Monday, April 6, 2020

From Morocco to Peirce College: Meet Naima Qadimi

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

After leaving 19 years of middle school education experience behind and moving from Morocco to the United States, Naima Qadimi was seeking a way to reshape her career, find a new opportunity that fit her new life, and advance her education.

Naima was eager to start her journey in Philadelphia and began asking around and looking into different programs. She learned of Peirce College and came to visit campus seeking guidance on next steps. What she found was so much more.

“When I came to Peirce at first, I was looking for advice on earning a degree,” explained Naima. “I met Steve Bird, who I am so thankful for, because he was so helpful and warm immediately welcoming me and making me feel comfortable. I knew this was the place where I could improve my career and earn my degree.”

Originally enrolling in 2014, Naima started with her associate degree in the Business Administration program. She chose this degree path because, “it is the field that can fit into so many opportunities in the labor market. Also, because of my ability to speak multiple languages (Arabic, French, English) I would love to open my own business as a translator one day.”

After applying herself to her new educational goal, Naima completed her first step in 2016. She immediately moved on to the bachelor’s program once again focusing on Business Administration and this time adding on a concentration in management.

During both programs, Naima said she gained so much from skills on managing a business to real-world lessons and information. She said, “In the Business Administration programs, I was able to earn degrees that can serve me better in my career. I learned how to be an ethical leader while managing a business; practical knowledge on the United States market; time management skills; and skills to help my future business grow and expand.”

Beyond the skills she learned within the classroom, Naima said she really appreciates the relationships she gained at the College. “I really value the professionalism and friendships of all the College staff and faculty. There is a huge support system for working adults to help students achieve their goals and advance their skills in many disciplines.”

In December 2019, Naima proudly completed her second degree and said, “My Peirce experience was the best experience of my life because it allowed me to learn so much and meet new people. Pursuing my degree was always a dream of mine and Peirce College helped me turn that dream into reality.”

Naima is continuously working towards her dream of opening her own business, which she hopes to do soon. In the meantime, she has some future goals in mind that may lead her back to Peirce. “When it comes time for me to think about earning another bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, I will definitely be back at Peirce College to once again be with the team that works with me side-by-side to empower my career and life.”

Congratulations to Naima on all her accomplishments!

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tips for Interviewing Remotely

The sun is shining, Spring has sprung, and you – you are stuck in your house in accordance with government recommendation during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Like many others, you are adapting to a whole new set of norms.

However, during this transition, there is no need to leave your career goals behind. Below, check out some tips on how to shift your mindset and optimize your job search during this unprecedented time in history.

Interviewing

Most recently, you may have been invited into an office to conduct an interview with either a Recruiter or a Manager. With many employers directing their staff to work remotely or exercising precautions with social distancing, you will now likely be interviewed by phone or video.

Recruiting has to rely on technology or phone to complete the interview process. They may request you get on a video platform like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. They may ask you to record answers to questions or do a real-time virtual interview, where you will be having a conversation with someone over streaming video. Here are some tips to make this the best experience it can be:
  • Access the platform prior to the interview to troubleshoot the software and finetune your camera and microphone.
  • Find the camera and position yourself so your eyes are level with it. Try to look at the camera, not at your face or even the face of the interviewer.
  • Dress for success. From head to toe, wear that interview suit with confidence. Your presentation still matters even if they can only see part of you, and dressing the part can make you feel prepared and ready.
  • Determine the quietest area of your home to take the interview. School closings mean that may be easier said than done, so ask your family (even young children) for help creating an atmosphere where you can concentrate.
  • Do you have headphones with a microphone? In this circumstance, it is appropriate to wear those during your virtual interview to block outside noise.
  • Don’t get flustered if you’re interrupted. The recruiter or hiring manager might be experiencing the same situation, so simply apologize and keep going.
  • Rehearse your answers ahead of time so you can appear comfortable on camera. Try to keep the interview conversational – remember, you’re making a relationship with your interviewer.
  • Smile, especially in a phone interview. It makes a difference!
  • Be sure to send a thank you email. You won’t be able to mail a thank you card, as the recruiter is likely working remotely. Do not ask for their home address – just send them a personalized, warm thank you email and follow up a week or two later to reiterate your interest in the position.
Recognize that these are special circumstances and factor that into every step of the recruitment process. Interview and hiring processes may be longer, budgets may be impacted, and processes may be changed. Stay agile and stay positive!

