Thursday, May 31, 2012

Do’s and don’ts for using LinkedIn in your job search and career development

If you’ve been following all of our coverage from our recent LinkedIn workshop with Robb Pardee, you know that LinkedIn is vital to professional networking and career success. Not only does the platform offer you an opportunity to manage your online reputation and control the message and information you want the world to see, but it has become a key job search and recruitment tool. Members include 18.8 million business decision makers, 4.2 million corporate executives, and 1.3 million small-business owners. Who wouldn’t want to be in front of that crowd during a job search?

We dove into all of this in greater depth during our seminar, and we want to spread the knowledge so that no one misses out on the advice for leveraging LinkedIn for career success. With Robb’s help and expertise, we’ve created a list of important LinkedIn do’s and don’ts.

We developed this to be a go-to guide for everyone looking to enhance their LinkedIn profile and strategy, so feel free to print it out or share it with your friends. And as Robb mentioned during the seminar, he’s happy to answer questions or dive deeper into certain topics, so feel free to contact him using the information provided in the resource.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And the 2012 Peirce Idol is ...

The judges have spoken and the student chosen to sing at this year’s graduation ceremony is ...

STANDOUT GRAD: After singing the national anthem,
DeShayla Avant will cross the stage
to receive her bachelor's degree
DeShayla Avant

Congratulations, DeShayla! We can’t wait to hear your voice light up the stage as we celebrate the achievements of our 2012 graduates.

DeShayla is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies and was recently inducted into our Paralegal Honor Society, LEX. She is a standout student and a wonderful representative of the class of 2012!

Here’s what DeShayla had to say about her upcoming gig:
Grateful and honored is not even half of what I feel for having been chosen to be the 2012 Peirce Idol. What makes this more of an honor is that I will be singing at my own graduation. Who would have thought? I will be obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies (magna cum laude) and am also a recent member of the National Paralegal Honor Society.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Peirce alumnus makes generous gift to the College at annual Spring Reception

“Two essential ingredients of the bond between alumni and school are pride and gratitude.”

At the Spring Reception on May 21, Peirce alumnus Albert G. Cederstrom, Jr., announced he is making a $50,000 gift to the College to start the “Albert G. Cederstrom and Emilie I. Cederstrom Memorial Fund for Human Resource Management.” This gift is being made in honor of his parents and in appreciation for the role Peirce played in his own professional successes.

A member of the Class of 1943, Mr. Cederstrom announced his gift as he was accepting the Peirce College Alumni Association’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Award was bestowed in recognition of the impact he has had on Peirce, his community, and his profession over the years. His contributions to the College have been numerous. In addition to serving on Peirce’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, Mr. Cederstrom has been a generous donor and a dedicated volunteer for decades. In 1996, he was honored as a member of Peirce’s Wall of Fame. Hit play on the video below to watch highlights from Mr. Cederstrom's speech and the announcement of his gift.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Career Day 2012: Everything you need to know about getting a job

The following guest post was written by Monica Patterson, CDS graduate intern.

What does it take to get you up bright and early on a Saturday morning? A giant cup of coffee? The smell of breakfast cooking? How about a Career Day packed with the promise of helpful advice from employers, job search resources, and networking with successful professionals?

That did the trick for everyone who came out to our second annual Career Day earlier this month. Hosted by the CDS team and supported by our Alumni Association, the event prepared Peirce students and alumni for entering the job market and securing next-level opportunities. It was a great day, jam-packed with actionable advice about everything from cover letters to salary negotiations, as well as the chance to practice the skills necessary for career advancement.

Two different workshop tracks were presented to fit the needs of attendees in varying stages of their careers. Track 1 ("From Backpack to Briefcase") was designed for entry-level employees, and Track 2 ("Strategies for the Seasoned") for more experienced candidates seeking to advance their careers.

Here are some of the key topics we covered with our entry-level job seekers, or those transitioning to a new field. Whether you were in attendance at Career Day or not, use this as a checklist to make sure you're prepared to enter the professional world.

College navigation made easy with the help of the GPS team

is here to help you navigate college
How did we survive before the GPS? Without it, it was too easy to find yourself wandering down the wrong road. Then along came the GPS, making it much harder to get lost anymore! Well, now there’s a GPS for your college experience that provides those same benefits -- it tells you where you are and shows you how to get where you want to go.

