Happy Winter Break from Career Services!

Here are the remaining office hours for Career Services:
Thursday, December 21st – 9am-5pm
Friday, December 22nd – 9am-12noon

We will be closed from 12noon on December 22nd until 9am on Tuesday, January 2nd. Feel free to make a phone or in person for those early January days while you’re still on break – we’re here and it’s a great time to get seen before the start of the semester rush!

From everyone at Career Services, we wish you a happy holiday season and a bright new year. It’s our pleasure to serve you and we look forward to seeing you again in 2018! Have a safe and relaxing winter break.

A Few Handshake Updates and Reminders

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been successfully using Handshake for almost six months. We’ve had over 10,000 students and alumni activate their accounts, approved over 7,600 employers to use the system, and had over 12,000 jobs and internships posted for Penn students and alumni. (In case you are curious, the top job functions have been education/teaching, finance, data & analytics, business development, and research – but there are lots of others!)

We hope the Handshake system has been working well for you! As a reminder, we wanted to post a few ways that you can optimize the system over the winter break to make it even more effective!

  • Complete your profile! If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes to add details to your profile about your work experience, activities, educational background, and skills. You can even upload your resume so you don’t have to start from scratch. Once your profile looks great, you can make your profile public to employers so that they can find you for positions for which you might be a strong candidate. (If you have already finalized your plans and are not currently seeking, you can make your profile private so that you are not contacted.) As a new feature, you can also make your profile public to other Penn students and check out profiles from classmates who have opted to share theirs. Handshake can be a powerful networking tool.
  • Fill out the Career Interests section completely! The more Handshake knows about your career interests, the more effective it will be at populating your homepage with opportunities that are a good fit for you. Be sure to indicate what type of opportunities interest you (job, internship, networking, volunteering, etc.), the industries and job functions of interest to you, and where you want to live. Also, take a few minutes to indicate which CareerMail Communications you would like to receive. These are industry based e-newsletters sent out by the Career Services staff on a regular basis. It is one of the primary communication channels we are using this year, so don’t miss out on it.
  • Take a look at the Resources tab to find other career related resources available to you as a Penn student.
  • RSVP for events! (We will have lots more events listed in the spring once we get our room assignments from facilities!)
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor through the on-line scheduling system.
  • Download the mobile app, so you can do all of these things on the go! (Note that currently a mobile app is only available for the iPhone – an Android app is in the works- but even without the app Handshake’s website is mobile ready.)

Be Yourself

Pat Rose, Director of Career Services

The semester will soon be over, and many of you will be spending time over the break with family and friends. They will undoubtedly ask questions about your studies, your goals, your plans for the summer or after you complete your degree. Most if not all are genuinely interested in you. They want you to be happy and successful. They may, however, have certain expectations on what the answers to these questions should be, and how success should be defined. As you reflect on the future, and the choices you are making, ask yourself if these choices are consistent with your values, and with the person you want to be. If you feel like you are on the wrong path, it is not too late to re-assess and re-orient. The break is a good time to consider where you are heading.

I love this advice from Jon Youshaei, Col/Wh ’13, the founder of EveryVowel, the weekly cartoon: Be Yourself. As Jon so humorously shows, you will disappear if you try to be someone else.

On behalf of everyone in Career Services, good luck with finals, papers and projects. Have a safe, relaxing and restorative break, and the happiest of holidays. We look forward to working with you in 2018.

CS Radio – Episode 53: “Resolutions”

It’s the last episode of 2017! The end is in sight, but the stress of finals, papers and even the impending holidays can really be killer. This week, Michael and Mylène discuss how you can wrap up 2017 in a really positive way and head into 2018 with your best foot forward! Find out about how making a very short list of your successes and finding ways to talk about them over the holiday break can make you happier and more career ready! We’ll see you back here in late January! Happy holidays!


Summer at Women’s Campaign International

This 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 their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Justina Mcminn, COL ’19

My first day of summer was hectic. I was not sure what to expect. I was not sure what kind of internship to pursue this summer since I wasn’t sure on a major nor did I have a clear career path in mind. I came across Women’s Campaign International, a non-profit based in Philadelphia that empowers women in various countries around the world to create sustainable change within their communities and to actively participate in civil society, political decision making, and economic development and knew this was a great fit for me.

Within my first few weeks at Women’s Campaign International, I knew this was the field I want to be in. Although, I can’t say my career path is now clear as day and I know exactly what I want to major in or do but I was able to get a better idea of what I like, what I’m good at and what I am not.

The amount that I learned surpassed my expectations. I had the opportunity to work in WCI’s office made up of four amazing women. This gave me the opportunity to dive right in and do meaningful, directly beneficial work while working closely with everyone in the organization. Some topics that I covered and learned about during my summer were albinism, women’s rights, women’s empowerment, how to design newsletters and annual reports, data analysis, video editing, donor relations and so much more. I was also able to participate in various meetings with donors and potential partners. I was able to meet a woman from Liberia working on women’s rights in her hometown around a lake where men fish and women sell the product and women in Philadelphia working with immigrants, job employment and education. Every task I was assigned was given to me confidently with trust that the task could be successfully fulfilled, like an actual employee, not just an intern. While, none of these assignments were easy, I’m grateful for all the information I obtained, insight I was given and skills I gained.

Not only was it a pleasure to work with the women in the organization, it was a pleasure to meet and read about all the amazing women internationally taking charge of their own lives, setting the standard for the younger women and defying the cultural norms to empower themselves and women all over the world. Women are leaders, powerful ones, and I’m sure of that now more than ever. I will be continuing with WCI throughout the fall semester so I’m excited to see what else is in store.