Experience360 Program: 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 Experience360 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 Delaware Valley University, 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 16, 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. 

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

Traveling Your Way to a Degree

Did you know that Delaware Valley University offers an extensive study abroad program as part of Experience 360 Program? While the program isn’t available to students right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators are hoping to have it back up and running by the 2021-2022 school year. Here at DelVal, we put a ton of emphasis on getting genuine hands-on experience – whether that be work experience in the field you’re studying or making memories with your peers in countries all around the world!

Which Study Abroad opportunities does DelVal offer?

We mostly offer faculty-led trips (meaning a group of students will be led by a few professors or other DelVal faculty members) but there are some other options. DelVal is partnered with multiple international study abroad programs that allow our students to go on trips with students from other participating schools. These programs include School for Field Studies, Operation Wallacea, and Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies, among many others. If you’re looking for a more long-term study abroad experience, we also offer semester exchange programs through Hartpury University and College in England, as well as Artevelde University College in Belgium. The best part is, you can receive up to three E360 credits for your trip and three more for every college course you take during your study abroad experience (with department chair approval, of course)! If the options available when you’re ready to study abroad aren’t your cup of tea, the Study Abroad Office as well as your Department Chair can help you find a trip that is suitable for you and your goals.

Are there any benefits to studying abroad?

An infinite amount! Dr. Jessica McCall, an English Department faculty member, has been on multiple study abroad trips with her students over the years and highly recommends the program to anyone that is interested. 

“We tend to think the world revolves around us even as we claim to know better–traveling and being surrounded by a language and culture you don’t necessarily understand forces awareness of otherwise. I think that’s what E360 is all about. Experiential learning shouldn’t simply be about ‘doing’ things in the physical sense–it should be about having an experience that interacts with who you are, who you want to be, and makes you question and decide if any of that needs to change,”  McCall said.

Not only is it an amazing experience in general but studying abroad opens the door to so many opportunities. You could learn a new language, learn about different cultures, and it can look really impressive to employers when put on a resume (wink, wink). There is no limit to the things you’ll discover and the new friends you’ll make when taking advantage of the study abroad program. It’s an amazing opportunity for anyone at DelVal, regardless of your major or field of work. 

Advice for students who wish to study abroad 

Since Dr. McCall has led so many study abroad trips, including ones to Ecuador, Thailand, Spain, and more, she is full of awesome advice to students that are hoping to study abroad sometime in the future. 

“Pick a trip that looks fun, not one that lines up perfectly with your major. You never know what you’ll learn, but you can trust you’ll learn something. Attitude, community, and experiences are what matter on these trips more than anything. There’s so much to learn in the world and from it and we lessen ourselves when we narrow our focus too much,” she said. 

It’s important to remember that even though certain trips may seem aimed toward specific majors, anyone is welcome to go. These experiences are for everyone! 
If you have any questions about the Study Abroad program here at DelVal, you can email the Study Abroad Office at studyabroad@delval.edu, or visit www.delval.edu/study-abroad for more information. Safe travels!

Written by: Brynn Miller

How To: Get an Internship Without Experience

Internships are a valuable experience but getting one can be competitive. While previous work experience is helpful when getting an internship, it is not mandatory. An internship is an excellent way to gain meaningful knowledge in a professional setting. A student can learn with the guidance of a mentor without committing too much. It gives you a sense of what an entry-level position may be like. This will help you to decide the best fit for your skills and interests. At Delaware Valley University, career exploration is embedded into the curriculum, through The Experience360 Program, where students can intern for credit. I am a junior at Delaware Valley University, and I will soon have to fulfill the requirement. I know many students are in my position right now, and feel as if getting an internship without prior experience is impossible. After interviewing experts and students alike on the topic, I have found some tips on getting an internship with no experience. 

Before the Resume 

It is beneficial to research the company beforehand and begin to create a network. Having a good resume is helpful, but researching is too. Reach out to different people and ask others for advice. Brooke Farber, a student at DelVal, said “I made my resume stand out by including some of my interests at the bottom. However, my resume was not the reason I got my internship.” Farber continued by saying “I called around to many places near where I live back home and talked with someone over the phone/in-person numerous times before I even sent in my resume.” The resume is the last step when applying to an internship, it is helpful to research and create connections before even creating your resume.

