Monthly Archives: August 2014

Do something… TODAY!

Do something today

There’s something special about the first week of a semester.  It’s a chance to make new friends, create a new routine, and determine new goals.  My challenge to everyone is to make the above quote a new personal (and professional!) goal.  It doesn’t have to be anything big.  Maybe it’s connecting with someone on LinkedIn.  Maybe it’s reading an article that relates to your chosen career.  Maybe it’s volunteering in the community.  Maybe it’s staying after class to ask a professor a question.  You never know when all of those things will come back to be a benefit to you- and if you know they’ll be beneficial, why not do them?  Make this semester one that makes Future You proud!


1 week down. 14 more to go…

So glad your first week went well!

La primera vez no es la última vez

Good news: I survived my first week of school!!! But don’t worry, it wasn’t some huge trial or tribulation. First of all, we only had a 3 week day because Monday was a holiday and I only have class Mondays thru Thursdays, (Yes, you can be jealous). Oh, and on top of that, since it was the first week, there was a lot of administrative stuff to complete and getting to know each other. I only take classes through PECLA, which means I only take classes with other international students.

I am taking 3 classes: Latin American Culture, Argentine Culture and Advanced Grammar. The first two have a textbook and the last one consists of hand outs. I have the same professor for LA Culture and ARG Culture. She is very patient, and kind. The professor for my Adv. Grammar class is funny and charismatic. Many people raise an eyebrow…

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Amanda Kopil: The City of Reading GIS Intern/DCNR Tree Surveyor



My internship is complete and I am left completely satisfied! Overall, my experience met all of my expectations and more. I was able to learn new things and also give my input to different projects. Before I started my internship I thought that I would not be able to keep up with my supervisor and all of her tasks. It turned out that I knew more then I had thought. Also, throughout the duration of my internship I asked quite a few questions and also to have some examples of what my supervisor was looking for. This really helped me complete tasks that needed to be done without messing them up first! I really did not know how much GIS was used in every division within The City of Reading. Surprisingly enough, GIS was even used by the historical preservation division and trash and recycling. To be able to work GIS is a valuable skill and I can definitely see how often I will be using it in the future.

            I hope that there are other students who are going down a tract involving GIS. If there are, this internship is perfect to build upon your skills and take what was learned in the classroom to real life situations. This internship has strengthened my overall goal of becoming an environmental consultant because of the variability involved in GIS. Within my time at graduate school, I plan on having at least 1 more internship. Internships not only get you the experience that is in high demand, but it also helps you become a better person. You gain skills such as communication, professionalism, and how to interact with people in your career.

            Tree surveying for The City of Reading has also come to a conclusion. Surveying trees was a very interesting job and helped me learn a completely different area in my field! I learned that communication is key when working with partners in an important project such as this one. Being on the same page as your partners can help save time and frustration! My internship-filled summer has come to an end and I could not be happier! I can only imagine what internship I will run across next!

Amanda Kopil: The City of Reading GIS Intern/DCNR Tree Surveyor


I have very very very good news! Recently, I have been awarded a graduate assistantship position at Millersville University in the office of the Dean of Math and Science! This has been my dream and I am so glad it worked out. I applied in November last year and it has taken this long for the entire process to, gladly in my favor, come to me. In order to apply I had to compile transcripts, letters of recommendation, a person statement letter, and of course my resume. It was a lot of work but it definitely paid off. I MUST send a HUGE thank you to my Geiser Gals in the Experiential Learning & Career Development Center!!!! These fabulous ladies helped me through this entire process and I could not be more grateful!

            Ok, now back to reality! My internship is coming to an end and it really makes me sad that I have to leave these great people that I been working with for the past many weeks. What I enjoyed most about my internship was that I was doing exactly what I plan to do in the future with GIS. My supervisor prepared me for many situations that I may come across while using this software in my career. Leaving my internship, I know that I will always have someone that I can shoot a quick email to if I am stuck on a project and she will help me out. This gives me a great sense of comfort for my GIS classes in graduate school and also it gives me a chance to just stay in touch. This internship has opened many professional doors for me and it has also made me a better coworker. There is always something to learn from an internship even if you are stuck filing or doing clerical duties. Don’t ever forget to stick your nose in projects and ask questions because you never know what you might learn!

            My long streets of trees are coming to an end! This has been another long process this summer but also a very valuable one. I never thought in a million years that I would be working with trees or knowing a ton of species! Not only am I surveying the street trees in Reading, I am also educating the people around me every time I get asked, “What are you doing with those trees?” These kinds of summer experiences and internships do not just come and lay neatly across your lap when needed. It is important to talk to your professors regularly and stay in touch with new projects or share ideas. These are the projects that you put in that daunting section, “Must have experience” in a job application. Hard work will pay off!

A Lasting Last Impression

I know we often stress the importance of sending a thank you note after the interview, and I think it’s information that is always worth repeating.  Everyone knows that more often than not, your resume and cover letter are your first impression with an employer.  In turn, your thank you note after an interview is potentially your last impression- so shouldn’t it be a good one? Education Week makes some great points about how to make sure your thank you notes leave your last impression as a positive one!