Monthly Archives: January 2014

2014: The Year for Internships

2014: The Year for Internships

The spring semester has kicked off on our campus, and we’ve already seen many students interested in completing an internship during 2014. We also have students interning in a variety of fields already this semester. Even better, we’ve had contact from new employers, interested in talking with our students about internship opportunities.

According to poll results from internships.com, there’s a huge growth in interest for internships in 2014- both from students and employers. As you can see from the infographic, internships are mutually beneficial. Larger companies use internships to find potential full-time employees, and smaller companies look forward to having interns help them complete projects that may not be done without their help. Students look to their internships to gain work experience, apply skills from the classroom, and expand their network. The link will take you to an article which gives other wonderful statistics and information, but there is one other important thing to consider: 84% of employers say having an intern with their company was a positive experience, while 87% of student interns say that their experience was positive. What are you waiting for? Find an internship and have a positive experience, too!

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Sara Baum- ACRE- “A Prosopography of Pews”

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After working at Christ Church in the summer of 2013, I soon became fascinated and fell in love with the historic atmosphere of Philadelphia. Some of the congregants include Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson, John Adams, and George Washington, just to name a few. Pursuing research dedicated to the lives of the people is something that is not only important but interesting.
I approached Dr. Pankratz about studying the changes within the pew rentals, indeed renting pews was a normal procedure. He agreed, so I had an advisor. Now, what? I of course needed a definite topic. We talked for quite some time about what we were interested in researching before Dr. Pankratz suggested and I agreed on the title of, “A Prosopography of Pews.” This was perfect for what we wanted to learn. So you don’t have to search on Dictionary.com, a prosopography is the study of a group of people within an historical context, in our case it is the study of congregants at Christ Church; Studying the congregants’ lives from theirfamily, their homes, their finances, and their seats in church and their interactions with others.
Over the winter break we searched for different examples of Prosopographic work and began reading different texts to understand the environment of study. The first week of ACRE was quickly upon me and I was anxious to get started with the pew registries that were available from the church. I was probably the biggest nerd that felt as if the world was put in my hands. Then, we hit our first road block. In the beginning we thought we would study a year of great importance to our country; 1776 became our year. Although excited about this decision, it quickly became a challenge because I learned that there were no registries for pew rents that year. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! So now what are we supposed to do? So, the first week began and I have pew registries for 1778-1783 and 1785. All right let’s see who were the consistent members and their pews? This is the question I asked myself for the first week. I flipped through hundreds of names and pew numbers and compared them along with reading more and more texts about the church and its setting. This became a daunting task and was very repetitive, but these names and these people became a part of my thinking 24/7. I completed a comparison by the end of the first week and Dr. Pankratz and I found several names that connected with historical stories. We even read extensively on the church building as a structure because this was essential to our mental image of the environment.
The second week of studywe travelled to Philadelphia twice in search of information that could be useful in the placement of congregants. On Monday we went to Christ Church for a quick visit to see the archives and if there was anything there that could help. When we arrived we were greeted by the archival director and we were escorted down to the mother of all archives. Nerd Sara was quickly spotted. The director had informed us of the 1762 pew map before we arrived which held the greatest interest for us. She brought it out and it was just beautiful. There are no words to describe how you feel when you see something that old, and did I forget to mention I TOUCHED IT! Oh yea, Benjamin Franklin’s name was on it, pretty cool! They said that they had a digital copy of the document, but if you know Dr. Pankratz you know he had his camera in hand and was ready to take some clear photos for later reference. The image quality was so clear that we were able to transcribe most of the names. We also got a chance to see and read through some of the other books that were there. We eventually ended up in the church to see the physical layout. The picture below is what the church looks like now but it was very different from the years of study.

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After getting a chance to see some of the behind the scenes we walked around the church and Dr. Pankratz took some great shots of the steeple and outer church.

