Taking Stock

The end of an academic year is a natural time to take stock and evaluate. As a student, you are probably thinking about all that you have accomplished this year such as completing degree requirements, learning all kinds of new information, achieving successes with student or volunteer activities, or simply reflecting on how you’ve grown and changed as an individual. You are likely looking forward to new endeavors this summer including perhaps completing an internship, taking classes, traveling, preparing for graduate school, or starting a new post-graduate job.

Some of you may still be finalizing your next steps and that’s okay! Industries have a wide range of hiring timelines and some simply don’t hire far in advance of when they need an individual to start working. Career Services will remain open all summer and we are happy to schedule appointments with students and alumni either in person or via phone if you have questions about your next steps. You can easily schedule these appointments in Handshake. While you are logged into Handshake, don’t forget to take a look at the job listings! We have had almost 80,000 opportunities posted this year for Penn students and alumni on Handshake and new ones are added every day.

The Career Services staff has also been busy taking stock of how we can most effectively serve Penn students and alumni moving forward. As our long-standing Director retired last summer, it was the perfect time to assess our programs and services. To that end, we invited three external reviewers to campus in January who met with nearly 100 individuals including faculty, staff and students across Penn. Thank you to everyone who took part in these important discussions. The visit culminated with some excellent recommendations for us to consider. As we move into the summer, we will be drafting a strategic plan that will draw on these recommendations and align our priorities over the coming three years. We already have various initiatives planned for this summer and the next academic year including finding new ways to connect with students earlier during their time at Penn, implementing new career exploration tools and services, starting a Peer Career Advisor program, enhancing our website and other communication channels, and continuing to conduct outreach to a diverse set of employers. Stay tuned for more! Even though this academic year is drawing to a close, we are excited for the new things to come in 2019-2020.

Good luck on finals and best wishes for a wonderful summer from all of us in Career Services.

Author: Barbara Hewitt

Barbara Hewitt is the Executive Director of Career Services.