the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby happens annually in May. This parade features more human-powered vehicles than you ever thought existed, along with hilarious costumes and float themes.

Need a little refreshment after all the exploring in the neighborhood? Be sure to stop by La Colombe, who has their flagship Philly store in an enormous converted-industrial-feel building on Frankford Avenue. Their seasonal menu ranges from sandwiches to shrimp and grits, and they also offer classes for any coffee aficionado on topics like home brewing and latte art.

Fishtown is a growing neighborhood, with a lot to offer and even more coming up in the next year. So take a day or an afternoon, head up the Market-Frankford Line to Girard, and have fun exploring!

Student Guide to Manayunk’s
26th Annual Arts Festival

Manayunk has been recognized as a center of historical charm in Philly, offering a small-town feel while being only minutes from Center City Philadelphia. The neighborhood’s Main Street is home to shops, businesses, bars, and restaurants, all strategically placed along the scenic Schuylkill River. The community is made up of a combination of residents who’ve been fixtures in the neighborhood for decades, and young millennials right out of college who are attracted to the social scene and young feel of the neighborhood. All of this means that Manayunk has something to offer for everyone.

This summer, Manayunk is taking advantage of its thriving social scene and beautiful outdoor location and hosting many fun events, including some that have been held for years and some that are new to 2015. One of the largest and most popular events held every year is the Manayunk Arts Festival.

The Manayunk Development Corporation will host the 26th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21 this year. The event is the largest outdoor arts festival in the tri-state area, attracting nearly 200,000 guests every year. Held on Manayunk’s popular Main Street, guests come from all over to attend this fun two-day festival. Vendors, buyers, collectors, and designers alike will all be in attendance.

Main Street is home to popular bars and restaurants, many of which will be right in the center of the festival action. Many eateries will provide al fresco dining and food and drink deals for festivalgoers. Alongside these popular food spots will be individual tents holding 300 different artists from all over the country. Artists will sell their handmade items in many different categories of art, including fiberglass, ceramics, photography, wood and sculpture, painting and drawing, jewelry, and mixed media. The event will also provide an Emerging Artists tent for young artists who are just getting into the business and trying to make a name for themselves in the area, including recent graduates. Their tent will be located on the corner of Main Street and Roxborough Street at one of the busiest crossroads of the festival.

This weekend extravaganza is free (music to a college student’s ears) and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to bring some spare cash to spend on the beautiful artisan crafts and art being sold throughout the festival, as well as on the appetizing food and drink deals that will be available along Main Street.

Since Main Street will be closed to car traffic from Green to Shurs Lane, public transportation is your best bet for getting to the festival in a timely and affordable manner. SEPTA’s Manayunk/Norristown line train drops off only a few blocks from the vendor’s tents. SEPTA bus 35 and 61 will drop guests off even closer. A shuttle bus will also be available for $3 roundtrip for adults and free for children will pick up guests at both 555 City Avenue and the Ivy Ridge train station and drop them off right in the hub of the festival, perfect for an easy ride on a student budget.

Although the event will mostly be focused on the art being displayed and sold, there will also be live music and delicious food trucks for guests to enjoy, along with the rest of the establishments along Main Street already participating.

This celebration of unlimited art and an enjoyable day of outdoor fun will be held from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Top 5 Careers:
The Spectrum of Administration

The term “administration” seems to cover almost possible job responsibility these days, and the reality is that it needs to. Every aspect of the day-to-day operations of an organization or company demands quality oversight, and that is what all five of the positions in this week’s Top 5 Careers have in common. Interested in finance administration? Parkway Corporation and Waddell & Reed are your go-tos. Want to gain experience in more general administration? International Sculpture Center and The Burkhart Group are looking for you. Finally, do you want to put your administrative as well as your clinical skills to work? Bancroft needs a clinical associate. Read more below!

Bancroft: ABA Clinical Associate

Do you have a degree in psychology, special education, or a related field? Bancroft, a leading provider of programs and supports for children and adults with autism, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and those in need of neurological rehabilitation, is seeking a clinical associate for their Lindens Neurobehavioral Stabilization Unit. Responsibilities will include participating actively in the learning experiences and life growth of each individual within the program area, acting as a role model for the residents and carry out the specific responsibilities of advocate, and implementing behavioral assessment/treatment plans, including compliance procedures. Experience with developmentally disabled or brain injury populations is preferred.

