CS Radio Episode 5: “Researching Jobs & Graduate Schools”

episode 5

Sorry for the delay! We’re a day late in posting, but he hope it was worth the wait.

In this week’s episode, we look at how to research employers and graduate school programs to figure out if you’ll be a good fit.  We welcome Senior Associate Director Todd Rothman to tell us about today’s Graduate School Meet Up program and he reveals his surprising dream career!  All that, plus the regular rundown of this week’s events highlights and Michael gets Halloween started early with an interview horror story!


AAMC’s Inspiring Stories from Medical Students

Carol Hagan, Associate Director

If you are feeling like your journey to medical school is “off track” you might be encouraged by some of the Inspiring Stories published by the AAMC.  Allison Lyle shares the story of her success on her fourth application to medical school and Aretha Delight Davis talks about becoming a physician after six year of practicing law.  You can read stories shared by other people who chose medicine as a second career, medical students who were inspired by their experiences as patients, and students who balance the work of medical school with family and other responsibilities.  Blake Charlton attended Stanford University School of Medicine after years of studying with a learning disability, dyslexia, and Aaron Hollis Palmer went to medical school after leaving college twice.  Reading the stories of people who have found their own distinct way to a career in medicine can be reassuring when you feel like you have to do everything “right.”

Also available from the AAMC are several video clips from their Ask a Med Student series so you can gather a wide range of perspectives beyond your immediate social and academic circles.

Year of Discovery: Learning about Careers

Even after 25 years of working in the career services field, I’m constantly amazed at the huge array of careers that are out there. (Honestly, there IS something for everyone!) The problem can be discovering what that “something” might be for you and also learning more about what people actually do in those jobs. Happily, Career Services has many resources to help you learn more about what it is like to work in various fields and how best to prepare. Following are some my favorites.

Vault.com provides in-depth information on what it’s really like to work in an industry, company or profession—and how to position yourself to land that job. The also provide company rankings, ratings and reviews which are sourced and verified through ongoing directed surveys of active employees and enrolled students. WetFeet similarly provides information about industries, specific employers, interviewing advice, etc. Both resources are easy to read and can provide a wealth of information quickly. Access both through the Career Services on-line subscriptions link on this page. (Note that you will need your PennKey and PennKey password to log in.)

Of course, it’s also always a good idea to actually talk to people working in various career fields instead of just reading about them. Check out our Networking page to get some tips on how to conduct informational interviews to learn about careers. Then use the QuakerNet alumni directory and Penn Internship Network to connect with alums and current students who have worked in fields of interest to you. Finally, don’t forget that Employer Information Sessions are a GREAT way to learn about opportunities. Career Services typically hosts over 350 information sessions a year. Check out the calendar for them here.

Never a “Typical” Day

hope1bThis is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding grant.  We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending the summer.  You can read the entire series here.

This final entry for 2015 is by Hope MacKenzie, COL ’17

This summer, I worked at an innovative and unique advertising agency called Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. RTOP’s off-the-wall office was located on the top two floors of 1 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. The office was definitely a sight: the walls, floors, desks, and even bathrooms were anything from art pieces to Christmas ornaments to Elvis paraphernalia (in fact, there was even an “Elvis Room” was dedicated to the King himself). One time, upon walking in, a construction worker asked if the office was a daycare! The creative space was really just an outward display of the creativity that spread throughout the agency. RTOP is small but mighty; with powerhouse clients like Planet Fitness and Dial Soap for Men, they have clientele comparable to that of a much bigger, more established agency. In fact, RTOP won this year’s Ad Age Best Small-Sized Agency award. Overall in my position as a Social Media Strategy Intern, I not only learned a lot about the creation and spread of social media marketing campaigns, but I also gained a clearer understanding of the structure of an advertising agency.

hope2As a “creative” (a person working on the wording and visualizing of ads), I had a hands-on introduction to the advertising world. My bosses were really co-workers, and my tasks were both important and skilled. I specialized in creating social media posts and campaigns primarily with Planet Fitness, Dockers, Dial for Men, and Honest Kitchen. With a combination of tasks like researching trends in the market, creating presentations for the client, writing and planning the social media posts, or going to client presentations, no two days were the same. For this reason, it is difficult to describe a “typical day,” so instead, I’ll describe each of my tasks and how I’d go about them.

Researching trends in the market: Some days I would sit down with my bosses and fellow interns and examine an area or avenue that our client was interested in pursuing. On those days, I would research things like how to reach a certain audience, what strategies competitors used to break new ground, and how to utilize different platforms to achieve our goals.

Creating presentations for the client: After I conducted the research necessary, I would create PowerPoint presentations that would be critiqued by my bosses to present to the client.

Writing and planning social media posts: This is what I spent the bulk of my time doing, especially for Planet Fitness. I learned the voice of each brand that I represented, and I created a social media cadence of posts for every outlet – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. This job required a lot of creativity and a complete understanding of how the brand was represented to the public. The cadence would then be critiqued by my bosses as well as the client.

Going to client presentations: On occasion, I would be invited to sit in on actual hope3presentations for clients. This granted me tons of experience in the logistics of how these meetings typically run.

Overall, I really loved my time at RTOP. I would like to personally thank all of the people who made this experience possible for me. Their motto was “be unforgettable.” This banner hung at the entrance of the office as a subtle reminder of their goals as an agency. Though I really learned a lot from this experience, I think that RTOP reminded me how important it is to do just that – to be unforgettable. No matter where I go in life, I know that this experience will stay with me, and this motto will ring true.

Follow @PennCareerDay Today to See Life at a Start Up!

Be sure to follow our twitter account @PennCareerDay this morning as Monika Haebich, a CAS graduate from 2015 tweets about her day at rented.com, a recently rebranded start-up.

haebich meeting

Monika graduated from Penn in 2015 with a B.A. in English concentrating on Literary Theory and Cultural Studies and minors in Consumer Psychology and Fine Arts. Originally from New York, Monika now lives in Atlanta and enjoys photography, polo, and traveling in her free time.

rented. helps owners of all kinds generate guaranteed, yearly incomes from their unused assets without the hassle and risk typically associated with rentals. Rather than self-managing or paying commissions or fees, owners are paid a guaranteed amount, regardless of occupancy rates, while managers provide turnkey service without charging commission or fees. rented. currently works with thousands of owners with assets across five continents.