Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Mother Of Two Children; A Graduate With Two Degrees

There’s a good reason why Peirce College is often referred to as “the college that really works for working adults,” and recent graduate Shania Bebee is the perfect example. After earning her associate degree in Business Management at Montgomery County Community College, a community college partner of Peirce College, Shania wasted no time enrolling at Peirce as she knew the flexible class schedule and ability to complete her degree online would allow her to be a full-time student even while working and raising two children.

With the opportunity to balance it all, Shania decided it was time to pursue her true dream and enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program. “Ever since I was active in a Business Academy in high school I always wanted to major in business in college. I would have majored in Human Resource Management at Montgomery County, but since it wasn’t offered, I was eager to start studying that once I moved on to Peirce,” Shania said. “Montgomery County was a great start for me, and it worked out well because even though I changed to a different business program, almost all of my credits transferred.”

When asked about her favorite aspects of Peirce College, Shania was quick to mention the support system that surrounds all students. “Peirce was very proactive in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and how they can help you overcome any hurdles. If you’re showing any signs of struggling, they’ll make sure you get tutoring, or some extra time with instructors to make sure you understand the material.”

Understandably, Shania attended most of her classes online since she worked for Cigna full-time and has her four-year-old and nine-year-old to care for. However, she loved the fact that she could attend class on-campus whenever she needed some in-person instruction or needed immediate help with coursework. “I definitely appreciated the fact that I could come in to class whenever I was struggling or needed some face time with my instructors. It was very assuring to know that I could visit the tutoring center or work one-on-one with my instructors whenever I needed help,” Shania said.

Shania was also passionate when asked what advice she might share with other adults considering a return to college. “Don’t push it off even one more day! The older you get, the more commitments and distractions you have, so you really have to juggle your time. It’ll never be a ‘good’ time to go back to school, so before even more things pile up in your life, just do it!”

Shania graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management in June 2018 with a 3.4 GPA, and is currently looking for full-time work as an HR Generalist. In her spare time, she likes to take part in her book club, work out (she’s involved with Herbalife), and spend time with her family and children. Peirce College salutes Montgomery County Community College for providing Shania with an excellent educational foundation, and we wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors!

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Soft Skills, Hard Skills: Gain It All With A Work Study Position

At Peirce College, we don’t just offer our students the opportunity to learn in the classroom, but we ensure there are plenty of out-of-the-classroom experiences to build both hard and soft skills. One of these opportunities is through the Work Study program where eligible students who are looking to increase their workforce skills while balancing school can get hands-on experience right on campus in a variety of departments.

When students are selected for Work Study positions, they work part-time alongside Peirce faculty and staff members who are eager to assist in their professional development. This opportunity is a great way to combine what you are learning in your degree program with valuable on-the-job experience – plus, you are able to cultivate strong professional relationships with your supervisors, faculty, staff and even fellow Work Study students.

Don’t just take my word for it, though: meet one of our Work Study students who shares her story of personal growth within the Work Study program at Peirce College.

After graduating from the Community College of Philadelphia, Nazia Bibi knew she wanted to continue on with her educational journey to earn her bachelor’s degree. When deciding to take on this next step, she looked around the Philadelphia area and found a school that would not only fit the style she needed, but would accept just about all of her credits. This would allow her to learn in the environment she desired while earning her degree in the most efficient way possible.

That school was Peirce College. “Peirce not only took the largest quantity of my credits, but they offered Peirce Fit® where I could have the flexibility to take class online or on-campus each week. This combination was exactly what I was looking for.”

Nazia began her journey at Peirce in Fall of 2016 when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program. She knew this program and this career path was for her when she encountered a personal experience that led her to where she is now.

“My father was a victim of an online scam. We had to make phone calls and figure out what was going on to solve the issue,” explained Nazia. “This is when I knew I wanted to learn more about this industry, so I could assist in stopping this type of privacy invasion.”

So far during Nazia’s time at Peirce, she has been able to obtain knowledge she had never even heard of before. “Some classes I entered, I knew nothing about the topic at hand. But by the end of the course, I had learned so much and gained new perspectives I would have missed out on without the class.”

As Nazia began learning all about the Information Technology world, she knew she wanted to find a way to better fund her education and gain workforce experience. That is when Nazia began doing her research around the student portal and came across information on the Work Study program.

“I knew I would need to pay for college somehow and the Work Study program at Peirce allowed for me to earn money while gaining real experience. Since the opportunity is part-time, it gave me a great way to balance both work and school,” said Nazia.

