I never would have thought that I would actually be thankful for the requirement of a fifth year in college. However, if I had graduated in four years, like most other students do, I would not have had the opportunity to do an internship. In just the past few months I have realized how important an internship truly is.
Up until around December of 2016 I didn’t think an internship was that crucial to my career. I realized that I didn’t have a lot of work experience and while I was actively involved on campus, that wouldn’t be enough to make me stand out to future employers. I decided that I should look for an internship to better prepare myself for a job outside of college, and I also knew it would look good on my resume.
While scrolling on Facebook I came across a posting from a girl that went to West Chester University. She stated that her employer was looking for an intern for the next semester. I immediately messaged her and got a little more information about the company and the position. I also did some research of my own. The more I looked into ESMS the more I fell in love with the company. Cynthia is involved with so many different causes outside of the business itself. I really liked that, and I liked the fact that I would get to learn more about the Chester County area. I thought a home-based company would be very beneficial for an internship because of the opportunity for one-on-one time.
I have learned an invaluable amount from just a few short months with ESMS. The opportunity to be involved with different causes for and outside of the company has also been very exciting. Working for a home-based company has been so beneficial and rewarding. I don’t think that a corporate job would have had nearly the same impact as ESMS has had on me.
I feel overall so much more prepared and confident than I did when I first arrived at ESMS. I have learned skills that I never thought I would have, but ones that will certainly help me in day-to-day life. Having an internship has put me one step above other students that have not had the same opportunity. I know now that when I begin to search for jobs upon graduating I will be more qualified than I would’ve been without an internship. Employers love to see internships on resumes because not only are they a great and valuable experience, but also they show that a student has gone above and beyond.
As my time at West Chester University has gone on it seems that more and more students are starting to realize the importance of internships. Upperclassmen typically are more interested in looking for internships than underclassman. However, I actually wish that I had begun looking during my junior or even sophomore year. I don’t think you can ever have enough experience before entering the search for a professional career. The earlier you start to look for an internship the more opportunities you will come across and the more knowledge you will gain.
While I do think a lot of it depends on your major as far as the drive to get an internship, I believe all students can benefit. I have noticed that a lot of students in the marketing department look for internships just simply to make them stand out from other applicants. In some cases with other majors, internships are almost a requirement depending on the specific field you are trying to get into.
I encourage everyone to think about pursuing an internship. There are a lot of different options for internships. Not all internships are non-paid coffee runners. However, it is important to talk to current employees and interns at the company you are considering so that you can better understand what the position entails.
At West Chester University you can even take an internship for credits, even if it is paid.Many different companies offer them as well. Anywhere from a small home-based company, to a billion dollar corporate business might offer internships. It is important to do a little research and find where you might fit. So whether you want it simply for the experience, to earn credits, or for the money, consider an internship.
**If you are a student at West Chester University consider using the Ram Career Network to look for your next internship, best of luck!
This week at ESMS, we were asked to find an article in the Harvard Business Review that we could relate to our time here as interns, as well as our personal lives. I chose an article titled Managing Yourself: An Antidote to Incivility. What drove me to this article was the fact that I could use what was discussed in the article in my work life and in my personal life. It is important to work on improving yourself and focusing on personal happiness in order to bring positivity and mutual respect to any situation that life may throw at you.
This article mentioned that it is key to focus on personal growth, specifically by learning to thrive “cognitively” and “affectively”. By achieving these goals, you grow to be a more productive and positive person. Feeling healthy, excited, and productive is key to feeling happy and content at work and in life.
Thriving cognitively includes expanding learning opportunities and challenging yourself. This article mentioned that by working closely with a mentor can help keep the brain working by having someone to consistently increase their productivity. Luckily, here at ESMS, we are such a tight- knit team that Cynthia is here to mentor us every day. She is always there to help us and give us new projects that keep us thinking and challenging us in ways that allow the use of our creativity. This use of creativity leads to productivity and makes us feel like an important part of the ESMS team. The article also focused on the importance of thriving affectively.