Relevant Coursework

Surveys conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers have shown that employers expect competency in “critical thinking/problem solving, teamwork/collaboration, professionalism/work ethic, and oral/written communications”. Critical thinking is a skill that can be applied to almost every career. The good thing about critical thinking is that it can be learned in many different courses. It is helpful to list any courses that ask you to problem solve, research, or analyze data on your resume. Relevant coursework should apply to your internship, as the skills learned can be transferred into the workplace. You can usually see what coursework is best to list by looking at the job description. Employers do not always want to see past experience. You just need to demonstrate that you have competency in critical thinking, and understand how to make your resume stand out from the rest. 

Ways to Make your Resume Stand Out

  1. Extracurricular clubs, organizations, groups, and sports are good ways to demonstrate career readiness. Emmaline Armstrong, an E360 Advisor, says that “extracurricular clubs, organizations, groups, and sports all provide transferable skills that employers are looking for – such as communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving… to name a few. When students are participating within these organizations, it is best to set time to reflect on what skills you have learned and what they want to learn resulting in real-time reflection. This will help when students create their resume and provide examples when it’s time for an interview.”
  1. Volunteering is an excellent addition to your resume, especially when you have no experience. College is a great time to volunteer and there are usually volunteering opportunities in many organizations on campus.
  1. Tailor your resume by using keywords from the job description. This will make your resume stand out.“ Students look at the job description, and highlight any keywords or phrases that show up multiple times and incorporate them into their resume,” said Armstrong. “Say the description says the employer is looking for someone with leadership skills.”Students should reflect on their previous opportunities and think about when they were a leader, and add how they were a leader and how that impacted the organization or team as a bullet under that specific position. Another way to stand out is to make sure the resume is formatted correctly and is easy to read, utilizing bold words–, underline, and use italics strategically.”
  1. Having a student job on campus may be beneficial as it shows work experience. This can show your potential employer that you have practical skills that will aid in the workplace. Farber says that having a student job was very helpful when applying, “I was, and still am, a student tour guide for DelVal and of course I put that on my resume. I think that having that on my resume only benefited me because it showed that I had prior work experience.” I have learned from many different people that having a student job was immensely helpful when applying for an internship or even a job. If you can start finding work experience it will only help you. This of course is not an option for some students, especially during Covid-19, as there are increasingly more remote students. While I don’t think this is applicable to everyone (I myself am a remote student now) if you are able to get a student job, I strongly suggest you do. It will only benefit you, by providing experience and strengthening your resume.

Concluding Thoughts 

It is clear that internships are valuable, and if you are like me, getting one can be tricky if you are lacking experience. After reading this you will have hopefully learned new ways to make your resume stand out and ultimately get an internship. Anyone can get an internship and you should not be discouraged due to a lack of experience. Besides, everyone has to start somewhere!

Written by: Edie Bradley

Creating an Eye-Catching Resume

Scoring an internship is a huge deal – it’s very exciting to learn what it will be like working in your chosen field. Bonus: it also counts towards your credits needed to graduate! Before you get that opportunity though, you need to nail your interview. And before you do that, you need to catch the eye of your possible future employer, which is not achieved by having the same old, boring resume template that almost every other candidate will have. Did you know you can be creative and professional? There are a few extra steps you can make to ensure your resume stands out. You can add color, create a personal logo, and even arrange your information in an unusual but exciting new format.

When it comes to stepping out of the typical black and white box resumes usually fall in, there are multiple ways in which you can brighten yours up. For example, you can add fun colored shapes to the background of your resume like the one below:

scribd.com

The extra colors do not take away from any of the information that Nathalie has on her resume, instead they give it a lot of personality.

