An Unconventional Path to Finding the Right Job

Sushanth Bhaskarabhatla, C’12

My experience finding my job was a bit unique and less straightforward compared to that of many of my peers, so I thought it would be worth sharing to other students as an anecdote.

Though many of my friends received job offers through OCR during their senior year, I did not formally go through OCR since I was working on my own start-up at the time. It turned out to be very useful, though, for me to attend the Penn Engineering Career Fair (open to College students), where I met folks from AppNexus and other tech companies. Later, I had two phone interviews with them in September of my senior year and then put the process on hold. Once I finished working on my start up a few months ago, I got back in touch with the folks from AppNexus that I met.

Sending one thoughtful email re-establishing that connection and describing my experience over the past year and why I was interested in their company had a much stronger impact than dozens of resumes I was dropping at the time. I want to thank Career Services because the initial Career Fair helped me laid the seeds of a job offer that I did not receive until over a year later.

I am now a Technical Account Manager at AppNexus, where I work with 3rd party developers to make apps for our clients in the advertising industry to use. The work combines both business and technical aspects in an exciting and growing start-up and industry. I never would have found this opportunity, however, if I had beelined for what I thought at the moment was the right job.

1) The Career Fairs you have access to at Penn are a unique opportunity; they won’t come as easily after you graduate. Even if you think you know what you’re looking for, take advantage of the Fairs, Panels, etc. by attending a broad range of them and meeting a diverse group of people.

2) Once you form these initial connections, try to feel out which companies are the strongest fit for you, based on industry, culture, etc., I strongly recommend you focus on quality over quantity. Form strong, genuine relationships with individuals you connect to, and maintain them over time, even if you are interviewing at other places and considering other opportunities.

PennLink and the job hunt in general can be a bit like a “black box” at times, even to qualified candidates. Don’t let yourself become lost in the pile by simply just dropping resumes. Hope this helps you navigate what can be a daunting process!

Author: Guest Perspective

Our guest perspective account includes views from Penn alumni, current students and employers, writing exclusively for Penn & Beyond!