By Jamie Grant, C’98, GEd’99
Senior Associate Director for the School of Engineering & Applied Science
September and October are such interesting months in career advising, as there is a truly full spectrum of questions. It’s a time of beginnings – the freshmen are here, it’s the start of a whole new school year, new classes. Yet, it’s also a time for many students to be making career planning decisions all along that same spectrum – what kinds of internships do I want to pursue, where are my skills and capabilities the best fit, which full-time opportunities should I go after. In a few particular industries, it’s “go” time for full-time and internship roles – deadlines to accept or decline offers are looming, even if candidates were able to get an extension from organizations excited to have a commitment from an amazing and skilled Penn student like you. Others career fields and organizations are just getting started.
No matter where you or your path(s) of interest fall within this process, we’ve got you in Career Services. At any time of the year, we’re happy to guide you and help you explore all the possibilities, weigh the decisions and go through the pros and cons of your choices in a methodical, objective manner. I know this can be tough – just this week, I’ve helped new students brainstorm relevant skills and experiences to include on their resumes, helped a soon-to-be graduate compare two similar offers, down to stock options and healthcare plans. Such objective discussions perhaps may not be possible with others in your support system – I remember my family and friends all offered their own advice on my job search and decision making, and how much emotion and subjectivity defined those conversations.
Before you meet with one of us, you can certainly start some of this thinking and exploration yourself with the tools on our website. It’s never too early – or too late – think about the impact of your values, skills and interests and how that all ties together with your educational plans and career path. And know that we as advisors have years of experience helping candidates look at all the angles and weigh the options, present the best versions of themselves throughout the application process, and pursue and achieve whatever “success” may look like for each individual.