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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

From RN to RHIT – Meet Sheryl Carter

Health information technicians are in high demand and that is why Peirce’s Health Information Technology (HIT) program is so valuable and marketable in today’s workforce leading it to be this month’s program feature.

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), the HIT program at Peirce is guaranteed to position students for future certifications, degrees and careers. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Check out a Peirce alumna’s story who found success and accomplishment when she enrolled in Peirce’s Health Information Technology program.

A single mother of four children never considered returning to school after moving into domestic violence housing in 2014. But, thanks to the encouragement of her counselor and her desire to achieve a better life for her and her family, Sheryl Carter set out to discover what being a non-traditional student was all about.

Sheryl had earned her associate degree in paralegal studies years prior and had been enrolled in a registered nursing program for a period of time. But, as it does, life got in the way and she never used any of this classroom experience. When Sheryl decided to head back to school, she not only wanted to re-evaluate what degree she would pursue, but also find a school that would accept her transfer credits to allow her to excel through the college process as quickly and efficiently as she possible.

After some research, Sheryl decided Health Information Technology was the perfect match for her due to her passion for the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the first school Sheryl attended dropped the program only after she had been enrolled for a few short months. Luckily, with the help and encouragement of those around her, Sheryl discovered Peirce College and that is where her new journey began.

“I knew I had a deep interest in the healthcare field and at this point in my life I knew I needed to find a program that was CAHIIM accredited, online and flexible so it fit my schedule of being a mom of four. I found all that at Peirce College,” said Sheryl.

During Sheryl’s time in the Health Information Technology program at Peirce College, she was challenged beyond her wildest expectations and wasn’t sure she’d be able to get through at times, but thanks to her support system in and out of the classroom, she found the success she was looking for.

“At Peirce and in the HIT program, I have felt positively challenged by my instructors, so challenged at times I honestly considered giving up, but much to my amazement after the encouragement and time spent with my professors I would earn an A in the class which helped my self-confidence,” explained Sheryl. “It made me feel smart and empowered to keep going.”

And Sheryl certainly kept going, right to the finish line. In December 2017, Sheryl proudly graduated with her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology.

Since Peirce College’s HIT program is CAHIIM accredited, Sheryl was able to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam following graduation. She said thanks to Peirce’s program, she was ready and able to pass this next step in her educational goals. “Peirce College prepared me for the RHIT exam through repetition. In each class I took leading up to my RHIT exam I would see and hear about some of the same material; they were designed to be like building blocks. This helped engrain the material in my mind to be prepared when it was time to test on it.”

To Sheryl’s excitement, she PASSED on the very first attempt and Peirce College was there to reward her with their RHIT Exam Incentive Program. Through this opportunity, eligible Peirce students or alumni are encouraged to take the RHIT or RHIA Exam by offering reimbursement on the exam fee to successful, first-time test takers.

Currently, Sheryl works two jobs, one for the State and one for a Health Information Management department in a local hospital, where she is gaining experience to go alongside her new degree. In addition to this strong work ethic, Sheryl seamlessly transitioned right into Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration program, so Sheryl is still an active student chasing her dreams. Sheryl hopes with her continuous education, new certification and years of experience she will be able work one day for the State Cancer Registry or the Federal Government.

Congratulations to Sheryl on all of her accomplishments so far!

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about Health Information Technology or the RHIT Exam Incentive Program, reach out to me, Dr. Stephanie Donovan at 215.670.9327 or sadonovan@peirce.edu.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Meet The First Ever Peirce College Master of Science In Healthcare Administration Graduate: Hilda Rivera

In 2014, Hilda Rivera started her academic journey with Peirce College in hopes of gaining the degree she needed for the career she deserved. By June of 2016, Hilda proudly accomplished this goal when she earned her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

But her story doesn’t end there – Hilda decided to continue on with her education by looking into earning her master’s degree. Due to her previous experience with Peirce College, the opportunity to earn graduate level credits during her undergraduate experience and because the College was officially launching a master’s program in her field of study, Hilda knew where her next journey would take place. So without any further hesitation, Hilda was the first student to enroll in Peirce’s new Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHCA) program!

Dr. Stephanie Donovan, Professor and Faculty Chair, Health Programs, reflects on Hilda’s decision to transition from bachelor’s to master’s, “Hilda exemplifies the student who enters the undergraduate program with extensive work experience in the field and for whom continuing at the master’s level is a natural progression.”