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Eager to Make a Difference in the World – Meet Olivia Bannister

From trade school to trade school, Olivia Bannister continued to bounce from one education track to the next never really understanding the importance of finishing a degree. However, in 2012, that all changed when Olivia decided it was time to enhance her mind and inspire her kids by going back to school.

“I could feel myself not succeeding in life. I knew I needed to go back to school to stimulate my mind, gain a firm foundation of education, and to show my kids no matter how old you are, it is never too late to earn a degree,” said Olivia.

After a search online, Olivia quickly discovered Peirce College and their dedication to assisting adult learners earn the degree they need to succeed. “One of the main reasons I decided on Peirce was because of the College’s focus on helping adults go back to school. Additionally, Peirce’s flexibility within each degree program caught my attention.”

Combining the program’s flexibility with her desire to expand her knowledge, Olivia enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program.

After working hard balancing all her responsibilities as a mother, employee, and student, Olivia finished her first degree in May of 2017.

Olivia decided she was still eager to learn and grow more with her education and re-enrolled at Peirce in the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program.

“You hear the term ‘Healthcare Administration’ frequently in the healthcare community,” said Olivia who explained how this was where she could see her career going. Thanks to the curriculum at Peirce, Olivia immediately started gaining knowledge and experience discovering her passion for the field.

Olivia said she owes a lot of her positive experience at Peirce to her professors and advisor who helped motivate, guide, and teach her along the way, “One part of my education I value the most is the life lessons I learned from each professor in my undergraduate and graduate program,” explained Olivia. “I have gained so much experience in the programs and I owe a major part of that to my Advisor, Dr. DeVida Rembert.”

Twelve classes later, Olivia proudly finished her next degree in December of 2019 and is officially a Class of 2020 graduate. She currently works for a brokerage company and is excited at the idea of taking her new degree into the community to make a difference thanks to the many avenues she is able to pursue with a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.

As Olivia reflects back on her time as a student at Peirce, she shares some wisdom for all those considering going back to school. She said, “What really helped me complete both of my degrees at Peirce College was staying focused and surrounding myself with people who had the same goals as I did. Additionally, I treated school like a job by taking it very seriously. I knew my ultimate goal was to better myself and family and that allowed everything else to fall into place.”

Congratulations to Olivia on all of her accomplishments! Peirce College wishes her the best as she takes her degrees out into the world and helps make it a better place.

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Celebrating Women’s History Month

On February 28, 1909, America’s first National Women’s Day was celebrated to honor all the hardworking and accomplished women of our country. This day was elevated even higher to Women’s International Day on March 8, 1911 when women around the world were celebrated and acknowledged. The evolution of this day continued and eventually turned into a Women’s History Week in 1978. However, this was still not the end of the development for the celebration of women’s accomplishments. In 1987, Congress passed a proclamation establishing March as Women’s History Month, which honors remarkable achievements of women.

That brings us to today. This month, we keep the tradition alive and celebrate all women around the world. As we know, there are an extensive number of women each year we can honor for Women’s History Month who have inspired and impacted our society today. Below are just a few of those great women who have come from our own Philadelphia area and changed the course of history forever.

Alice Paul: Born in 1885 in New Jersey, Alice was a descendant of William Penn. She attended Swarthmore College which was co-founded by her grandfather. She went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania and then furthered her education at a Quaker School in England. After returning from England, she lived in Philadelphia where she became extremely involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. She was an advocate for passing the 19th Amendment for the right of women to vote and in 1923, she wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, which, unfortunately, has not been enacted. Alice spent her life fighting for women’s protection against discrimination and other women’s rights.

Rebecca Cole: Born in 1846, in Philadelphia, Rebecca was the second female African-American doctor in the United States. She provided services for the poor, especially women and children, in their homes and also opened a Women’s Directory Center in 1873. She was committed to teaching and influencing others about her findings, which inspired others to follow her path. Rebecca did not allow sexism and/or racism to stop her from doing her job. She broke down walls and barriers to do what she loved.


Denise Scott Brown: Born in 1931, Denise is recognized as the most impactful architect of the 20th century as well as her husband, Robert Venturi. Denise attended the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her Master's Degree in city planning and then became a professor; she then obtained another Master’s Degree in architecture. She continued with her teaching at many colleges, but then came back to Philadelphia and joined forces with her husband where they worked side-by-side making a difference throughout the City.


Louisa May Alcott:
Born in 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Louisa is most known as the author of Little Women, but was a very successful novelist of the 19th and 20th century. Several of her publications supported women’s rights and Louisa was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Connecticut. Still today, her books appear on the bestseller list.


