It’s solidly back-to-school time. Throughout the city, students are making their first swipes of a pen and opening up to the first page of a notebook (or a MacBook).
For Temple University Executive MBA and Doctoral Business Administration students, their new school year will begin at Convene, a leased meeting space — don’t call it coworking — mostly used by Fortune 500 companies. The Temple students meet at the Commerce Square location, located at 20th and Market streets.
Temple and Convene established a partnership back in 2014, and ever since the students of the aforementioned programs have been using the meeting space instead of in the university’s North Philadelphia or Center City classrooms.
Up to three classes of 30 to 40 students each arrive at the Convene location once a month for full-day classes spanning Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the students are businesses owners or CEOs who fly in from all over the country, stay at a hotel room nearby and spend the weekend possibly running into big-name executives.
Oh, and it’s fully catered.
“It really allows them to be in a business setting,” said Convene’s area director of sales, Caroline Foley. “I think that’s why they’re investing in this program, and this space really sets them up for that success which is a little more elevated than a traditional classroom environment.”
The space was remodeled in January, and includes murals of main campus mainstays Temple Performing Arts Center and Polett Walk from local artist Nile Livingston.
“The [students have a] potential future to be clients as they go off with their further education and the future businesses they’re running,” said Operations Director Bob Brown. “They can come back with the experience they had and bring their future employees and future companies to our space.”
The 42,000-square-foot space was designed by architect I.M. Pei and inspired by 1920s theater vibes. You can view a 360-degree tour here.
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