Philadelphia continues to offer opportunity

Businesses based around Philadelphia continue to recruit. With the decline in the global economy, college seniors are faced with a series of obstacles, one being the mounting pressure of landing a job after graduation. Many

Businesses based around Philadelphia continue to recruit.

With the decline in the global economy, college seniors are faced with a series of obstacles, one being the mounting pressure of landing a job after graduation.

MARIA POUCHNIKOVA TTN Corinne M. Snell, the executive director at the Center for Students Professional Development says work after graduation is available for students, despite grim predictions, and that students should be proactive while they are are still in college.

Many seniors are loaded with thousands of dollars in debt, including student loans that typically require payments to start six months after graduation. The pressure to repay personal debt and loans, along with the desire to survive amid economic uncertainty, is motivating seniors to find jobs in their fields quickly.

The decision to attend Temple can be the result of many factors, but most Temple students agree that going to school in a major city has undeniable advantages, such as being located in a place full of internship and job opportunities.

“The beauty of Philadelphia is that there are so many talented, skilled students graduating every year. We can always draw on the student-base that Philadelphia provides,” said Brian Doran, vice president of finance at NextDocs, a software solutions business located in King of Prussia, Pa.

Despite popular belief, Philadelphia’s job market has shown little sign of slowing down – job placement numbers in the city may be increasing.

Corrine Snell, the executive director of Temple’s Center for Student Professional Development, said this year’s employee recruiting numbers increased by 10 percent. In addition, the rate of students who are receiving interviews is up by an impressive 31 percent from last year. Even job advertisements are up by 32 percent.

“What we’re seeing is that it’s not as bleak or grim as you may think. We are asking our students to be more proactive, to start searching earlier,” Snell said.

Kourtney Addison, a senior at the Fox School of Business, took advantage of CSPD and its job-placement assistance. This year, Addison was hired as an intern for Target and was offered a full-time position after she presented an impressive mock-business plan to corporate managers.

“The resources at Temple definitely facilitated my job search,” Addison said. “I’ve met so many people from different walks of life, which helped with my managerial skills. The staff at Fox has been particularly focused on success.”

Addison said the job market might not have disappeared, just weakened, which requires recent graduates to set themselves apart from other applicants.

“Judging from my peers’ experiences, the jobs are out there, but you must know where to look. You must differentiate your skill set, and you must be persistent and know how to sell yourself,” she said.

“Companies are still coming to recruit,” Snell added. “But instead of hiring 40 students, they may be hiring 25.”

One of those companies is NextDocs, which does a substantial amount of business in Philadelphia. The company hosts annual events in the city that draw hundreds of employees and clients from around the world. The business recently landed on Inc. magazine’s annual “Inc. 500,” a list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

Doran said its Philadelphia location provides the business with the ability to recruit students from several distinguished universities.

“With our growth this year, we could be looking to hire anywhere from five to 10 college students from Philadelphia,” Doran said.

Doran said he believes that, despite the tremors in the economy, Philadelphia has remained fairly secure economically.

“In this economy, everyone is looking at the bottom line. But it seems a lot of our clients have been insulated. We are actually looking to expand in the city,” he said.

Snell said overall, some students are not taking advantage of all that Philadelphia’s job market has to offer and instead, are blaming the economy without exploring all their options.

“Don’t say, ‘Oh well, I can’t get a job, so I’m going backpacking across Europe for the summer,’” Snell said. “That’s not the answer.”

Matt Finn can be reached at

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