Parkway Corporation: Budget Analyst Intern

Rising juniors and seniors with a background in finance and business: apply for the budget analyst intern position at Parkway Corporation, a leader in parking management and real estate development! The position duties will include running financial reports out of Oracle Financial Database, uploading data into Excel budget templates, communicating with field managers to complete budget templates, maintaining a budgeting calendar to ensure timely budget completion, and other ad hoc responsibilities relating to Parkway Finance based on work ethic, eagerness to learn, and time availability. This is a part-time (20 – 25 hours a week) paid position, and a minimum 3.5 GPA is required.

International Sculpture Center: Executive Assistant

Do you want to help champion the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society? Well, you’re in luck, because the International Sculpture Center does just that, and they’re looking for an executive assistant. As executive assistant, you would provide high-level administrative support to the executive director, and your responsibilities would include: arranging travel logistics and planning itineraries; supporting activities related to the Board of Directors, committees, and the Advisory Board; drafting, preparing, and circulating documents, minutes, and follow-ups; filing and office organization for the executive director; and managing the intern program. 2 – 5 years relevant experience required.

Waddell & Reed, Inc.: Financial Adviser Internship

Waddell & Reed, Inc., an asset management and financial planning firm that has been in business since 1937, is hiring a financial adviser intern. At Waddell & Reed, they enable you to develop your career into one that works with who you are and what you have to offer. They offer an unequaled combination of product, process and focus, built on a culture of support that embraces your uniqueness and empowers your efforts. This position is best for students with backgrounds in accounting, banking, consulting services, finance, insurance, and/or sales.

The Burkhart Group: Database Development Internship

Specializing in helping nonprofits grow and develop, The Burkhart Group specializes in board and executive leadership development, strategic planning, fundraising, and association management. They are seeking a database development intern, who will be responsible for managing the databases of the Burkhart Group’s clients.  This includes tracking and managing donations, membership, constituent data, program expense/income data, and other data elements specific to Burkhart Group clients. A bachelor’s degree and strong written and oral communications skills are required.

Top 5 Events: Education in Nature!

School’s out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning! Greater Philly offers many interesting educational experiences, both indoors and out, and the bonus is that most of them are completely free. Whether you’re in the mood to learn about plants and nature, fresh local foods, or the history of the city, Philly has some type of tour or event to offer for every kind of learner this summer, both in the heart of Philadelphia and in surrounding towns.

PECO Green Roof Tours
When: Tuesday, June 16, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Where: PECO Headquarters, 2301 Market Street Cost: $10

PECO has a 45,000 square foot green roof located on the roof of their headquarters in Center City. Completed in 2009, PECO works with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to maintain the green roof and the plants, as well as offering public tours and educational showings on the top of the 8-story building. The roof helps keep rainwater out of Philly’s aging sewer system, and includes a paved observation deck and an “intensive” that holds native grasses and perennials. This scenic tour can teach you about plants as well as the environmental importance of green roofs, for a low cost.

Evening Garden Tour
When: Wednesday, June 17, 7 p.m. – 8:30pm. Where: Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore Cost: Free!

If you’re interested in learning more about plants and nature in a picturesque environment, this is the perfect tour for you. Staff from the Scott Arboretum will take visitors up to the green roof and gardens to show and teach the groups about the different types of plant collections they hold. This tour is geared towards both beginner and expert planters, as well as anyone interested in learning more about plants. The tour group will meet at the Scott Arboretum Offices and then embark to the gardens.

Eating on the Wild Side: Selecting, Storing, and Preparing Food for Taste and Nutrition. 
When: Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m. – 8pm. Where: Free Library of Northampton Township, 25 Upper Holland Road, Richboro. Cost: Free!

The Free Library of Northampton will host an educational talk with expert Susan Pierson about the importance of proper storage and preparation for your food. Pierson is an environmental educator and the President of the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. If you want to learn where to buy the freshest locally-grown foods and how to get the most nutrition out of your food, don’t miss this informative experience!

Delaware Canal Festival
When: Friday, June 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 20, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Where: The Delaware Canal (near the Calhoun Street Bridge), Morrisville Cost: Free!

Delaware Canal Festival is a two-day event filled with outdoor fun and friendly competitions. Events will include food trucks, games, art exhibits, the Bucks County Folk Song Society in concert, the River Drivers in concert, and short kayak rides up and down the canal given by the park staff. Make a day trip out to Morrisville to participate in the fun! There will also be a Cardboard Boat Float contest, a Duck Decorating contest, and the annual Decorated Boat Parade, where prizes will be awarded for the most humorous boat, the most beautiful boat, and the most creative boat, as well as Judges Choice boat and Best of Parade boat. Individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to enter the race, even if their boat is just for fun!