Thriving affectively is the focus of making healthy lifestyle choices that impact your state of mind which leads to positive attitudes in the workplace. The article mentioned the importance of the combination of a sufficient night’s sleep, exercise, and healthy eating. Lack of sleep can increase “your susceptibility to distraction and robs you of self-control”. It is important to be focused in the work place and the amount of sleep you get can have a huge impact on how productive you are. Exercise was also mentioned as in important factor in thriving affectively. It is proven to increase “cognitive firepower and mood”. This combined with eating healthy leads to more energy and a better feeling about tasks you complete. Here at ESMS we are all gym goers and try to focus on healthy eating that lead to a productive and up beat work environment. We take the time to take care of ourselves, which reflects positively on us as individuals, but also as the company as a whole.
The tips on managing stress and making an enjoyable work environment are useful in my life today, and will also be extremely helpful in the future when I enter the workforce. I am grateful that the ESMS team is so close-knit that working on thriving cognitively and affectively comes easily. This article had many great tips on being a more productive employee and more positive person which can be useful in the workplace and even everyday situations. Thriving cognitively and affectively are an important aspect that can be explored and applied to anyone in the work field.
On Wednesday, June 29, the ESMS team presented Abigail Kosic with the 2016 Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship, which is awarded every year to a graduating high school senior in the Chester County area.
On September 14, 1984, Stephen was playing in a soccer game when he was suddenly struck by lightning; the Ericson family was blessed to have him for another five days until his passing on September 19, 1984.
This story didn’t just hit local news – people around the globe heard about Stephen because his accident was so unusual. So many were affected by his story and people from all over began to reach out to the Ericson family expressing condolences, and even inquired about donating in his honor and memory. It was at this moment that Stephen’s parents, Laura & Joseph Ericson, decided to create the scholarship, with the first award given in May 1985. The goal of the Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship is to help a student with their first year of college or trade school. The scholarship has grown throughout the years, with this year’s amount at $2,000! Since 1985, the scholarship has been awarded to 37 students ranging from the West Chester Christian School (1985-2012) and Henderson High School (2012 to present). Students went on to attend colleges such as Bob Jones University, West Chester University, Clearwater Christian College, and more. The scholarship is a way of directly helping a student achieve their, post high school, education and to be inspired to give back and have a life long heart for helping others and their community.
It was a great experience to witness Abigail and her family being given the scholarship award. This was also the first recipient that has had a personal connection through the Roslyn Swim Club. The Ericson family were members of the Roslyn Swim Club beginning in 1962 and Abigail and her family are current members. It was at Roslyn that Abigail heard of Stephen, through Jeff Bott – Stephen’s best friend. I thought it was so cool to see the connection with Stephen as his award was being presented to Abigail! Hearing stories about Stephen’s life made me feel like I really knew Stephen personally. I know that this award will help Abigail as she embarks on this new journey in life, beginning her college career at Wingate University.
One takeaway I got from this experience was the importance of appreciating all you have in this very moment. Life is truly precious, and Stephen’s story just shows how one moment can change everything. I also think as individuals, we should strive to be more like Stephen: gentle, kind, and loving. With so much craziness in the world, sometimes we forget to simply just be kind. I learned a lot from Stephen’s story, and it was amazing to see him impact another person’s life today. Stephen Chandler Ericson continues to live on.
I attended my first Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club meeting at 7am on Wednesday, June 29th at the Centerstone West Chester Inn. Everyone was very welcoming and I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of interesting people!
We sat at a table with John, whose first day of retirement was the following day. It was an eye opening experience sitting at a table with someone who was ending their career, while Caroline and I are just about to begin ours.
Also at our table was Gwenn, a retired district justice, who used to work on cases involving many West Chester University students. She began a program with the concept of Restorative Justice called Young Adult Community Conferencing (YACC). This program allows offenders to come face to face with those who were victimized and allows them to understand how their actions have impacted others. The program allows offenders and victims to make amends as the victim sees how their mistakes have affected the community. Many offenders are able to pay off their fines through community service while becoming a more productive citizen. YACC has allowed many students to make up for their mistakes by making amends and giving back, rather than having a record that follows them through life. Gwenn has made an extremely large impact on the West Chester community and I was very happy she shared her accomplishments with me!
