Tiffany J. Franklin, Associate Director
This week sophomores, juniors and 1st year master’s students within the School of Engineering & Applied Science have the opportunity to apply to the Engineering Externship program for a day of job shadowing to be held in January 2019. These experiences help students see first-hand how their skills and interests align with professional positions in their career fields of interest. Applications are due this Friday, November 30th at noon. Interested SEAS students can email Tiffany Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org for a full list of sites for 2019 and to apply.
By participating in a “day in a life” within a work environment, you can gain exposure to an industry, insightful conversation, invaluable advice, and an insider perspective. Externships are typically job shadowing opportunities that are a half or full-day in duration and may involve the following activities:
- Participating in daily operations that provide hands-on exposure to the career field/industry
- Completing a relevant project if the externship is long enough to accommodate it
- Attending meetings and presentations
- Touring the work site
- Conducting informational interviews with professionals in a range of departments and levels
Depending on your school and year, you can participate in one of the structured job shadowing programs through Career Services (for example, the Engineering Externship Program or Discovery Days) or you can create this type of opportunity on your own through networking, which is simply connecting with people. Perhaps you have a friend with a relative working in a field that interests you. You could see if that person could introduce you and begin by scheduling a brief informational interview. Once you’ve established a rapport over time, you could inquire whether any job shadowing opportunities are available. Career Services advisors are here to help you consider both the timing and content of this type of outreach.
- Discovery Days allow students to explore jobs and industries of interest to them through first-hand exposure opportunities with employers in a range of industries. Our goal is to provide students with an opportunity to observe a “day in the life” of Penn alumni or other professionals. These events are primarily for sophomores in the College of Arts and Sciences or in Wharton. Stay tuned for future announcements for our next Discovery Days to be held in spring 2019! You can also check back for updates here: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/undergrad/discoverydays.php
- Career Services’ Externships in Higher Education Program allows students to obtain hands-on academic administration experience working in a campus office at Penn with mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals. More information about last year’s externships program (2017) can be found here.
- Engineering Externship Program connects returning students with alumni and their colleagues at their workplaces in January, just before spring semester classes begin. The program is open to SEAS sophomores, juniors, and first year master’s students with first priority going to sophomores and then juniors. Externship sites include different types of companies, in locations across the U.S. and overseas. Consult your weekly Handshake career mail newsletters from Career Services for full application details.
Whether it’s through a formal program through Career Services or through your own networking, job shadowing is an excellent way to supplement your research about a career field. By meeting with professionals who do what you hope to, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, gain insights into the challenges they face, and learn from their experience.