Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ready to Start or Advance Your Career? Meet Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services!

“Adult learners are among my favorite people: I love working with individuals who are figuring out their career paths – especially when they are ready to add a new degree to their resumes or transition from one career to another – and I am always eager to develop resources that support adults in taking steps toward success. “ –Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services

Director of Peirce College Career Development ServicesPeirce’s Career Development Services (CDS) Center is your go-to place for starting your job search process and the career that best fits you. CDS offers many opportunities for students to prep for interviews, build their resumes and cover letters, cultivate work-related skills, and so much more.

Our Director of Career Development Services, Sharon Thompsonowak, recently joined the Peirce team in November 2016 after spending many years working in education, fundraising, nonprofit management, economic development and workforce development. We spoke with Sharon a bit about her inspiration and her advice for utilizing CDS to further your future career.

What inspired you to want to be involved in career services?
Research shows that college degree holders still earn more money over their lifetimes than people with only a high school diploma. This coupled with the fact that many hiring managers list soft skills (like communication, time management, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution) as the qualifications they value most in their candidates, made me want to get involved with career services.  In CDS, we create programs and resources that help Peirce students and alumni not only build these essential skills but also learn how to leverage them along with their college credentials. Your career should provide a return on your educational investment, and CDS provides support in making sure that you have the tools you need to maximize this return.

Do you have any advice for people who are ready to move their careers to the next level?
Whether you are looking for a new job or a promotion, get started now. It’s never too early to update your resume, inventory your workplace accomplishments, or get the word out that you are ready for your next opportunity.  CDS can help you practice telling your professional story so that you feel confident in presenting your skills and accomplishments as the best fit for a potential employer. And if you’re ready for a change but you’re not sure exactly what’s next, CDS has many resources that will help you identify options.

Additionally, spring is a great time to look for a new job! Many hiring managers post job openings starting in January, and the applicant pools generally become less competitive starting in February. Upcoming CDS workshops will help you take advantage of these opportunities: we’re offering webinars about online interviewing and the federal job application process, as well as sessions on emotional intelligence and the etiquette of business lunches. Our 7th annual Women in Leadership panel event on March 15 is open to all students and alumni, and provides a great opportunity to network with executives and other women from across the region.

Thank you, Sharon! The first CDS workshop is tomorrow, January 25th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Join the CDS Team for Part 1 of a two-part series called, Emotional Intelligence, where you can learn how to recognize feelings, motivate yourself, and manage emotions in yourself and your relationships to make all the difference in your professional life. To learn more and to RSVP, go to peirceCDS.eventbrite.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

MLK Day of Service

“Service,” Marian Wright Edelman once said, “is the rent we pay for being.” On Monday, January 16, more than 30 Peirce volunteers—students, alumni, family and friends of the College—met at our sister school, Thomas May Peirce Elementary, to render our service in honor of the Martin Luther King Day of Service. 

Now in its 23rd year, MLK Day is a national, annual event where volunteers lend their time, talent, and treasure, to organizations in need of additional supports. This year, our energetic group rolled up its proverbial sleeves and helped TMP by decluttering spaces, relocating the nurse’s office to the first floor for easier student access, and painting motivational words and pictures on the walls to create an even more welcoming learning environment.

Our Peirce volunteers were not alone! Community members including Greg Thomas (pictured) joined in the action! This was Greg’s very first time participating in the MLK Day of Service. He shared with us that he was pleasantly surprised with the turnout of volunteers: “I expected more adults than children, but I am impressed that so many children are here to participate. I am encouraged to continue doing this next year.”

In addition to his deep connection with Peirce Elementary, Greg also has a deep tie to Peirce! More than thirty-five years ago – in 1981, his high school coach, a former Peirce employee, afforded him the opportunity to take on a short-term custodian job at Peirce so that Greg could raise enough funds to apply to college. Thomas is now a 3rd grade teacher at TMP and inspires students with his energy, passion, and an incredible work ethic.

One of Peirce College’s priorities is to ensure we are lifting and supporting our communities. This is part of an evolving social responsibility platform aligned with our mission. Look out for future announcements about this work as well as other opportunities to support us with your own time, talent and treasure. Can’t wait? Join us now by investing in our mission!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Meet Our New Director of Undergraduate Admissions - Shawn Gauthney

Shawn Gauthney shows applicants how to apply to collegePeirce College is an ever-growing family, and in September we were lucky enough to add a new member to the Admissions team: our new Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Shawn Gauthney. We sat down with Shawn to better understand him and why he came to Peirce College.