Nazia is the Work Study for three different departments in one central location: Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Marketing and Communications. Through this exposure she is able to learn about many different techniques, projects and assignments.

Nazia said, “I have learned so much during my Work Study experience. Most projects I had to learn from scratch, but it was a great challenge to be exposed to. Every day I am still learning new things and continue to work on better developing my skill set.”

For those students who may be considering a Work Study position, Nazia encourages everyone to do so, but to take the proper steps first. She said, “Talk to Career Development Services. They really helped me develop and organize my resume and prepare to take on this position. I was so nervous at first when looking into this opportunity, but Career Development Services helped me conquer my fears and land this wonderful experience.”

If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in the Work Study program, please visit our Work Study page or contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202 or cds@peirce.edu. To apply for a Work Study position, please visit peirce.edu/workstudy.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Combining Business And Technology For A Successful Career

Making a difference in the workplace increasingly depends on integrating technology and business. And as the sophistication and impact of technology grows, that integration becomes more challenging and more complex. Individuals with a solid foundation in both technology and business can have a real impact in all types and sizes of organizations.

This month we highlight Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Technology Management as the program feature of the month to showcase an attractive option for students who have already earned significant college credits elsewhere and wish to put them to productive use earning a bachelor’s degree combining business and technology.

Organizations can have the best, most advanced technology available, but if it isn’t leveraged to advance business objectives, that technology’s potential is being wasted. Likewise, if an organization offers the finest product or service around, but can’t leverage technology for efficiency, analysis and insight, it is unlikely to flourish. This is when organizations look for employees who are able to assist in combining business needs with advancements in technology.

While Peirce’s degree in Information Technology proudly focuses on hands-on experience, diving deeply into specific applications and technologies, the Technology Management program takes a different track, focusing on higher-level skills like project management, systems analysis and data management. These are combined with coursework in business areas like organizational dynamics, accounting and management.

This approach can be ideal both for students who have already worked “in the trenches” in information technology and wish to target managerial positions or to move outside of the IT organization, as well as those who desire a career focused on analyzing the technology needs of a business or integrating technologies into organizations.

Because the Technology Management curriculum includes 30 credits of free elective coursework, students can custom tailor their studies to their particular interests and ambitions. Additionally, those who have earned previous college credits can put up to 30 of them to use irrespective of whether they were for a technology-related degree or not.

Today’s employees and leaders need a digital focus. Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Technology Management program offers the flexibility and relevance to empower students to build a career to meet that need.

To learn more about Peirce's Technology Management program, reach out to the Admissions Team today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Learn From The Experienced: Tips For Scholarship Success

Last month, four students who were proud recipients of the 2018 Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship shared their advice on the benefits of applying for scholarships. This month, three new students keep the trend going by sharing what they believe to be some top tips and tricks for success when taking the step to earning financial rewards during your college journey:

This month’s students are three of the 2018 W.W. Smith scholarship recipients. The W.W. Smith scholarship has been supporting Peirce College students since June 2004. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to eligible full-time undergraduate students who are in need of some financial assistance to achieve their academic dreams.

Check out what these three recipients have to say on the best advice for how to land that scholarship:

“The scholarship application process can seem intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing I learned when completing my own applications is to give yourself enough time. Do not wait until the deadline to try to get everything done. The essay question portion of the application is important; there are no right or wrong answers but how you answer is critical so you want to make sure that your answers are concise, articulate, thoughtful, honest, and, most importantly, answer the question being asked.

If recommendation letters are required, my advice is to focus on this task first as you want to give the person enough notice. Keep in mind those you ask for a recommendation will need to carve out time in their schedule to write the letter, so allow them time to do so. Additionally, even if you only need two letters I suggest you have at least one other person in mind in case there is a scheduling conflict you’re not left scrambling to complete your application.

Lastly, always proofread your work and make sure all of your information is correct. There are free online tools that will check your work for spelling and grammatical errors but the Walker Center here at Peirce College and SMARTHINKING are also excellent resources and easily accessible. You can type up your essay(s) in a word document and submit it for a tutor to review. They’ll help you correct any errors before you submit your final scholarship application.” – Jackie (Jackmely) Hernandez, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration Student


