A helping hand in a hard time

maurice kaplow

One of the best parts of my job as a college journalism professor is helping my students find internships and jobs. I look at it like a puzzle: Which student would fit best into which position?

One of my talented students sent me a great thank-you recently after I helped her leave her job at a supermarket for a career position in journalism.

I was happy to help her, and it is all because a nationally recognized conductor from the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia once helped me. Let me explain.

In 1990, I was a public relations assistant at the Pennsylvania Ballet. It was my first job after graduating from Villanova University and I loved it.

Part of my job involved shepherding kids from “The Nutcracker” to appearances in Philadelphia. I got to watch “Swan Lake” from the wings more than 15 times. It was a joy.

But the Pennsylvania Ballet was going through a tumultuous financial crisis then. And in March 1990, I was laid off. I was devastated. And I was also poor, since I had only been making $17,000 a year and now had no paycheck. It was a recession and I had just been canned from my first job. What was I going to do?

Out of the blue, I got a phone call at home from Maurice Kaplow, the genial conductor of the Pennsylvania Ballet. I didn’t even know he knew my name. He spoke kindly and gave me a contact for a job at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. His recommendation helped get me a job at WAC in the Program Department and lifted me out of unemployment.

It was a great job and even better, the flex schedule in the summer allowed me to blossom as a freelancer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

While I liked my job at WAC, I realized I loved being a journalist and in time, made a career switch. For the next dozen years, I worked as a newspaper reporter at papers across the country. Now I have the best job – as a tenured college professor at Rowan University.

This is due to Maury Kaplow, a conductor and musician who took a chance on me and reached out. Kaplow later left the Pennsylvania Ballet and went on to a storied career as principal conductor for the New York City Ballet. He retired a few years ago.

We are no longer in touch, but I think of him and his kindness often. He lent me a helping hand when I truly needed one and I make sure to pay it forward to my students. Thanks, Maury.

Quigley is a columnist for Metro Philadelphia. She is an associate professor of journalism at Rowan University and a Philadelphia native. She can be reached at kathrynsquigley@gmail.com.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Local

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Local

How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NFL

Jets make Chris Johnson signing official

The Jets got their big-play threat as running back Chris Johnson signed a multi-year contract with the team on Wednesday.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.