Softball and Such: Life Outside of Work

Although it is possible to believe PBP employees work day and night to create our high quality products and services, we’re not at the grindstone all of the time.  PBPers find many different ways to relax, blow off some steam, and to lighten their moods.  After only a few weeks with the company, I can see that employees here have an excellent work-life balance and know when and how to cut loose.  An excellent example of this is the company softball team.  Progressive Biz plays in the Great Valley Corporate Center Softball League (GVCCSL) in the East Division, which is the most competitive one.  The season consists of 14 regular season games (about one a week) and then playoffs.  After playing only a few games, it is evident that the team has great chemistry and cohesiveness.


You will see many people walking and jogging in and outside of the office.  The joggers usually head out after work and take laps around the corporate center and sometimes venture as far as the trails by Vanguard.   During the day (at lunch or if employees are feeling groggy), people will walk laps around the outside of our building or inside the numerous hallways in our facility.  Sage holds the company record for the fastest lap recorded around the perimeter of the building.  Rumor has it that he completed his lap while making a balloon animal.

During lunchtime, employees have a variety of options to choose from in terms of what they do.  Like I mentioned previously, some people choose to walk around the office.  Others looking for some exercise head over to our gym.  There are several pieces of equipment, including a rowing machine, a home gym machine, a stair master, an elliptical machine, and some bikes.

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Honestly, the best way to enjoy yourself around the office is to spark up a conversation with one of the employees.  All come from different backgrounds have entertaining stories to share.  Taking a few minutes out of your day to get to know one of your coworkers not only brightens your mood, but also is the first step in creating a meaningful friendship.

That’s all for now, but I’ll post again soon! In the meantime, be sure to follow @PBPInterns for chances to win a gift card!

How’s that RESUME Look?

We all want to work at our dream job, right? So not a single day ever feels like work, right? But to get that so-called dream job you’ll need to have a killer interview. And before you can even interview you need the most important tool to sell yourself to employers, recruiters, and HR departments before they ever even meet you. What is it you may ask? It’s having an effective resume! Here’s a few tips and guidelines to improving that resume to get you through the company’s door and landing that interview.resume-interview-620x480

1.) Formatting Your Resume

Generally the first time a resume gets looked at it’s for 10-25 seconds. What’s this mean? This means that your resume better be as clear and concise as possible.

  • Be sure to use a logical format and wide margins, and clean type along with clear headings.
  • Use bullets in order to call attention to important points.
  • Apply bold and italic typeface to help guide the reader’s eye to important content.

2.) Identify Accomplishments, Not Job Descriptions

Hiring managers seek candidates who can assist them with solving a problem or satisfying a need in their company, so you’ll need to make sure your resume states how you’ve solved similar problems at past work experiences.

  • Focus on what you did in the job.
  • Include one or two top line description of the job, then list accomplishments.
  • Accomplishments should be unique, not just a list of day-to-day tasks.
  • For each point/accomplishment you should ask yourself, what was the benefit of having done what you did?

3.) Quantify Accomplishments

When it comes to reviewing resumes, a very common mistake hiring managers face every day is the use of too much industry jargon and confusing general claims. Be sure to use your resume as a marketing tool to sell your skills and strengths effectively.

  • Include specific achievements and accomplishments that will send a comprehensive picture of your marketability.
  • Quantify achievements at any chance you get by generating percentages, dollar amounts, number of employees, results, etc. These are big confidence boosters for hiring managers.tailor_255x255

4.) Tailor Your Resume for the Industry

When designing your resume you need to be aware of the industry you’re going into and what kind of territory comes with that industry. For example, the resume of someone in advertising and design has a lot more leeway when it comes to creativity with the layout compared to someone in chemical engineering.

  • When in doubt stay on the conservative side when it comes to style (not to be confused with boring… more along the lines of less flashy if you’re a chemical engineer.)
  • Essentials: Accomplishments, grammatically-correctness, error-free writing, and a clean crisp type will make the right impression.
  • When revising don’t rely on spell check… Use it, but review it many times yourself, and then get another set of eyes to look it over to get another perspective on things.

