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Letter from the Editor

Hello! My name is Miller Huertgen and I am currently a junior at Delaware Valley University. This year, my goal was to find an internship that involved a lot of writing in the media. This is because my hope for after graduation is to write for television or to go into publishing and editing. I was honestly really stressed about finding an internship, especially now in the middle of a pandemic. I ended up asking a few local publishing companies if they were hiring interns, but none of them were because business is so slow right now. But luckily for me, I got offered to be co-editor of a new blog for DelVal by one of my professors, Katie Carnevale! She told me about the blog and her ideas to feature student’s experiences with their internships, research projects and travel abroad trips and I thought it was a great idea. I figured this would be a perfect way to help DelVal recruit incoming students by having current students share their cool internship experiences and even have some helpful articles for all students at DelVal on how to get an internship or job that would suit them best!

When I started this internship, I was a bit nervous because I thought it would only be me and my professor working on everything about the website but I was ready for the challenge that would bring. Even so, Professor Carnevale then told me that this internship would be going hand-in-hand with my Elements of Blogging class (Yes, that’s us in the picture!). I’d have a whole class to help with all the different parts of the blog. So far, the class has been very fun and all the students are so creative and great at coming up with different ideas for the blog. I didn’t have to do this alone after all! We have editorial style classes a lot of the time and are constantly coming up with new ways to improve the blog, even before it officially launched! We still have the better part of a whole semester of this class and lots of time to write articles, interview students and staff and improve the blog. I’m so glad to gain the experience of editing other people’s writing, especially when it’s a whole class full of creative students who are working towards the same goal as me. 

My hope for this blog is to pass it on to students who are younger than me in order for it to keep growing. Even after I graduate from DelVal, I hope it can flourish under the creative minds of writers after me. The Full360 blog will be a really valuable resource for students who are searching for internships or other ways to fulfill their E360 credits. We will be sharing articles about tips and tricks on how to get an internship that suits you, how to navigate the E360 website, interviews with the E360 staff, student-written articles about their experiences, and so much more than that. Aggies share their experiences here to give you the Full360 of how it’s done! Thank you for reading!

Your Editor,

Miller Huertgen

DelVal Experiential Learning Photo Gallery

Compiled & written by Edie Bradley; designed by Miller Huertgen

Student Spotlight: Emily Yatron

Emily Yatron is currently a returning student senior here at Delaware Valley University, getting her second degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Environmental Science. She already has a degree from Kutztown University in Graphic Design and decided to further her education in Landscape Architecture at DelVal. Emily has been here for three years and has done a lot at DelVal when it comes to E360 credits. She has done a Global Studies trip, one internship that counts for credits and two for her own personal experience, and she has also completed the leadership portion of E360 as she is now the president of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). 

Emily describes the Global Field Study she did as a “mini study abroad”. She and the members of the ASLA club went to San Diego for 10 total days to attend an architecture conference that lasted four days and spent the rest of the time sightseeing in an educational way. She said that this trip counted towards the E360 credits that she needed to complete and she also took a semester-long class doing research and writing papers. During the conference, she and her club got to meet other students from different ASLA clubs around the country and gain networking experience in the landscape architecture industry. 

“We got to talk to a lot of professionals and attend really fascinating lectures and conferences,” Emily says. She also said they saw a few botanical gardens in the San Diego area and had some connections to get them private tours, during which they were told all about the different plants they saw and other educational landscape information. She said that the conference part of the trip “was incredibly useful… and great to tell a future employer that I’ve been to the ASLA conference,” as it was able to zero her in on the types of landscape architecture she wants to do in her career. It is such a broad industry, but this conference and Global Field Studies opportunity was very useful for her.

Photo taken at the San Diego Zoo

Emily also has done a few internships while she was a student at DelVal. Only one of them counted as part of her E360 credits and that was an internship at a local landscape architecture firm in Norristown. It was a small firm where she was able to do some graphic design work and some landscaping work alongside her coworkers. She also worked at Burpee Farms during the summer where she was doing a lot of hands-on work with plants and the landscape. 