Historic Philadelphia Puzzling Adventure
When: Everyday for the rest of the summer, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: Franklin Square. Cost: $50 per group

Puzzling Adventures holds these fun events, described as a mix between a scavenger hunt and an informative guided tour, in major cities across the country. In Philly, the Puzzling Adventure is held in Old City and takes participants on an educational and interesting walking tour around Independence Mall. The tour will give your team a series of directions and questions to get you to the next location, where you can sightsee and enjoy the area before solving your next puzzle or instruction to get to the next location. Participate in a team, as a couple, or individually, and take as little or as long as you want to complete the tour. Use the discount PHFUNG for a 20% discount for your team.

Tips and Tricks for Making the
Most of Your Summer Internship

If you’re reading this, you’ve landed an awesome internship for the summer. Congratulations! You’re probably excited (and a little nervous) and are wondering about internship etiquette, how to impress your supervisor, and generally how to get the most out of your experience. To help you out, we talked to a few professionals at Lincoln Financial Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Independence Blue Cross, and Campbell Soup Company who gave us great advice on how to be a star intern.

The Basics 

Jennifer Kegerise, the Head of University Recruiting and Pipeline Programs at Lincoln Financial Group, appreciates when her interns know the basics, especially Microsoft Office.

“We live in a world of Google and Mac, so students don’t always understand the world of Microsoft. All large Fortune 500 companies operate off of Microsoft. Understanding how to use Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Calendar is huge,” she said.

And Beyond

After you learn the fundamental tools, you can take on a larger role in the company. According to Grace Colman, the Recruitment Leader for Early Talent at GlaxoSmithKline, successful interns share their skills and ideas with their supervisors and colleagues.

“We love to see interns coming to us with innovative ideas. We are used to doing things a certain way in a certain organization. Oftentimes, we are so busy that we are not taking the time to think about new ways of doing things that can make it more effective.”

Colman emphasized the importance of checking in with your supervisor during the internship. In a check-in session, interns can either ask the supervisor to review their progress or let their supervisor know how they feel about the internship so far.

“To ask things like ‘How am I doing?’ and ‘Have I been meeting what you expect me to do?’ is important. At the same time, it’s also a way to let the managers know if you are completely bored out of your mind with the project that they have given you.”

If you are planning to tell your supervisor that you want to take your work in a different direction, Colman advised that you tell your supervisor constructively.

“Say ‘what you have been giving me has been challenging but I think I can take on more’ or ‘I would like to explore this area because I am very interested.’ Having those conversations is a way for the manager to engage and say ‘that’s great, we would love to give you more’ or change the course of the project.”

In addition, Lytanja Beulah-Jones, the University Relations Specialist at Independence Blue Cross, suggested meeting with supervisors in order to create achievable goals.

“The interns should set goals for the internship and share them with the supervisor to make sure they are SMART goals for the assignment (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely),” she explained.

Social Media 

Kegerise also advised that interns shy away from using social media (besides LinkedIn) to connect with their supervisor and colleagues.

“I would always caution individuals who link in with their non-work colleagues on Facebook. I’ve heard stories in the past where interns have connected with people on Facebook or even on something as simple as Twitter,” she said, “but then wrote comments and that was the end of their internship.”

Not sure how to create an outstanding LinkedIn page you can use to connect with work colleagues? We’ve got a great guide here.

Keeping in Touch

After the end of your internship, you should definitely continue to check in with your supervisor. However, there is an etiquette on how to maintain a professional relationship with your supervisor. Nicole Wormley, the Senior Manager of U.S. Talent Acquisition at Campbell Soup Company, gave tips on keeping in contact.

“The students, in my opinion, should always have the manager’s contact information,” Wormley advised. “They should absolutely have an active LinkedIn page, and they should link in with their supervisor. They should also connect with the organization’s LinkedIn Page. Send a note from time to time.”

Say roughly three months has passed and you want to reconnect with your supervisor but you’re not sure what to say. Wormley gave us some helpful conversation starters.

“Let your supervisor know how your semester is going. Say if there is anything that you learned during the course of your internship or co-op that has made your classroom experience more well-rounded or if you’ve been able to apply some of that learning to the classroom experience.”

These tips will ensure that you have a productive internship experience, both during your internship and afterward. Best of luck and enjoy your summer!

