Video: Preparing for Your First Year as a Faculty Member

Video compiled by J. Michael DeAngelis, Information Resources Manager and Ann Mollin (COL, ’16).

Highlights from our Faculty Conversations program, “Preparing for Your First Year as a Faculty Member,” for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows going into academia.

More videos exclusively for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can be found on our dedicated channel!

End of the Semester Thoughts

by Patricia Rose, Director of Career Services

Somehow the semester has flown by. It did for me because I was out for six weeks getting my knees replaced. I was fortunate to receive outstanding care from Penn surgeons, nurses and physical therapists, and the new and improved version of me was back at work reasonably quickly.

But I am not the only one with new parts. We are all different in some way than we were in January: we have learned new material, added new skills, developed new ideas. We may have new friends, some of whom we may remain close to for years. We may have new interests that will enrich our lives and the lives of others. Any of these new “parts” may provide a path to the future; we may only know in retrospect.

Good luck with finals, final papers and projects. Have a wonderful summer. We look forward to seeing you again in the fall. Graduates, congratulations. All the best in the coming months in a new job or graduate program. If are still deciding what your next steps will be, please let those of us in Career Services help you. We’re here all summer.

Spring clean your job search

by Lauren Kemp

Classes are ending, exams are beginning, and before we know it, summer will be here. It’s easy to get caught up in all the activity the end of the semester brings, but now might be your best chance for doing some “spring cleaning” in your job search.

If you’re still seeking opportunities, now is the perfect time to get organized for applications and interviews. If you’re looking forward to starting a new role this summer, there is plenty you can do in preparation.

So, what exactly should be on your to-do list?

Update your resume to include any highlights from the past semester

Did you take on a leadership role in an organization? Did you do any research or work on any publications? Did you win any awards or complete an internship? Write about it! Make sure your resume is up-to-date with all of your recent accomplishments.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

Never underestimate the power of a typo: a simple error in your resume or cover letter may signal to a hiring manager that you lack focus and aren’t detail-oriented. Take a few minutes to check over your materials again. Even if you’ve already nabbed a position, it can be helpful to review documents for content: you may need to resubmit your resume for a performance review or even a professional award.

Polish your LinkedIn profile

Have you been neglecting your LinkedIn profile (or have you been too afraid to create one)? Check out our LinkedIn tips (here, here and here), and use the spring to search for new connections on the site. Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be updated frequently to reflect your experience.

Sanitize your social media and internet presence

Are there one too many Fling photos lurking on your Facebook profile? Do your Twitter followers know you from your handle @FlipCupMaster92? If so, it is time to clean up your online presence. If you simply cannot bear to untag or delete unprofessional content, at the very least, turn your profiles to private. But remember: the internet never forgets. Use some discretion whenever posting to your social media accounts, and encourage your friends to do the same.

Clear out your voicemail and e-mail inboxes, and make sure you have set up proper forwarding messages

You don’t want to miss an interview request or an important memo from the boss because your inbox is full. Regularly clear through your messages, and make sure that you have set up professional voicemails and e-mail signatures. If you’re losing your Penn e-mail account, set up forwarding and update your QuakerNet profile so that classmates and Penn connections know how to contact you.

Spiff up your wardrobe

Whether you’ll be interviewing this season or entering the professional world, make sure that your clothes are up to the task. It might be necessary to hem pants and skirts, sew loose buttons and dry-clean suits and delicate items. Think about donating or recycling any clothes that have seen better days, and plan to shop for items that will match the dress code in your place of work.