Another thing you can do is create a personal logo for yourself. This will usually include your initials and/or something you are known for or really like. You can certainly incorporate some color into it as well! Whatever it takes to make the logo scream you, do it. That being said, don’t go overboard with designs that are too fancy, or else it might not be clear what exactly it is when it’s on your resume. Keep it simple, but let your creativity shine. There are tons and tons of examples of personal logos online, especially on Pinterest, if you need something to jumpstart your brain for ideas. They are also fairly easy to make. If you don’t have access to something like Photoshop or Illustrator, you can use the free website canva.com to create a logo. Here are some examples below:

The final thing you can do to add some pizzazz to your resume is organize your information in a fun way. The possibilities are endless here! You can use graphs as a measure of your skills in certain areas, charts to lay them all out, anything you can imagine! A professor here at Delaware Valley University even has a timeline on his resume that explains where he worked and when/how long he had that job. There is so much you can do when it comes to getting creative with how your information is presented.

You don’t have to have the standard boring resume. If you want a better chance at potential employers reaching out to you, you have to be different from everyone else! One of the best and easiest ways to do that is by creating a fun, eye-catching resume that will stand out to those reviewing them. These are only a few methods of sprucing your resume up, but there are a million and one other ways to do it too! Feel free to look for more inspiration online too, as there are thousands of creative resume examples right on Google. Good luck!

Written by: Brynn Miller

From One Transfer Student to Another: A 3-Step Checklist to the Experience 360 Program

I was about to enter my very first semester at Delaware Valley University, and my future at this school seemed almost too clear. After transferring from another four-year institution at the end of my first year of college, I was starting here as a sophomore. I felt prepared because my fall class schedule was created for me, I had already gotten in touch with my academic advisor, and my transfer coordinators worked hard to make me feel ready to start. I felt like I was set! Or, so I thought. Flash forward a semester and it was time to take on the intimidating task of choosing classes on my own and crossing my fingers that I was choosing the right ones. Looking through “My Progress” on the MyDelVal app hub, I shrugged and skipped over the Experience 360 Program section and requirements, hoping that if I ignored it long enough, it might go away. “A matter for another time,” I would reassure myself. 

Knowing what I know now, I am glad that I finally grasped a deep-enough understanding of DelVal’s E360 program to fully appreciate the incredible potential that it holds. However, being a transfer student, it took a long time and a ton of research to truly see the benefits in this program. 

Step 1: Start your E360 Research ASAP!

The first step is a crucial one. Do not wait to start your research about E360! I made this mistake, and it definitely caught up to me. There is an entire section of DelVal’s website dedicated to this program and it is filled with very useful information. The first tab that I would recommend visiting is the one labeled, “How does E360 work?” which gives a brief introduction to the program as a whole. 

You can also access information such as a list of E360 employers, activities, FAQ’s, and E360 requirements by major. Here, you can choose your specific major from the list, which brings you to a clear description of exactly which options you have in completing the activities. There will be different activities listed between Groups A and B, and for more information, click here. The sooner you have a basic understanding of E360 (because most likely, the school you transferred from did not offer or require the program), the sooner you can begin brainstorming the layout of your remaining years at DelVal.

Step 2: Register for a DelVal Experience Class!

The second step in the checklist is very easy to let slip by. Be sure to register for a DelVal Experience class as soon as possible! One of your E360 credits will be completed through taking the Introduction to Experiential Learning (EX-9900) course or DelVal Experience II (FY-9901). Since your first semester after transferring to DelVal is planned for you, it is typical to just stick with the courses in which you were registered. I was not initially registered for it, nor was I truly aware of this course requirement, so I waited to take it until my third year.  The course is far more helpful to take as a freshman or sophomore transfer, as opposed to as an upperclassmen, because the skills learned, such as resume building, are more helpful to know earlier. 

Step 3: Make sure to check your credits!

The final step in the checklist is to make sure you have enough credits for different options in the E360 program. In order to complete an Academic Career Exploration Experience, the requirement is that you must have a minimum of 27 credits completed, with at least 15 of those credits at DelVal. For an internship, you must have 45 credits, 15 of those credits completed at DelVal. While it is true that DelVal is known for their flexibility in accepting transfer credits, it’s very important to be aware of how many of your credits are from your previous school, and how many more you may need from DelVal to participate in these activities.

While transferring to a new school can be an overwhelming process, I strongly recommend following this 3-Step Checklist as soon as possible. Having more awareness about the E360 program will ensure a more enjoyable and smooth process during your remaining years at DelVal!

Written by: Meghan Smith

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