Just before graduation, we sat down with Claire Dabney, a Temple University Advertising major, with a concentration in Research and Strategy. Claire shared all about why she chose Philly for college, and how that decision shaped her career, ultimately leading to a full-time job offer from Seer Interactive, a digital marketing agency located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood in Philly where she interned her junior year of college.
In addition to giving us all the important information on her favorite restaurants and go-to cheesesteak spots, Claire provided some incredible advice to rising college seniors, as well as incoming college freshmen, on the steps to take throughout college to land a job after graduation.
Check out our full interview with Claire Dabney, Analytics Associate at Seer Interactive and Temple University alum:
What made you decide to go to college in Philly?
I always knew I wanted to be in the marketing/advertising realm, and my mom told me, “if this is what you want to do, you’re going to be the most successful if you go to school in a city.” I went on a tour of Temple University and fell in love immediately. What really appealed to me was the openness of adjunct professors in the Communications school, and the opportunity to talk with them about all the different career options and things to do in Philly.
How are you feeling about graduating?
I feel good! I feel ready, and I’m very lucky to have a full-time job. I feel like I’ve prepared myself enough that I’m ready to start this new chapter in my life. I’m very excited.
What are your favorite parts about going to school in Philly?
The culture, and the food especially. There’s always something new to try, always somewhere new to go. At any given time in the city, there’s always a farmer’s market, street festival, museum opening, or concert going on.
Onto the important stuff… what’s your favorite Philly restaurant?
I love Mexican food over anything. El Vez in Center City is a classic, but it’s hard to pick a favorite! La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount is also a good one. And then there’s South Philly Barbacoa in the Italian Market – so good.
D’Alessandro’s. I like the old, traditional, cash-only spot in Roxborough better than the spots in the city.
What do you like most about working at Seer Interactive, and how did you find your internship there?
After having already committed to a second semester of interning at a different agency, I looked at my LinkedIn profile and noticed that someone from the Human Resources team at Seer Interactive had reached out to me (this just shows how important LinkedIn is!), and asked to bring me in for an interview. I had always heard about Seer, but I didn’t think I was ready for such a well-known digital marketing agency in Philly.
Following my interview, I received a call with an offer for the internship, and I was just like, “pinch me.” I couldn’t believe it! I started interning at Seer Interactive in the fall semester of my junior year, and I learned so much. When my internship ended, the team at Seer wanted to bring me back spring of my senior year at Temple, with the anticipation of me coming on full-time after graduating. I really couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Tell us about your full-time job after graduating.
I’ll be an Analytics Associate, working on 8-10 different clients in a supporting role. Every day, I’ll be doing reporting in Google Analytics, tagging in Google Tag Manager, interacting with clients, attending meetings, working with SQL and Python. I’ll be living in Northern Liberties – literally 10 minutes walking distance from work! Northern Liberties, to me, is like a hidden gem. It’s like a small, quaint little town with less hustle and bustle.
If you were to give someone a tip about LinkedIn what would it be?
Use the Certifications area of your profile to show employers that you go the extra mile in being self-taught and learning outside the classroom. Doing those extra things really helps you stand out, like getting certified in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, on top of being involved with clubs and activities, and taking the required courses.
If you were to give one piece of advice to an incoming college freshman, what would it be?
Start caring now. Personally, my strategy going into freshman year was to take my core classes for my major first, rather than my Gen. Ed. classes, so I had that knowledge in advertising and communications to apply for an internship, and then I took my Gen. Ed. courses later.
If you were to give one piece of advice to a rising college senior, what would it be?
Approaching senior year is scary, and it’s easy to be in denial about graduation! If you haven’t already gotten an internship, get one. If you can’t, do things to up your game to eventually get an internship. Make those connections, go to the networking events, go to CampusPhilly.org/Launch and see who’s hiring. Even if it’s an unpaid internship – just get that experience.
Any last words before you graduate?
It’s really a blessing to go to school in Philly. This city has so much to offer. It’s not like NYC, it’s not like DC – it’s different. Even just walking around, you never know what you’ll find, so get out there and experience the city!