“It was very physically demanding and I wasn’t prepared for how much work it was going to be,” she said. But she had some of her best experiences there when she was weeding, planting fruits and vegetables and flowers and harvesting them at the end of the season. Emily is currently doing an internship now at Castle Valley Consultants, an engineering firm where she helps design wastewater systems for local areas. She is really enjoying this internship because she is very into sustainability and this opportunity allows her to learn about both the technical side of landscape architecture and environmental sustainability has been a great experience. 

DelVal has a ton of opportunities to fulfill the E360 requirement if you are able to take advantage of your connections and ask the school to work with you and that’s exactly what Emily Yatron did. She had some great experiences that furthered her college career and life goals here at DelVal while also completing required credits to graduate. It’s simple to do both so be like Emily and get the Full360! For more information about pursuing a Global Field Studies or internship opportunity, you can reach out to the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) at cspd@delval.edu

Written by: Miller Huertgen

Nail Every Interview, Every Time

I recently got together with an old colleague and business professional, Jennifer Napierkowski, who is the Assistant Director in Career Services at Northampton Community College. While working with her, I learned about many of the ins and outs of the business world including resumes, interviewing, and networking. 

Together Jennifer and I came up with steps to a successful interview.  

  • Dress for Success
    • Jen and I agreed that you should always dress one notch above what the work environment entails. In other words, dress for the job you want! It is also a good idea to assess how you or others might dress for the position and tailor your interview attire to that. 
    • As an example, an interesting thing I learned from Jen is not to wear dangly earrings because they may be distracting from what you are saying. 
  • Preparation 
    • One of the most important elements to employers while interviewing is enthusiasm for the position and a demonstration of understanding the position and its job descriptions. Jen says, “Applicants should have a clear understanding of the job description and be able to describe how they would be a good fit for the role.” Also be sure to research the company itself. 
  • Body Language
    • This is important right from the start because we begin body language from the initial greeting. 
    • It is important to maintain/make eye-contact as a form of respect but also to show your interviewer that you are listening. Jen mentions that she notices when an interviewee is nervous. The inclination is to keep talking, but Jen suggests that they should take a moment to relax and remember to listen just as much as they speak. 
    • Things to look out for while you are interviewing are increased hand gesturing, filler words, eye contact, and posture.  
  • Asking Good Questions 
    • You should ALWAYS have good questions to ask at the end or even throughout your interview. This is important because it shows your interviewer you are engaged and want the conversation to keep going.  
    • These should not include your general questions about salary. Jen says she is most impressed when the questions are more out of the box. For example, “What do you see as successful characteristics who someone that would fit this position?” This allows you to assess the needs of the employers and create an opening to become the solution for them. 
  • Follow Up
    • After the interview: Reach out to the interviewer(s) either with a handwritten note or email. In this follow up you want to pull a piece of information from your interview or something you talked about to connect your interview to the follow up. This is basically a thank you to the employer for their time and consideration and can set you apart from other applicants.   

These are just some tips and tricks I learned and I hope they can help with your future interviews. Good Luck!

Written By: Hannah Seltzer

Beginning Your Career with an Experience

What is CEE?

As most students at Delaware Valley University know, the Experience360 Program is a highlight of your college experience. The E360 program was created as a way for students to get hands on, real life experience in their field of work. There are multiple different activities that students can choose to complete their required credits. One of the most popular choices is a Career Exploration Experience, or CEE. CEE is not only an internship opportunity, but also a six-week, online class. The purpose of the class is to help students focus on their goals for the experience and for the future. 

According to the Exerpeince360 Program Resource Book “The CEE serves as an introduction to or exploration in the student’s discipline-related field. Each student will establish measurable learning objectives for the CEE at the outset, as well as complete reflective assignments”. The CEE is something I completed twice, and in my opinion, it was a great way to help me focus on field experience and set goals for myself during the experience, as well as for my future. This class is a great way to learn how to market yourself to future employers. In the CEE class, you will learn which soft skills you exhibit best, make a resume, and gain experience within your field of choice. Because the class isn’t academic-focused I feel like it complements the internship and helps you stay motivated to complete your work. 

