Lend a Helping Hand

by Anne Guldin Lucas

It was a simple gesture of protectiveness.  As two boys were walking along a narrow railroad underpass facing oncoming traffic, the taller boy pulled the shorter boy closer to him, away from the cars.  This isn’t a blog about pedestrian safety, although that’s a worthy topic.  Perhaps only a career counselor could find a career connection in that fleeting moment between two children.

What struck me about an older boy helping a younger boy was the essential importance of helping one another throughout our lifetimes—whether in navigating traffic or in building careers.  Helping others can come in many different forms, and obviously there are many diverse examples at Penn—such as tutoring and mentoring children in West Philadelphia, fundraising for victims of disasters, or serving other worthy causes and organizations.  I believe that most Penn students are involved with some sort of good works; it’s admirable and necessary to the well being of our vibrant community.

While endorsing all varieties of aid, the type of “helping others” I’m discussing here is more directly related to careers.  I’m referencing sharing career advice, an important way of giving back to Penn.  On Monday, March 14th, Rich Ross ’83, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, will return to Penn for his 20th visit to address students interested in “Entertainment Careers.”  Rich’s devotion to his alma mater is exceptional and unprecedented.  Literally decades of Penn students have benefited from his expertise and experience, enjoying a good dose of humor in the mix.  If you’d like to attend Rich’s presentation, please check out this link and RSVP:

  • Entertainment Careers with Alum Rich Ross – Chairman of Walt Disney Studios
    Monday, March 14th, 4:30 pm – 6:00pm, Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall
    RSVP Here

Since there is only one Rich Ross as far as Penn is concerned, fortunately there are other ways for Penn students and alumni to make contributions related to career networking.  Did you realize that current students have volunteered to share information about their internships with fellow students through the Penn Internship Network and alumni have registered to share their career insights as mentors in PACNet, the Penn Alumni Career Network?  Please participate in these networks, as an advisor or as an information seeker, by using the links above.

Additionally, for students participating in campus organizations such as athletic teams or publications, the arts, or service clubs, why not reach out to alumni who shared your passion for these activities when they were students at Penn?  Many of our athletic teams do a terrific job of connecting today’s Penn athletes with their stars from yesteryear for mentoring.  If your team or club hasn’t tapped this vital resource, I urge you to initiate similar programs in your organization.  While meeting with a Penn undergrad recently, we fantasized about bringing together students interested in the business and creative sides of entertainment so that they can begin to forge productive relationships on campus, which they will then carry into the world beyond Penn.  I’m imagining the 2025 Academy Awards when the group receiving the Best Picture award mentions that “Our collaboration began at Penn!”

If you need advice or encouragement to take full advantage of the many networking opportunities available to you, please make an appointment to meet with a counselor in Career Services!  Let’s help one another learn about career options and move into rewarding, successful careers.  And thanks again to Rich Ross ’83 for making his 20th visit to Penn next week!

Author: Anne Lucas

Anne Lucas is a career counselor at Penn Career Services. Currently, she works with students in the College of Arts & Sciences.