Giving Back

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It’s been a while since our last Traditions class update, but we can assure you it was worth the wait.

I bet you’d be surprised to know that PBP partners with 26 non-profits to sponsor 30 projects. One of them being a safe home for orphans and immigrant children in Israel, and another being a Nitrogen-Hydrogen Alternative Energy Reaction Research Laboratory. Yeah, we were surprised too… but even more so, we were very inspired.

This week we learned all about PBP’s philanthropy efforts. They do a ton of work for many different groups of people.

The company supports victims of substance abuse, Junior Achievers and local organizations such as the Walnut Street Theater, the Wharton Esherick Museum and much more. They also sponsor stem cell, cancer and energy research.

One of their big initiatives is helping students. PBP founded The Franklin Institute’s STEM scholar program, which is a cohort program of 15 talented high-schoolers in under-served communities. These students get to do research projects with The Franklin Institute staff.

At the collegiate level, PBP sponsors the Life After College Success Program at Franklin and Marshall. Also, PBP created an international internship program in social entrepreneurship. Selected students from UCONN, Duke, Columbia and Notre Dame travel to Guatemala for the summer and teach local entrepreneurs business tools.

One of the biggest ways employees can get involved in PBP’s philanthropic mission is by volunteering at PBP’s adopted inner-city school, Cook-Wissahickon Elementary. Employees act as student-mentors and spend time with their students twice a month – either at the office or at the school. PBP also created before and after-school programs with games, crafts, homework help and snacks for the students. They’ve taken children on trips and sponsored speakers, career days and other events.

Giving back means something different to everyone, and there are many reasons why people choose to give. Some people are passionate about a cause, some feel inspired when they give and others want to make a difference. Also, there are many things people can give: time, money, talent.

We were asked to think about all of these things and what giving back really means to us. We challenged ourselves and discussed how we’re going to give back in our futures.

And now we’re challenging you: how will you give back?

Traditions: Life advice with cookies on the side

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This week the eight of us got the chance to meet some top execs in the company. CEO John Benbrook and COO & CFO Tom Schubert joined us for lunch at our weekly Traditions class.

After rushing to grab sandwiches and salad, we all sat around the boardroom table ready to share about ourselves.

John Benbrook and Tom Schubert both shared their entire careers – from college to PBP – and we got the chance to ask them any questions we wanted.

They talked about the biggest challenges they face working in the company, their affinity for soccer and basketball, and also their biggest joys in life. One thing they both expressed was that they love working with the great people here at PBP.

We appreciated the casual atmosphere of the lunch and the fact that both the CEO and CFO were very open and receptive to us. We’ve found that at PBP, people don’t need to put on a facade, they are themselves.

So what were the main take-aways from the day? Besides stealing a mountain of cookies for our department, we all received great, useful words of wisdom from both execs. Here’s some advice that resonated with us:

  • Don’t miss out on opportunities. You never know what direction life is going to take you and you want to live it without any regrets.
  • Focus early in life. You’re never too young to start making a plan and taking initiative. Your choices are up to you and it’s never too early to get a head start on where you want end up.
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection. Try to be great! But if you try to be perfect, you’ll always fail and be unhappy.
  • Define what makes you happy. Happiness is extremely important, and you should define what makes you happy so that you can strive for the things that you enjoy.
  • Enjoy life’s journey. There are so many great stages in life. Embrace them as they come and try to stay positive through life’s trials.