Fast-forward to June 2018, after balancing work, school and life once again, Hilda was ready and eager to cross the commencement stage once again, but this time Hilda would cross as the first ever graduate of the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program.

After earning two degrees at Peirce College, Hilda reflected back on how she got started with this incredible journey. Hilda said, “I decided to return to school only after my son completed his degree. Being a single parent was difficult and I could not afford to complete my degree because I had to care for him, but education has always been a priority for me. Knowing that I still have over twenty-five years until retirement and working for an organization where there are many opportunities for advancement, I was inspired to go back to school.”

Once inspired and ready to head back to school, Peirce College was a top choice for Hilda not only because of their corporate partnership with her employer, but she was also impressed with Peirce’s unwavering commitment to working adult learners. Adult learners have the complexity of juggling work and family obligations with the added element of returning to school. “My experience was different from a traditional-age student. I focused more in class, managed my time wisely and was able to integrate what I learned in class with my experience at work,” Hilda remarked.

After connecting with Peirce College and learning of the corporate partner tuition discount and the dedication to working adults, Hilda found another piece of Peirce she just could not resist. Peirce’s non-clinical healthcare degrees drew Hilda in as they were a perfect fit with Hilda’s work background. “I chose this degree because healthcare is my passion. My entire career has been in healthcare and, at this point, I would love to retire from my current employer,” explained Hilda, “With a master’s degree, I know that I will have the ability to advance within this field.”

Now, a two-time Peirce graduate, Hilda looks back on her time with Peirce, saying, “Returning to Peirce for my education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Peirce professors and staff were with me all the way.”

In addition to the internal support received, Hilda also is grateful for her financial relief following graduation, “I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees debt-free. At Peirce, I was able to take advantage of the corporate partner discount provided to my employer and was given the opportunity to go on a payment plan for the remainder of my balance per session.”

Since returning to school at Peirce, Hilda has gone from a part-time position to a full-time position and a promotion. She is currently a Senior Concierge in a healthcare organization. Hilda said, “I am in a good place and love my job. My master’s degree has provided me confidence to have the ability to rise when an opportunity comes along.”

We are so very proud of Hilda’s accomplishments and congratulate her on the completion of the MSHCA program.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Funding Your Education With Student Scholarships

Financing a college education can be one of the trickiest parts of heading back to school as a working adult. Luckily, there are college scholarships and grants available to assist students in funding their dreams one degree at a time.

In addition to student scholarships found online through places such as fastweb.com, Peirce College offers a variety of our own scholarships for working adults to apply for and receive.

Over the next few months, I will highlight a small sample of the financial aid scholarship opportunities to spread the news on these incredible offerings, as well as, offer scholarship tips and advice to ensure all students are able to get the most support during their academic journey.

This month, we start off with the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship started in 2017. This reward was created to honor the late Professor Edwin B. Miller and to provide college scholarships to current Peirce Legal Studies students in need of financial assistance. Recently, the first ever recipients of this scholarship were awarded and they were eager to share their insight on the benefits of applying for scholarships, such as this one.

Meet and hear from some of the 2018 Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship winners:

“Applying for scholarships can be intimidating; it definitely was for me. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why would anyone want to invest in a woman my age?’ I soon came to realize, though, the answer to that question is because this woman has a lot to offer, based on age and life experiences, and so do you! The first step is to apply; you will never know unless you try. The cost of education can prove to be expensive, but there are money and opportunities out there to help. I encourage everyone to take that initial step, because we all have a lot to offer, and I'm sure we all could use some financial support. Fill out that application, write that essay, wait with anticipation and feel that relief when you receive the reward.” – Juwaurne Hughes, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Student

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“The best advice that I can give to those considering applying for college is very simple: tell your story. We all have a story about what motivates us to go to school, or in my case, go back to school after fifteen years. Who has helped you to make the decision to go through the long days and sleepless nights? For me, it is my children, and my fiancée, Heather. I talked about going back to school and the regrets I had about not completing my degree and Heather pushed me relentlessly to stop talking about it and do it. Once I started, my children remained behind me, motivating me to show them that if you want something in life, you have to be willing to put in the work to get it. Share these types of stories and open up about your experiences during the scholarship application process!