Recap: Partner Appreciation Event

Last week, to celebrate all of the hard work our partners have put in throughout the year, we partnered with TargetX to hold a Partner Appreciation Event at the Academy of Vocal Arts. We had more than 50 guests from over 35 college partners, arts and culture partners, and corporate partners attend for a special student-led panel followed by a reception.

The panel featured Rohan Shah, a graduating high school senior who will be attending Penn in the fall; Kevin Murray, a Drexel University senior; Tiara DeGuzman, a junior at Rutgers University – Camden; and Shiza Francis, a sophomore at Villanova University. Each of them gave their “insider perspective on student success,” talking about what made them choose the schools they did, the student services and civic engagement opportunities that were available, and what succeeding as a student meant to them. Didn’t make it to the event? We’ve got the best handpicked quotes from all four students below.

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.

Rohan Shah, University of Pennsylvania ’19

On which post-SAT mailings from universities actually worked

“If the postcard or mailing was very specific with regards to what sorts of scholarships I was able to get from those schools, I was more likely to be interested.”

On the importance of opportunities after school 

“I was interested when schools actually said what sorts of opportunities I would be able to receive going out of college. Penn, for example, had a lot of flyers with statistics like ‘85% of our graduates have a job going out of college.’”

On the importance of summer programs and mentors

“I was a Penn Apps Fellow last summer, and I was an intern at a local big-data marketing startup here in Philadelphia in the Cira Center. As a Fellow, I was under current Penn students, and one of those students was Fabio Fleitas. He was a huge help when I was deciding where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do in college. So doing these sorts of programs in college and even high school really helps you meet new people who are like-minded and going in the same direction as you.”

Kevin Murray, Drexel University ’15

On why he chose Drexel

“The reason I chose Drexel was, first, that it offered me a chance to be in a city. At Drexel, we always say that Philadelphia is our campus.”

On student services

“Drexel went towards a model called Drexel Central where everything was centralized, a one-stop-shop method, and it has really changed how a Drexel student is able to process along as a student. You walk in and there’s a greeter and a touchscreen where you scan your ID and it asks you ‘What issue are you having today?’. You select one and your name goes up into a queue on a screen and you wait there for someone to be assigned to you.”

On the importance of exploring your environment

“I’m from the suburbs, so for me it was really important to go out and explore by myself but also with friends and other people across the campus to see what Philadelphia is like for the people living there, beyond just the students.”

On what’s really important in college

“It’s always important to remember that as a college student you are a temporary resident of a city, and you need to go in and make an impact while you’re there and assist the community and always remember that you want to leave where you’ve been better than when you got there.”

Tiara DeGuzman, Rutgers University — Camden ’16

On getting the best of both worlds

“The reason that I chose my campus is that I wanted the opportunity to have two cities: Camden and Philadelphia.”

On services she has really appreciated during her time at college

“We have a lot of services that I didn’t even consider. Civic engagement is a huge thing on our campus and I didn’t know going in how important it is to engage with Camden. Around our campus, we have up to three or four soup kitchens, we have CFET, which is the Center for Environmental Transformation right down the street, and RAs are required to go there every year to learn about Camden and to see the community and work with people. We also actually have civic engagement scholars, who are people who come to Camden and dedicate themselves to 300 hours of service every year.”

On the universal importance of business

“Also, we have a great business school, and I know that whatever field you’re going into, you need to have some business smarts, business writing, leadership skills and communications skills.”

On the advantages of assuming a leadership position

“When you are a leader on campus, there are so many more resources than when you’re an average student. Being able to have personalized help, being in the honors college, being able to have personalized academic advising, that’s something that has allowed me now to feel comfortable academically and also as a student.”

Shiza Francis, Villanova University ’17

On careers services

We have a really great career services department and essentially you can just walk in. They also have workshops for freshmen that are geared towards building their resume, having mock interviews on campus. They’ll also send out a newsletter that says who’s recruiting on campus by major. It’s just on the student to utilize the resources.”

On student initiative

“A university can do everything in its power to convey its services, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the student to open that email.”

On the depth of civic engagement at Villanova

“Going to campus I was really surprised at the community. We have essentially two institutions: the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good and the Center for Peace and Justice Education. With the Ryan Center, we think philosophically about the big questions and then the Center for Peace and Justice focuses more on the social sciences — we have classes on topics like poverty and discrimination. Programs from these centers are actually hard to get into and I think that speaks to the kind of character we try to build at Villanova.”