On-Campus Recruiting for Internships Has Arrived!

By Barbara Hewitt

Okay, so perhaps the employers are not on campus yet, but activities are definitely underway. Many resume collections for summer on-campus recruiting opened up on PennLink on January 2nd and the first resume deadline will be on Monday, January 20th. The first interviews on-campus will take place on Monday, February 3rd.

interviewingOn-campus recruiting for summer internships is mainly focused on students in their penultimate year of classes – those expecting to graduate in 2015. Many of the employers who participate view the internship as a chance for interns and employers to “try one another out” and if the match is a good one they will extend offers for full-time, postgraduate positions. That being said, sophomores are certainly welcome to participate in OCR, but should realize that the opportunities for them will be more limited.

There are also many information sessions scheduled in the coming days to allow students to learn more about opportunities at the various participating organizations . The information sessions start on the first day of classes (Wednesday, January 15th.). Check out the events tab in PennLink for a complete listing.

Have more questions about OCR? Plan to attend an on-campus recruiting orientation (if you didn’t attend one in the fall) on Wednesday, January 15 (from 2:00 – 3:00 in the Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall) or Friday, January 17th (from 12:00 -1:00 in Huntsman Hall Room 240). You can also view an online version of the orientation here.

Check out these Career Services webpages for resume, cover letter and interviewing tips.

Resolutions You Won’t Regret Making

“New Year’s Resolutions” are a big topic in January – a time when people seem to enjoy setting new goals, or rededicating themselves to efforts or projects left undone.  There are many categories of goals you may set – health and wellness, learning, etc.  One category worth contemplating as well is professional goals.

Whether you are an alumnus out of school for some time, a newly minted graduate (congratulations to those that finished in December 2013!) or a current student of any level, you can set some professional goals for 2014 that will help you to advance.   Consider these two easily achievable goals that may take just a few moments but have significant dividends over time:

  • Log into the new Quakernet and search out a Penn person working in your area of interest – and send them an email to help expand your network!  You could begin a conversation using some of the tips on our Networking & Mentoring page, and even possibly identify someone who could be a helpful mentor or an ally in your professional development efforts.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile – don’t have one?  Make one!  Haven’t touched it in a while?  Get more active!  LinkedIn, with its groups for professional fields and school attendees and graduates, is a great place to “connect” with like-minded or interested people that may also expand your network and horizons.  Check out this UPenn Career Services-authored guide to help you make the most of your profile efforts.

All the best to you in 2014, and may you reach all of your goals for the year!!


Career Exploration Lessons from the Cheshire Cat

I’m definitely not the first to compare Lewis Carroll’s  character of Alice lost down a rabbit hole to the career exploration process. However, sometimes as a career counselor I feel a little like the Cheshire Cat, if slightly less cheeky. With that said, I do feel this particular sassy feline has a lot of good advice to offer, particularly as it relates to looking for that first job after graduation. Here are some of my favorite quotes of his and how they apply to life after Penn:

alice-with-cheshire-catAlice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

Alice: “I don’t much care where –”

Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Before you start applying for jobs, it is important to have some direction because what you want greatly influences how and where you look for those opportunities. Once you identify a goal, we in Career Services are happy to help you develop a strategy to get there. However, if you aren’t sure what you want and you’re not ready to decide (a topic for a whole different blog), then you open yourself up to possibilities, which can be as exciting as having a more concrete goal.  Just like Alice picking from different possible paths, if you aren’t sure of what your long-term plans are, just about any first job will help you get there. This is because any role will help you develop new skills that you can use in future positions as well as give you a better sense of what you want (or don’t want) in future jobs. The trick is to take advantage of all experiences put in front of you because you never know which path they will help illuminate next. You might even think of it as an adventure…

And, as the Cheshire Cat also wisely said, “Every adventure requires a first step. Trite, but true, even here.”  In other words, don’t be afraid to test yourself and explore new things. Even in the nerve-wracking and stressful process of figuring out life after graduation, each small step along the way, whether that’s updating your resume or doing an informational interview with a Penn alum, can help you get there. Or, taking a risk on an unusual first job may also be that first step towards an adventure.

 “Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to.”

Thicheshire cattrees quote could be interpreted many ways but in this instance I take it to mean that very few people find careers about which they are truly passionate. And even fewer are passionate about something as a senior in college. Some spend the rest of their lives looking for it and some never find it. For those lucky few who seem born to do what they do (think Steve Jobs, Jim Henson, Jane Goodall), they have typically taken the path less traveled or more risky to get there. So it’s okay if you’re not passionate about something now. That’s not what your first job is all about. It’s just the first step along your adventure. But as you travel on your own winding path or tumble down a rabbit hole, be on the lookout for the Cheshire Cats in your own lives. We may be frustrating, or even cheeky, but hopefully we will help you ask questions of yourself, what’s important to you, and which way you want to go.

Happy New Year!

2014Happy New Year from Career Services!

We will be re-opening at 9am on January 2nd.  Feel free to give us a call or come by for a walk-in over break or set up an appointment for when you return to campus.   We look forward to assisting you in 2014!