Another member of the club, Roger, recently had brain surgery and the sense of community was easily felt as everyone wished him a safe and speedy recovery throughout the meeting.
We were treated to a delicious breakfast as we listened to the guest speaker, Ron Godol, talk about his diamond importing business and local store located right in West Chester. He gave us his back story on how he got involved in the diamond industry and how recent regulations have impacted importers. He started his career in Israel, with an engineering degree and working in the Air Force. He later came to America to work with is cousin’s diamond business and traveled all around the United States. A few months later he was offered a job in the diamond importing industry and has been very successful ever since! He now owns BIG Diamond Importers and Fine Jewelry in West Chester.
I had a great time and learned a lot while talking to some very interesting people!
On Friday, May 6, the ESMS team visited the Westtown-East Goshen Police Station. We had the opportunity to get an inside look at the station and see what goes on behind the scenes. The entire experience was very cool, because we got to see things up close that most people only just hear about! For example, the interns had the chance to not only see the holding cells, but we actually got to go inside them. We also were shown the belts officers wear on a daily basis, and the different tools they use on the belt. Just picking up a belt was difficult because of the weight – I can’t even imagine running around or being on the go, let alone just wearing one.
I think my favorite part of the tour was seeing the inside of a police car, and experiencing just how small the backseat is! I’m a pretty small person, and even I felt crammed being in the backseat – they definitely aren’t designed for anyone’s comfort! All the technology that is available in the vehicles is truly amazing – the police cars are essentially like offices on the go!
All in all, this experience was extremely informational and fun. Thank you Westtown-East Goshen Police for allowing us to visit your station, and most importantly for your committed service to our community!
Every month here at ESMS, we participate in a program called Badges & Bagels where we bring bagels to the officers at The Westtown-East Goshen Police Station. Last week, we were welcomed inside to get a full tour and meet some of the officers. While there I really had a chance to appreciate what these officers do for our community and learned a lot along the way!
Everyone that we met was very welcoming and happy to tell us about their experiences while in the field. They walked us through what was involved in the booking process when a suspect is arrested. We sat inside of a police car, viewed the holding cells, and learned about the entire process of meeting bail and going in front of a judge. There are numerous safety precautions that officers follow for the suspect’s safety along with their own. One part of the tour that I enjoyed the most, was when they went through the amount of gear they had to wear while on duty. Ranging from a bullet proof vest, to firearms, to pepper spray, to handcuffs, these officers have to carry these around all day. Altogether, the gear they have to wear weighs around 35 pounds! Overall, the experience was very informative and gave me a new perspective and appreciation for the officers that risk their safety for us to live and feel comfortable!
My way of giving back to the community was by helping three of my close friends. I didn’t really have to go out of my way, as I would have done these acts of kindness anyway, were it not for this ESMS challenge. Two of my friends struggle with anxiety, and they have a hard time balancing school work. I helped my one friend completely re-organize and clean out her room, create and prioritize lists of things to be done, and also help her schedule her school assignments. She has a hard time staying organized, and I really do love helping her because it makes me feel good when she feels stable.
My other friend who struggles with anxiety needed help with his Italian homework. I excelled in my Italian courses, so I had no problem sitting with him and helping him through his writing assignments. All he needed was a little push to get his thoughts down on paper. He is always extremely grateful for my assistance, and I know he values our friendship.
Lastly, a friend of mine was struggling with how to search for a job once she graduates in May. I went over her resume with her, helped her access the WCU Ram Career Network, and also showed her how to use an app called “Jobr.” All these resources will help her land interviews and ultimately a full-time job.
I love watching my friends succeed, and I am proud to be a part of their journey. I feel like I really made a difference in their lives, and our friendships are stronger because of my outreach. I know my friends would help me if I needed them, but I would do anything for them regardless.
A month ago we were given a challenge to “Pay it Forward” which is doing an act of kindness. I chose 3 friends and helped them by giving my time and being a great friend when it was needed. I helped two friends prepare for their job search by helping them develop their resume as well as mentoring them through the process of creating a LinkedIn profile. Lastly, I helped a friend who has little time by simply using my extra time throughout the day to pick up his dirty clothes, wash, dry, fold and return his clean clothes back to him! Although, they are all close individuals to me, rather than a complete stranger, I was able to see how my act of kindness impacted their life. The immense gratitude I received from each person is what makes me want to continue to use my extra time in ways that will be beneficial to other people.