Q: Shawn, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have worked in higher education for almost ten years in various roles, including my current role as Director of Admissions. I am a father of 3 children, one who is a student here at Peirce, a 13 year old and a 1 year old. I love working with adult learners and with the students Peirce serves; though life is often a lot more challenging for them, the reward of completion is that much sweeter when they reach their goals.

Q:  How long have you been the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and what important things have you learned so far?
I have been the Director here for 4 months and it has truly been great! The school, my team, my boss and my colleagues have made this transition amazing. As far as important things that I have learned, thus far, I would have to say teamwork. In order for us to truly be successful here at Peirce, we all have to work together as a team. We are ALL a part of our students’ success and we touch their lives in different ways. When working together it becomes much easier for the student to share in the vision.

Q: What's your favorite part about working with adult learners?
Honestly, it would have to be helping them with overcoming their challenges. Adult students have a host of life challenges that can impede their progress and in order for them to walk across the stage at graduation, they have to balance not only class, homework, teachers and books, but children, bills, relationships, jobs, etc. It becomes a real juggling act and the ones who are able to achieve this feat – it is something amazing to see.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is debating about whether or not to go back to school, what would you say?
I would say to stop debating and do it. No matter what it is that you are weighing in your process it never really goes away. There will always be things to think about or overcome in regard to starting the process, even fear, but the rewards of hanging your degree on your wall are without compare.

Thank you, Shawn! For more information on how to apply and how to finally get that degree to hang on your wall, call 215.670.9000 to speak with an enrollment specialist today.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Resolution to Keep Your Resolutions

Happy New Year!!

With the arrival of 2017, the thought of fresh starts, new beginnings, and resolutions begin to cross our minds. New Year’s brings a time of reflection, self-evaluation, and opportunity. But, as strong as our self-reflection may be in the month of January, we tend to lose track of all the effort we put towards bettering ourselves as the year goes on.

According to Statistic Brain, only 8% (!) of people successfully achieve their resolution each year. At Peirce College, we want to help encourage you to be your best self every day, no matter what month it is. Below are some tips on how to keep those resolutions going year-round from Meryl Silver, an Academic Advisor in our Walker Center for Academic Excellence.

1. Keep it Simple and Real!! 
Review the various areas of your life and think about what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t pick the same resolutions that you can never seem to keep. Pick something small and achievable that you know needs improvement rather than radical change. Choose carefully and concentrate on resolutions that will have the greatest impact on your fulfillment. For example, setting up two study sessions/tutoring appointments for specific hours each week to focus on your coursework will obviously improve your grades – but it’ll also give you a sense of pride and personal happiness!

2. Use a buddy system!!
Tell a friend, family member or classmate whom you trust about your resolution. This buddy will be able to support you and check back with you on your goal. If you begin to waver, their support will help keep you from giving up, just in case you feel like quitting. If the two of you are striving for similar goals, you’ll be helping each other through the same experiences and concerns. In fact, you’ll be boosting each others’ resolutions! Have a weekly “check in” with your buddy and report to each other what you’ve accomplished in that time. You’ll feel focused and more successful.

3. Say it loud and proud!!
Be sure to use positive language rather than being negative when thinking of your resolutions. For example, rather than thinking “I can’t be bothered with studying tonight,” think “I always feel so much better after I’ve set aside time and completed some studying to stay on top of my classwork.” Highlight the benefit to you; this is motivating and stops you from focusing on the negative for not doing as expected. 

4. Set a weekly power time!!
Mark your calendar! You can help your own success by setting aside a half an hour every Sunday evening. Use the half hour to “map” out your week ahead and to re-affirm your goal (for example, keeping up with your math homework). Look back at the previous week and recognize your small successes (such as scoring high on your math quiz that week since you were so prepared!). Look at the week ahead to know what you need to do and when.

5. Celebrate!!
Be sure to celebrate your successes – even small ones. Just be sure that your celebration doesn’t interfere with the steps toward your goal. Now, keep going! You’ve done well by “breaking it down” to small, attainable, realistic goals. Extend the timeline of your resolution and continue to work it into your everyday routine. Stay positive with each challenge ahead!

We wish you a safe and healthy journey through 2017. May it be the greatest year ever!