"Taking part in the scholarship opportunities at Peirce is a great way to help pay for your college education. If you are like me, scholarships are a lifesaver. In order to attain these awards, such as the W.W. Smith Scholarship, there some things that must be done on the applicant’s part. First, one must ensure that they, in fact, qualify for such awards (GPA, residency requirements, extra-curricular activities/community service, etc.). You can check with your Academic Advisor if you are unsure of the criteria and to check in on your qualifications. Second, there will most likely be an essay requirement. This is probably one of the biggest causes of unclaimed scholarship money. Students fail to complete the essay due to the time and energy one must put into it. I understand that this is yet another requirement on top of your actual school work, but by writing a complete and well thought essay you may receive a scholarship award that results in peace of mind as you tackle your classes. Finally, my greatest advice is to read the requirements thoroughly and give much attention to detail when completing the required essay. It will all pay off." – Corey Hinson, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership Student


“Peirce College made the process of applying for scholarships simple. All there is to do is find the scholarships you are interested in, write the necessary essays, and submit letters of recommendations. My first suggestion to make this process more successful is to apply for more than one scholarship to increase your chances of receiving a reward. Additionally, several months prior to applying for scholarships, reach out to multiple people you have working relationships with for recommendation letters. I would suggest including professors that you have developed a great rapport with and have done well in their classes. Lastly, make sure all of the requirements for the essays are met and don’t be reluctant to add personal touches to your submissions. Good luck!” – Joseph Hicks, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Student

Thank you and congratulations to all our 2018 W.W. Smith Scholarship recipients! Check back in next month for a new scholarship highlight and some more advice on funding your education as a working adult.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Magic Interview Question That Can Score The Job

Wouldn’t it be great if there was one thing you could say in an interview to ensure that you get the job offer? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic job-offer spell, but I will tell you a way to stop interviewers in their tracks and make them truly consider you for the role at hand.

This trick is not for the faint of heart. You are going to stare potential rejection in the face, but you aren’t going to blink. You are going to open yourself to constructive criticism – and you might just learn something about yourself. And if you can make yourself do it, you are setting yourself up for success.

At the end of an interview, after what may feel like an endless barrage of back-to-back questions, you will hear perhaps the most dreaded question of all: “Do you have any questions for me?” Many job candidates stumble. Perhaps they already got their questions answered, or they were really hoping to just skip this part. Many people stutter out a half-whispered “not at this time,” or perhaps they blunder by asking about the salary before the interviewer brings it up. Perhaps they will ask what the company culture is like or their interviewer’s favorite part of their job.

And while some of those are good questions, they aren’t the one the candidate is really itching to ask: “Did I get the job?!”

Hang on – don’t jump ahead! I’m not suggesting that you ask point-blank if you will get a job offer. Instead, ask this:

“Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications for this position?”

Your interviewer will really have to stop and think about this one. One of three things could happen:

1. She will tell you the truth about a hesitation she has. For instance, she might say “you know, I was really looking for someone with a master’s degree.” To which you can respond something like, “I’m glad to hear you say that – that’s actually in my personal 5-year plan! I’ve even started to look at degree programs. I want to establish myself in this job and really prove myself, then I will start working towards that degree.” By addressing such a concern head-on, you can find ways to eliminate the interviewer’s hesitations. You are problem-solving on the fly, so if you already have a feeling what might come up, work on your response in preparation for your interview.

2. She’s going to lie and say that she doesn’t have any hesitations when she really does. But the thing is – she’s just articulated verbally that she thinks that you’re qualified for the position. Now that she’s said it out loud, she is actually beginning to persuade herself that there aren’t any hesitations. This is a persuasion technique that we are borrowing from the world of sales.

3. She really can’t think of any hesitations! Saying it aloud will actually help her believe it and come away feeling like she has met a truly great candidate.

With any of these responses, your interviewer is now feeling more confident about you as a candidate! You have gotten a chance to calm any of her fears about hiring you, and you have demonstrated your ability to solve problems and your openness to constructive criticisms.

This persuasive tactic can be intimidating, but practice and see what happens! Contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202 or cds@peirce.edu to work on preparing for your best interview yet.

Friday, October 26, 2018

From Master Baker to Master Student – Meet Heidi Schoentube

If you were to ask recent Peirce College graduate Heidi Schoentube what her passion is, she’d be more likely to say that it’s baking than researching case files or preparing legal documents. But after life threw her some unique twists, Heidi found herself pursuing a new passion.

Heidi graduated from Peirce College with her bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies in June 2018, but she didn’t always want to pursue this type of career. Baking was actually her first love and her intended career path. From this initial desire, Heidi had opened her own small business and owned and operated her own bakery for a period of time. But after a health scare prevented her from being able to work in the kitchen anymore, Heidi reflected on her time as a business owner and found a new interest in the legal field.

“I knew I had to make a career change, and during the process of starting my business, I became fascinated by the legal aspects. The zoning issues, getting all the contracts completed, those kinds of things,” explained Heidi. “I wanted to learn more about the law, so I thought about it as a career path.”

