How My Internship at ENTITY Mag Changed Me As A Writer

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Sophia Clark, COL ’19

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at Los Angeles-based women’s empowerment magazine, ENTITY Magazine. As an English-African Studies double-major with hopes to go into media or publishing after graduation, the skills I learned at ENTITY complimented my academic pursuits, in turn making me a stronger writer. First, while at ENTITY I met and learned from some of the most amazing women. From one-on-one conversations with ENTITY’s CEO Jennifer Schwab, one of the founders of Sierra Club Green Home, to hearing Amel Najjar speak about Children of War, a foundation focused on providing life-saving surgery to children in war-torn areas, these women are real-life examples of how an unconventional path can lead you to your calling. Secondly, the hard-skills that ENTITY taught me are invaluable because they are skills that are not traditionally taught in a college curriculum but are imperative to entering a multi-media work environment.

One of the most influential aspects of the internship at ENTITY was learning the intricacies of Adobe Creative Cloud—namely, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Adobe XD. Prior to ENTITY I had never touched any of these programs and learning the fundamentals of each has given me what I believe is unique insight into the other half of writing—visuals and design. Being familiar with Adobe Creative Cloud has allowed me to better understand the process of writing for an online platform, where photos, infographics, and imagery add incredible value to a piece. To think that I can not only write an article, but also create the visuals exactly as I imagined them, is powerful.

Along with learning how to package an article from start to finish, ENTITY trained us to write articles that are search engine optimization (SEO) compatible. This training was incredible because it showed us as interns what to do to create an article that will be found, and read, in the major search engines.

My time at ENTITY not only introduced me to inspirational women who are industry leaders, but also helped bridge a gap in my formal education that will help me in my post-graduation endeavors. As an English-African Studies double major I have had a lot of experience writing in an academic capacity. However, my studies had not taught me some of the most necessary skills for entering an industry that is largely online. Learning how to write using SEO means that articles I write going forward are more likely to be found, and read using traditional search engines. Secondly, nowadays writers need to not only be able to write but to also edit, copyedit, photograph and create a completed article within an incredibly short amount of time. Learning how to create visuals that are attractive and publishable is vital to being marketable going forward. ENTITY was able to bridge those gaps, and for that I am thankful.

Spring Cleaning Your Career Journey

Jingy Yen, Associate Director

Spring Break is right around the corner! It’s almost time for a well-deserved break, and I hope you take full advantage of the time off to get outside, sleep in and binge watch your favorite TV show. Spring Break is also a great time to do some spring cleaning, for your home and for your life! Here are some things to do to get organized and come back from the break fully charged.

1. Update things

Consider updating things like your LinkedIn profile or resume with any new responsibilities or activities you’ve gained since you last updated. Take a look at the formatting, are there any changes you want to make?

2. Get organized

It’s easy to apply for all sorts of things as you stumble across them, and then quickly forget what you did or who you even contacted. Figure out a way to keep track of all your target companies, networking conversations and applications to achieve a more tailored approach. You can do this via old school excel spreadsheet, or by using a tool like CareerShift to organize your search.

3. Reflect and respond

Take time to think about what you’ve been doing in your career journey, and what some of the successes and failures have been. Have your interests shifted? Are there new things you want to explore, or things you want to stop pursuing? How about your extracurricular involvements? Do you feel passionate about what you are doing inside and outside of the classroom? Take these reflections and respond by turning them into concrete actions that can help propel your search.

While you are traveling to fun places, soaking up sun on the beach, or just relishing in a midday nap, I will be living vicariously through you! Career Services is still open over Spring Break, and we would be happy to chat over the phone or virtually about any questions you may have along your career journey. Happy spring cleaning!

CS Radio – Episode 82: “Streaming”

It’s CS Radio with our very special guest host, N. Thomas Leach! (Yaaaay!) While Mylene takes a well deserved long weekend, Michael is joined by friend of the podcast Natty Leach to discuss the emerging career field of being a live streamer/YouTuber. If you’re interested in making this your career or if you’re already streaming and want to know how it might apply to your job search, this conversation has something for you! This is the first of what we hope will be several looks at emerging career fields.


Nuñoa: Among the Golden Hills

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Fiona Jensen-Hitch, COL ’19

Getting my blood taken for an iron level test, during our few practice days before beginning the project.

This summer, I spent six and a half weeks in Perú. Five of these weeks were in the town of Nuñoa, nestled between two short stays in Cusco in the beginning and end of my trip; the first to allow our group to acclimatize to the altitude, and the second to allow us to release from field work mode before returning to the Unites States.