My Experience: 

I completed my first Career Exploration in the winter of 2020 for two credits. The class lasted for six weeks and had multiple requirements that need to be completed by the end. First, you must set your objectives and write an essay about what you hope to accomplish and learn during your experience. There are also notes that you must read for each week and a discussion board based off of the notes. In total you will complete a total of six discussion boards and twelve responses to other students in the class. You will also be asked to make a resume, which is a great way to get feedback before it sent to employers. For your second essay you will be given a list of suggested essay topics: interview, professional shadow, or professional seminar. I choose to interview my employer, which helped me learn a lot about gaining connections and how to grow in my field. The last essay you need to complete is also your final, which is just a reflection of your experience. The length of the essay is based off the number of credits you took for the course. You will also be required to enter the hours you completed, weekly, which will indicate, at the end of the course, whether or not you met all the requirements to complete your set number of credits. Remember that each credit you take equals a set amount of hours. This is different for each major so make sure you estimate how often you will be working! The last requirement is an evaluation of your experience from your point of view and your employers’ point of view. This will be posted on delval.edu/experiencelink under the Experience tab for you to see how they evaluate you and how you evaluated your experience and your employers. 

For my second Career Exploration, I only had to take one credit in order to fulfill my E360 requirement. The class is still six weeks long, but my essays required less content than my previous two-credit experience. I recommended this class to many of my friends when they began completing their experience. I think it really helped me focus on work because I was constantly checking to make sure my work was done and setting goals for myself really helped me ask specific questions and look for certain answers. 

Resource: 

A great thing about Delaware Valley is the amount of help you can find here. The Center for Student Professional Development is a great place to go to for assistance. When I began looking into E360, I contacted Emmaline Armstrong, the Experience360 Advisor. She answered all of my questions, offered to hold a meeting with me, and was overall helpful while I navigated my way through the experience. I recommend that anyone who has a question or needs some guidance to email her. 

Emmaline.armstrong@delval.edu

https://delval.edu/cspd

Written By: Sydney Paz

E360: Your Future is Now

“Where do you see yourself five years in the future?” I was asked this question a million times my senior year of high school. This is easily the most infuriating question I believe any young person receives in their lives. We can’t see the future and as young adults, we’re still indecisive. But, those five years have come and I’m nowhere near what I thought I’d be doing. I’m where I am because the E360 program got me here.

“The only source of knowledge is experience”. – Albert Einstein. This phrase makes sure that you understand the E360 program is no joke. The E360 program afforded me the opportunity to experience the workplace environment that I would never imagine I’d be involved in during my college years. From day one at DelVal, I was terrified that I would not achieve a good workplace experience because I was a college student. But it is because of that fear that it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had not only a student, but as a person.

I am a Public History major who is currently interning as a tour guide at a museum. I’ve previously done years of contracting and custodial work, as well as worked at a movie theater and beer distributor. All of that has led me to a field in which I am now the teacher in my environment. I’ve been a tour guide for almost a year now and the doors it has opened for me are incredible.

Before I discuss what doors have been opened, I would like to discuss how these doors opened. The whole point of this program is to get you involved and experienced in the workplace environment. Well, the colleagues I have met while working at this place, as well as the customers/visitors have made it more worthwhile. People that have attended my museums and heard my lectures include teachers, professors, tour guides, documentary professionals, and more. With all of these educators in my workplace, I received more knowledge and expertise than originally advertised.

These experiences have afforded me job opportunities, relationships with other professionals in my field, as well as tips and pointers on how to better myself. E360 isn’t just something you have to complete for graduation. It’s something that will help you answer that question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” It affords you the opportunity to experience a field you may or may not have interest in. Once you have that experience, other windows of opportunity may arise and now you’re ready to jump into the next experience.

Written by: Raymond Pacheco Jr.