Honestly, I feel like these acts of kindness were hardly acts of kindness. To me, I felt like these were moral choices; I really believe my parents raised me to always consider how other people would feel, and to always help others. Although, it was nice to really put these actions into perspective by writing them out, it really made me appreciate how my parents raised me. I really hope when I have kids and raise them, they too embrace the same morals and values.
For the past month, I’ve been volunteering at The Solana Willistown, which is an assisted living community in West Chester. On a typical day when I’m there, I call out the numbers for bingo, play board games with the residents, or just sit and spend time with them. The day prior to being assigned the ESMS Pay it Forward Challenge, I had actually thought about reaching out to nursing homes in the area to see if I could volunteer. So when this challenge was assigned to the interns, I knew I was destined to follow through and find a volunteer opportunity! The second I walked through the door of The Solana, I immediately felt welcomed.
I think what makes this experience so special to me is knowing I’m impacting peoples’ lives, even if just in a small way. In the many hours I’ve spent at The Solana, I’ve already become someone the residents look forward to seeing each week. Being with the residents truly lifts my spirits and improves my week entirely. I love knowing I’m brightening peoples’ days, and I know this is something I want to continue doing for a long time!
About a month ago Cynthia talked with us about the importance of being generous and give back to others that may be struggling. She asked us to really give time to someone who may need a little extra advice or help. While I think of myself as a kindhearted person, ready to help anyone who may need it, I really thought about how much difference giving someone time could be.
Living with roommates can be difficult at times, especially when sharing a room with someone who has excessive anxiety. My roommate has be struggling with trying to manage her anxiety issues for a while, especially when it comes to school work. As an early education major, she is constantly making time intensive projects and lesson plans for her students. While I have always been there to give her pep talks when she was feeling nervous about an assignment or stressing over how she performed that day, it occurred to me that I have not given her my time to actually help make her projects. For the past month I have helped her make her poster presentations that she teaches to her students. It cut back on the work that she had to do and it drastically cut back on her stress levels. Not only did it help my roommate feel more relaxed about getting her work done, it also was a fun bonding experience that we haven’t shared before. The stress levels in the apartment went down, we grew closer as friends, I felt great helping her out, and she felt more relaxed and less anxious about her school work.
Giving someone your time can have such a huge impact on someone’s life. It’s important to be kind to others and to remember that giving back can be very rewarding!
Cynthia took the time to review an income budget to prepare us for post-graduation life. This especially pertained to me, as I will be graduating in less than 2 months! We estimated an annual income for an entry level position, $35,000, as well as the expenses monthly/annually for living on our own with roommates. After deciphering how much we would spend on rent, insurance, groceries, phone bill, etc., the income versus expenses almost broke even! We also took into consideration tax deductions and 401k contribution. On top of the annual expenses, I will also have a good amount in student loans to pay off! I don’t want to accumulate too much interest, so I hope to pay off my loans as soon as I can. My loans will set me back in saving my income for a year or two, but if I live at home, it would greatly help me!
Going over this mock budget really opened my eyes to what kind of money I will be spending when I am out in the real world living on my own. A starting income of $35,000 seems like a lot to me right now because I don’t have any money, but when I will have to pay for the expenses of living on my own, it will be barely enough to get me by! I have been planning on living at home for a year or so when I graduate to save money, but now I am considering staying with my parents for as many years as I can.
It is a scary thought to think that almost all of the money I will be making in a year will be completely spent on absolute necessities. I always thought that once I graduated and got a job, I would be rolling in the dough, making thousands of dollars. Now I realize I have to be mindful about saving money and be conscious of what I am spending my money on. By living at home I could probably save about half of my income annually, which will give me a good cushion for when I move out and have several other expenses to take care of. I hope to save as much money as I can in the first few years post-grad, because as Cynthia said, I will never have the opportunity to save money this easily again in my life! Right now I have the blessing of being able to live back at home, and I am going to take full advantage of that.