5.) Think Career Summary Versus Your Objective

What’s the difference? A Career Summary gives a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Where Objectives all sound the same: seeking a challenging position, interested in position A where I can use my skills A, B, and C in order to contribute to the bottom line. What does that tell us? Not much at all.

  • With a Career Summary you need to grab that hiring manager’s attention right from the get-go, with keeping in mind you have less than 25 seconds to make a good impression.
  • Spend a decent amount of time developing your career summary so you achieve getting their attention by accurately and effectively describing you as a solution to their problems.

6.) Network! Network! Network!

If you’re an unemployed candidate, then handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of positions today are filled through networking, so contacting anyone and everyone you know with the addition of recruiters who are in a position to hire or provide insights is crucial. Networking can include:

  • Personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you.
  • Vendors / sales representatives you’ve dealt with in past 5 years.
  • Friends and family that work in the same or similar industries.
  • People listed in alumni directories of your alma mater.

With a solid resume you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting through the door, landing that interview, and being one step closer to securing your dream job.

Want more awesome content? Follow the internship team on Twitter and bookmark this page!

How to succeed in business: The show and my take-away


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Main backdrop for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

My eyes shot open at the sound of my alarm! The day had finally come!

Typically, my alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and I roll out of bed groggy, going through the motions half asleep until I find myself sitting at my desk at PBP. Last Thursday was completely different. July 3rd could not come soon enough, so when it finally did I jumped out of bed and got moving.

While I was looking forward to spending the holiday weekend with friends and family, that wasn’t the sole reason for my antsy behavior. I was also eager to take advantage of another great opportunity that PBP offered to all of its employees.

During my second week of work, I received an email about free tickets to a show at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and it wasn’t just any show. I had wanted to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a while – partially because Nick Jonas had once played the lead role.


Poster from Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia

Before I knew it, I was in the fourth row waiting anxiously for the show to begin. When it did, I sat wide-eyed and in awe of the talent and energy on stage.

The room filled with laughter every time the main character celebrated his devious victory with an innocent smile at the audience, and a standing ovation was necessary as the show concluded.

It was a great way to end the first half of my internship and begin the second half, because it lit a fire in me to continue working hard. It’s true the main character made it to the top without actually doing any work, but he did have endurance and a positive attitude. Mix those two qualities with a little elbow grease, and that can lead to success – in business or anything else.

Follow us on Twitter and bookmark our blog so you can keep up with everything we’re doing this summer! 

From Fiesta to Formula Sheets: Adjusting to the Workplace Post Study Abroad

The thrill of studying abroad is hard to beat. Being in a foreign environment constantly keeps the brain active—it has been five months of exploring; taking in culture, language, and delicious food—and you miss it so much that it is sometimes hard to focus (this article explains it pretty well).

All of the positive changes that coincide with living in a different country also come with some negative side effects (which are often unexpected because, well, who reads the fine print?). Thus, there is no doubt that your new found travel bug is making you itch to escape your cubicle.

Here are some simple tips to keep you active and enthusiastic about your work while trying to adjust back to the United States frame of mind.

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Be creative! Design your space in a way that makes you excited to go to work.

1) The first and most important thing to do in avoiding PTSAD (Post Traumatic Study Abroad Disorder) is to find adventure no matter where you are. Revamp the ordinary. Remodel bland. Make yourself known. Maybe decorate your desk, or pack yourself exotic foods for lunch, or add fun themes to Casual Fridays.

Personally, I added an exercise ball to my workspace. Rather than being stationary in a regular office chair all day, the exercise ball keeps me moving and my blood pumping, keeping my brain active and ready for the workload that lies ahead.Get creative with how you want your workspace to look; considering the amount of time you spend in the office every day, it really becomes your second home. On the right are some examples of extraordinary cubicle décor if you are looking for some inspiration.

2) It’s all about attitude.Keeping a positive attitude shows that you appreciate the great opportunities of right now, rather than dwelling on the things you had in the past overseas. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile.When we smile, the muscle memory of this action triggers receptors in our brains that stimulate a feeling of happiness. This phenomenon falls under the facial feedback hypothesis, and was tested by Strack, Martin, and Stepper in 1988.

