Greener Pastures – Interning with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

by ryan dawson, outreach specialist, temple university career center

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a non-profit organization located in downtown Philadelphia that has been leading urban farming, gardening, and environmental protection initiatives since 1827. Their programs focus on connecting people with horticulture has immensely helped maintain some of the most beautiful green spaces in across Philadelphia and beyond. The career center recently had the opportunity to hear from a Temple student who interned with PHS throughout Spring & Summer of 2019. Ritapa Neogi is a Geography & Urban Studies major who spent time working alongside of the great people of PHS. She was kind enough to share her experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major/Graduation year: Geography & Urban Studies, 2020

What organization is your internship with? Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What semester did you do this internship? Spring/Summer 2019

What is/was your job function and what does a typical day entail? I was an Urban Forestry Intern with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society from April through late July.

Since the Tree Team works with volunteers and organizations around the city, it was typical to spend days outside the office. Most of the time, I would come in at 9am, wait for assignments from my supervisors, and stay until 5pm. Occasionally, I’d participate in other events, including tree plantings, classes, conferences, and summer camps.

My job function was dynamic. Regular office tasks included exporting GIS data, putting informational packets together, and fixing up Tree Tenders documents (training guides, presentations, etc.) I handled other assignments as needed. For example, I had the opportunity to produce a 5-page comic book about our Tree Tenders program for Marketing!

By July, I took responsibility for our Urban Forest Cloud, a publicly-accessible map created to track tree health through citizen science. After leading a demonstration at the annual PHS Tree Checkers class, I walked volunteers through any questions they might have about mapping trees. As the primary contact for the Urban Forest Cloud, my daily tasks shifted to making phone calls, replying to emails, and helping volunteers loan equipment.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I followed the PHS website for a month after I became familiar with their programs – specifically Rain Check and LandCare. Marketing internships were posted in December 2018, in preparation for the 2019 Flower Show. As a lifelong artist and writer, I decided to apply, even though the position had little to do with my major.

After my initial online application, I was contacted via email by my future Social Media supervisor. The interview was nerve-wracking, but it’s hard to feel too out-of-place when you’re already as excited about an organization as its current employees! I was offered the internship within the next week.

During my Social Media internship, I met the Urban Forestry Program Manager at PHS. She mentioned that the Tree Team would be looking for a summer intern soon. Days later, when I was awarded Temple’s CLA Pathways to Professions stipend, I decided to reach out to her for more information.

How has your internship related to your course work?

It’s been life-changing to learn how an interest in environmental studies could shape my career. Tree Tenders is a wonderful program that combines science and community development to improve livability in Philadelphia. It’s an application of urban solutions I’d only encountered in the classroom (i.e. planting trees to reduce heat and manage storm water).

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The people you work with can make or break your work environment. I grew very close to my coworkers, whether they were on the Tree Team, in a different department, or fellow interns. Most of my favorite memories from my internship were moments I was able to bond with the people around me. I may not have been so ecstatic to volunteer at early weekend plantings if I weren’t spending that time with PHS friends.

I also learned how to plant, prune, and identify trees… so that’s been pretty handy!

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Don’t look for a position, look for organizations you admire. I was set on finding a GIS internship before I landed a totally unexpected role as Social Media Intern with PHS. Not only did I build valuable skills in photography and marketing, I also got my foot in the door a second internship, for which I was able to pitch my background in geography. If I hadn’t actively followed postings on the PHS website, I would have missed both opportunities entirely.

Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

I wouldn’t have been able to pursue a second internship with PHS if not for the CLA Pathways to Professions stipend.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Take every opportunity to hear the stories of professionals in your field. Not everyone gets to the same place through the same route. Also, sign-up for interesting classes outside your major! Having knowledge outside your area of study is always a good thing. My interview for the Social Media internship made me thankful I’d taken time to glean skills outside geography, i.e. using Adobe Creative Suite and manual settings in photography.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Instagram: @seajellyc

Twitter: @ritotaquito

Make sure to Favorite The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on Handshake to get up to date information on positions and events they will be posting for Temple students of all majors!

