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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Social Media? So What?

Social Media? So What? GMercyU alum shares his thoughts.

Daniel Craig

Great: you are on social media…so what? What are your customers getting from that relationship and how are you turning likes, fans, and followers into revenue?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Griffin through and through

Heidi R. Wright

Nurse Practitioner at Montgomery County Medical Associates, Ltd.

Bachelor of Science in Biology, 1986
Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult with Gerontology), 1989
Master of Science in Nursing Post-Masters Certificate in Nurse Practitioner, 1996

“I had the great fortune to be taught by some wonderful professors at Gwynedd. One thing, among many, that continues to impress at Gwynedd is the personal attention.”

3 and counting: A Griffin through and through
Heidi was inspired to pursue nursing after reading books about the field as a child and attending her father’s services (Presbyterian Minister) at nursing homes. She quickly fell in love with the idea of working with the elderly.

After completing a hospital-based diploma nursing program, Heidi came to Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU) to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. A few years later she completed her Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult with Gerontology) then a Post-Masters Certificate in Nurse Practitioner.

She is currently in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at GMercyU.

High regards for GMercyU faculty
“I had the great fortune to be taught by some wonderful professors at Gwynedd,” said Heidi. “One thing, among many, that continues to impress at Gwynedd is the personal attention. Gwynedd has always considered the working adult learner so I was lucky to be able to balance work and classes.”

Working in the field
After completing the NP program Heidi landed a position from one of her clinical rotation sites.

“I have been exceptionally fortunate in my career,” she added.  “The practice where I did my clinical rotation had a part-time opening. Within a few months it expanded into a full time job. I could not have planned it better.”

Heidi has now been working at Montgomery County Medical Associates, Ltd for almost 19 years.

2 Tips for students
“Competition is high for jobs. Word of mouth seems to be how many jobs are filled,” Heidi said. “If a job seems interesting and is only part-time, take it. It could work into full-time. It did for me and I am still there!”

“Education is a big part of keeping up with the latest trends in providing the best care for patients,” she added.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kindness and career success

In a world where nobody seems to have time for anything, even modest ‘goods’ are meaningful. Simply, generosity is contagious. 

Read why kindness is important for business success at: 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

5 Spring Break Trips Make a World of Difference

By: Darnell Artis, Communication major
and Career Development Staff

 Alternative Spring Break (ASB), offered by Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU), gives students the opportunity to provide service during school breaks. This year, 38 members of GMercyU (28 students and 10 staff and faculty advisers), participated in Alternative Spring Break. 

"Students come away with with a more global feel of the idea of mercy," said Lauren DuCharme, Campus Minister for Community Service and Savannah Trip Advisor. "This trip hopefully will help them see their decisions have more of a global affect then they understand."

Kate Shellaway, Associate Director of Career Development and San Carlos Trip Advisor, echoed Lauren"The ASB trip is a good opportunity for students to participate in service and learn about a population they may never have been exposed to," said Kate.  

Additionally, Kate suggested students reflect on their experience in order to see how ASB connects to their future. Some connections may include:
  • Service can include participating in activities that are directly tied to their major and future career path. 
  • Employers and graduate schools love to see students who get involved with activities/causes outside of the classroom.
  • Students gained valuable leadership experience and skills in communication and teamwork.

Alternative Spring Break is something more students should consider at some point in their college journey. Perhaps Lauren put it best when she stated: 

“The Alternative Spring Break is about serving others and being at their Mercy. Our trip is for the students to meet other people in the circle of Mercy so they can come to better understand it.” 

Check out the photos and information below from all 2015 ASB trips. 
 Benson, VT: Worked with animals and nature at Mercy Farm an eco-spiritual center.

 Cincinnati, OH: Prepared meals for those experiencing poverty and homelessness.

 New Orleans, LA: Planned a field day for St. Alphonsus Elementary School and spent time with members of the Mercy Endeavors Senior Center.

 San Carlos, AZ: Helped teachers, nurse, and custodial staff in an elementary school located on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

Savannah, GA: Spent time at SOURCE who accommodate those who are eligible for assisted living but wish to live independently. 

For additional information on future service opportunities during breaks contact Campus Ministry.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alum Hits Home Run in Career Search

    Andrew Ball

Graduated: 2011

Major: Sports Management

Employed: Assistant, Baseball Operations, Tampa Bay Rays (Major League Baseball) 

“Don’t spend time dwelling on your failures or the setbacks that will come along the way; be persistent and keep working hard or you’ll never get to where you want to be.”

Why did you decide to work in professional sports?
I played sports my entire life. While I realized I wouldn’t be able to play professionally, I also knew that I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t involved in sports in some capacity.

