Help! I don’t have an offer. Am I on my own next semester?

by Kelly Cleary

Dream Job?
Dream Job? (courtesy of quinn.anya via Flickr)

While my first job was in Italy, I opted for a teaching internship instead of a footwear apprenticeship. My year in Italy was amazing despite the fact that I didn’t receive the offer until late April of my senior year. But anyway, on to my post…

Last weekend I received this question from a senior in the College, and since I’m sure many other seniors have the same question, I wanted to share my thoughts on this. If you have questions, comments or want to continue this conversation with other students, I encourage you to post comments below.

From a Senior in the College:

“I haven’t received an offer from anything I interviewed for this semester. Will companies still be coming to campus and interviewing for full time positions, or am I on my own next semester if I don’t receive an offer from anywhere? Thanks for your help!”

I want to reassure everyone that indeed there will be many more opportunities for post-grad jobs in the coming months through the summer. Only a few companies will be interviewing on campus for full-time hires this spring because most employers (except for finance, consulting and handful of consumer products companies that know they will hire a certain number of new grads each year) hire when they have positions open.

Hiring “as needed” simply means that when employers have job openings (because someone quits or is promoted, a new position in created, etc.) they post the position – on their web site, through PennLink, other job boards, or  email/social media distribution lists like the Career Services email or a LinkedIn group.  The majority of College students get their jobs through this type of search; you can check our Career Plans Surveys from past years to see how other students landed their jobs:

Even if there aren’t a slew of employers interviewing for full-time jobs in our OCR suite this spring, Career Services is still here to support you in your search.  I’ll continue to send LOTS of email postings for jobs in a variety of fields, there will be new jobs posted on PennLink and our Online Subscriptions page, and guide you in targeting worthwhile networking opportunities, highlighting key resources (such as our Career Resources by Field page), and helping you strategize for your search.

While ultimately, you do conduct a job search and make job and subsequent career decisions “on your own”, there are many resources, including Career Services, available to help you. In fact, the students who are most successful and satisfied with their career decisions are those who seek advice and assistance from Career Services as well as family, friends, professors, Penn alumni (through PACNet), recruiters, and even strangers in their chosen professions. The more people you talk to, the greater your chance of making sure your resume doesn’t fall into the black hole of the inbox.

So don’t despair. I would argue there are even more interesting post-grad career opportunities to come. Even if that means waiting to secure your plans until the spring, or even summer, Penn seniors from past years will tell you the wait will definitely be worth it.