If the technology community is gaining credibility as a jobs creator in Philadelphia, and the focus has turned to strengthen the pipeline between university students and employers, then Campus Philly wants to play a valuable role.
Such was the sentiment from Deborah Diamond, the president of the decade old college retention nonprofit, at another of the group’s recent technology-focused events, this a two-hour Lightning Lessons affair for 75 in attendance at the Quorum space of the University City Science Center.
It’s because of the growing business influence of the broad, local technology industry that Campus Philly has hosted three technology-related events in the last four months.
“We’re not by any means the experts on the tech industry,” said Jennifer Devor, project manager at Campus Philly. “We just provide a really fantastic platform and forum for these conversations and connections to happen.”
The first technology event Campus Philly hosted was a Tech Crawl in November that took more than 70 college students to the offices of several companies, including DreamIt Ventures, Shindig Mobile and First Round Capital, in partnership with Technically Philly.
“It was great for students to see the physical space, get to meet the owners and employees and get to envision what their life after graduation will look like, see themselves where they might sit,” Devor said.
Lightning Lessons takeaways: Advice from the latest Campus Philly tech event for undergraduates.
- Meet new people. “Networking is hugely important. In business, it’s easy. Just get a business card,” said Wayne Kimmel of Artists and Instigators
- Hire your boss. “As much as they’re interviewing you, you should be interviewing them,” Attorney Roger Braunfeld of Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC
- Stand out when applying for jobs. Know who you’re talking to, be creative while remaining persistent and do things that aren’t traditional, said Jenna Flateman Posner, a regional sales manager with LevelUp
Then on Jan. 22, Campus Philly and Philly Startup Leaders hosted Interns 101, an event for local technology companies interested in setting up valuable internship programs, at Center City incubator Seed Philly.
Campus Philly produced the Lightning Lessons event in partnership with MobileMondays Mid-Atlantic, one of the region’s larger technology-focused meetup groups and part of a larger global group.
“It’s really important to be collaborative. It’s just the nature of not only the tech scene here but also the Philadelphia region as well,” Devor said.
Campus Philly continues to plan more technology events, Devor said. They’re particularly interested in seeing what partnerships and ventures come out of students interacting with each other and working professionals in the technology field.
Watch a video by Philadelphia Neighborhoods on Campus Philly’s interest in technology events here.
This report was done in partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods program, the capstone class for the Temple’s Department of Journalism.