Happy 50th blog post to me! This week, I’ll be taking it back several weeks to talk about my Fall Break experience. I stayed around the Philadelphia area but I still managed to keep myself incredibly busy. On the first weekend, my friend Megha and I went to event in South Philly hosted by the Mural Arts Program’s Southeast by Southeast initiative, a year-long public art and community building program for Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepali immigrants (more information can be found here: http://muralarts.org/southeast). We had the opportunity to screenprint shirts with Bhutanese designs, eat Burmese food, and take a free mural tour. I love South Philly for the food and diversity so it was great to get more of an insider perspective on the neighborhood. Afterwards, Megha was kind enough to host me at her apartment in Overbrook for the week so we got to hang out and cook for most of the week together.
The rest of my week was spent doing the Effective Grantsmanship course, sponsored by the Civic Engagement Office, and the Job Boot Camp course that Bryn Mawr offered over break for no cost. I spent the first two days learning the basics of writing grants, an essential skill as someone hoping to go into the non-profit world. We did a variety of exercises to practice finding and funding grants and got to hear from people who worked at non-profits, foundations, and higher education funding offices. I was really thankful to be able to develop a tangible skill for next year, especially as I start to apply to jobs.
The Job Boot Camp was taught by the amazing Meredith Meyers, a Wharton professor who teaches the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Finance workshops over breaks for students to introduce them to business. I had previously taken the Management workshop, so many of the things we discussed were review for me, but it’s always really useful to get help on resumes, work on public speaking, and practice interview questions. On Thursday night, we had a networking event with Bryn Mawr alums and faculty. I had the opportunity to speak with a school social worker who I now get to extern with during winter break! The Job Boot Camp has inspired me to meet up with my friend Megha every week and go over job applications and resumes to keep each other accountable and support each other. I will try and do a blog post about some tips for applying to jobs in the vein of my previous post on summer internships.
During my down time after my classes, I relaxed with friends by going into the city. One night we headed into West Philly and got cheap Korean food at Koreana Restaurant, a favorite among Penn students. The next day, I saw Noah and the Whale, a British indie band, in South Philly with two of my friends. It was exactly the kind of concert I loved: happy music you can sing along to, a small, intimate venue, and an enthusiastic but not-too-crazy crowd. It was also a great time to just appreciate the fall weather!
I ended the week with a trip to visit my friend Duong in Kennett Square. I have experienced suburbs and cities in Pennsylvania but this was the first time I had gotten the small town experience. It was weird but fun to drive around everywhere. I got to see the rural autumn landscapes everywhere we went which was beautiful. We spent the weekend doing fun and relaxing activities: cooking brunch, going shopping, eating cheesecake, and working in cute coffeeshops. The highlight of my trip was going to Linvilla Orchards with two other Bryn Mawr alums. I got to complete an East Coast tradition for the first time: picking apples! We also got to dine on fresh apple cider doughnuts, drink cold and hot apple cider, and I purchased an apple pie to share with my hall when I got back to Bryn Mawr.
Overall, it was a much more eventful and fun fall break than I expected! Too bad real life doesn’t give fall breaks!