So You’re a Freshman…

Kathleen Rause

Welcome to Penn! The fact that you are already reading this blog makes you a proactive career-planning superstar. Of course, freshman year should be a time to make friends, get acquainted with Penn, explore academic interests, get involved in co-curricular activities, and have fun! But it is never too early to acquaint yourself with Career Services (check out our manual for a great introduction) and start thinking about career planning and career goals.

First, get familiar with the Career Services website. It can be a bit overwhelming, but only because there is so much great information and so many awesome resources. To help as you begin to navigate the career planning process, here are a few places to start:

Career Services Website:

1. Career Resources by Field – a great way to learn about and explore opportunities in different career fields.
2. Informational Interviewing – one of the best ways to build your network and gain knowledge of career fields. We offer an explanation of informational interviewing, tips and sample questions.

1. PACNet (Penn Alumni Career Network): This database of Penn alumni who can offer career advice and guidance to students with career questions. An EXCELLENT place to start when setting up informational interviews.
2. iNet – database with internship and summer opportunities in a broad range of geographic locations.
3. PennLink – Penn’s job and internship database, with listings of employers coming to campus for on-campus recruiting (OCR), as well as those who are not. You will also find listings of employer information sessions.

Social networks:
4. LinkedIn* – “Professional Facebook.” Create a profile now and begin connecting with you peers, professors, advisers, recruiters, and—most importantly—those you meet for informational interviews, at career fairs or through professional associations/events.
(*Also attend “How LinkedIn Can Advance Your Career” on November 29.)
Of course you are welcome to make an appointment with a career counselor – we would love to meet you in person.

Until then, enjoy freshman year and good luck at Penn!

Author: Kathleen

Kathleen Rause is a former graduate intern for the Wharton Undergraduate counseling team. She is a graduate of Penn's Graduate School of Education.