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We decided to play it safe and head back to Albright a little early to avoid traffic, which of course was an unsuccessful attempt.

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Wednesday was our next trip and our goal was to visit St. Peter’s church, which is the sister parish to Christ Church. Visiting St. Peter’s was crucial to our understanding of environment because they have something that Christ Church doesn’t, box pews. A box pew is literally a box with seating on the inside. Christ Church had changed their style to slip pews in the early 19th century. In the images below you can see that the pews look much different than those at Christ Church.

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(We were able to sneak up to the balcony, thanks to Dr. Pankratz’s gift of charming the staff.)

We walked around their burial ground and discovered the stone of Charles Willson Peale, a very well known portrait artist during the time of the Revolution and also a member of Christ Church.

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After being awestruck by the church and googly eyed, like the image below,

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we decided to walk around Society Hill area. The homes are just beautiful and the atmosphere is busy but yet calming. I learned a great deal that afternoon, historically, but also a lot about my advisor since he once lived in Society Hill, so there were lots of stories to hear.

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(We are in that Mosaic, try to find us)

Well if we had left at that point, we would have hit some serious traffic so Dr. Pankratz and I decided to eat while we were in the city. Never did I imagine what I was going to be putting into my stomach. “We are going to the Continental,” he said. Now, I know what the Continental Diner is, as in where it is, because I had passed by it on my way to work several times, but I didn’t know what to expect. We walked in and my jaw dropped. Inside of this older diner was a beautiful setting, very, very, cool! Below are some of the shots of our food. (The hamburger meat was provided by LaFrieda Meats, an Albright Alum.)

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Needless to say, once again our plan for avoiding traffic didn’t exactly work out.

After those two trips our minds were racing and we had a much clearer path for what we needed to accomplish. Week two ended with more comparing, and I already know that learning and studying this information has been one of the best decisions I have EVER MADE! The Final Week of Interim will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

Victoria Sweeney, Reutlingen, Germany

Well, it has been 3 weeks since I have landed back in the good old USA. Reverse Culture Shock does exist, let me tell you! Hearing English and seeing signs in English is something I still haven’t become completely used to yet. I speak to myself and others in German and I still think I have a 6 hour time difference, but it is getting better!

After my trip to Berlin I didn’t do as much traveling. I did go to Paris for a weekend. My best friend lives not too far away outside of Paris so we took a trip to her house! I traveled there a few weeks before the Christmas holiday so the city was decorated for the Holidays and the Christmas Market was up and running. Paris is absolutely beautiful, and it is even more breath taking when it is all decorated for Christmas! I didn’t think I would ever miss hearing the German language, until I had French surrounding me. I think listening to French exhausted me! The Eiffel Tower is, of course, amazing. I took a boat tour around Paris at night. After I got off the boat my friends and I looked up at the Tower and it was lit up and was twinkling with white lights. It was surely a sight to see!

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After Paris my life calmed down a little. My classes were soon finishing up so I had a lot of studying and presentation work to do. One weekend, to get away from the student life, I went to 3 different Christmas Markets in one day. Christmas Markets are crazy in Germany! There are so many people and they are all trying to do their Christmas shopping! People from all over Europe travel to go to the most popular Markets in Germany so you are surrounded by so many languages. I think the best part about the Markets was just watching the different people that were there. People watching is very enjoyable in another country! (Not to sound creepy or anything…) I also went to a Chocolate festival, which was as delicious as it sounds. Chocolate everywhere, it was great. People were painting with chocolate, had every food imaginable dipped in chocolate, shaped in chocolate. It was crazy and such an experience to go to! The picture below is of a building that was decorated during the Chocolate Festival.

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Like I said, my life got a little boring. School work took over my life, but I had something to look forward to! In my first 2 weeks of Germany I worked at a Children’s camp and lived with 3 students from England. After my finals were over, I was heading to England to spend Christmas with them! It was so exciting because I thought it was going to be years before I would ever see them again. I had a proper English Christmas, including the Queen’s Speech. They took me around Liverpool and the city of Chester. The weather was so…England like. Raining, windy, and cold!

