The end is near…

The semester is almost over. For some of you, that means your undergraduate or graduate experience is also ending. We hope it has been everything you expected it would be when you matriculated. We also hope it has been more: more intellectual stimulation across disciplinary boundaries, more deep friendships, more (perhaps different) career fields to consider. For at least some of you, though, Penn has been more competitive than you had imagined in a negative way, as described by Jonelle Lesniak in her opinion piece in yesterday’s DP (“Why I can’t leave Penn saying that I loved it”).

While Lesniak understands that some competition can be healthy to motivate you to do your best work, too often she says, students at Penn compete to beat out a classmate. This sort of competition, she says, can “stifle meaningful working relationships.”

I agree. When you begin that new job or graduate program or post doc, do not be the person with sharp elbows, only out for him or herself. Your ability to work well with others, regardless of the field you are entering, will play a huge role in your success.   You can only make one first impression.  In your next stop, be kind and gracious.  You will be more successful, and you will also be happier.

So enjoy these final days before graduation.  And regardless of where your Penn education may be taking you, good luck. Those of us in Career Services have enjoyed working with you. If we can help you in the future, please let us know.

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.