Engineering Her Future At JBT Corporation

by ryan dawson, outreach specialist, temple university career center

JBT Corporation is a long-standing, engineering and technology company that specializes in automation and self-driving, efficiency based machines and vehicles. Although they are a national company, JBT hosts a range of opportunities for Engineering, Computer Science, and Business majors, at their Chalfont, PA offices, just outside of Philadelphia. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with one of JBT’s new Field Systems Engineering interns, Olivia Webb, who was kind enough to share her experience with job searching through Temple, and finding a home with JBT Corporation…

 

 

 

 

 

Major/Graduation year: Mechanical Engineering December 2019

What organization is your job/internship with? JBT Corporation in Chalfont, PA

What is your job function, and what does that entail? Field Systems Engineer Intern

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I met Alycia Hannum at the College of Engineering Career Fair. From there, I heard that the student organization SWE (Society of Women Engineers) was planning to attend JBT for a tour. I joined SWE so that I could attend and continue networking with JBT. From there the interview process was straightforward.

What internships, student organizations, or other activities the classroom have you participated in, and how have they assisted with your professional development to this point?

I had already received a Double BFA in painting and sculpture from BU and came to Temple University as a non-traditional student. Once I was on campus, I began working in the energy office as a student worker and joined SWE to gain access to career fairs and networking events that are exclusive to the organization.

What is the most important thing you have learned during your college experience as it relates to internships and jobs?

A number of courses (Machine theory, Robotics, Dynamic Systems, Heat transfer, mechanics of solids). I am actively using the knowledge from many of my courses.  Many students say that school teaches you how to learn and internships give you the opportunity to gain experience and learn new skills, but with JBT, I am actively using skills I gained in my coursework every day.

Have you used the Temple University Career Center’s services and resources, or attended events?

From my start at Temple, I have attended all but one of the engineering career fairs. I also attended some of the career development events like the job search and Networking talk with Leslie Silva.  I used The Career Center space for e-conference interview with JBT.  Additionally, any time companies are on campus giving information about paths to careers, I try to attend.

Did the Career Center assist you in any way in finding this internship, applying, interviewing, etc.?

I utilized the main career center to teleconference, set up by Leslie Silva.  Mike Madera has proofread my resume multiple times and provided key insight on job acceptance negotiation.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Start searching early. Even if you do not think you are qualified. It is hard to learn what companies you are interested in so taking time to narrow that down is important.  Long term persistence is important overall. If you start working on your search early, you have more time to find out what companies you DO NOT like.  Deduction is key.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Many companies do their hiring in the fall. Even for summer internships.  Meeting someone in person is so much more effective than applying online. I would not have been able to stand out unless I had been making it a point to meet Alycia (SWE tour/Fair attendance). Attending the career fairs out of curiosity at first was a major help. I would browse and learn about all companies before narrowing down the pool of companies that would be a good fit for my particular skill set.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I am very impressed by how much opportunity and responsibility JBT has given me.  Compared to my last internship, they really invest their time into my thoughts and ideas and I feel like a valued member of the team. Training is helpful and consistent, but they test my understanding through responsibility and involvement.

In addition to Olivia’s internship experience, JBT Corporation hired several recent graduates this past year who are now working for JBT in full time roles:

  • Jon Wommer – Electrical Engineering
  • Kenny Rentz – Mechanical Engineering
  • Justin Goldman – Mechanical Engineering
  • Nick Brady – Information Science & Technology

Make sure to check out JBT Corporation on Handshake, or at the College of Engineering Fall Career Fair on October 3rd from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm or at their Rapid Resume Review table in the College of Engineering Lobby on October 1st from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm!

For Parents: Handshake Is The Place To Start For Career Information

A pressing question for many families is “how can my student find a future career after their time at Temple?”  The Temple University Career Center is a key resource for all Temple University students, at all times in their experience.  The University Career Center manages Handshake, which is the primary destination for applying to jobs and internships targeted to Temple students, registering for Career Fairs and professional development events, and booking time for a Career Coaching appointment.