They created a study testing two groups: one group was instructed to hold a pen in their mouths in a way that caused a frown, and the others held the pen in their mouths horizontally, forcing a smile. Then, both groups were asked to rate cartoons based on how funny they felt they were. The results show that the smiling group consistently found the cartoons to be funnier, indicating that the action of smiling in itself changed the way people perceived the stimuli. This idea can be easily applied to how we experience our work.

3) Use your new perspective to your advantage.Try to apply what you’ve learned to whatever it is that is giving you trouble in the office. The purpose of living abroad is to gain perspective, learn about yourself, and broaden your horizons, so you might as well put all of that newfound knowledge to good use. Make it a personal goal to prove to yourself (and your employer) that you have grown intellectually and extrovertly.  This could be applied to money conservation techniques, confidence in your presentations, extracurricular involvement, intra-office leadership skills, and more.

As Robert Tew once said, “Challenge yourself every day to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances.” And as Hannah Montana once said, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”

Traditions: Advice from the Top

One of the many reasons I decided to intern here at PBP is that interns are truly made to feel part of the company, from the kinds of assignments we are given to our inclusion in work-related events and training.  Like all other new hires, interns participate in “Traditions,” a seven-week orientation program.

During Traditions, we play fun icebreakers to get to know each other, explore our individual strengths and how to enhance them, learn about the history of the company, and receive valuable advice and insight from top PBP executives.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

Last week during Traditions, we had the opportunity to have a Q&A session over lunch with Ed Satell, PBP’s CEO, and Tom Schubert, the COO and CFO.  Ed was inspiring when he encouraged us to “create our own realities,” much the way he did when he started PBP.

Ed explained how, while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut, he began working as a china salesman.  After experiencing success at sales, in 1959 Ed founded PBP’s parent company, American Future Systems (AFS).  Then, in the 1980s, PBP was born when Ed expanded into the world of publications.  PBP’s first newsletter, The Selling Advantage, was aimed at helping other business executives do their jobs better.

Since then, PBP has grown substantially, publishing twenty different newsletters, and encompassing many different divisions, such as Progressive Gifts & Incentives and Progressive Business Executive Education.

By telling his own success story, Ed made us feel as though we could also turn our dreams into realities. Ed taught us that to be great leaders, we should always remember to help others, ask more questions than we give answers, stay resilient, and view every experience as a building block to a future goal.

Tom added that mentors can be great resources to interns and other young professionals.  A mentor can be a peer or someone at a higher level, but in either case, you should not hesitate to ask for guidance, or simply to strike up a conversation.   One key aspect of success is to expose yourself to as many ideas, opinions, and job functions as possible.

When we left lunch, we all felt both humbled and empowered and are looking forward to the next Traditions class.

Keep up to date with what we are doing by following us on Twitter.  Make sure to participate in #TriviaTuesday and look out for Phoebe the PBP Polar Bear in #WhereIsItWednesday for your chance to win a prize.

How to be productive during a slow day

We have all been there: the day is dragging on and all of your assignments are complete. Now,  if only the last couple hours could go faster…


What not to do.

When faced with this dilemma, it’s sometimes tempting to get off track. Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Instagram, and others are where people will go to kill the time at the desk. But is that going to impress your boss? Is that an efficient way to spend your time? Being productive when you have some downtime  is a great quality to possess, and it could leave a lasting impression on those around you.

So how can you be productive when the day is slow and you’ve finished all your tasks? Here are 3 easy tips:

  1. Organize: Organizing your workspace and assignments is crucial to having efficient days. It is important to know where everything is and be able to get to it easily.
  1. Help others: You may be all caught up, but your fellow employees may not be. Ask  if there’s anything you can do for them! It’s a big help for co-workers and they’ll return the favor next time you are caught in a time crunch!
  1. Get ahead: There is going to come a time when you have so much work and not enough time. So why not get ahead while you can to ease the stress?! Start outlining the next few days and map out your action plan to ease the tension and make the rest of the week manageable.

Using these 3 simple strategies can help you be more productive, even during the slowest of days. The time will go faster and you are sure to be prepared for the road ahead!



So You Want an Internship?

