A Drexel University student from Philadelphia, Jasmin Sosa didn't have any lack of interest when she applied for jobs a year ago to fulfill her co-op program requirement.
Anyone searching for a job would love to be in the identical predicament that was facing Sosa - she had a staggering number of 15 companies that wanted to hire the 21-year-old Communications major for a six-month, paid intern position.
Although she wound up in California, in a sense Sosa remained very close to Philadelphia. She chose the Drexel Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento and Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn for her co-op job, turning down other alluring offers that included the Department of Education in Washington D.C., the Philadelphia Children's Hospital, University of Pennsylvania college of medicine, a prestigious public relations firm in Philadelphia, and four different law firms.
"Who gets 15 job offers in this economy?" asks Sandy Kirschenmann, the Associate Vice Provost, Executive Director for Drexel's graduate program in Sacramento. "But if you know Jasmin, you don't question why there was so much interest. She is a very special young woman with many wonderful qualities. She has been an excellent addition to our Sacramento team. We're really going to miss her when she goes back to being a Drexel student in Philadelphia."
The feeling is mutual.
Sosa says she will return to the classroom on April 2 with some real-world experience that can't be duplicated by listening to a professor or reading a textbook.
"I'm so appreciative of the opportunity that the Drexel people in Sacramento have given me," Sosa said. "I was made to feel like part of the team from the very start. They ask for my input and really care about what I say. I've sat in on important meetings that I never thought in a million years I would have a chance to experience."
Not only did Sosa get to attend exclusive meetings, she met once a week with interim Drexel Executive Director Frank Linnehan and the exposure continued when Kirschenmann took over in early November.
"Frank and I would discuss upcoming projects, and he always asked me how he could help," Sosa said. "And I have loved working with Sandy, it's been fantastic. We share ideas and get things done together. She is very engaging. I have learned so much from Sandy."
While in Sacramento, Sosa has split her time working for Drexel and Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn, one of Sacramento's largest and most prestigious advertising and public relations firms. It's been a juggling act, splitting time with each business, but the hustling Sosa has made it work.
"It's been a great experience working for Runyon. I have learned so much about marketing, advertising and PR," said Sosa, who grew up in Columbia, Maryland. "They have allowed me to try so many different things, and have given me great feedback."
"Jasmin has been a wonderful addition to our team." said Chris Holben, Vice President and Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs at Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn. "She exhibits the work ethic, inquisitiveness and customer friendly focus that is required to succeed in the communications field. I have no doubt that Jasmin can look forward to a bright future."
An admitted workaholic, Sosa has managed to enjoy life outside of work as well. She knows the city well, thanks to living in a one-bedroom apartment in midtown Sacramento. She frequently runs the city streets and nearby parks, logging an average of 30 miles a week.
During her California stay, Sosa also took up skiing, visiting the Lake Tahoe slopes four or five times. She has spent a weekend in San Francisco, went wine tasting, visited Los Angeles, and took a trip to Las Vegas. She also has done volunteer work with pit bulls for the City's animal shelter and joined a Sacramento meet-up group where she's developed many close friendships.
"I'm used to going 24/7 in Philadelphia, so I've found a lot of things in Sacramento to keep me busy," Sosa said. "It's a slower pace than I'm used to in a big city, but I've found ways to make it feel like home. I love that there is so much to do and see in California."
However, Sosa's California days are coming to an end. She will be back in Philadelphia by late March and the spring quarter will be hectic because she's taking 21 units and also working part-time for Drexel's communications department.
Sosa expects to earn her undergraduate degree in December 2012, then begin the search for a job.
Judging from past experience, it's likely that Sosa won't have any problem when she leaves the classroom behind and enters the real world for the first time. It's a world Sosa already understands so well - thanks to Drexel.