Your student already has access to Handshake with their AccessNet credentials, but there are a few things to do to get their account optimized, and then to apply to opportunities effectively.  Here are three key links to share with your student from Handshake:

If your student has any questions, they can visit us online to find our contact information and get their question answered.

Beware of Fraudulent Emails About Jobs and Internships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All members of the Temple community should be aware of fraudulent emails being masked under Temple or Handshake email accounts. These emails often promise high paying jobs with minimal work required, such as picking up packages, running errands, or purchasing money orders. Here is a copy of the most recent email from Temple IT Security on this subject for your reference: https://systemstatus.temple.edu/system_status/item?id=472&o=0

If you have any concern that you have received a fraudulent email please report it to IT Security and Do Not reply to the email. If you have questions or concerns about an email you have received the Career Center is always happy to help. Feel free to contact Kelly Hart or Erin Lemons at 215-204-7981.

Please note, the Career Center thoroughly vets both employers and career opportunities within the Handshake system. However, we highly encourage you to conduct your own research on the opportunities you apply for. Our online approval does not indicate endorsement of an employer, product, or service. Here are a few red flags of a potentially fraudulent job or internship:

  • The hourly pay seems “too good to be true” ($20.00+/hour)
  • The employer contacts you via text message, with no in-person contact
  • The employer claims to be “out of town/out of the country” and needs you to run errands for them
  • The employer asks you to send them money or offers to send you a check in advance of completing any work

If you have any questions or are concerned about any opportunities on Handshake, please contact the Career Center before applying.

Sincerely,

The Temple University Career Center

Tips and Tricks for Building a Great Resume or Cover Letter

by laura craig, associate director of career development, temple university career center

If you’re working on a resume or cover letter, there can be a lot happening on your screen.  Most importantly, you’re working hard to create great content that describes your experiences, and then trying to organize that content in a way that makes sense to your audience.  That’s a tough job! If you’re using Microsoft Word, it’s easy to miss several features that make managing your document, and how it looks, much easier.

The easiest way to learn about these features is to make use of your access to Lynda.com and catch up on some short training videos. 

You can access Lynda.com through TUPortal.  Look for the link in the TUApplications menu on the left side of the page.  Once you are in Lynda.com, search for the following courses:

  • Word Quick Tips
  • Word Essential Training

Each course is made up of a number of videos.  Based on our experiences with students, the following videos are the most helpful for common issues.  These videos are only accessible to Temple University users.

Word Quick Tips Course:

Word Essential Training (Office 365) Course:

Beyond Lynda.com, Temple ITS Office 365 Support is another great resource to help you.

How much does resume formatting actually matter?

The way your format your professional documents does not guarantee that you’ll get the interview, or the job. Improving your document formatting can:

  • Make relevant content easier for recruiters to find and read.
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing look to your document, which can boost your own confidence in the document.
  • Help you effectively communicate relevant content in one page, which is the most widely used and appropriate length for a college student’s resume or cover letter.
  • Make it less stressful to update your professional documents, so it is more likely you’ll update them regularly.

Now that you have a great looking professional document, what should you do with it?  You can always bring a resume, cover letter, or personal statement to the Career Center to be reviewed in a coaching appointment.  Once you have some feedback, and you’ve implemented it, why not upload your document to Handshake to apply for a job or internship?  The opportunities are waiting!

The First Time Was The Charm For This Temple Senior!

Temple senior computer science major Byron Jenkins landed an internship with TD Bank last summer after attending his first (!!) career fair in the spring! That’s not all he’s been up to during his time at Temple…read on to learn more about Byron’s story…

TD Bank recently featured Byron in promoting its internship program.

Major/Graduation year:

Computer Science / 2019

What organization was your internship with?

TD Bank

What semester did you do this internship?