The GPS (Guided Peirce Services) team is your college tour guide, from day one until the day you graduate. The team is made up of a group of Peirce experts whose job it is to point you in the right direction and make your college experience more manageable.

If you don’t know where to go, GPS is here to tell you. They’re ready to answer your questions or put you where you need to be to get them answered. The GPS team is essentially a one-stop-shop responsible for connecting you with the appropriate person or department who can help to answer any questions you have. Here is a sample of some of the issues they can help you with:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Get a sneak peek into Commencement 2012 with keynote speaker Patricia Coulter

We're thrilled to have Patricia Coulter lined up to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Commencement ceremony on June 11, 2012. Pat is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Philadelphia, a position she has held since 2002, serving as the first woman to lead the organization.

We had the chance to sit down with Pat for a few minutes during her visit to campus last week. Watch the video below to see what she had to say about meeting Peirce students and how she feels about the upcoming Commencement ceremony.

Pat's career has included leadership positions in a variety of corporate and nonprofit organizations. She has also made her mark as a civic leader in the Philadelphia community, serving on various nonprofit boards and associations.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Philadelphia college students celebrate graduation season with Mayor Nutter

On Friday, May 11, 14 Peirce students from the 2012 graduating class joined Mayor Michael Nutter; U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah; City of Philadelphia Chief Education Officer Dr. Lori Shorr; former lead singer of Sister Sledge, Kathy Sledge; and other students and educators from across the region at a citywide graduation celebration.

PEIRCE GRADUATES: Members of the class of 2012
pose with Mayor Michael Nutter during the citywide graduation celebration
The event honored Philadelphians who have earned their college degree and celebrated the city’s focus on education and degree attainment. Among attendees representing Peirce College were Atiya Goldsmith-Irby, the 2012 Commencement Student Speaker, as well as Daria Ward, one of Peirce’s eldest graduates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to get a job from an internship: Avoid these common internship mistakes

INTERNSHIP BLUNDERS: Avoid these mistakes to
increase your chances for getting the full-time job
The fact is, internships can be a crucial part of every job seeker’s resume. Not only can full-time jobs be hard to come by in this economy, but an increasing number of companies are offering internships as a way to see if an applicant will be a good full-time fit down the road. If you are able to snag a coveted internship, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and avoiding some of the most common pitfalls interns can fall into.

Ritika Trikha, of U.S. News & World Report, asked for my perspective for her article about the biggest mistakes interns can make. She shared eight common blunders every intern should avoid if they want to make a positive impression.

Monday, May 14, 2012

ACBSP reaffirms the quality and excellence of Peirce’s business degree programs

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) has reaffirmed our Business Administration degree program accreditation, which we’ve held since 2002. ACBSP also granted accreditation for our new Accounting degree program, one of only seven in the country to receive accreditation separate from the business program.

I’ve talked before about how colleges get accredited and why it’s important to students, alumni, and the entire institution. For a refresher, the ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education programs. The organization promotes continuous improvement and recognizes teaching excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world. The ACBSP has accredited over 330 U.S.-based business programs and over 70 business programs outside the U.S. 

Peirce College is one of just 32 colleges and universities worldwide with a business program accredited by ACBSP at both the associate and baccalaureate levels. This is a testament to our commitment to quality education as well as our efforts to provide superior student support services. Thank you to all who were involved in making this happen -- it takes a true team effort to continue to achieve this recognition.

ACCREDITATION CELEBRATION: Mike Schirmer and Ahmed Omar accept the ACBSP accreditation on behalf of Peirce's Business Administration and Accounting degree programs. Pictured (left to right): Ronald DeYoung, Executive Liaison, ACBSP Staff to the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners; Anthony Negbenebor, Chair-Elect of the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners; Mike Schirmer, Faculty Chair, Business; Ahmed Omar, Program Manager, Accounting; Steve Parscale, Director of Accreditation for the ACBSP.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Secrets of getting the job revealed by Philadelphia employers at Peirce College event

SECRETS TO SUCCESS: Philadelphia employers
share advice for how to land the job
It’s extremely rare that you get to hear from the people who decide what can make or break an interview, or even keep you from ever getting your foot in the door. But those secrets were revealed for all at a recent event hosted by Peirce’s Career Development Services.

