Video by Kathleen Rouse (GSE ’12)
Some kind of secret club that will get me my dream internship? A group of alumni that conspire to only hire Penn interns? A new social media site?
None of the above.
The Penn Internship Network is, however, a valuable resource for students looking for summer internships that we encourage everyone to utilize! The Penn Internship Network is a listing of Penn students who have volunteered to speak with others about their past summer internships.
How is this helpful to you?
If you are currently looking for an internship, you can search the Penn Internship Network for students that have worked in your industry, at a company you are interested in, or in the geographic location you want to work (to name a few). Their contact information is available for you to call or e-mail the volunteers to learn more about their experiences, how they got their internships, and ask for advice about your search.
If you have an interview coming up, search the Penn Internship Network for a student that interned at that company. Contact them and ask for advice about your interview, what it was like interning for the company, and what types of projects they worked on. This will not only give you some helpful insider information, it will also allow you to stand out amongst other candidates who may not have done such thorough research. Being able to mention in an interview that you have spoken with past interns demonstrates a sincere interest in the position.
For more ideas about questions to ask, check out our tips for informational interviews.
Caution: While the Penn Internship Network volunteers are usually able to provide helpful information and advice, they are not expected to get you a job. They are simply a resource in your own search. Check out our website for more internship search strategies.
Good luck in your internship search! Feel free to stop by walk-in hours or make an appointment with a career counselor to talk about your strategies and career goals.
by Kathleen Rause
Today I pulled myself out of the pile of rubble around me that consisted of library books, empty coffee cups, journal articles and draft after draft of term papers to the realization that winter break is almost here! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am now busy making a list and checking it twice of all the things I want to do with my time off from work and school. Some of the highlights include sleep, eat, watch television, and sleep (I’m sure I could think of more interesting activities if I tried, but at this moment those sound pretty good to me!). But even though it is called “break” for a reason, I do have to add one important piece of business to my list: career planning.
So I have made a more serious list of career planning activities, and I thought I would share it with you. Other graduate students or undergraduates—either preparing for the job market or an internship search—may want to consider adding some of these to their own lists for winter break.
1. Dust off the resume. I need to create an updated version and share it with trusted friends, family and mentors for their feedback. Remember, if you show a resume to four different people you will get four different opinions – but it is great to get those different perspectives. Of course I will be asking for critiques from my colleagues at the Career Services office! You can do the same by emailing your resume in or making an appointment.
2. Research places for employment. For me this means researching potential higher education institutions I may want to work for next year. I will also look at open positions to get an idea of what is out there and what qualifications they are looking for. Whether your aim is a job or internship, it is important to know about the places you wish to work and the positions available – so do your research!
3. Set up informational interviews. Informational interviewing has been one of the most helpful tools I have used in my career. Consider arranging informational interviews over break or for when you are back in school to explore career fields, companies, industries and network with professionals. Check out this section of our website for more information.
4. Polish my “online profile”. This includes double-checking my Facebook profile to make sure it passes the grandmother test (if you don’t want your grandmother to see it, it probably shouldn’t be on your profile!), updating my LinkedIn profile and looking at Twitter as a professional networking tool.
5. Look for networking opportunities. I am going to identify other events that may be good opportunities to network in my field (higher education). One event is the NASPA annual conference. For any profession there is usually a student and/or professional group that has networking events, so look in to the ones that would pertain to your own career goals.
Whatever you end up doing on your winter break, safe travels and happy holidays to all!
Welcome to Penn! The fact that you are already reading this blog makes you a proactive career-planning superstar. Of course, freshman year should be a time to make friends, get acquainted with Penn, explore academic interests, get involved in co-curricular activities, and have fun! But it is never too early to acquaint yourself with Career Services (check out our manual for a great introduction) and start thinking about career planning and career goals.
First, get familiar with the Career Services website. It can be a bit overwhelming, but only because there is so much great information and so many awesome resources. To help as you begin to navigate the career planning process, here are a few places to start:
1. Career Resources by Field – a great way to learn about and explore opportunities in different career fields.
2. Informational Interviewing – one of the best ways to build your network and gain knowledge of career fields. We offer an explanation of informational interviewing, tips and sample questions.
1. PACNet (Penn Alumni Career Network): This database of Penn alumni who can offer career advice and guidance to students with career questions. An EXCELLENT place to start when setting up informational interviews.
2. iNet – database with internship and summer opportunities in a broad range of geographic locations.
3. PennLink – Penn’s job and internship database, with listings of employers coming to campus for on-campus recruiting (OCR), as well as those who are not. You will also find listings of employer information sessions.
4. LinkedIn* – “Professional Facebook.” Create a profile now and begin connecting with you peers, professors, advisers, recruiters, and—most importantly—those you meet for informational interviews, at career fairs or through professional associations/events.
(*Also attend “How LinkedIn Can Advance Your Career” on November 29.)
Of course you are welcome to make an appointment with a career counselor – we would love to meet you in person.
Until then, enjoy freshman year and good luck at Penn!