Patti LaBelle or better known as the “Godmother of South”: Born in 1944 in Philadelphia, Patti has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Hall of Fame, the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Not only is she a singer, but she is also a songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. During her impressive 50+ year career, she's racked up awards and sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Patti paved the way for a lot of women interested in pursuing music.

Jill Scott or better known as “Jilly from Philly”: Born in 1972 in Philadelphia, Jill has spent a majority of her life calling this City her home. She is a songwriter, singer, and model. When Jill was a college student at Temple University, she wanted to be an English high school teacher. Unfortunately, professors did not agree with her philosophy of helping students learn with singing. These negative thoughts only inspired Jill to do more with her music and create a difference through song. Jill is against the degradation of women in pop music and she uses her music as an expression of emotions.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Combining Her Passion for the Legal Field & Non-Profit Work: Meet Kim Mosley

Right after graduating from high school in 1987, Kim Mosley started college immediately to chase one of her biggest dreams – earning her degree. After a couple years into a program, Kim decided she wanted to take some time to prioritize some other parts of her life. Kim got married, had kids, and found herself immersed in the workforce.

After her kids were in high school, Kim finally had some time to think back to her dreams of college and decided it was time to finally finish what she started.

Originally starting at a community college, Kim slowly integrated herself back into college life taking a few classes at a time as she figured out her new path. Kim had worked in the corporate world, but was never fulfilled with the work she was doing. This is when she discovered her passion.

“I worked for 12 years at a mortgage company where I had exposure to the legal department. I worked on various projects with their team and my interest in the legal field started to grow,” said Kim. “Unfortunately, after the company downsized, my team was eliminated. This was another reason for me to finally finish what I started.”

From her new interest in the legal field, Kim soon learned of Peirce College’s Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program. “After doing some research on the best places to earn my degree in the legal field, I discovered I really liked what Peirce College’s program had to offer. It was very comprehensive and diversified. You were not just focusing on one topic or type of law,” explained Kim. “Additionally, I liked the idea of the Peirce Fit® option to choose to attend class online or on campus each week.”

Kim quickly discovered beyond the well-rounded program and flexibility Peirce had to offer, Peirce also was able to accept so many of her previous college credits. “I was able to transfer credits not just from my recent community college classes, but also from my first college classes nearly 30 years ago. This saved me a lot of time when earning my degree.”

After working hard and finding a balance as a mother, student, and employee, Kim graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies in June 2017, but not before launching into her next educational adventure.

“As I was approaching the end of my bachelor’s program, I decided to apply and take part in Peirce’s Grad Scholars Program. This allowed me to take some graduate-level courses during my undergraduate career at the undergraduate price,” Kim said.

After earning her bachelor’s degree and some graduate-level credits, Kim decided to officially enroll in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management (MSOLM) program. She was eager to advance her existing skills even further, and learn new skills to apply to the family-run non-profit.

“In addition to working in the legal field, my family runs The Cathy Miller Cancer Fund (CMCF), an all-volunteer, non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and contributions in support of cancer patients staying at the Hope Lodge, in memory of my aunt. The MSOLM program at Peirce directly aligned with my work and responsibilities for the non-profit.”

Unfortunately, about a year into her master’s program, Kim’s uncle, the founder and executive director of CMCF, passed away. “When my uncle passed away, it created a huge bump in the road. We all had to figure out our new reality while restructuring CMCF and continuing its mission while grieving and dealing with the changes in own lives,” said Kim. “Luckily, everything surrounding me personally was aligning with what we were learning in class from emotional intelligence to change management and everything in between. The master’s program was able to give me direction during one of the hardest times in my life and career. I was able to take my real life problems into the course to discuss them and find solutions.”

No hardship could stop Kim from finishing her next degree. In December 2019, Kim officially earned her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. Kim currently works as a Paralegal for the New Jersey Department of Children & Families, which she landed after obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Peirce. She also continues to work hard for The Cathy Miller Cancer Fund where she seamlessly transfers her knowledge from her master’s classes right into her business and work ethic.

Congratulations to Kim on all her successes! Peirce College wishes her nothing but the best as she continues to implement both degrees into her career and life.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Etiquette Luncheon Gives Students the Tools to Stand Out

Philadelphia’s Capital Grille is no stranger to executive business meetings where high net worth deals are made and employees are hired. Whether you are an entrepreneur, seeking a job or proving you deserve a promotion, you may find yourself selling yourself in a fine dining setting.