2018 Summer

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job as a Technology Intern was to redesign TD’s online credit card platform as a Proof of Concept. Each day during the summer internship, I worked not only with my peers, but with leaders of the organization.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I discovered this opportunity during the CST Job Fair last Spring. It was the first job fair I have ever attended. I spoke with the recruiter, expressing my passion in technology and he suggested that I apply. There was an on-campus interview then a super-day interview hosted at the office (in my case, Wilmington Delaware). You are there with other potential interns and there are three rounds of interviews. It sound intimidating, but as long as you are able to talk about your experience, those three rounds will be completed before you know it. Many people, including myself, sometimes overthink the interview process. You know what kind of questions you may face, and you have an idea of what kind of answers they are looking for. The critical part about it is HOW you present those answers.

How has your internship related to your course work?

This internship involved Web/Mobile Development and it touched the surface of Software Architecture. I had the privilege to work with an Architect. I also received college credits for this experience.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I have learned from the internship was how to manage being uncomfortable. I was exposed to tools and technologies I had no experience using. This uncomfortableness urged me to learn and adapt.

Have you used the Temple University Career Center’s services and resources, or attended events?

I have attended multiple events and I had my resume reviewed several times.

Did the Career Center assist you in any way in finding this internship, applying, interviewing, etc.?

When I had multiple offers, I consulted with the Career Center staff to review my options.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Research the company you are interviewing for, understand their mission statement and/or slogan and question how do your skills apply. Look up current events that catches your interest and mention it during the interview. For example, if you are interested in Cybersecurity, look up the company’s current events that mentions cybersecurity. At that point, not only are you presenting your skills, but you are displaying your knowledge about the company.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

It is a competitive field in my major. We all are dashing towards opportunities. I learned how to differentiate myself from others. I have my own interests, preferences, experiences, and my passion is unique. I constantly remind myself that and showcase that to recruiters/employers.

Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames? Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

My username on Twitter and Instagram is @codeherk

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: Byron Jenkins

Also, I just released my game, Huelo, for iOS devices that focuses on color coordination. It is free to download and play.

Check out Byron’s new game in the app store!

Have You Considered National Service After Graduation?

by holly logan, outreach specialist, temple university career center

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Have you considered a year (or two) of national or international service after you graduate from Temple University?

There are many organizations that offer unique opportunities to gain professional development and experience while also offering the flexibility of a short-term experience.

Ten months with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) involves direct service, where you get to work with a team of 18-24 year olds on 4-6 projects throughout a designated region in the country. And there’s FEMA Corps for AmeriCorps NCCC teams who are selected to primarily respond to natural and man-made disasters.

AmeriCorps VISTA, Teach for America, Peace Corps, Quaker Voluntary Service – the list goes on. With some of these, you’re serving as an individual Corps member with a non-profit, school, or faith-based organization. Some have direct service opportunities to do the “on-the-ground” work that the organization leads, whether related to education, public health, homelessness, environment, and more; others have capacity building work which allows you to be more “behind-the-scenes”, developing programs, connecting with resources, etc.

For some service-minded individuals, there’s also the option of applying to a fellowship program, which usually have 1-2-year roles with non-profits or government entities, domestic and overseas. There’s more info about those options on the Office of Scholar Development and Fellowships Advising website: http://www.temple.edu/vpus/fellowships/undergrad-opportunities/social-political.htm.

As with any phase in your professional life, there are some financial factors to consider for these options. Most programs offer a stipend and education award to re-pay student loans or put towards further higher education. Some also offer food, healthcare and housing as part of the benefits package. You have to do your research and decide what works best for your lifestyle!

If you ever want to talk about any of the national service opportunities, feel free to email me at holly@temple.edu and we can set up some time to talk.

Spotting Fraudulent Employers and Job Postings

by shannon conklin, interim director of the temple university career center

The recent phishing scam/spam email messages that were posing as a non-existing “Job Placement and Student Services” office at Temple is an excellent reminder of why to exercise caution when an opportunity seems too good to be true.

Here at the Temple University Career Center (note, this is the legitimate, university-wide career services office on campus), we want to share a few important reminders and tips.