For years now I have been creating Excel spreadsheets tracking my income and spending. I like to see how much I make and spend monthly and annually, so that I know if I should be cutting back on spending or increasing my saving. Once I graduate, I will definitely create a budget just as Cynthia showed, since I will have a greater income and expenses to work with. Budgeting keeps you mindful of where your money is going, and helps you prioritize and realize what is more important when spending money.
As a junior in college the last thing that comes to my mind is where I will be after I graduate. As my internship is coming to a close, and graduation is right around the corner for the other intern, it is becoming more eye opening as to what I should do to prepare myself for after college. It is exciting and alarming that a year from now, I too, will be starting my professional job search!
Today, we were given a lecture on budget analysis and what our possible living situation and salary may be like with our first job. I have come to realize that a starting job may only pay around $35,000 a year; to me if I were to live on my own after graduating, this would leave me with little extra spending money. I know money is always a factor in what job a person chooses, as well as security in someone’s living situation. Now I realize when it is my time to begin my job search I want to make sure I find a job that will provide a comfortable salary. This also has altered my vision of living on my own right away; I have come to realize that there is no harm in moving back home. Although, it will be a tough transformation from total freedom at college, to back to living under my parent’s roof, I will have the ability to save my money while starting my first year in a big girl job.
After this lecture I am starting to see what life outside of college will be like. Although, it was alarming to see where I could possibly stand in the financial world, I have time to begin planning what my future will look like. Hopefully, this time next year I will be set up in my career and excited to start my financial journey!
Although it seems so far away, in a little less than a year I will be graduating and entering the “real world.” While I am very eager and excited to make that transition, there are many factors that do not make the process easy.
For the last 20 years of my life I have lived under the safety net of my parents. I never had to worry about any financial obligations. I have not been exposed to paying my own bills or paying rent, and all of that will quickly be changing.
My hometown is Cape May, NJ. In my opinion it is the most beautiful place in the world. Unfortunately, because of the size of it and the type of environment it is, there are not many opportunities to have a career or be successful in the marketing field. That being said, the odds of me moving back home after college are very slim. I will need to be in an area where I will be exposed to a plethora of opportunities.
From a financial standpoint this is very difficult. I will not have the comfort of being able to live at home and not having to pay rent. If I were to get a job paying $35,000 dollars a year, I may not have enough money to support myself unless I get roommates and depending upon where I live perhaps a few roommates. Luckily, I know my parents will always be there to help me!
With the college years quickly wrapping up and the real world being just around the corner, we really have to start considering what happens when we are no longer under the economic comfort of mom and dad. Here at ESMS, Cynthia has brought to our attention that this time of freedom and carefree living is coming to an end when we take the walk to collect our diplomas. She wants us to understand and be prepared for the complete 180 that comes when we begin our lives in the real world.
I, personally, have been fortunate enough that my parents have played an extremely large part in covering my finances so I could live a comfortable lifestyle my entire life. It is important for us, as college students, to understand what comes after we graduate and have to start supporting ourselves. Once you gain complete responsibility for your finances, budgeting begins to become an extremely useful skill to have. We need to become aware of how much we can really afford when we start making set salaries and have real bills to pay.
Starting off early it is important to start saving. This can be done by putting parts each paycheck aside for savings and retirement plans. It also could be by making some personal decisions, such as deciding where to live after you graduate. Tons of money can be saved by moving back in with mom and dad, but it also can lead to a feeling of loss of freedom. Everyone has their own journey when it comes to what they strive to do after graduation, but making a decision like this one can lead to an enormous amount of savings. We only have a limited time where living under the comfort of our parents is going to last, so taking advantage of this can be financially savvy. There is a lot to consider as my final year at West Chester is approaching. While it is a scary thought to be out in the real world and continuing on to the next stage of life, it is also exciting to think about what comes after college!
This morning, the ESMS team discussed ESMS intern, Bianca’s, upcoming graduation and transition into the “real” world. With all this talk, we realized just how huge this transition is, and how we need to think about the responsibilities adulthood brings. Cynthia sat down with us to break down each expense we will have to think of in the future– and boy, was it eye opening! I never really thought about how expensive it is to stay afloat financially. Yes, I’m now a little scared – but at least I am now aware of what lies ahead of me.
