Top 5: Philly’s in Bloom

Lights! Camera! Bloom! That was this year’s theme for the Philadelphia Flower Show, as all things floral and botanical collided with cinema. With a theme that promised to “Celebrate the Movies,” the flower show featured attractions that offered something for everyone of all ages. I had the opportunity to attend the press preview and gawk at the massive and intricate floral displays and feel like a kid again with all things Disney-themed and so can you. In case you missed College Night  at the Philly Flower Show on March 5 because of the snow, you still have two more days to go think spring, and with $20 student tickets, why not? Still need convincing? Check out my Top 5 highlights from the show.

1. Disney! Disney! Disney!

The show warmed the heart of anyone who grew up with Disney, and I was no exception, as there were displays dedicated to both the old and the new stories from the Disney canon. There was a moody Nightmare Before Christmas display as well as a magnificently designed “Aladdin’s Wedding” display, but I have to say the “Cinderella’s Wedding,” display captivated me the most with its ceiling-high floral centerpieces and it’s cleverly placed glass slipper.

2. Out to Lunch

There were various displays that featured an “out to lunch” theme, and each display served as a scene that was accompanied my an imaginative back story. Each scene was created to represent a lunctime setting in different parts of the world and with different characters. My favorite was the scene that told the story of an afternoon lunch on the French Riviera between Alfred Hitchcock and one of his muses.

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3.A Bit of Light Shopping

If the kaleidoscope of bright colors and artfully designed exhibits wasn’t enough, there was also various food stations and vendors sprinkled throughout the show. My favorite was a cart that was selling various plants and herbs as well as self-contained mini gardens housed in glass jars, many of which had miniature fairy statues inside.

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4. Let It Go

Just when you thought you were done with Disney, the show wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to Frozen, and while I have yet to see the movie, I definitely wanted to belt out “Let It Go,” after seeing an icy exhibit that was covered in soft white flowers and “snow.”

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5. The Marquee

Maybe it’s the part of me that loves anything 1920’s but I was in awe of the art-deco style marquee that welcomed visitors at the main entrance, with a sign that read “Lights, Camera, Bloom.”

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Making a Difference: Becoming
Civically and Politically Engaged

While the view outside may still scream “winter,” it’s time to get in a spring state of mind, and that means getting ready to rock the vote with this year’s primary elections. The elections will take place on May 19, 2015, and that means that anyone who is registered to vote can use their powers for good and nominate local Philadelphia candidates for Mayor, City Council, City Commission, and Sheriff as well as other official state positions. While it is often all too easy to get swept up and swept away in the promises, campaign rhetoric, and frenzy that can surround politics, it is important to keep the emphasis on the issues and the people who are affected by them.

That’s where organizations like the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization, come in. Established in 1904 to combat corruption in Philadelphia, the organization now functions as a good government group that aims to inform citizens and to fight for transparent government.

Committee of Seventy’s Senior Policy Analyst, Patrick Christmas, shared some insight into his work with the organization and their mission.

Christmas is unique in that his transition into the political sphere was an unexpected one. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2008, he worked as a science teacher at Fels High School in Northeast Philadelphia for five years. How did he make the leap from classroom to politics?

“During my time there, it seemed to me that politics and the way our government functions is as significant an impediment to our schools doing well as anything else…I wound up studying government in grad school and through my graduate studies found out about the Committee of Seventy and the work that it does,” said Christmas.

After interning at the Committee of Seventy in the summer of 2012, Christmas went on to snag the position of Senior Policy Analyst, where a typical workday consists of “checking up on the news” and “getting up to speed, because for any of our work to be impactful, we have to know what’s happening out there in the world,” said Christmas.

The organization strives to keep citizens up-to-date about upcoming elections and voting, as well as implementing initiatives that fight for fair elections and ethical politics. Some of these initiatives have included getting political candidates to be more detailed in their solutions to the city and state education crises and leading a coalition of 185 groups to educate voters on how to be prepared for voter ID laws. In one sentence, the mission of the organization is to “work for better and more honest government.”

As college students, many of us are just beginning to realize the great impact that our voting and voice can have in shaping and positively influencing the political landscape on both a local and national level, but sometimes the demands of being a college student and a millennial can eclipse our engagement with politics.

As a self-professed former “casual observer” of politics, Christmas says that in regards to this, college students “are so in tune with what is happening with your classes and on your own campus…there’s so many distractions going on…that you may not be paying attention to government politics on the local, state or federal level.”

College students definitely inhabit their own bubbles that are filled with millennial priorities, and younger audiences may feel that politics are a part of a world that is too adult to really grasp, but organizations like Committee of Seventy provide opportunities to get young adults involved and active as agents of social change.

Students can work with their Election Program, which “recruits volunteers to get out there on election day and visit polls.” These volunteers are educated on voter laws and registration information so that can help answer voters’ questions at the polls or through a hotline.