The New World of A.I.

Writing a resume for an internship or job is a daunting task – regardless of your level of experience and knowledge, the idea of summarizing your credentials onto a single page of paper has inspired thousands of online searches for help. In fact, Google Trends reports a 100% increase in ‘how to make a resume online,’ and a 350% increase in ‘how to make a resume with no work experience’ in just this past year! Just in case that task wasn’t overwhelming enough, people looking for jobs have a whole new obstacle to overcome:

Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Long from being restricted to sci-fi movies, AI and algorithms are making strides in helping employers scour the numerous resumes flooding hiring websites. Computerized Applicant Systems, or ATS, are changing the hiring market – and potentially, not for the better. In brief words, ATS scans resumes and looks for keywords and phrases on the resume. The resume is then given a numerical rating and sorted from there. Some of the ATS systems will forward the resume to hiring personnel, but others can start the interview process themselves! 

So, who is using these high-tech systems? The bigger the company, the greater the chance they are being used. The algorithms are made to aid with narrowing the huge influx of resumes that companies see every day, but without the human element in the equation anymore (excuse the pun), new biases and issues arise. While in theory the algorithms are helping prevent biases and increase diversity, studies are showing that in many cases, they are repeating the biases of the companies – or creating their very own! Algorithms will, on their own, find coincidences that then become biased – such as targeting race or gender based on previous job history and online behavior. These concerns that ATS are creating and amplifying biases in hiring have started to gain political attention. A bill in New York City would force employers to inform applicants that they are using ATS, and companies that sell ATS systems would have to audit their software yearly to clear it of any biased behavior. 

But the algorithms aren’t all bad. “…researchers found that while fair ranking algorithms like FairDet-Greedy are helpful in boosting the number of underrepresented candidates hired..” Awesome! “…their effectiveness is limited by the job contexts in which employers have a preference for particular genders.” Not so awesome. Like so many aspects of job hiring, there’s no single, clear answer. Algorithms are algorithms; judging a human candidate in this manner cannot expect to be a flawless system. 

For now, though, this practice is here to stay. So how do you tackle this when making your resume? It’s simple! The algorithms scan your resume, looking for keywords that the employer has specified. ATS gets confused with fancy fonts, colors, and columns. As boring as it may seem to our eyes, a simplistic black and white resume with a standard font is easier for these systems. They are also looking for the keywords that the employer is after – so when editing your resume, make sure you research the company and adjust accordingly! It’s not a perfect work around – simple wording may help, but these algorithms get confused rather simply, and may toss your resume out for fancy word choice and formatting. It’s an unfortunate and flawed system, but moving ahead with knowledge will help you get one step closer to that dream job!

By: Maggie Driscoll

An Unexpected Opportunity at an Unexpected Time

The year 2020 was like no other. I will never forget March 16th, 2020 when the state of Pennsylvania began to shut down and implement changes that have seemed to last forever. Governor Tom Wolf requested that dine-in facilities be closed indefinitely and instituted a stay at home order, with the exception for essential workers. Not only did this have a negative effect on everyone, but as a server at a local restaurant and this order meant I was out of a job. I was hoping that this crisis would just last a few weeks, but with the weeks to come I realized we may not go back to “normalcy” for a long time. I had to find something to occupy myself with all my free time. 

At the time I only had five semesters left to complete and no internships completed. I kept putting off my internships because I wanted to keep working to make money, but as soon as I was no longer able to work, I decided now is the time to search for an internship. I had no idea where to look and no idea where to start. I first thought to myself “what are my passions”? “What type of career do I want to pursue so that I enjoy what I do for the majority of my life”? Esports and podcasts have been a big part of my life and a company called Preediction did both. The only problem was this company was based out in San Francisco.

I decided to ask my parents specifically my mother about how she landed her internships since she had multiple ones back when she was in college. She went on an hour rant, but one thing that stuck with me is she kept repeating one word over and over again, network. The best way to land an internship opportunity is just to get your name out there. A few hours later that night I decided to hop on Twitter and send a direct message to the company Preediction about possible internship opportunities. Two hours later did I receive a message back asking if we could talk on a zoom call later that week.  