We began by assuming we’d have a job post-grad that pays $35,000. From there, we listed every financial responsibility we’d need to take care of: such as rent, groceries, car expenses, and more. We looked at monthly and annual costs, and it was shocking just how quickly things add up! You don’t realize the value of a dollar until it’s all right in front of you on a screen. From this experience, I thought of my parents and how much they have supported me throughout my life. Once you are on your own without anyone to rely on, it’s a completely different game. After sitting down with Cynthia, I think I’m going to be roommates with my parents for a few years to save up and become financially stable – sorry, Mom and Dad. While moving back home after college may not seem ideal, in the long run it’s a financially smart decision, and your savings account will thank you.
I’m very happy Cynthia went over this exercise with us, because in one year I will be thrown into the “real” world, and without putting much thought into my financial responsibilities I would’ve been in for a rude awakening. To all college students out there – start planning! Adulthood will be here before you know it, and having the tools in front of you gets you one step ahead!
As a college student the first thought that comes to mind when I hear “Rotary” is a stern group of older individuals who are involved in the community. Before attending a rotary meeting I assumed that these members got together to discuss problems and events within the county. Little did I know it is much more than this!
I must admit, as I entered my first Rotary meeting, I was a bit nervous. Cynthia made me at ease when she introduced me to each person we passed. One of my jobs as an intern for ESMS is to manage The Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club’s social media pages; this means that I research and publish posts pertaining to the members and events within this club. As I was introduced to each member, it allowed me to put a face to the names I hear about each time I publish a new article. I was enthralled to learn more about these members outside of their professions. I had the pleasure to sit next to Dr. George Trajtenberg, and speak to him about classes he is taking at West Chester University! These individuals were some of the most welcoming and friendly people I have ever met! It really had me thinking, would I too, be interested in joining a rotary club in my life time?
From my perspective, what exactly is rotary? Rotary is a welcoming group of individuals of all ages that meet weekly to listen to guest speakers as well as once monthly to discuss key events and topics! Rotarians are all about helping and giving back to the community. I was fortunate to sit in on a guest speaker that is a leader in West Chester, Mayor Carolyn Comitta! It was a pleasure to not only personally meet her, but to listen to Mayor Comitta talk about the history and improvements within the town. I left with an even deeper appreciation for WC and WCU. After my experience today, I would definitely consider one day joining a rotary club!
On Thursday, March 17th, 2016, Cynthia Ericson and the ESMS team were invited to the West Chester University Communication Studies Fair. The Fair was an opportunity for students to network with companies in the area who are seeking interns for their businesses. Multiple tables were set up by each employer in one of WCU’s academic buildings with business cards and information on their internship programs. There were a total of 20 businesses that attended this event!
Modern Driven Media
Garage Community and Youth Center
West Chester Area School District
EBS Heath Care
Metropolitan Flag and Banner Co.
National Constitution Center
Bringing Hope Home
Ericson Strategic Marketing Solutions, LLC
WCU Conference Services
The ESMS team had the pleasure of attending the WCU Communication Studies Fair and captured the event through photo and Videography! We were excited to meet the students and connect with them as they ventured through the fair! Several students approached our table and expressed an interest in our next open position for the summer of 2017.
As current interns, it was a great experience to see how Cynthia was able to present her company to students who are interested in becoming a part of the future ESMS team! We were also able to guide younger students in their intern search. We explained how important internships are, and why ESMS was the perfect fit for us. This event was as beneficial to us as it was for the students!
Published By: Stephanie Sywensky and Bianca Spatola
Today was my first day at ESMS and I learned a lot! I’m excited to start working with different social media outlets and begin working with new programs, such as Constant Contact. Everyone here has been very helpful and have made me feel welcome and at home. I can’t wait to continue working with the ESMS team in the upcoming months!
My first day of training at ESMS has been exhilarating. Every person I have met is extremely friendly and helpful. I have learned a great amount already and I can tell that there is so much more learning to do. I cannot wait to expand my knowledge and apply my learning to my work. I am so excited to continue here and I look forward for what is to come.