That train of thought led Heidi to enroll at Northampton Community College, a community college partner of Peirce College, in the summer of 2015. She took as many courses as possible every semester, and graduated with her associate degree in the spring of 2017. Wasting no time at all in continuing her education, Heidi enrolled at Peirce College in the summer of 2017 to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

Heidi said she originally heard of Peirce College through some posters in the transfer department at Northampton County College, which piqued her interest and made her want to learn more. Once she learned that all of her Northampton credits would transfer to Peirce, and that she could take all of her classes either online or in person, Heidi knew that she had found the perfect fit.

“Everything with my transfer was as smooth as possible. I was so glad that all my credits transferred, but I was even more thrilled that I qualified for the max amount of transfer scholarship money because I entered Peirce carrying a 3.8 GPA,” Heidi said.

When asked about her favorite aspects of her time at Peirce College, Heidi mentioned the flexibility of the Peirce Fit® learning format that allowed her to attend class online or in person on a weekly basis. “For the first few months I made it a point to come to campus for classes. I loved all my teachers, especially Professor Cyndi Gentile. She was kind, fair and very informative. As I became more and more familiar with the school and my classes, I tried attending online, and it was more convenient for me. Towards the end I was doing nearly all of my classes online.”

Heidi graduated from Peirce College in June 2018 with her Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies and is currently working as a Clerical Technician in the Department of Corrections at Northampton County Prison. She believes she’d like to go to law school in the future, and either pursue a career practicing or teaching law. In her spare time, Heidi loves to take pictures, run (she runs half-marathons!), spend time with her daughter and husband, and of course, she still enjoys baking.

Peirce College salutes Northampton County College for providing Heidi with a wonderful educational foundation, and wishes her all the best in her future endeavors!

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Someone You Know: Facing the Opioid Crisis Together

In the healthcare industry, sensitive, but critical topics arise every day. At Peirce College, our faculty and staff work with students on how to approach and manage these issues. Beyond the classroom, the best way to stay knowledgeable and timely with these delicate topics is to continuously join in on the larger conversation.

In this vein, I recently attended a national conference called, “Someone You Know: Facing the Opioid Crisis Together” hosted by the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. This conference focused on advancing, “solutions to improve the health of individuals and communities affected by the opioid crisis.” The Someone You Know Campaign concentrates on reducing the stigma of opioid misuse and inspiring hope in people seeking help with addiction and recovery.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others. This event engaged leaders from the business, non-profit, public and education sectors to explore education, awareness, early intervention, the effectiveness and quality of treatment, as well as de-stigmatization and barriers to recovery. Attendees also gained educational, emotional and thought-provoking insight offered by a knowledgeable and professional panel.

One of the speakers, was Surgeon General, US Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH. Dr. Adams discussed many aspects of this crisis including the opioid landscape, the need for prevention, screening, intervention and treatment as well as the neurobiology of substance use, misuse and addiction. To learn more about the work Dr. Adams is leading, check out Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids.

Attendees also heard from Philadelphia entrepreneur, Tony Luke, Jr. who shared his personal story of addiction and losing his son to an overdose. He reminded us that an addict is first a human being deeply suffering with addiction. Today, Mr. Luke advocates for education, compassion, tolerance and treatment through his #BrownAndWhite Initiative Against Heroin Abuse.

Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President & CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition and Peirce Board of Trustee member also spoke at the event and called upon attendees to continue the conversation. One way to do that is through On the Table Philly, which is a forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience. We can also initiate a conversation on this topic in the workplace. Panelist Marci Cheesman, Sr. Business Analyst, PECO, and co-founder “Stomping the Stigma” successfully created an employee assistance group at PECO to share the loss of her son to drugs and engage and support others in active addiction or grief.

The panelists recognized the shift in how society responded to the War on Drugs as compared to the response to today's opioid epidemic. During the conference, I witnessed a call for more accurate and more compassionate language and a plea for tolerance. I heard the panelists including Dr. Joseph Garbely, DO, FASAM, Vice President and Medical Director, Caron Treatment Centers & Program Director, Caron-Reading Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship and Dr. Beverly Malon, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO, National League of Nursing for Nursing advocate for education on the topic of addiction and empathy for those struggling with this chronic disease.

For me, the most profound learning I walked away with was twofold; an understanding of the widespread destruction this epidemic causes individuals, families and communities and the critical need to engage in honest, solution-oriented conversations. Will you join me in continuing the conversation?

Check back in next month to see what the Health Programs division has to share next!