“If your summer internship goal was to improve your industry network and learn more about your area of specialization, look into online networking to meet like-minded people and create space for potential opportunities. Many industries already populate specific online networks, such as scientist groups on Twitter or active web developer forums. These networks will become more important as social distancing measures continue.”  according to an article posted on indeed.com. 

Later that week I was in an interview with Aron Glatzer, the founder of Preediction and he offered me an internship for the spring and summer semester of 2020. I could not believe how just a few days earlier I had no job, no social interaction with others, and nothing on my resume to help me with pursuing my career after college. All of that changed within just a few days and I could not wait to get started. None of this would have ever been possible if it was not for me listening to that advice from my mom, I still never forget that word she kept repeating to me over and over again, network, network, network. 

Works Cited:

Finding internships and internship alternatives during covid-19. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/covid-19-internships

Written By: Eric Hitch

Interviews from the Waist Up

Zoom Interviews; a term that was foreign to my vocabulary less than a year ago is now a phrase that lingers in my mind. How will I nail an interview through a camera? What is the best way to go about this? Can I wear my slippers, will they even notice? As graduation approaches and the fear seeps upon us college students of getting a great job or internship, there are things that are new to us that we now have to take into consideration. How do I ace a Zoom interview?

“It’s less intimidating if you’re in your own space and your own environment.
You’ve got a cup of tea next to you, Hell! They could even be drinking alcohol to calm their nerves and you wouldn’t know it!” Diana Garaitonandia, Assistant Principal at Bensalem High school exclaims when asked her thoughts on Zoom interviews.

Biggest “Don’ts” of Zoom University

I asked Diana Garaitondandia what is something she would consider unprofessional that she has observed as someone who has interviewed through Zoom? She explains, “Number one, there was someone that I interviewed who never turned their camera on. So I thought that was very strange and off as if they were hiding something. Number one would be to please turn your camera on. Number two would be a physical appearance just like you would in person, are they dressed nice?”

Sorry, I Am Breaking Up My Wifi is Slow
As a student who has experienced awkward encounters when my internet lags,
having to repeat myself to the class, I always found this frustrating. What would an
employer think If I broke up mid sentence? When asked, “Would it be a deal breaker if someone had a bad internet connection while being interviewed?” Ms. Garaitonandia answers, “If someone couldn’t make the meeting due to an internet connection issue I would find another way to get a hold of them. I would just pick up the phone and call them,” With this being said it is extremely important to test your internet connection beforehand. Make sure your microphone and camera are working well and do some sound checks. No employer wants to have to repeat themselves due to someone not being prepared.

Dogs Are Welcomed
Out of my own curiosity I asked, “What would you think of someone if their pet
jumped in the background?” She answered with “I actually like it more because it gives me an opportunity to get to know the person. When I am having a meeting at work with the teachers and their kids or dogs jump in, it makes me feel like ‘aww’ and we start having a conversation about their family. I actually prefer it because if it’s someone interacting with their family or kids it would show me what kind of parent or person they are.” Hearing this gave me a bit of peace considering my biggest fear would be my St. Bernard jumping in the background and ruining my chances.

pets zoom call https://app.asana.com/0/1135954362417873/1198905250027175/f Credit: Courtesy Healthy Paws

Feeling Hopeful After that ‘Connection’

After interviewing Ms. Garaitonandia I felt filled with insight and hope. Maybe
my chances aren’t crushed if the inevitable happens living at home. When it boils down to it, it appears the most important thing to an employer is who you are as a person. Though Ms. Garaitonandia expressed that having a clean background and arriving at the interview early is important, the unexpected will not ruin your chances. She explained to me that she had an interview with a student who was very obviously in a Temple University dorm room but he killed the interview because of what he said and based on his expertise. There is hope for the rest of us college students.

Written by: Isabel Gisondi