Tap Into Your Alumni Network

Homecoming is this weekend.  Time to reminisce and celebrate Penn’s rich history of excellence and its many traditions. It’s also a time where there are a lot of alumni on campus, and events that connect current students with them.  So, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

As a Penn student, you are part of an extensive network that you can leverage for your job search and professional development at any stage of your career. Take advantage of the events that are going on here this weekend and build your network.  You never know when an opportunity will present itself because of a connection you made.

Here’s a video from last year’s networking event during homecoming, Quaker Exchange, for insight about why alumni are excited to connect with you and what you can take away.

A Day in the Life: International Health Recruiter

Read Kate Theirs’s archived tweet feed here: Day 1 and Day 2

There are many opportunities for those of you interested in international and/or health-related careers.  If you find the right organization, you can apply a broad range of your talents and have a career that serves your passion for international relations and/or healthcare.  Our next alumni on @PennCareerDay will highlight one of these career paths on Tuesday, October 19th and Tuesday, October 26th.   These two days on @PennCareerDay are alongside a line-up of programs and events geared toward international opportunities.  For more information on these events, click here if you’re an undergraduate or here if you are a graduate student.  Read more below on Kate Thiers who will be posting for @PennCareerDay during these weeks, and don’t forget to follow to see what her day is like!

Kate Thiers (W ’00) is the Operations Manager for Africa Health Placements (www.ahp.org.za), a Johannesburg-based non-profit company that places foreign and local health workers in rural public hospitals in southern Africa. Since inception in 2005, AHP has placed over 1,750 doctors in southern Africa, over 900 of whom are foreign nationals. Kate’s team manages all finance, IT, HR, marketing, PR, website and orientation activities for all AHP offices, which include Johannesburg, Durban, Swaziland, Lesotho, the UK and the US.
Prior to moving to South Africa in November 2009, Kate was a Project Manager with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in London. There, she was a project administrator for a European-wide corporate merger project for one year and subsequently managed a new partnership initiative with National Health Service (NHS) hospitals for a second year. In the US, Kate worked as a project manager for a Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company and managed large-scale application and infrastructure initiatives. She also worked as a business consultant for two years with Andersen Business Consulting.

Kate has an MBA from the Said Business School at Oxford University in the UK and a Bachelor of Science in Economics (BSE) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Why not U.S.?

As a career counselor for the College, I’m supposed to learn a little bit about every career. When I was charged with giving myself a crash course on government careers, I was probably like many people and thought – boring! But the more I read about working for the Uncle Sam and the more I talk with the alumni feds, the more I realize what a unique employer the government is.  (Yes, it is an occupational hazard to be attracted to a new field every day.)

Not only is the federal government hiring right now, but they are hiring for jobs in every field. You can work in public health, finance regulation, historic preservation, foreign service, engineering, environment, etc.  It also turns out that federal jobs pay better than I thought, and there is a schedule for raises and promotion. The jobs are located in every state in the U.S.

I admit that government applications can be a hassle, but that’s why Career Services is putting on a slew of events to help you navigate the process and talk directly with real feds who can show you the ropes. Here’s what’s coming up this semester:

  • Finding and Applying for Federal Jobs and Internships Tuesday, September 28, 3 – 4 pm
  • State Department Information Session Wednesday, September 29, 5 pm – 6 pm
  • Internships in Government Wednesday, September 29, 3 – 4 pm
  • Policy and Government Career Fair 2010 Friday, October 1, 11 am – 3 pm
  • Careers with the Foreign Service: From Philadelphia to Pakistan and Back Friday, October 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
  • Business Careers in the Government Panel and Networking Reception Thursday, October 14, 4 – 5 pm panel, followed by reception
  • Working for Uncle Sam: you, what, where, why, and how Thursday, October 14,12 – 1pm
  • Federal Resume Critiques Thursday, October 14, 2 to 3:30 pm (sign up required)
  • Foreign Service Oral Exam Prep Session Thursday, October 21, 12-1:30
  • International Development Careers in the Government Panel Friday, Oct 29, 12 – 1 pm
  • Careers in Science & Engineering in the Federal Government Panel Friday, November 5, 12 – 1pm

A Day in the Life: Educational Non-Profits

Jason Chan
Jason Chan

Read Jason Chan’s archived tweet feed here: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/JasonChan_Feed.pdf

If you’re interested in education, there are many alternatives to teaching or working in a school, whether it is an elementary school or university.  On Tuesday, September 28th Jason Chan (SAS ’02) will highlight one of these alternatives when he tweets for @PennCareerDay about his career with an educational non-profit.

Jason Chan is the Director of Scholar & Alumni Programs at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), where he serves as a student advisor and oversees a portfolio of academic support, leadership development, and community-building programs designed for recipients of the APIASF and Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) scholarship awards.

Prior to APIASF, Jason was a graduate coordinator in both the student conduct and multicultural affairs offices at the University of Maryland-College Park. In addition to advising student organizations and campus leaders, he also facilitated intergroup dialogues and co-taught a course on leadership and race. Jason has also worked at City Year, a national non-profit community service organization, as an AmeriCorps volunteer and a full-time staff member. There, he taught diversity curricula to Boston public school students, managed neighborhood service-learning programs, led teams of volunteers in service, and supported City Year’s recruitment and admissions functions.


Jason has a M. Ed. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland-College Park, and a B.A. in Psychology and Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.

Connect with Jason: