LinkedIn for International Students

by Gerald Parloiu, WH & CAS ’15

International students can have a harder time finding jobs in the U.S. especially because not all the companies can hire international students. If you are a freshman or a sophomore, firms might be reluctant to go through the complicated issue of sponsoring Visas, as they tend to look to hire juniors to whom they can extend full time offers at the end of their junior internship. However, OCR is not the only way of finding an internship!

inMails on LinkedIn
Coming from an Eastern European country and interested in returning and working in the area for the summer, LinkedIn proved a very helpful resource in my job search. After creating a profile and adding my experiences I received an email with an offer for a 2-month free LinkedIn Gold upgrade. I immediately signed up and received 10 free inMail credits. With these credits I was able to contact anyone on LinkedIn. The way it works is that you go on the person’s profile (HR, Associate, MD, Partner, anyone you’d like to contact) and you can write them a message. I used this function for job inquiries and it always proved successful as the messages sent through inMail go directly to the E-mail address the person used when they signed up for LinkedIn. Given this, you can rest assured that the person you are trying to contact will read your email. If for some reason they don’t answer to you in 7 days LinkedIn will give you another free inMail credit for the message you did not get a response back!

Whom to look for?
LinkedIn messages proved a very helpful tool as a lot of the people I contacted got back to me. In order to find out what companies to contact I did  preliminary research on the companies in banking and consulting in my country. It also helped to join different professional groups on LinkedIn – this gave me access to hundreds of different people who I could potentially contact. This might not work that well for contacting people in the United States or other countries that have a strong economy, as these countries tend to have a very formal recruiting process and the people you contact will most likely direct you to the company’s website or to HR.

Overall, I think LinkedIn is a great resource for international students looking for a job back home! And remember, most students find their job in April or May, there is no need to become anxious if you didn’t secure an internship in January. Start your search today by signing up and contacting people in the industry you are interested in!

To learn more about LinkedIn, visit Career Services’ LinkedIn resource page and come by for a LinkedIn profile critique!

Gerald_1Gerald is a sophomore studying in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. Besides his Romanian and Hungarian skills he is fluent in Spanish and is now studying Portuguese. He is the Academic Relations VP for Wharton Europe, is part of the CURF Student Advisory Board and also serves on the Career Services Advisory Board.

Career Services And Back Again: An Undergrad’s Tale

As someone who has had their Penn experience come full circle, I’ve been able to experience Career Services in two roles: as a student and a staff member.

As a student, I experienced Career Services in much the same way as most of my peers: the daily blast of emails on the Class of 2011 emailing list, the weekly workshops on every aspect and stage of the job search (from exploring career options to negotiating offers), the massive career fairs that pop up like mushrooms each semester, and, of course, the one-on-one advising appointments and walk-ins with advisors.

Now that I am a Career Services staff member, I am experiencing the full scope of what goes into all that Career Services does. I’ve experienced the early mornings and late evenings that go into setting up for the career fairs (not to mention all the prep work and details that have to be done such as catering, employer name tags, student handbooks, etc.), the hustle that comes with reserving rooms for workshops, the importance of coordinating advising appointments across multiple advisors, and the morning walks with recruiters to their OCR interviewing suites.

As a student, I took all of these for granted, and only saw them as fixtures of university life that just pop up automatically at the appointed time. But now that I am working behind the scenes, I see all the hard work that goes into each workshop, appointment, and event.

How Do I Get The “Inside Scoop” About An Organization?

By Barbara Hewitt

There are many ways to learn what it is like to work for a particular organization. One of the best ways to do so, of course, is to talk to people who work there…ask them about a typical day, the things they like (and don’t like!) about their work, and to describe the culture of the organization. As a Penn student, you have access to a variety of useful networking tools including PACNet (the Penn Alumni Career Network), the Penn Internship Network and the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group on LinkedIn. All of these can be very helpful to connect you with Penn alumni and current student who can help you research an organization.

If you are a regular Penn & Beyond reader, you probably were already aware of these resources, so I am focusiglassdoorng this blog post on another resource – Glassdoor.  This is a terrific site which provides “user generated content” to help job seekers find out more about specific organizations. You can research salaries for specific positions, read reviews from people working at the company (currently or in the past), and find out what interview questions job seekers were asked for specific positions at particular organizations. Although not all organizations are represented, over 238,000 are, so the chance of finding information on companies, particularly larger ones, is pretty good. While Glassdoor usually requires users to post a review or a salary before they can access all of the information on the site, they realize that many college students have not worked previously, so they have created a mechanism for students to access it without having to supply such information. You can find the login link which will allow you to forgo entering your own information through the Online Subscriptions link on the library part of the Career Services website. Login with your PennKey and PennKey password to gain access to Glassdoor and dozens of other subscription-based resources available to Penn students.

The Nights & Weekends Plan

onion_bg-766346Regular readers of my columns will know that one of my favorite topics to discuss here is work/life balance or “doing what you love vs. loving what you do.”  As someone who has an entirely separate “night time” career outside of Penn, I’m always interested to see what people have to say on the subject.

That’s why I was particularly intrigued to see The Onion, the bedrock of all satirical websites, running an Op/Ed piece that would feel at home here on Penn & Beyond just as easily as it would aside a spoof news article about how much Vladamir Putin loves his kitty cat.  The article, by David Ferguson, speaks for itself – I encourage you to read it here. (Go ahead and read it now.  I’ll wait here.)

If I could add one thing to Ferguson’s otherwise fine message – it’s that you never know what your nights and weekends might lead to.  I spent my nights and weekends writing – and now I’ve been published multiple times by a respected imprint.  Albert Einstein worked in a patent office and look where his nights and weekends led him!  If you are truly passionate about something and take the time to pursue it at any opportunity, then that passion will show in your work – and maybe one day, it will become your full time job and those nights and weekends will be free again…

…of course that gets boring fast.  Maybe you’ll find a second passion.

Perfect Timing (for your summer internship search) – REVISITED

By Claire Klieger

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about how my experience visiting the newly opened Harry Potter World at Universal Studios over spring break (yes, I fully embrace my inner dork) resembled the frenzy of the spring internship search.  Since we’ve been seeing lots of students worried that they are “late” in the internship search game recently, it seemed appropriate to revisit this blog with some updated stats on when students actually get offers (spoiler alert: it’s not when you may think). Enjoy!

Hogwarts Castle, or as I like to call it, "Mecca."
Hogwarts Castle, or as I like to call it, “Mecca.”

…Since that section of the park was so new, our strategy was to get to the park as soon as it opened, hoping to miss some of the crowds. However, when we arrived we realized everyone else had a similar idea because the place was packed. Luckily, as the day wore on, the crowds really thinned out and we ended up having almost no wait for the HP Experience (fantastic!) or other rides. And, despite being warned to expect a two hour wait at The Three Broomsticks for lunch, we just waltzed right in and were able to be seated immediately (for the record, butter beer isn’t as tasty as one would hope).

Why regale you with old stories from my geeky spring break? It turns out that the internship search season can feel much the same way. Everyone thinks gee, I have to get started really early or all of the “good” opportunities will be taken. And there is the similar early semester frenzy of OCR. But the truth is that lots of really fantastic opportunities don’t become available until later in the semester. Most students don’t find out about their summer plans that early. In fact, hot off the presses, the summer 2012 survey data shows that for freshman and sophomores across all schools, 52% received their offers in April or later. Or, in other words, only 22% of freshman and sophomores receive their offers before March. While it is true that some industries tend to make offers earlier (financial services peaks with internship offers in February), many do not typically make offers until later. For example, for internships in both communications and with non-profits, the peak time period for offers was April. For more details on timelines for offers, summer salary trends by industry and more, check out our newly posted summer survey reports for additional details.

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