Have you ever wondered how to make a great impression on an employer? Or wanted to know why you got passed up for a job that seemed like the perfect match for your skills and experience? What if you’ve been in the same industry for 20 years but are thinking about a career transition -- where do you start?

Employers from across the Philadelphia region answered these questions and more at our recent Human Resources Panel Discussion. We want to arm you with the skills you need to translate your career-related degree into a job. That’s why we brought in the people who can best answer all of your questions about landing the job -- the employers! Here’s who we heard from:

New full-time, morning class schedule allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 4 years

Every student has different learning styles, goals, and schedules that influence the type of degree program that works best for them. That’s why we’re now offering our popular bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in a new daytime program format. The program features a full-time schedule of morning classes that makes it possible for students to complete their bachelor’s degree in four years while still balancing other work, family, and life responsibilities.

The new program is tailored to the needs of students looking to study full time within Peirce’s nontraditional atmosphere, which features a supportive environment, career-related degree programs, and personalized attention. The new, daytime program format allows students, who want to attend college full time and complete their degree in four years, a way to access and benefit from this unique learning environment.

Check out the press release we issued for more details. The program will begin on August 27 at Peirce’s campus in Center City Philadelphia.

If you have any questions about this new program, contact the Admissions Office at 888.467.3472, ext. 9214.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How the benefits of college scholarships can last long after graduation

WELCOME: Peirce President James J. Mergiotti
addresses scholarship recipients and contributors
Keeping education accessible and affordable means making sure every one of our students can earn their degree with as little debt as possible. One way we set our students up for success is by maintaining reasonable tuition rates and providing scholarships that enable students to owe less after they graduate. These scholarships are made possible thanks to many generous contributors. Over the course of the past year, we were able to distribute $2.4 million of institutionally funded aid to Peirce students!

Last week, Peirce’s second annual scholarship reception celebrated that generosity. It was a chance to bring everyone together to honor the achievements of our student scholarship recipients and express gratitude to the contributors who have invested in our students’ futures through the College’s various scholarship programs. 

Peirce President James J. Mergiotti welcomed the attendees, and two student speakers then stepped to the podium to share how their scholarships have helped them fulfill their educational goals.

and Alex Sullivan talk about the benefits of scholarships
One of these students was Sheena Goodman, who is majoring in Healthcare Administration and Management and plans to graduate in 2013. She talked about the impact scholarships have had on her education. As the recipient of last year’s FYI, Alumni, and the Board of Trustees Scholarships, Sheena has been able to take additional classes, use less student loan money, and reduce the debt she’ll have upon graduating.

As she shared with attendees on Tuesday evening, the financial support has allowed Sheena to focus on what’s important: “Now that financing my education isn’t my main concern and I can focus more on my classes, I’ve been able to exceed above and beyond in my studies and center my attention on what’s important … graduating with honors!”

Alex Sullivan also shared his experiences, talking about how receiving the Paralegal degree program scholarship in late 2010 helped him to make the initial financial transition back to school. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Arcadia University in 2009, Alex went on to work in the business world for about two years. But it wasn’t long before he decided to return to school at Peirce to pursue a paralegal certification and realize his dreams of entering the legal profession. He recently completed the courses for his post-bachelor’s certificate and will graduate in June! Looking ahead, Alex plans to put his post-bachelor’s certificate to use in the field of law, and perhaps attend law school.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Countdown to Commencement 2012

Peirce College Commencement 2012 at the Kimmel Center
Countdown to Commencement 2012 has begun! On Monday, June 11, we’ll be returning to The Kimmel Center to celebrate the class of 2012. Here are some highlights and things to remember as you prepare to join the ranks of Peirce College alumni!

Soundtrack to Commencement: This one might sound familiar! For the second year in a row, Peirce students have chosen “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead to be the closing song at Commencement 2012.

Student Speaker: The Commencement Committee is pleased to announce that Atiya Goldsmith-Irby has been selected as the Student Commencement Speaker for this year’s ceremony. Atiya is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management. She is the president of Peirce’s Kappa Nu chapter of Delta Mu Delta, the International Honor Society in Business Administration. She has served as a committee member for the Community College of Philadelphia Alumni Association, where she created a book voucher awards program and established the Goldsmith-Irby Scholarship. Atiya has also volunteered as a committee planning member for the American Heart Association. She and her husband, James Irby, are the proud parents of Malik, Wysem, and Anera. In her spare time, Atiya enjoys listening to music, reading and swimming. We can’t wait to hear from her at Commencement!