Summer comes around and for a college kid you have a few options for work. You could work at the local YMCA, grocery store, get a landscaping job with your buddy’s dad’s company… Or you could work somewhere that’ll help you reach your long term career goals. How so? Well, with an internship of course! Here’s a few tips and pointers to get that internship:

1.) Make your listshutterstock_9255982
Think about what you want to do. Know what interests you, what you want to learn how to do, and what you could see yourself doing 10 years from now. With this information, write down some places and/or lines of work that you could see yourself in.

2.) Do your research
Research big companies in your area, or in the location you want to work, in order to find a good internship program. Bigger companies are more likely to have a well-established program to meet all your needs as an intern. But, don’t be afraid to pursue smaller companies for internship opportunities if it seems like it’s the line of work you want to be in.

3.) Know the company
This piece also requires some research. You need to research the company and its product lines to familiarize yourself with what the company does, how they do what they do, and most importantly why they do what they do. This will give you a better understanding to whether or not the company is a good fit and show employers come interview time that you did your homework!

4.) Make sure it’s attainable
When researching and looking through internship opportunities you need to make sure that it’s one that is attainable and realistic. So, make sure that you have transportation, living, and all other necessities worked out in order for this internship to work. The last thing you want is to commit yourself to an awesome internship program and have to pull out at the last minute.

5.) Build and trim that resume
In terms of building the right resume, your ultimate goal should be to make it as clear and thorough as possible so an employer will see and feel that you are the right candidate for the job. You need to hone in on the key skills and requirements that the employer is looking for. Be sure to tailor your resume to each internship you apply for, as the skills and requirements will most likely vary upon position, department, industry, etc.

6.) Reach out and contact
Contacting employers for internship opportunities can vary. If there is a formal application program, then be sure to write out your application and apply online or by mailing in (go with the preferred method of the employer). Be sure to do a little digging and research to figure out who will be receiving your application. If you don’t know this you can probably figure it out by calling HR and asking them who handles hiring. Then, be sure to contact that person via email or letter displaying your interest and explaining why you would make a good fit.

7.) Fine-tune your interview skills
Before you go waltzing in there for an interview you need to make sure you’ve done the right preparation. A big one is knowing your resume and yourself better than anyone else. If you can’t sell yourself and what’s on the sheet of paper you hand them, then you probably won’t get that second interview or the job at all. In addition to knowing yourself, be sure to do research on the company and the position you’re applying for. You need to understand the position and why you’re the best match for it by providing concrete examples to the interviewer. When interviewing be sure to be enthusiastic and confident, but not over the top. Show this through a firm handshake, positive eye-contact, confident body language, and carefully thought-out responses. And don’t be afraid to literally state to the interviewer/hiring manager that you want the position and following it up with why.

8.) Follow-Up
Any time you talk or have an interview with someone at a company, be sure to thank them and remind them that you’re out there and still want to intern with them. This can be done by means of email, letters, or both. This will reinforce your interest in the company and the position, in addition to keeping you fresh in the minds of the employer.


Want more awesome content? Follow the internship team on Twitter and bookmark this page!

Starting off at PBP


One Cook-Wissahickon student hurries to join the volleyball game.

Tuesday, June 10th was my first day at PBP, and I felt a mix of emotions – excited, tired, and nervous – to name a few.  I was excited to finally be at PBP, tired from having to wake up earlier than I had for the past four years, and nervous because I was the last intern to start. Immediately, I was welcomed by everyone on staff and it felt like I had been an intern for weeks. I knew I would start writing immediately, but I had no idea I would have the opportunity to take part  in one of PBP’s philanthropy events during my first week!

On my very first Friday, PBP had planned a Mentor Picnic at Battle of the Clouds Park in Phoenixville. I had a few emails describing the event, but I didn’t really know what it was all about. So, a few of the other interns and I decided to check it out.

We left the office around 11 a.m. and headed over to the park. When we got there, a group of students from Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School were gathered at picnic tables along with many of PBP’s employees. After talking with a few different people, we learned the employees had been mentors throughout the year, and the picnic was an end-of- year celebration.


Students play a game of wiffle ball before lunch.

