You Never Know

If you’re a regular subscriber to Penn & Beyond, you have likely noticed my “Day in the Life” blog posts recently.  These posts promote our latest social media initiative, our @PennCareerDay Twitter account.  The account features Penn alumni who tweet for a day in order to give you, the student/alumni/career seeker, a better idea of what their day is like.   The idea behind this Twitter account is part of a larger concept I’d like to draw your attention to in this particular blog post – leveraging new communication technologies to your advantage.

The alumni who tweet for @PennCareerDay are examples of people who are using Twitter to promote themselves and their work, which could then expand their network and create new opportunities.   There is no guarantee, but nevertheless, the possibility exists.  I am a firm believer that if you tap into new resources, like social media, when more traditional ones have not brought success, you are increasing your chance to succeed.  For instance, if you are extremely interested in an employer, find out if they have a Twitter account, like their Facebook page, maybe even subscribe to their YouTube channel and start interacting with them there.

from @boetter, Flickr

I am heavily involved in social media – I manage our office’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence – and I maintain that it does not have to be used by everyone.  BUT, if you have not looked into how you could leverage these platforms to your advantage, I encourage you to.  You never know what opportunities might come up.

A Day in the Life: Educational Non-Profits

Jason Chan
Jason Chan

Read Jason Chan’s archived tweet feed here:

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:

A Day in the Life: Consulting

Sara Fleisher
Sara Fleisher

Read Sara Fleisher’s archived tweet feed here:

A popular career of interest here at Penn is consulting.  Tuesday, September 21st is your chance to learn more about life as an Associate Consultant when Sara Fleisher, WH ’09, tweets for @PennCareerDay.

Sara Fleisher has been working at Rosetta, an interactive agency located in Manhattan, as an Associate Consultant since August 2009. In her first year at Rosetta, Sara has worked with two clients on several different projects. The first client is a major international Pharmaceutical company based out of Asia and the second is a large Canadian telecommunications company. Her projects to date have included performing qualitative and quantitative research in the United States and in Canada. Additionally, at Rosetta, she is involved with the Charity Team, Culture and Engagement Social Team, college recruiting, and currently ranked number two in ping pong at the New York office. Sara earned her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School in May 2009, with concentrations in Marketing and Management. While at Wharton, she was President of the Wharton Retail Club her senior year and also worked at the Daily Pennsylvanian for two years in the Marketing and Production departments.

A Day in the Life: Early-Stage Venture Firm

Read Ben Siscovick’s archived tweet feed here:

Ever wonder, what’s it like to work at an early-stage venture firm? Follow @PennCareerDay ( on Thursday, September 16th when Ben Siscovick (CAS ’04) of IA Ventures tweets about his career and his day.

Ben Siscovick, CAS '04

Ben Siscovick has been working at IA Ventures (and previously IA Capital Partners) since graduating from business school. Prior to joining IA Ventures, Ben was a junior investment banker at Allen & Company and Barclays Capital. Ben began his career as a web entrepreneur and founding partner at D202 – a full service web development and consulting firm focused on online communities and social networks. In addition to his role on the IA Ventures investment team, Ben assists with select operating and strategic projects at Kinetic Trading Strategies, an IA Ventures incubation focused on extracting tradable intelligence from unstructured and alternative data. Ben earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where he was the Early Stage President of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club.

To learn more about Ben, visit

Trophy Kids Do Well By Doing Good: The Millennial Generation and Public Interest Careers

By Kelly Cleary

Most college students today are probably well aware that they have often been labeled by educators, market researchers, and prospective employers as Millennials, Generation Y or the Next Me Generation.  Older generations comparing themselves to the next crop of young adults is nothing new, but never before has a generation (in this case, those born between the early 1980’s through the early 2000’s) been scrutinized so closely as technology has made it easier to track the behavior of large numbers of people while our consumer culture has provided the motivation for marketers to gather as much information as possible about this group of young people and their purchasing power.

Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

As a student affairs professional, I’ve sat through many conference presentations that introduce educators to this generation of students who grew up receiving trophies, regardless of the final score; a generation of students who have been connected and online ever since they can remember, not thinking twice about posting photos and very personal updates about themselves on a myriad of social networking sites; a generation of students who have been pushed to achieve and believe they are special. The Pew Research Center’s 2010 report, The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change , offers a fascinating and, I think, very positive portrait of this “self-expressive, liberal, upbeat” generation of young people who are “receptive to new ideas and ways of living.”

One of my favorite Millennial monikers is the “Next Civic Generation” referenced by Winograd and Hais, co-authors of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics, which proposes that the Millennials are the most civic minded generation since the 1930s and 1940s. According to Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, “Community service is part of their DNA. It’s part of this generation to care about something larger than themselves.” (USA Today, 4/2009)

Penn students engaging locally and globally

As a career counselor at Penn, I am often humbled and inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of so many students and alumni who work with various community service and public interest initiatives in West Philadelphia, across the nation, and around the globe. Many Penn students intern or volunteer for nonprofits and many go on to create nonprofits or to support public interest initiatives as part of their private sector careers. Clearly our students know that pursuing an internship with a nonprofit organization is one of the best ways to learn about public interest careers, build their skill set, and figure out what specific career path they eventually want to pursue.

Fortunately for Penn students who identify with the “Civic Generation” label, there are many ways for them to connect with related volunteer and internship opportunities and to talk with alumni who work in the field. Our Career Resources by Field page includes resources and tips from alumni for students interested in nonprofits, policy, international development, and government careers. And Idealist’s Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers is also a wonderful primer.

If you are interested in learn about what a nonprofit internship might involve, read the Civic House Associate Coalition’s summer internship blog. The contributors are Penn students who have received funding through Civic House programs for internships affiliated with the Penn community and beyond. I’m sure you’ll find Ankit, Estee, Allyson, Haley, and Shri’s observations, reflections, and musings interesting, insightful, and even entertaining. I loved reading about Ankit’s students Pradoop and the two Poojas.