Keynote Speaker:
Patricia Coulter, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Philadelphia, will deliver the keynote address. Just last week, she stopped by to get to know some of our students, faculty, and staff. She also took some time to talk with us about her visit and why she’s looking forward to speaking at Commencement 2012 … stay tuned to the blog for a video of our interview with Pat!

Caps and Gowns: Caps and gowns are on sale now through May 18, available through under the My Classes tab, or in the Business Office during Business Office Hours.* The cost for cap, gown, tassel, and hood is $40, with an additional $11 shipping and handling fee if you order online.

*Business Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why LinkedIn matters now more than ever

What is the biggest mistake you can make on your LinkedIn profile? Is it appropriate to connect with someone on LinkedIn if you’ve never met in person? Just like networking offline, networking on LinkedIn has its own etiquette and set of do’s and don’ts. We asked Robb Pardee some of these frequently asked questions, and captured his answers so everyone could benefit from his expertise!

Watch the video below to catch our interview with Robb, who spoke to us before he presented at our recent LinkedIn seminar. He gives his top tips for how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, and dives into why LinkedIn is so crucial to career success, how companies recruit on LinkedIn, and why it is important to every professional -- no matter what field you’re in!

Do you follow these best practices? If you have any other questions for Robb, ask them here in a comment!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Peirce grad’s community service shines in Philadelphia

MAKING AN IMPACT: Peirce alumna Fareeda Mabry
changes lives through community service
“I was a kid when I walked in [to Peirce] and a woman when I walked out.”

That’s according to Fareeda Mabry, a member of the Peirce College class of 2002, who has taken her degree and used it as a tool in pursuing her life’s work of making a tangible impact on her community.

She’s now the Parent and Community Manager for the Family Student Resource Center at Universal Bluford Charter School, one of the Philadelphia-based charter schools sponsored by Universal Companies. Through her work with the Resource Centers, Fareeda puts her passion for community service and her education to work in providing support to students, as well as their parents and guardians, identifying and solving problems before they reach crisis level.

But her impact isn’t just felt in the classroom. She supports the students and families she works with in many ways beyond the academic, offering support in their personal lives. Whether establishing a community food bank at a school, comforting a child whose family member has been shot, or serving parents who have their own issues with illiteracy or unemployment, Fareeda’s work takes a holistic approach to student success.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Advice for transferring your skills to make a career change

Changing careers is one of the biggest reasons adult learners go back to school. But there are more factors that come into play for setting yourself up on a successful new professional path. I talked about a couple of them with Metro reporter Julia West. She shared some of them in her article on tips for making a mid-life career change.

Whether you have a long-held dream or are just starting to explore the options out there for you, it’s important to think carefully about all of the risks and rewards so you make the right choice. Consider some of the fastest-growing industries with the most job opportunities in the coming years, as well as how your current skills will transfer.

And remember to use your support system as you explore new career paths -- friends, family, professors, mentors, the Career Development Services team -- we’re all here to help whether you need professional advice, emotional support, or help best-positioning your experience on your resume and cover letter to translate to your new field.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Resources and highlights from seminar on how to use LinkedIn for career success

A big thank you to everyone who came out to last week’s LinkedIn workshop featuring Robb Pardee, one of the social network’s recommended experts. The two sessions were packed with attendees who asked many great questions about leveraging LinkedIn for career success.

One of the resources Robb shared was a career checklist for leveraging LinkedIn for your job search. He posted the checklist to his website to help attendees keep moving forward on using LinkedIn effectively, so be sure to drop by and download it there if you missed the seminar or left your copy on your chair.

Robb also covered the following:
  • The Value of LinkedIn: why you should use it and what makes it the go-to online platform for professional networking
  • Personal Branding: designing your profile, building credibility, expanding your network, and communicating to your network
  • Job Search: developing your strategy, searching job postings on LinkedIn, identifying potential employers through company search, and joining groups
  • Managing LinkedIn: how to filter all the information through home page settings, LinkedIn tools, RSS feeds, email updates, and third party applications
Stay tuned for more highlights from the workshop. We’ll have a video interview with Robb about the top tips for using LinkedIn to accelerate your career, a video of the full seminar, and additional resources for attendees as well as anyone who missed it!