First, keep in mind that Handshake is the university-wide internship and professional job database. The Career Center’s Employer Partnerships team thoroughly vets both employers and career opportunities within the Handshake system. There are other platforms on campus, as well.  These include FoxNet, KleinConnect, and STHM’s Passport.  We highly encourage you to conduct your own research on the opportunities you apply for on Handshake, and other university systems.  In the Career Center, our online approval does not indicate endorsement of an employer, product, or service.

Second, there are a few red flags of a potentially fraudulent job or internship:

  • The hourly pay seems “too good to be true” ($20.00+/hour or $200 quick).
  • The employer contacts you via text message, with no in-person contact.
  • The employer claims to be “out of town/out of the country” and needs you to run errands for them.
  • The employer asks you to send them money or offers to send you a check in advance of completing any work.
  • There is language that generally seems off and not properly formatted.

Other precautions you can take:

  • Do not click links that are found in these questionable messages.
  • Research company websites thoroughly.
  • Use social media to research each employer, and websites such as Glassdoor.com for feedback and complaints.
  • Be cognizant of unsolicited emails that are not specifically directed to you. For example, they may simply say “hello”.
  • Do not share personal information (social security numbers, banking information, credit card numbers, passwords, birthday, mother’s maiden name, etc).

Click here to view a complete list of red flags to consider. If you have any questions or are concerned about any opportunities on Handshake, please contact the Career Center before applying.

Complete Your Handshake Profile and Boost Your Employment Chances!

Did you know that you can make your Handshake profile viewable to employers? Many employers are using the platform to reach out directly to Temple students about internships and full-time job opportunities. The more complete your profile, the more likely you are to get the attention of an employer! Temple junior Franky Acosta, a mechanical engineering major, provides a great example of a robust Handshake profile that employers will notice: https://app.joinhandshake.com/users/10420208

Even just adding a profile picture makes an employer 7x more likely to notice your profile. Note that Franky also includes information about his past internships, education, and involvement with student organizations…

Franky has successfully utilized his public profile to land two different internships in his college career. Completing a robust Handshake profile takes less than an hour (most information is automatically pulled into the system when you upload a resume), and can pay significant dividends in your job or internship search!

Interning at the Franklin Institute

Last year, the Career Center visited with three outstanding Temple students who interned at the Franklin Institute. As we enter the spring semester, let’s revisit the advice and experiences that current Temple senior Colleen Byrne (pictured left) shared with us towards the end of her Spring 2018 internship…

What is your Major?

Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

What company did you intern with and what is your position?

I am the Marketing Intern for the Franklin Institute

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job function is to work with and help the Marketing Coordinator with various day to day tasks. No two days are exactly the same, but some of the typical things I do are use Excel to create email analysis document, help design and write copy for various types of marketing emails, do research on marketing best practices and create strategies for how to improve the institute’s current practices, and create marketing email lists.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found this opportunity on Klein Connect, which is Klein College’s career portal. To apply you must fill out an application (very old school) and then email that application and your resume to the email listed. I then had an initial phone interview with the Volunteer Coordinator, and then an in-person interview with the Marketing Coordinator who would become my supervisor.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

This is a tough one because I’ve learned a lot during this experience, but I would say my main takeaway is that hard work does not go unnoticed even when it seems like it might. Being an intern can seem like you’re not valued and you’re just there to do the work no one else wants to do, but someone will be watching you so if you’re working hard doing the mindless tasks that you have to do, it shows that you care and it could lead to working on an actual important project in the future.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Please do not get discouraged by rejections!! So much of the internship application process is simply networking and luck, so do not get down on yourself if you’re not hearing back from places – there’s nothing wrong with you! And going off of that, capitalize on your connections, because knowing someone in a company really helps.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Utilize the resources available to you!! I visit the career center in Klein and go to the different workshops offered all the time and it’s really helpful, and the Career Center is especially helpful for those students whose colleges do not have their own career center.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Yes I do! Both of my handles are @colleenbyrne7