Another piece of advice is after you have written out your story, let someone read it. It is important to remember that the people who will be making the selection are looking for a well-written and professional looking essay. Let someone whose opinion you trust read it and critique it. Many times they will find grammatical errors or just give you a better way to say what you mean. So use your surrounding resources and take your time! It is worth it in the end.” – Christopher Hinckley, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies Student

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“When I graduated in June 2018 from Peirce College with my associate degree in Criminal Justice, I honestly did not think that I would be able to complete my bachelor’s degree for financial reasons. At first, I was afraid to do anything about my situation, such as apply for scholarships, but the Peirce College staff and faculty recognized that I maintained good grades and had a high GPA, so they introduced me to multiple financial assistance opportunities. To my surprise, after applying to many scholarships, I received not only the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship, but five others to assist with my next educational step.

For those considering applying, do it; never be afraid to be considered for candidacy! You have to take your time and make sure you are giving the committee exactly what they need and state your case for why you are a great candidate. I advise providing recommendations from professors and professional colleagues. Applying for scholarships can result in a large burden being taken off your shoulders during your college career. I cannot thank Peirce College enough for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to earn my bachelor’s degree.” – DeVonte Douglass, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Student

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“As I recently approached my final year at Peirce College for my bachelor’s degree, I was faced with the disappointing news that I only had a limited amount of undergraduate financial aid left. I was scared, sad, frustrated and disappointed; because I was finally so close to reaching my goal of being the first in my family to graduate. Instead of losing hope, though, I persevered and sought out advice from my family, friends and Peirce College advisors for other ways to pay for my tuition and that’s when I was able to obtain the information on several scholarship opportunities. I was lucky enough to receive four scholarships!

I think that it is imperative to apply for scholarships because it is vital to for not only a student’s success during college, but also post-graduation. Attending college is expensive, but rewarding, so that’s exactly why finding, applying for and receiving scholarships are critical steps for any college student. Show eagerness when searching and applying for scholarships as it will show your dedication and passion. Due to my eagerness, my Academic Advisor invested so much of her time to find and assist me with scholarships to make sure I made the most of my opportunities. You can get so much by applying for scholarships; it certainly opened many doors for me.” – Patrina Hope, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies in Business Student

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Study Skills For Success

Developing and maintaining strong study skills is key for academic success during a student’s college experience, especially for working adults who are balancing a family, a career, and school. As Peirce College students continue to tackle the current session, the Walker Center for Academic Excellence wanted to provide some guidance on how to stay ahead, stay prepared and stay on track. Check out the following study tips to keep in mind as you take on your final assignments:

1. Study Smarter, Not Harder! Review class and reading notes within 24 hours of your test to help material move from short-term to long-term memory. In addition to this technique, review class and reading notes on a weekly and cumulative basis, so the material stays fresh and relative in your mind.

2. Plan Your Study Sessions! Schedule study times on a daily and weekly basis, and stick to your study schedule. By committing to a structured time and date, you will find yourself creating a regular routine you will want to stick with.

3. Mark Your Calendar With Your Due Dates! You can use the calendar built into your Canvas account to view assignment due dates in order to keep track of what is due when for all your classes. You can also add your own due dates and study sessions to this calendar to keep a full repository of your upcoming academic requirements.

4. Utilize Support Services! Walker Center staff, tutors and your Academic Advisor can help you with study skills, time management and goal setting. Get to know all of the Peirce staff and faculty who are eager to see you succeed.

5. Enjoy the Journey! Keep your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals in mind as you attend class, study and complete assignments. Always strive for excellence, and find satisfaction in gaining the knowledge and skills you need for success at Peirce and in your career.

In addition to these tips, don’t forget to keep in mind if you are looking to get personalized attention with your schoolwork, reach out to the Walker Center for Academic Excellence to schedule an individual tutoring session. You can also join the team of expert tutors this Saturday, October 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on campus for Study Day. Carve out time to get extra support with your upcoming assignments, papers and even test preparation. Let the Walker Center know you’re coming by contacting them today at 215.670.9251 or wcae@peirce.edu.

Congratulations on making the decision to chase your educational goals and good luck as you continue to get closer to achieving your academic dreams every single day!