Nuñoa is a town of about 4,000 people, sitting above 13,000 ft elevation among rolling golden hills. The next biggest town is an hour away, but people live scattered all around and in between the two towns; this is the campo, or countryside. I left Philadelphia’s rising temperatures for winter in Perú, and the high elevation of Nuñoa meant that most of my bag was stuffed with long underwear, wool socks, and fleece.

I traveled to Perú to work with a Penn Anthropology professor, Dr. Morgan Hoke, along with a few other students. Nuñoa has been visited by anthropologists since the 1960s; originally, much of the main interest was in how the human body adapted to high altitude. Our team, the “Nuñoa Anthropological Project,” was in Nuñoa first and foremost to begin a new research project and collect data. However, we were also here to experience what doing responsible field work means, to learn about the community, to speak with them. I also hoped to ascertain whether field work is something I might decide to pursue either academically or professionally. And of course, I was able to practice my Spanish speaking skills. Fortunately, the people of Nuñoa forgave my struggles with vocabulary and tense, often offering the words I was looking for.

Keeping a toddler occupied while her mother participates in our project

We collected biological and ethnographic data for a research project centering around recent nutritional and food changes in the area, and how this is affecting the lives of the people in and around the area – their microbiome health, immunological health, food security, etc. We collected data such as anthropometric measurements, blood spots, iron and blood glucose levels, fecal samples, and breastmilk samples. We also gave every participant an interview centered around their food intake, income, work, family, food security, and other lifestyle information. Throughout our time in Nuñoa, our time was divided into attending participants and recruiting new participants. Every participant was compensated with a food package, as well as the results of their tests—both those that were immediate, and those that will need to be conveyed in a few months’ time.

The summer was one of the most incredible, complete, and quite incredulous experiences of my life. I now know that whether it is through grad school or not, I want to work with and for communities, to understand everything that affects a person’s life and health, and my career goals are now keeping this in sight. I am grateful to the Career Services Summer Funding program for supporting me in this work.

View of the campo from the top of a nearby “mountain”

Snow Day Career-Related “Fun”

Yesterday was a rare commodity on Penn’s campus – a snow day!  The excitement of receiving the text message that you now have received the gift of an unexpected day off never gets old, does it?  So while you may be eagerly planning a day of sleeping in, bingeing on Netflix, and maybe a little fun in the snow, here are five equally exciting career-related tasks you could work on during your next unexpected day off!

1.Update Your LinkedIn Profile

When I meet with students and ask them if they have a LinkedIn profile, almost all answer affirmatively.  But with a little questioning, it is often revealed that they haven’t worked on it in awhile and could use some updating.  If you are on the job market, you have to assume that anyone who might be interested in speaking with you will look you up on LinkedIn.  As a job candidate, you want a potential employer or networking contact to see the most complete picture of you possible.  Check out your profile and make sure it is the most accurate and up-to-date version of you that you want them to see.

2. Review Your Career Interests in Handshake

As a job seeker, you have hopefully already fully activated your Handshake account and filled out your profile completely.  But as time goes on, your interests, experiences and job or internship goals may shift.  Perhaps the last time you updated your interests you were looking for an internship, and now you’re looking for a full-time job.  Maybe you have gained exposure to new industries and have narrowed your career interests.  Make sure to revisit your Handshake profile to make sure you are receiving the Career Mail newsletters that interest you most, and that your profile is complete and up-to-date for viewing by employers.

3. Check Out Upcoming Events on Handshake

New employer and Career Services events are added almost daily!  Log into Handshake and click on “Events” at the top of the page.  Click on the star icon for events of interest to be reminded of upcoming events which may be helpful in your job or internship search.

4. Organize Your Networking Contacts

Hopefully you have spent the last few months collecting networking contacts (and if you have not yet started, it is never too late to start!)  You may be collecting contact information from alumni, career fair contacts, or people family and friends have recommended to you.  Maybe you have a stack of business cards sitting on your desk just waiting to be organized.  In the long run, you will find it much more helpful to have all of your networking contacts organized in one place.  You can organize them into an excel spreadsheet, or use one of the many networking apps out there.

5. Catch Up on the News of the Day

Take a few minutes to read some of the national and international headlining news stories.  While much time is spent during interviews discussing your qualifications and interest in the position on the table, many employers will be interested to hear about your thoughts on other topics.  Keeping abreast at what issues are being covered in local and national newspapers will not only make you a more interesting candidate, but you might learn something, too.

Now go out and enjoy the snow!