A Very Versatile PhD (a poem about an online resource)

Dr. Joseph Barber

Over the break you’ll have time to think,
To ponder career paths open to you.
But the next semester will be here in a blink
So here’s something easy for you to do.

Get to a computer – look you’re already here –
And find the Career Services website.
I’ve included the link to help you get near,
Just one click to gain helpful insight.

Click on subscriptions (PennKey is required)
And enter your secret details.
You’re taking important steps to get hired
So let’s see what this new page unveils.

Scroll down the list to the last but one,
It’s the Versatile PhD that you need.
Click on the link – but we’re not quite done,
So take a moment and continue to read.

If you’ve never been before, set up your profile,
It’s free, and you’ll be glad that you do.
There’s lots on this site that is very worthwhile
Including the “premium content” too.

Penn has a subscription to give you access
To this info that others can’t see.
Look on the top, on the right, see it? Yes?
OK, pull up a chair and get comfy.

You’ll find archived discussions for different careers,
And stories of PhDs on the non-academic track.
The resumes and cover letters they used will appear
Providing you with knowledge that you might lack.

Participate in the forums – don’t just lurk –
And make use of the premium content.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for you to network
And a winter break very well spent.

Career Quizzo!

questionsOn Tuesday nights, after a long day of servicing careers, I like nothing more to go over to City Tap House for Quizzo (aka pub quiz).  My team, long reigning second place champs, loves unwinding in our share love of obscure knowledge.

I thought if would be fun for those of you in the throws of finals (or those of you already enjoying your winter break) to play some career quizzo.  All the questions below are somehow related to careers.  Give yourself one point for every question and two points for the bonus.

Answers are posted after the break…no cheating and good luck!

  1. In 2003, the Museum of Modern Art NYC hosted an exhibition for artists who made their career creating art from this common office supply, originally created by 3M?
  2. This actor recently turned his experiences as a male stripper into a hit movie.
  3. On what long running TV show is the main cast paid $300,000 per episode for only two days of work – a read through on Thursday and a record session on Monday?
  4. According to CNN Money, what was the top paying job of 2012?  Was it Neurosurgeon, Petroleum Engineer or Dentist?
  5. This 1991 John Hughes comedy stars Jennifer Connelly in a story about two people locked overnight in a Target.
  6. Bonus: In what year was Career Services founded?

Continue reading “Career Quizzo!”

Slam Dunk your Skype Interview

Many of the graduate students who come to Career Services to see me and my colleagues have Skype interviews coming up. Although some of these students use Skype to talk with family, friends and their significant other, the prospect of using it for an interview injects a bit of anxiety.

So here are a few tips to help you come across well in an interview via Skype:

  • Even if it feels non-intuitive, look at your computer’s camera, NOT at the person(s) with whom you are Skyping; otherwise it will appear to the other person(s) that you are looking down.
  • See what the space behind your chair looks like. Get rid of piles of paper, coffee cups and anything else that makes your environment look messy.
  • Make sure that you will not be interrupted by spouse/partner, children, pets, ringing phones, timers, email pop-ups and other “alerts”.
  • As you decide what to wear keep in mind that colors make the features of your face show up better than white.
  • If you use a microphone attachment or lavaliere microphone the search committee will likely hear you better.
  • Facing a window in the room diagonally may provide good light on your face and no reflection on your glasses.
  • Lighting can be damaging when it comes from behind your head because it can put your face in shadow. Test light levels at the time of day the interview will be to see if you can tell where the light is most beneficial for illuminating you during the conversation.
  • If you lose your connection, just call them back. (You could ask at the beginning or, in an email prior to the Skype interview, if they would prefer you to call back or have them call you, should you be disconnected.) It may be to your advantage to have your interviewer see you handling a problem.
  • Do a practice interview with a friend or schedule one with a Career Services advisor. You won’t regret it!

Graduating? What to Say at those Holiday Parties

If you are graduating in May and will be home for the break, there is some chance you will be getting together with friends and family for a holiday celebration.  Be ready for the following questions:

  • So, what are you going to do after you graduate?
  • This economy must make it hard to find a job.  Have you been having any luck?
  • Are you planning to move into your old room once you finish up at Penn?

Some of you can answer the first and second questions definitively: yes, I have had good luck.  I have accepted (or am considering) a great offer.  In fact, a full third of the class of 2012 had received the offer they ultimately accepted by December of senior year.  Around a fifth can say yes, I have applied to graduate school (18% went directly to graduate or professional school last year).

Continue reading “Graduating? What to Say at those Holiday Parties”