By The Book: Two New Resources for the Spring

by Michael DeAngelis, Information Resources Manager

The following resources have been added to the Career Services Library and are available for your perusal! When classes are in session, the Career Services Library is open from 9am-6pm Monday to Wednesday and 9am-5pm on Thursdays and Fridays.

freelanceStarting Your Career as a Freelance Writer (Second Edition) by Mira Allen.  From the publisher: If you’ve always dreamed of making a living as a writer, this book will take you where you want to go. Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, Second Edition, demystifies the process of becoming a writer and gives aspiring writers all the tools they need to become successful freelance writers, get their names in print, and start earning a healthy income from writing. Completely revised and updated, the second edition includes an entirely new section on the “online writer,” discussing how to set up your own website, whether you need a blog, how to effectively participate in social networking sites, and information on electronic publishing, POD and more. New chapters provide guidance on writing for international markets and other writing opportunities such as ghostwriting, speech-writing, technical writing, copyediting, teaching, etc. This indispensable resource walks writers through the process of developing marketable ideas and then finding appropriate markets for those ideas. It includes effective tips on how to set writing goals; make time for writing; hone research and interview techniques; create outlines and first drafts, approach editors (online and offline), and prepare and submit material. Writers will also discover the vital business issues of freelancing such as rights and contracts, plus how to manage income, expenses, and taxes. Author Moira Allen has more than 30 years experience both as a freelance writer and as an editor; her tips come from a keen understanding of what works from both sides of the desk. Whether readers are looking to support themselves as full-time freelancers or supplement an existing career, no one wanting to make money as a writer can afford to be without this book.

sorsSORS: Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (2013-2014) by Eric Woodward, Director of Fellowships and Internships.  From the publisher:

The Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (SORS) Guide is meant to help would-be researchers, students, fellows, interns, partnership-builders, and anybody else who is interested better navigate research and study opportunities at the Smithsonian.

SORS is divided into two sections. The first describes various internship and fellowship opportunities at the Smithsonian. The second summarizes a lot of activities and work happening at various Smithsonian units, and current interests of various Smithsonian staff – plus how to get in touch with them (see the email directory at the end). If you’re looking for a mentor, adviser, collection, or other opportunity at the Smithsonian that matches your study and/or research goals – this is a great place to start.

Furthermore, Career Services recently hosted a panel on getting internships at the Smithsonian.  You can check out advice from former interns and Smithsonian employees in the video below.

Smithsonian Internship Advice from Penn Career Services on Vimeo.

Day in the Life: Teacher at Success Academy Charter Schools

Ever wondered what it’s like to teach at one of New York City’s top-performing public elementary schools — in Harlem? Join alumna Paloma Saez ’11 on Tuesday, April 8, when she tweets for @PennCareerDay. Learn about Success Academy, the unique network of public charter schools that Paloma works for. Success Academy has been nationally recognized for its robust curriculum, degree of parent involvement, extraordinary professional development program, and commitment to “joyful rigor.” The organization serves mostly high-risk, low-income, inner-city kids admitted by lottery, and yet its schools rank in the top 1 percent in New York State in math and the top 7 percent in reading. It has not only closed the achievement gap, but by several measures it’s actually reversed it.

paloma saez bio photoPaloma teaches third grade at Success Academy Harlem 2. For her, being part of such an organization is inspiring. “When I learned about Success Academy, I fell in love with the model,” she says. “I loved the aesthetics. I loved how organized everything is and how supported the teachers are. The environment immediately felt social, intellectual, and stimulating in all ways. And the people I met were the kind of people I knew I wanted to be working with.”

She didn’t always know she wanted to be a teacher, though. When she started at Penn, she aimed for a career in chemistry, or, she thought, a combination of chemistry and art. Another option she considered was law, in particular juvenile justice. “The prison-to-school pipeline always fascinated me,” she says. But then she had a realization: “I though it would be better to focus on helping kids stay in school than on moving them from prison to school. That’s when I decided teaching was the way to go for me.” Saez taught for Teach for America for a year after graduating, and then started at Success Academy. The best thing about teaching third grade? “Seeing students succeed academically is great, but the moments that matter the most to me are when one student sticks up for another, or when students help and support one another. At this age you really see them becoming part of a team, and that’s an amazing reward.”

March Madness

bballIt’s that time of year again for . . . figuring out what to do after the semester ends. Oh, and basketball!