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Studying Abroad has changed my life. I have become a more independent and outgoing person. I can’t imagine my life without these past 4 months in Germany and I will do anything I can to go back. It is hard to wrap up my experience in any type of sentence, paragraph, paper, anything, because it is something that everyone should experience. I recommend Studying Abroad to everyone and anyone, you won’t regret it.

Graduated, but Still Connected

Graduated, but Still Connected

We’re at a pivotal moment on our campus.  Our winter graduates just walked across the stage, and our spring graduates are getting ready with excited anticipation.  For many students, the job search is in full force.  We are frequently asked “where can I look for a job?” without realizing that they can build from what they already have! Students are typically a very connected population- thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, they’re able to make connections all around the world. Just because they are holding their diploma doesn’t mean they have to give up their profiles.  In fact, students are encouraged to build from those profiles and make those connections more professional.

 Careerealism has provided a great article regarding social media after graduation.  Yes, it is possible to use your social media accounts to your advantage! They give much greater detail in their post, but I wanted to give a brief summary to you to get you started.  They break down social media networking into six steps:

  1. Create an online portfolio- this allows employers to see your accomplishments all in one place
  2. Create a blog- you can share your opinions, writing skills, and critical thinking skills, however, it’s especially encouraged to focus the blog subject on your field of study.  This will show how knowledgeable you are!
  3. Join LinkedIn- you can find so many professionals through LinkedIn, and easily be introduced to professionals you don’t know.  You can also follow specific companies to stay up to date on their information
  4. Keep your accounts professional- keep an eye on what pictures you are tagged in, and make sure anything you post is PG-13 (at most!)
  5. Be social on social networks- don’t feel that you can’t post anything at all.  Join in conversations, especially those related to your field or businesses in which you are interested.
  6. Go offline- if you make a connection with a professional, find a way to talk with them more.  Try to set up an informational meeting either in person or over the phone to see what advice they have for you.

 Just because you graduated, you don’t have to go completely off the radar.  Think outside the box on how you can use your social media to work for you!

Dan McGurl: I Wrote a Bill!!!

Even though my tenure at the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives has now come to a close, I am lucky to still have work to complete with my internship. While most people would probably be pretty bummed to still be part of the grind, I am absolutely ecstatic. The reason for my joy is not for some inhuman love of sitting at a desk working for hours but because the work I have left to do is on a bill that I created and am now extremely passionate about.

During the first few weeks of my internship, my boss asked me to read over some guidebooks and literature regarding the juvenile justice system in the state. The more I read, the more I realized that there was a real need for change in the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania. In one of the pieces of literature was the contact information for a nonprofit based out of Philadelphia that provides legal consul for juveniles and I decided to call him. This phone call was probably one of the most important decisions I have ever made in my professional career. After talking for over two hours, I hung up the phone armed not only with a small library of resources and examples of workable reforms in other states.

The next day I decided that with the support of my office and members of the House of Representatives that I was going to write a package of bills in the hopes of reforming the juvenile justice system.  For the next few weeks I chugged away, trying to create meaningful and broad reaching changes to the juvenile justice system. Before me lay two big hurdles, finding a member of the House of Representatives to sponsor my work and to get my work cleared. Surprisingly both of these hurdles were overcome easily, once a Representative heard about my work he immediately approached me and asked to sponsor my work and my work got cleared quickly because I had done a lot of legwork.

Now here comes the hard part, getting the bills I wrote passed into law; each year almost three thousand bills get written and less than four hundred become law so needless to say the odds are not in my favor.  However, I am optimistic that my work will see the light of day, some of the bills I have written specifically regarding creating statutes to determine mental competence to stand trial for juveniles have been getting a lot of support.

….Let’s see where this goes!?