Ben Franklin Is Their Bridge To Employment

By: Zoe Tillman, Staff Writer
Philadelphia Inquirer

August 14, 2009

There is a happy ending to the saga of two young job seekers who handed out resumés this summer near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Unlike many of their peers, Sean Christman, 22, and Andrew O'Malley, 22, are now employed.

The two longtime friends from Haddon Township graduated from college in May. Christman has a degree in finance from La Salle University, and O'Malley has a business-management degree from Rutgers University.

Despite job experience in their fields and honors-laden resumés, they grew increasingly discouraged as hundreds of applications failed to yield any offers.

The two took to the bridge off-ramp into Center City twice this summer, passing out copies of their resumés to morning rush-hour drivers stopped at the traffic light.

As word of their unusual approach to job hunting spread, employers took notice.

O'Malley was hired last Friday at Masso Torrence Wealth Management Inc. He began his marketing job at the Marlton company Monday.

The effort under the bridge "showed us he has a fire in his belly and that he wants to work," company president Chris Masso said.

The job, which comes with health benefits and vacation time, is "a big relief," O'Malley said.

Christman was hired on July 22 - the day he and O'Malley last passed out their resumes downtown - at a financial services firm in New Jersey.

He has bought a car, a silver 2007 Honda Accord, but will continue to live at home in order to save money.

He said he thought the firm was impressed by his aggressive job hunting strategy by the bridge. It called him with an offer 10 minutes after he left its office.

"You really just have to go out there and stand out," he said. "You have to go above and beyond what people expect."

Like O'Malley, Christman said there was only one word to describe how he was feeling: