by Sarah Miller

People get jobs through connections. That is why the College of Liberal Arts has launched EXPERIENCE Days for our students. Each semester, a group of students will be able to apply for a chance to visit a pre-selected company or organization within Philadelphia and have the opportunity to make connections that will lead them to an internship or career opportunity.

This past fall, a group of 25 students was selected to participate in the “EXPERIENCE Working for the City of Philadelphia Day” where they networked with a diverse range of City departments, from the Office of Immigrant Affairs to the Office of Sustainability. Students were led on a tour through City Hall while making stops in some of its iconic courtrooms. The day ended with an overview of the City’s hiring process and robust internship program.

Liz Anselmo, Assistant Director in the Center for Academic Advising & Professional Development, says the most rewarding part about the EXPERIENCE Days is seeing students transform. She relates, “They realize they’re more professional and qualified for opportunities than they thought. I’ve already received multiple e-mails from students ranging from a freshman to a senior, letting me know they secured internships due to networking at the ‘EXPERIENCE Working for the City of Philadelphia Day.’”

Junior Dufort has secured an internship with the Office of Immigration as a result of attending the EXPERIENCE Day, and is currently receiving academic credit for his internship through the College of Liberal Arts. He recognizes the importance of networking when landing a career in City Hall. “In order to achieve the position of councilperson,” says Junior, “it’s important to begin networking and searching for internships as soon as possible.” Junior wants to invite change in the city of Philadelphia, positively impacting the lives of many.

Katherine Vogel was excited to share her experience from the day. She has already secured two interviews with the Civic Engagement and Volunteer Services as well as the District Attorney’s Office and is waiting to hear back. ”The EXPERIENCE Day was truly an amazing opportunity to discover what it’s like to work for the city of Philadelphia,” says Katherine. 

It offered so much more than simply reading a job description online.

Following the networking segment of the day, Gianna Grossman, Internship Program Manager at the Municipal Services Building, led the group to City Hall where they were able to get an inside-look at Philadelphia’s City Hall.

Chris Goy, Director of Policy at the Office of the Council President, toured the students through City Hall, visiting the Council Chambers and the offices of influential councilmen and councilwomen. There, the students learned about the various roles occupying each office and formed an idea of the typical workday of a councilperson.

“I have recognized that students need to be immersed in experiences in order to identify well-matched careers, says Anselmo.It’s not enough to learn about careers in the classroom, but rather they need to observe a work culture and gain a deeper understanding of what a particular career is like and exactly what it takes to land it.”

Special thanks to the City Departments and Offices that made this day possible:

  • The Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Services
  • The Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service
  • The Department of Planning and Development
  • The Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity
  • The Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • The Office of Sustainability               
  • The Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services (RISE)
  • SERVE Philadelphia VISTA Program
  • Chris Goy – Darrell Clarke’s Office
  • Jordan Konnell – Helen Gym’s Office
  • Yuan Huang – Mayor’s Policy Office

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