Throughout the afternoon, students spent time with their mentors playing volleyball, football, soccer and running around on the park’s playground. It was so exciting to see how much fun the kids were having, and it was the perfect day for a picnic!

For lunch, we gathered at the picnic tables for some pizza and salad. The interns had time to chat with students about school and meet any PBP staff we hadn’t already. Then, there was a small celebration to say good luck to each sixth-grader leaving the program. PBP mentors spoke about the many memories they’ve shared with their mentees over the past few years and encouraged them to keep growing.

The students had a lot of fun, as did all of the PBP employees and interns! The picnic was a perfect start to my internship, because I not only had the chance to see one aspect of the organization’s philanthropy, but also I was able to meet and bond with some of the staff.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and bookmark our blog so you can keep up with everything we’re doing this summer! 

Meet PBP’s 2014 Interns!

intern groupWelcome future interns, co-workers, and internet strangers to PBP’s new batch of 2014 interns! We’re trying to rile up our media game, so get to know us! Follow us on Twitter at @PBPInterns for fun videos, office events, and down-time entertainment.

Bookmark us on your browser— you don’t want to miss the PBP excitement!


Julia Scavicchio, a ’14 Franklin and Marshall College alum from Marcus Hook, PA, will be spending her summer on West side (Best side) in the Editorial department. She studied English and Sociology, coxed for F&M’s rowing team, and wrote for The College Reporter. She enjoys exploring new restaurants, playing video games, and writing fiction.

  • Favorite quote: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” –The Phantom Tollbooth

Ashley Zawistowski, a  ’14 University of Delaware alum from Neptune, NJ, will also be working on West side in the Editorial department. She studied English and Sociology, was a resident assistant, and played intramural volleyball at UD. She loves relaxing on the beach, and can’t get enough of reality TV.

  • Favorite quote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emily Arons comes from Guilford, CT, and looks forward to graduating from Bryn Mawr College this December. She works on the East side as a marketing intern in Audio Conferences. She is a Psychology major who thoroughly enjoys everything outdoors, taking road trips, and listening to country music.

  • Favorite quote: “So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” –Marilyn Monroe

Chris Mathewson, a rising senior at Franklin and Marshall College, comes from Garnet Valley, PA. Throughout the summer he will be working on the West side in the Product Marketing department. He studies Business, and is a pitcher on F&M’s baseball team. He likes to play sports and hang out with his friends when he has spare time.

  • Favorite quote: “The ability to focus dead on, to sense what lies ahead, is the key to a successful life.” –Anonymous.

Meredith Veit, a rising senior at George Washington University, comes from Warrington, PA.  She will spend her summer on the East side as an Executive Education intern. She studies her specialized major, Communicating Public Culture, and is an e-board member for GW. She rocks the guitar, and likes to craft her own jewelry.

  • Favorite quote: “By seeing that nothingness is the fundamental reality, and you see it’s your reality, then how can anything contaminate you? Nothingness is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole universe.” –Alan Watts

Alex Geosits, from Media, PA, is a rising senior at Gettysburg College. He is working as a Progressive Gifts and Incentives intern on East side—where the most fun is had. His major is Organization and Management Studies, and minors in Business and Economics. He is also a member of the football team, and the Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In his spare time, Alex enjoys fishing and yodeling.

  • Favorite quote: “Live with no regrets.” –Anonymous

Kal McCloskey, from Pittsburgh, PA, is a rising senior at Widener University who is working on the East side as a PBP Media intern. He studies International Business and Marketing, is an indoor and outdoor track and field athlete, a Pi Sigma Epsilon brother, and Treasurer of the Italian Club. He enjoys the thrill of extreme sports, such as downhill mountain-biking and sky-diving.

  • Favorite quote: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” –Mahatma Ghandi


Keep in touch with @PBPInterns and look out for what’s coming up next!

Blog: Our trip with the mentees

Twitter video: Welcome to the office

How to Turn Your Internship Into A Full-Time Gig

Internships are a great way to build real-world experience and valuable exposure within a company or industry.  But most internships only last a few months.

Check out the infographic below to find out how to leverage your internship into a full-time job.

Internship Infographic

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