On Wednesday, February 19th, the Capital Grille, located at Broad & Chestnut Streets, was the elite backdrop of a gathering of Peirce College students and alumni for the Annual Etiquette Luncheon.

The Luncheon is a partnership between Peirce College’s Center for Career & Professional Development and the Capital Grille offering a presentation on how to conduct a power lunch meeting.

Business deals and job interviews typically occur in boardrooms and offices; however, a potential business partner or a hiring manager may invite you to join them for lunch or dinner. Part of the evaluation is how to conduct yourself throughout the professional lunch or dinner, which signals your awareness of respect and making a positive impression.

Alexis Lundeen, Director of Operations for the Capital Grille, facilitated an in-depth and engaging presentation instructing students on the unspoken rules of the business world, which govern these professional interactions.

Alexis reminded attendees that small subtle things are clues. Something as simple as how you butter your bread can say a lot about you and your work ethic.

She demonstrated that your plate is to the left but you pass the bread to the right. You take butter onto your butter knife; smear it on the plate with the bread. Then, you take off a piece of bread, cover it in a pat of butter and eat it.

Alexis also discussed how to use your utensils and napkin to signal to the dining staff when you are finished with the course and ready for the next course. By communicating wordlessly, it helps the staff to respond to your needs without disrupting your business meeting.

The overall message conveyed was that presentation matters and as a prospective employee or business associate, you set the tone of how you are perceived based on how you represent yourself. The goal of a professional lunch or dinner is not to eat. It is an opportunity to show your best self in a situation where others may fold because they don’t know the rules of engagement.

To hear even more about this event, CBS News, Channel 3, covered the event on their nightly newscast. Reporter, Vittoria Woodill, not only observed the interactions, but also participated and added her perspective when requested. To check it out, please visit the CBS News, Channel 3 website.

For more career and professional development workshops, events, and advice, please contact Peirce’s Center for Career & Professional Development at 215.670.9202 or careercenter@peirce.edu.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Following His Passion for IT – Meet Ivan Kovacevik

Though a majority of Peirce College students grew up in or around the city of Philadelphia, there are also those who come from another part of the state, country, or even across the Atlantic Ocean. This was the case for Ivan Kovacevik, a current Peirce College Information Technology student who moved to the United States from Serbia in 2002.

After his big move, Ivan devoted the majority of his time to working to support himself and his family, but he always knew he had an interest in computers and programming he hoped to one day pursue.

Ivan got his first computer as a teenager and once he tried his hand at programming, he was hooked. “It’s funny but my love for computers began when I got an old Commodore 64 system. I started to tinker around with that, and then my interest just continued to grow and grow. I knew that if I ever went to college, I’d major in Information Technology,” Ivan said.

Ivan initially decided to give college a try back in 2008 when he enrolled at The Community College of Philadelphia. After taking a few courses, he decided to pause his education to again focus on full-time work. In 2015, though, Ivan was ready to revisit his educational journey this time at Bucks County Community College, determined to earn his associate degree in Information Science and Technology. That day came in May 2018 when all of Ivan’s hard work finally paid off in the way of his first (but not last) college degree.

Ivan knew he wanted to continue his education and earn a bachelor’s degree after he graduated from Bucks, and discovered Peirce College after an online search of Bucks County Community College’s transfer partners. Once he learned that nearly all of his credits would transfer and that he could do the majority of his program online, his mind was made up and he enrolled in Peirce’s Information Technology bachelor’s degree program.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Ivan says about his time at Peirce. “The curriculum is right in line with what I want to do—it’s mostly programming, but I’m earning all the certifications I need to.”

Ivan, who works full time at a Medical Support company in New Jersey, is also a full-time student at Peirce. His busy work schedule prohibits him from being able to come on campus for many classes, so he completes the majority of his coursework online. Ivan says he’s keeping his options open as far as employment after he graduates, but knows he’d like to work as a programmer or a system or network administrator. He also hopes to continue his education and earn his master’s degree in Information Technology.

When asked if he had any advice for adults considering a return to college after many years out of school, Ivan offered, “Don’t be nervous! It’s never too late, no matter what age you are. Peirce is a great place for adult learners and they’ll make you feel welcome. If you’re disciplined and persistent, you’ll do well.”

It’s hard for Ivan to have much free time considering he works and attends classes full-time, but when he does have a moment to himself, he loves to explore parks and go hiking. He’s also an avid videographer and enjoys editing and producing his footage.

Peirce College thanks Bucks County Community College for providing Ivan with an excellent educational foundation, and wishes Ivan all the best in his future endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or ttschop@peirce.edu.