Christmas’ parting advice for understanding and engaging in politics? “To keep it simple, I would just urge young folks to pay attention…to get involved because you can have real power in what happens in our community.”

Top 5 Careers:
Score an Internship and Set Sale(s)

This week’s Top 5 Careers are all about being goal-oriented and friendly, whether it means nailing your dream internship or building your skills as a salesperson. Interested in customer service? Be a part of a sales team. Or put your talent for all things theatrical to use as a theater apprentice. Check out all the ways you can boost your skills through internships or help companies boost their sales in this week’s Top 5 below!

Frontline Technologies: Product Management Intern
Are you a fan of research and having the chance to interact with diverse groups of people on a regular basis? Take on the role of intern with Frontline Technologies,  where you will get to perform market research and interview customers. This is also a great opportunity to shadow the owner of the business and enhance your professional network.

Arden Theatre Company: Arden Professional Apprentice
Whether you’re a burgeoning actor or are interested in teaching and the arts, get inside access to working life and theater as a professional apprentice for the Arden Theatre Company. As an apprentice, you will gain experience in all aspects of theater operations by working with the box office, production, stage management, finance and other areas. This position is a perfect fit for anyone looking to gain hands-on experience and education in theater operations. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree.

Altios International: Sales Support Administrator
Interested in leadership and customer service? As the sales support administrator, you will be in charge of the customer service for a small sales team and get to work with clients handling sales and support. Altios International is located in New York, but this position requires working closer to Philadelphia.

At Media: Web Development Intern
Perfect for the tech-savvy and the computer aficionado, At Media is currently seeking candidates who have a keen eye for design and strong skills in HTML, CSS, as well as knowledge of WordPress. Try your hand as a web development intern and build up your creativity and tech talents. Those who apply for the position should also be intermediate at Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Philadelphia Freedoms: Marketing and Sales Internship
On a quest to improve your sales skills and complete an internship? The Philadelphia Freedoms are on the hunt for “outgoing, confident, high achieving interns” who are interested in a career in professional sports and marketing. Interns will assist the social media team, create and implement email marketing campaigns, and assist the sales team, as well as other responsibilities

 

Dearest Philly:
An Ode to My Favorite Places

Hear my soul speak:/The very instant that I saw you, did/my heart fly to your service”- Tempest, William Shakespeare

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of February, or if you are wishing for all things warm, the month has finally arrived. While winter may have us all under its cold spell, it serves as a reminder that spring is in the not-so-distant future. So while we wait for April showers to bring May flowers, take the time to revel in all things candy hearts and shades of red, by celebrating the month with all of the special people in your life. What better way to spend the 14th than by hanging out with friends, family, or a date at some of your favorite places and spaces in and around the city; or be adventurous and uncover some places you haven’t checked out yet. Don’t know where to start? Find out some of my top picks below!

As a local college student and Philadelphia native, there is no more poetic a way to show my love for my favorite places than with an ode, so here goes:

 

Ode to the Most Authentic Cuisine

Oh Beijing Restaurant!

With tastes of Chinese culture

And faraway feasts

That dance upon ivory porcelain

It lies at the center of hallowed halls and stone ivory

Where savory and sweet co-exist

 

Ode to the Best Bargain Hunting

Philly Aids Thrift

Where upon each rack lies the artifacts

Of style, days past and clothes encounters

Where dollars stretch, from end to end

To hold all that awaits

As charity and good will reaps the rewards

 

Ode to the Most Eclectic Movie Theater

Roxy, with its long-forgotten sign and old age

And walls that tell stories of golden ages

Where independence and film occupy one space

Only those who do not fear the outside

Long to venture within

 

Curious about my three picks? Here are the reasons you should check them out:

Beijing Restaurant, located in the center of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, is tucked away along a sidewalk where you would never know that some of the most delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine was being prepared inside. Get there early, as the place tends to fill up fast, with good reason: their bubble teas, homemade juices, and crispy spring rolls are more than enough motivation to fall in love.

Philly Aids Thrift, located in the Queen Village neighborhood, just off of South Street has been responsible for my transformation from occasional thrifter to fully matured frugal fashionista. Where else in the city can you find a multi-level thrift store that houses vintage dresses, vinyl records, and a room filled with clothes that only cost a dollar? Even better, the store donates all its proceeds towards helping in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Perfect if you want to help fund a charitable organization and when you’re in the mood to sift through retro and wacky finds or if, like Macklemore, you plan on popping tags with only twenty dollars in your pocket.

The Roxy Theater, renamed the Philadelphia Film Society at the Roxy (PFS), is hidden along tiny Sansom Street in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of Philadelphia. If you didn’t know it was there, you would probably miss it. The two-screen theater was converted from two row homes in 1975, and has been showing independent movies and some mainstream flicks ever since. This tiny, nostalgic theater instantly became my favorite place to have an off-the-beaten-path movie experience after I saw The Fault in Our Stars there this past summer. Plus, the concession stand sells retro candy and snacks and the atmosphere beats the crowds and the noise of larger theaters any day. Whether you’re an indie movie buff or just looking for something new to watch, give the Roxy a visit this month.