Describe your role and responsibilities with your organization?
My position mainly relates to our pro scouting efforts. I serve as a liaison to the front office for our scouts on the road, coordinating our coverage in the Major and Minor leagues. My days vary greatly depending on the time of year and our roster, but some of the things that I do include:

-Scouting and writing reports on Minor league players
-Assisting with trades and free agent signings
-Tracking international players in winter leagues
-Communicating with our pro scouts
-Researching various topics to improve our decision-making

What were the main steps you took to get your job?
Before joining the Rays, I worked for the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League for three seasons. While there, I interned in Baseball Operations for one season and then became the Director of Baseball Operations for the last two years. That position allowed me to get really involved in many different facets of baseball operations – player development, scouting, international operations, budgeting, etc. – because the department was small and much of that was under my supervision.

During the same time, I also worked as an Associate Scout with the Phillies, and wrote for two SB Nation sites – Beyond the Box Score and Fake Teams – during my last year in York. The position with the Phillies allowed me to further develop my scouting skills and create some professional contacts outside of the Atlantic League. Writing enhanced my communication skills and gave me the opportunity to present original research to a large audience. I know that both of those things were important when I went through my interview process to join the Rays.

When I was entering the job market, it was important that I had demonstrated that I could play baseball while maintaining good grades and actively write with the Sports Information Department. I also did 5-10 informational interviews, both while in college and after I had already accepted the position in York, and two of those have turned out to be unbelievably valuable professional contacts.

What do you like most about your job?
I get to work at a professional baseball stadium! Honestly, working in the sports industry can be grueling and the hours are longer than you’ll find in many other fields. But the fact that I genuinely enjoy what I do most of the time easily offsets any of the negative aspects of my job.

What kind of individual would be best suited for your job, and why?
I honestly think any person can work in a position like this, as long as they have some aptitude and a real desire to do the work. You have to love – really love – a sport to want to work in a front office because the hours and pay are significantly different from what you’ll find in comparable roles outside of sports. Our office has people with economics, statistics, business, history, math, Latin, physics, and anthropology degrees, all with very different personalities, but we’ve all found ways to contribute to the organization.

What do you suggest to a student to give him/her an edge on the competition?
If you’re interested in getting into a front office position within the sports industry, there are plenty of things that you can do. Three surefire things that will pop on a resume are:

-Ability to communicate in a foreign language, specifically Spanish.
-Technical skills in statistical or computer programming software. Things like SQL, R, Python, Stata, Java, C++ are good programs to know. 
-Writing. This is the easiest way to improve and show value to an organization. Find (or start) a blog/website and start writing about sports. Start writing your opinions on trades or free agent signings. Start doing and publishing original research. That will give you a portfolio of work to show teams how you think, how you communicate, and what you can do. More than 10 people in our front office wrote for outlets like Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN, BtBS, or FanGraphs before starting here. 

What was your interview process like?
My interview process included two phone interviews, a written submission, and individual interviews with six different people in the organization. With other teams I had a similar number of interviews, but I often spoke to four or five people in a panel-type setting.

The questions I was asked included things about how I evaluate players and my thought process about baseball, my goals and interests within the game, and some general personality questions to gauge my fit within the organization.

What advice would you give a student wanting to pursue a career in your field?
Teams are looking for people that can take on responsibilities and contribute immediately. So, the best thing that someone can do if find a way to distinguish themselves – figure out what you can do that provides value and show teams how you’re able to help them. This advice is true for any profession, but especially if you are looking to get into the operations (player personnel, scouting, etc.) aspect of a sports team since it has become a highly competitive field.

Did you utilize Career Development in any way?
I absolutely utilized Career Development and I haven’t stopped just because I have graduated. Career Development staff helped me put together my first resume and cover letter, and given me feedback on essentially every single one that I’ve ever sent out. Staff also suggested that I apply for a job in the Atlantic League as well as suggesting some people for me to conduct informational interviews with as an undergrad.

Would you recommend Career Development to a student?
Yes. I understand going to Career Development doesn’t appeal to most people, but with the competition for jobs out there, any bit of help you can get in perfecting a resume, a cover letter, or prepping for an interview can be the difference between getting hired or not. As a free resource, it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for internships, jobs, or grad schools, or to get ideas if you don’t know what you’re looking for in the first place.

Please add anything else you feel is important for readers to know.
It takes persistence, hard work, luck, and a bit of a thick skin to succeed in the sports industry. I’ve been turned down or not heard back from more teams than I can count (including the Rays at one point), but fortunately I never let that discourage me. Once you realize that hearing “no” isn’t the end of the world, applying for positions becomes infinitely easier. Don’t spend time dwelling on your failures or the setbacks that will come along the way; be persistent and keep working hard or you’ll never get to where you want to be.