Some of you have already found and committed to your upcoming summer internships or full-time jobs. Others are scanning the sites, looking for teams, studying their histories, trying to pick what might be a winning combination for you.

Upsets? Perhaps the position you wanted didn’t come through? Keep searching—use our resources and come see us.

Seedings? Perhaps your top choice didn’t turn out to be as interesting as you had hoped when you did an internship, talked to recruiters at a career fair, or networked with alumni? If you are changing direction and now focusing on different career fields, use our resources and come see us.

Cinderellas? Perhaps you’ve received unexpected interest (or even an offer) from a recruiter or networker you met at a career workshop or panel? If you need negotiation tips, use our resources and come see us.

Pairings? Perhaps nothing or too many things interest you, and you are finding it difficult to make choices? If you need to begin exploring ideas and think it would be helpful to really think about what you want, use our resources and come see us.

One of the fun aspects of tournaments like the March NCAA national championships for men’s basketball and women’s basketball is the unexpected results. When your curiosity takes over and you’re intrigued by a professor’s or presenter’s experiences, a friend’s story about a past internship, or a company highlighted in a news article, explore it!

Finally, don’t panic. It may feel mad, but it’s not too late! Many students find their internships and jobs in the spring. Check our surveys to see when students in your program found their positions last year. Depending on the industry(ies) you’ve targeted, hiring may be done in the fall . . . or winter . . . or spring . . . or just in time (right before anticipated start dates). March is as good a time as any!

Whether you’re committed to your national-champion pick, or whether you’re ready to consider all the options, upsets, and possibilities along the way, Career Services can help.BlankBracket

It’s that time of year again!

By Anne Reedstrom

No, I’m not referring to the beginning of spring or men’s and women’s NCAA basketball (Go Big 10!), but to Advance Registration.

Over the next couple of weeks, you will be pondering what the future might have in store for you, at least through next fall. If you think that future might include health professions school, there are things that you need to keep in mind.

Juniors: Get ready to embark upon your final year of undergrad! Think about the classes you need to take in order to finish things up – not just your pre-health requirements, but any classes in your major or pesky sector requirements that remain. The time may have come to finally face the monster that is Organic Chemistry Lab, but don’t let the dread ruin your senior year – you’ll do just fine. Lots of you will even end up liking it by the time you are done. No, I’m not kidding. This is also the time to make room in your course schedule for that irksome second English class – anything in the English or Comparative Literature Departments (or a cross-listing) will take care of it.

Sophomores: Soldier on, you’re halfway there. If you haven’t already had a semester where you doubled up in the sciences, now is the time to consider it. You’ve got a good handle on how to study for those hard classes and know about the multitude of resources available to help get you through, so go ahead and schedule something alongside Physics or Organic Chemistry. You will be juggling multiple science classes in medical or dental school, so this is good practice for the future, as well as a chance to show admissions committees (and yourself!) that you can handle it. Luckily, you’ll be able to balance your schedule with the really interesting upper-level classes in your major, now that you’ve declared one.

Freshpeople/First Years: You’ve almost made it through one whole year of college! Congratulations! Planning for the second year is pretty straightforward – take some more science. That’s it. No…that’s not it. Yes, you should take more science classes – move on to whichever one you want to take next; there is no specific order in which you should take them, excepting, of course, General Chemistry before Organic Chemistry. I like to point out the obvious. Beyond that, you should think about finishing up with whatever math might remain or scheduling a writing seminar if you didn’t already take one this year. Keep exploring those subjects that are interesting to you and knock out some more sector requirements while figuring out just what is exciting enough to make you want to major in it. The most important thing to remember, though, is to be reasonable in what you are expecting of yourself in a semester. If you’re still not really confident in your science classes yet, don’t double up or increase your course load to 5.5+ c.u.s. As far as being pre-health goes, you’ve still got a lot of time and it is better to take things slowly and do well than to rush and perform below your expectations and abilities.


While there are a great many things to think about when planning your schedule, there are also a lot of resources here at Penn to help you out. If you want to talk through or develop your plans go and see your advisor, a peer mentor, a sympathetic faculty member, or your friendly, neighborhood pre-health advisor! We have walk-ins weekly on Wednesday afternoons from 2.00-4.00pm and there will be a special session of walk-ins on Thursday, April 3rd from 12.00-1.30.