Top 5 Careers:
Build Relationships & Your Future

The Top 5 Careers this week are all about relationship-building, whether you are interested in helping provide quality customer service or thinking about post-grad plans by securing a great internship. Take part in everything from creating social media and graphic design, working at Philadelphia Magazine, or giving a tour of one of Philadelphia’s spookiest attractions as a tour guide at Eastern State Penitentiary. Want to explore all of this week’s opportunities? Check out the full list below!

USLI: College Help Program
Work as part of a small and diverse team, and stick around to take advantage of some of the long-term opportunities at United States Liberty Insurance Group (USLI). USLI is seeking college students to fill positions across a wide range of different departments, from social media and video to information technology and business administration. Located in Wayne, PA, the company is a great local option for students looking to get a head start on their job search.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site: Seasonal Tour Guides and Visitor Services Position
If you’ve always been interested in history, have a love for local historic landmarks, or if you just want to find how “haunted” the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (ESPHS) really is, now is your chance. ESPHS is currently hiring for its seasonal tour guides and visitor services position. These positions are great for anyone who wants to get a slice of local and national history as well as share it with others by providing great customer service and making the visitor experience fun and exciting. The ESPHS wants individuals who are “outgoing, engaging, and creative professionals.”

Office for Child and Youth Protection : Compliance Auditor Intern
Gain hands-on experience in the nonprofit world and practical knowledge. As an intern with the Office for Child and Youth Protection, you will serve as a representative of the organization, conduct on-site audits, and assist with daily functions within the office. Qualifications include strong communication skills, travel within the five counties of the Archdiocese (valid driver’s license and car preferred), and knowledge of the Catholic faith, as the organization has a religious affiliation.

Campus Philly: Career Programs Internship
Come be a part of the Campus Philly team! If you are interested in marketing, event planning, and nonprofit leadership, then apply to be an intern and use your skills to support our career and professional development plans. Applicants should be energized and motivated.

Philadelphia Magazine: Integrated Marketing and Special Events Internship
Whether you are an aspiring editor, or have dreams of working for a glossy magazine, Philadelphia Magazine has a stellar opportunity for any student who is in search of an internship. As the Integrated Marketing and Special Events Intern, you will get to assist with the planning and execution of Philadelphia Magazine events by helping to create promotional materials and maintaining RSVP lists. Other responsibilities would include helping to create media kits, proofreading and copy-editing, and updating Philadelphia Magazine’s social media accounts.

Photo by Anna Ladd for Campus Philly

Top 5 Careers: Promote and Grow

This week’s Top 5 Careers are a good fit for those looking to help promote a company’s mission or product, as well as contribute to both their personal and professional growth. There are three internships (Independence Blue Cross, Sustainable Business Network, and Marketing Edge) seeking event planning, marketing, and project-based interns. If you’re looking to work with or develop technology, RJ Metrics is looking for a software engineer. All about customer service? Capitol One is seeking a sales associate to join their Capitol One 360 Sales Team to help market their financial products.

Independence Blue Cross: College Internship Program
It’s never too soon to start your internship search and gain some valuable hands-on job experience. As an Independence Blue Cross intern, you will have the opportunity to gain practical professional experience and career insight in the healthcare industry. Internships are project-based and you’ll get to take part in daily operations and support company initiatives. Perfect for anyone looking to explore career options in the healthcare industry!

Capital One: Inbound Sales Associate
If you are lucky enough to be one of those people who are a natural salesperson, then the Capital One 360 Sales Team is looking for candidates like you. Capital One is all about providing exceptional customer service by helping customers with their finances and providing the right banking solution. As part of the sales team, you will market financial products to new and existing customers. Ideal candidates should be independent, have excellent communication skills and be a stellar salesperson.

RJ Metrics: Software Engineer
Anyone who is all about software and technology would be a perfect fit for RJ Metrics, who is currently seeking a software engineer to aid in their mission to provided e-commerce and software businesses with an analytics platform that will help them make smarter decisions using data.

Marketing EDGE: Summer Internship Program
Looking for a change of pace? New York City-based company Marketing EDGE is looking for summer interns to help in advertising and promotional strategies and marketing. Interns have the opportunity to attend a summer education program sponsored by Google which will take place in Mountain View, California prior to the start of the internship. Anyone looking to boost their marketing skills and to get the chance to participate in a great professional opportunity should definitely apply. There are twenty internships available.

Sustainable Business Network: Event Planning and Outreach Intern
All about sustainability and going green? SBN is looking for an intern who is “outgoing, personable, and passionate about sustainability.” If that sounds like you, then get a jump start on applying for the opportunity to connect with over 400 businesses and build your professional network in the sustainable business community. Intern responsibilities include strategizing and executing events, building relationships with businesses, and reporting data results and new ideas to the membership team; candidates should be creative, social media savvy, and have an interest in sustainability and event planning.