Marianne Lipa, Career Counselor
As you think ahead to the fall semester, one of the ways we
can assist you with your job search is conducting a mock interview with
us. It takes practice to interview well
and Career Services offers mock interviews.
We will provide feedback (both positive and negative) to help you with
your interviewing skills. Interviewing skills are a continuous work in progress
for people at all stages of their career from undergraduates to seasoned
professionals. Depending on your
preference, you can have the mock interview video recorded in which we play it
back for feedback or you can have a mock interview without the video recording.
To prepare for a mock interview we recommend viewing potential
on our website. Additionally, be sure to
send your application materials (cover letter and resume) to your advisor in
Career Services prior to your scheduled mock interview. You will also want to conduct your research
on the company/organization/institution.
This means not only searching their website but also if anything has
been mentioned in the news about the particular employer. Have a wonderful summer and we look forward
to practicing your interview skills with you!
The fall semester is a good time to reflect on next steps in your job and internship searches. Career Services is here to assist you with navigating the process. One of the most commonly asked questions from students is “How do I learn more about a particular field/company/speak with people who work there?”. LinkedIn has become one of the most effective and efficient resources to facilitate introductions, create connections, and learn about employers, industries, and job opportunities. Using LinkedIn as an information tool is an important aspect of your career exploration and job search. It serves a variety of purposes such as: branding yourself/skills, researching employers, as well as connecting with people who can share their insight on topics and career fields and answer your questions. LinkedIn also provides a convenient and efficient way to network. Networking is divided into two parts. First, it can be viewed as an opportunity to gather information and second, it allows you to share information about yourself in order to achieve your career goals. October is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with LinkedIn and start to establish some connections. Some key aspects to remember when using LinkedIn:
- When using LinkedIn, be sure to join the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group. You’re eligible to be a part of this community while both a student and after you have graduated.
- Remember that your profile is your brand. Therefore, you want to ensure it’s a professional looking photo (e.g. not from a social/party setting). The summary section on your profile is a narrative that describes your academic and professional background.
- Linkedin enables you to learn about employers that interest you. You can elect to follow employers within the newsfeed in addition to identifying potential connections at that company who could share with you their advice and insight into their experience, culture and mission of the company, and the hiring process/recruiting process.
- Connections may be defined as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree. The category next to a person’s name indicates how you might know the person and who you may mutually be connected to. This is very useful to know since you could then potentially reach out to a mutual connection and ask for an “e-introduction” with the alumnus/alumna. In the message, you could ask for a 15-20 minute conversation to ask the alum about his/her role, experience at the company and advice he/she may have for you as you move forward with your job search.
- We can help you with using LinkedIn as a networking tool so feel free to come in for an advising appointment at Career Services. Appointments can be made by calling 215-898-7531 or through Handshake.
by Marianne Lipa, Career Advisor
As the mid-point of the summer has passed, it’s the perfect time to think about ways to connect with people to learn about their careers, organizations, positions, and gain useful information in your future job and internship searches. If you are currently interning this summer, reflect on how the internship provides practice, experience, training, and skills. Informational interviews are conversations that provide an opportunity to gather information, establish connections, and allow you to share information about yourself in order to achieve your career goals. Some key tips to remember:
- Reach out to potential contacts via email. In the email, remember to explain how you found their name (both LinkedIn and Quakernet are valuable resources for finding alumni), introduce yourself, and ask if you could schedule a time to speak with them about their career path.
- Come prepared with questions to ask during the informational interview/conversation! Check out this list of: sample informational interview questions
- Informational interviews focus on various topics such as:
- Preparing for a career in this field
- Particular organization/company the person works for
- The person’s current job
- The person’s future career goals/steps
- Prior experience and preparation
- Factors taken into consideration for hiring decisions
- Referral to other contacts
- It’s important that you do NOT ask for a job/internship. You are welcome to mention that you are conducting a job/internship search by asking general questions and seeking advice about how to best approach the process.
- When setting up the informational interview, plan to allocate no more than 30 minutes. Remember that they are busy individuals offering to share their time and expertise with you so it’s important to be respectful of their time.
- Lastly, always send a thank you email to your contact. This allows you to show your appreciation and they might be able to assist you in the future especially if an opportunity arises at their particular company or if they know of another opportunity within their network of contacts.
Feel free to further discuss informational interviewing with an advisor in Career Services. We’re happy to help you, and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Marianne Lipa, Associate Director
Studying abroad can be transformational academically, interpersonally, and professionally. From the professional standpoint, the experience is valuable and employers seek candidates who have flexibility and adaptability, communication, teamwork, cross-cultural, and analytical skills. During your semester abroad, students cultivate and develop a broad foundation of transferable skills and attributes including self-awareness, intercultural communication, analysis from a variety of different perspectives, and independence. The question becomes how do you market yourself with your abroad experience. You can indicate on your resume any specific coursework that may be relevant to the position and extracurricular involvement (e.g. student groups on campus) associated with the semester abroad experience that enhanced your semester abroad within the academic and cultural realm. If you have substantial international experience, you can include a section on the resume that focuses on the international/global aspects. In both the cover letter and interview, you can explain in depth how studying abroad has prepared you further for success in the position and how the global perspective you developed shapes your analysis of economic, political, and social issues.
And remember you can also meet with a Career Services advisor to assist with navigating your international job search, domestic job search with international components, and how to best promote the impact of your study abroad experience as it relates to your professional skillset. Also please mark your calendars for our upcoming international opportunities career fair on November 11 in Houston Hall. More details are available on our website at http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/careerfairs/IntlFairinfo.php
We look forward to seeing you at the fair and in the Career Services office!
Marianne Lipa, Associate Director
Hope you all had an enjoyable Spring Break! With the spring weather upon us, this also means we’re in the season of internship interviewing. Some of you may already have landed internships in certain industries which tend to hire early (such as finance and consulting) while many of you may still be in the search phase for the vast array of industries which tend to have later hiring cycles including marketing, non-profit, government, entertainment, just to name a few. For those who are preparing for interviews, here is some general advice to assuage your concerns and anxiety. The first round is often done via phone or Skype. Now some of you might feel intimidated by a phone conversation, but it isn’t as scary as it sounds without the face-to-face interaction. One plus side is that you can have some notes in front of you with points you want to be sure to mention. Skype interviews are “quasi in-person” and you’re able to see the non-verbal body language. For second-rounds/final rounds, these are typically conducted in person. You are likely to meet with more than one company representative and the duration for all the interviews may last a few hours to almost the full day. Make sure for any interview you show your enthusiasm for the position and are actively engaged during the dialogue. For all interviews, be sure to research the company/organization and prepare yourself to answer the frequently asked/standard questions. We have a list on our website here.
Additionally, please check out our interviewing advice section on our website for more insight into the interviewing process. It discusses in depth interview preparation, etiquette, attire, questions, and overall advice.
And remember you can also meet with an advisor in Career Services to help guide you through navigating the interviewing process. We also offer mock interviews where we provide feedback (both positive and negative) to assist you with your interviewing skills. Interviewing skills are a continuous work in progress for people at all stages of their career from undergraduates to seasoned professionals.
Best of luck on this journey and we look forward to seeing you in Career Services!