Keep these tips in mind, and your job search will be spic and span in no time. If only all spring cleaning could be so simple…


Enduring the Job or Internship Search Race

By Claire Klieger

pennrelaysIt’s that time of year again – the excitement of Pen Relays! This iconic event has gotten me thinking about the similarities between it and the experiences of many of the students I’ve seen this week who are still very much still in the midst of their own job or internship search run (and feeling like they are falling behind in the race). So, in honor of Penn Relays, I offer these comparisons between the search and track and field events:

Be prepared for hurdles.  pennrelayshurdle

Each step of the search process is like a hurdle that you must successfully clear. To feel prepared for your own race, try to anticipate the hurdles along your own course: what exactly does the application require? How can you tailor your resume for that opportunity? What kinds of questions might you get asked during an interview? Will there be an assessment? Whenever possible, do what you can to get ahead of such challenges by preparing effectively so you come across both confidently and comfortably during interviews (we in Career Services can help!). That said, there may be roadblocks you do not expect so keep your own mental agility in shape by re-familiarizing yourself everything on your resume and staying calm, cool and collected under pressure.

 At times you may feel like your world has been turned upside down.pennrelaysupsidedown

The landscape of your search can change very quickly so that you may go from feeling frustrated by not having any interviews or offers to have several at once or, more likely, a combination of the two. When you feel overwhelmed by the process, touch base with us to chat about how to ask for more time on an offer or let an employer with whom you have an interview know that you just received an offer elsewhere but are really more interested in their opportunity. And, if nothing else, this topsy-turvy positioning can certainly give you a fresh perspective!


Sometimes you are the baton.pennrelaysbaton

Even if you’ve been doing everything right in your search—applying for lots of positions, making sure your resume is in great shape, networking with alumni, and more–you may find that it takes a while to find something. And, it can be very frustrating because so much of the process is outside of your control. In a sense, you are like the baton, being passed from one interview round to the next without control over the outcome. However, just like the perfect baton pass, the opportunity and timing has to be right so if you did not get the offer you had wanted, it may not have had anything to do with your own efforts or talents. In many instances, it is because it was just not quite the right fit or the employer thought it was a slightly better fit for someone else. Take heart in knowing that employers were impressed enough with your credentials to ask you to interview so you indeed have everything you need to be successful.

Endurance is keypennrelaysendurance

When you’ve running what feels like your own job or internship search marathon for months, it can be hard to stay motivated, particularly if you’ve already encountered several situations when you made it to final rounds of interviews but failed to receive the offer. Or, it can be tempting to stop applying for other opportunities while you are in the midst of interviews. The trick to any successful marathon, however, is to keep at it. There are definitely many great things still out there. Employers hire all year round for full-time opportunities and even for internships, we find that some of the most interesting opportunities, particularly with start-ups and in entertainment, do not get posted until late in the spring. So, when you reach your own point of job search fatigue, stop by Penn Career Services to get the boost you may need to get back on track.

Good luck with your race!

Could Dentistry Be for You?

Mia Carpiniello, Associate Director

While it may seem like everyone in your Organic Chemistry class is pre-med, pre-dental is another common path for lovers of science with a passion for health care. Here are a few traits we see in pre-dental students.

You have the “gift of gab.” Do you enjoy making personal connections with people? Does the prospect of developing long-term, continuous relationships with patients appeal to you? Many dentists spend more than 30 minutes with a patient in a typical appointment, and see the same patients regularly over many years, making the profession a good choice for extroverts with top-notch communication skills.

Fine motor skills are your thing. Dentists spend hours every day using their hands. So, it is no surprise that dental schools enroll students with manual dexterity skills that are transferrable to the practice of dentistry – such as visual artists, engineers, pastry chefs, and even car mechanics. As I learned on a recent visit to a state-of-the-art hands-on simulation lab at a dental school, very fine motor control and excellent hand-eye coordination are essential.

You are intensely curious and enjoy creative problem-solving. Does tackling scientific questions excite you? A successful dentist must be adept at clinical problem-solving, which frequently requires thinking outside-of-the-box. This is one reason abstract thinkers, engineers, and philosophy majors may be drawn to this career.

Whether you have known since you had your braces removed that you wanted to become an orthodontist or you just recently started to consider dentistry as a career, take time to explore the field now. Get outside of the science classroom and into a dentist’s office. Shadow a variety of dentists to gain exposure to the breadth of dental medicine – from general dentistry to one of the nine specialties.  For more information and resources, see our webpage for pre-dental students.