End of (Spring) Semester quickly approaching – still figuring out Summer 2019 plans?

Kevin Haines, Associate Director

Now that you’re back from Spring Break, I’m sure that you’re feeling like the pressure is on to complete the semester and get ready for summer 2019. Many students have figured out their summer plans already, whether they have an internship, a full-time job, or simply have the luxury of relaxing before entering into a job in the real world. Regardless of their plans, if you haven’t found the perfect internship yet, or are still not sure what you are doing this summer – that’s OKAY! It’s easy (and normal) to feel stressed after you hear that all your friends received offers from companies all over the world. Good for them – be happy for them! Just because you haven’t found something yet doesn’t mean it’s too late. Last year, we had students find summer internships as late as May. Yes, of course this isn’t “ideal,” but don’t worry – Career Services is here to help guide you. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan the remaining days of the spring 2019 semester and to help you land an internship/job:

  • Update your Resume and Cover Letter
    • If you haven’t already had Career Services review your resume and cover letter, do so ASAP. Even if Career Services looked at your resume last semester, it’s always a good idea to have another look at it, especially if you’ve updated it since last semester.
  • Network
    • One of the first things I ask students in advising meetings is “have you started networking yet?” It can seem awkward and silly at first to reach out to a random person/Penn alum, but, take that thought and throw it away. Networking has become one of the key ingredients for job success. Tap into your network and see who you know, or who you know who knows someone who knows someone else. Yes, networking is an ongoing, sometimes long process, but in the end, it will help you more than if you didn’t network at all. By cultivating networking relationships, you’re helping your future self in the internship/job search, while also meeting new people. So, take a look at LinkedIn and QuakerNet, because there are people waiting to hear from you!
  • Utilize Job Search Sites
    • LinkedIn, CareerShift, Indeed, Handshake, etc. There are tons of websites to help narrow down your search. One main resource is the Career Services website: “What Do Penn Students Do?” and “Resources by Career Field” are two sections of the website that showcase companies where students have gotten internships/jobs at in the past and also additional links to websites specific to majors. Check them out – you never know what you might find!
  • Jobscan.co
    • Yes, .co, not .com. Not sure if you have the required skills/experience for a job? Try using Jobscan.co to see what percentage your resume matches the job description. If you’ve never signed up before, you get 5 free trials (10 additional for each time you refer someone to the website!). Copy and paste your resume on the left and then the job posting that you’re interested in on the right, and Jobscan.co will scan your resume to see how much of a match you are for the job. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a low percentage – Jobscan.co highlights sections you might be missing that you may have experience in that will help move your resume up above others. You do NOT need a 100% match – even if you just get your resume to be a 60% match – that’s still really good! Try using some of their suggestions, but make sure you are being 100% honest in all that you’re including on your resume.

Remember – don’t compare yourself to others. This is very important and you should remind yourself of this should you feel yourself thinking “well how come I don’t have an internship yet?” You have your OWN path. And whatever you choose will be just right.

Is It Too Late To Find an Internship?

by Natty Leach, Associate Director

Just to preface this before we get started… now is a great time (arguably even the best time) to be looking for summer internships.

Almost every time I meet with a student throughout the year, they feel like they’re behind or late to the internship search process. It always feels like there’s a spike in that this time of year, though, so I wanted to take the time to discuss how right now is actually an excellent time to be looking for opportunities.

Play the tape:

People are always shocked when I show them our summer survey report of when students found their summer internship. The most common months to receive internship offers is actually March/April which comes in at 44%. And May/June is the second most common at 22%. These numbers are representative of the many companies that post opportunities in the month of February or even later. If you combine the entire semester, 79% of summer internships are received throughout the Spring.

Industry specific:

The timing for internships can be really industry specific. That being said, almost every industry outside of Finance, Consulting, and big Tech, interviews and hires their Summer interns in the Spring semester. Even for those three earlier-trending industries, there will be opportunities still posted at smaller companies, startups, or niche sub-groups (like non-profit consulting). Handshake has tons of opportunities being posted every day so continue to look there as well as industry-specific job boards found on our Resources by Career Field page. You can also sign up for our industry-specific newsletters in the Career Interests section of Handshake to get emails about upcoming jobs, internships, and events.

If you wanted an idea of more specific places Penn students have interned previously, take a look at our Summer Industries report.

Bottom line, there’s lots of stuff being posted right now. Feel free to be in touch with us at Career Services about ways to enhance your search, prepare your application materials, or interview over the coming months.

Happy Internship-Hunting Season!

With On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) internship season upon us, it’s important that any student participating be on top of all things OCR – that means understanding the process, making sure your PennLink account is working properly and looking for and taking note of who is coming to campus and when. By embracing some of these best practices, you’ll be in your best frame of mind to alleviate stress and cruise through the semester.

The OCR Process
Our website is a great resource to learn more about OCR and how it works. Be sure to check out our robust FAQ section for answers to nearly all questions you may have about the process. We also highly encourage you to attend one of our two OCR Orientation Sessions, which will be held on January 14, 2015 and January 16, 2015. Specific details about time and location can be found on our calendar of events.

Each year, we have students who frantically come into our office halfway through the recruiting season (after many deadlines have already passed) saying they just noticed their PennLink account is “missing” the On-Campus Interview tab. This can happen because of a technical glitch (which is too long and involved to explain in this blog post) but can be easily fixed – if you let us know! So, IF you plan to participate in OCR and before the first string of deadlines hits, take a moment to stop, log into PennLink and make sure you see that tab. Here’s what you should see:


If it’s not there, tell us right away because that means you don’t have access to any of the OCR postings and that’s definitely something you’ll want to fixed. 

Also, do you currently sync the PennLink calendar with your Google Calendar? If so, read on!

PennLink updated the system on November 17th. In order to CONTINUE SYNCING with your Google Calendar, you must follow these simple steps: 

1) Log in to the student interface of CSM
2) Go to the Student Profile, and within that profile, click on the “Privacy” tab.
3) Go to “Sync Events from the system with your Google Calendar”
4) Click the “Authorize” button, and then “Accept” CSM with Google. That’s it! 

If you have any questions about PennLink, please email pennlink@pobox.upenn.edu.

We know this time of year can be stressful for students, especially those hoping to land an internship or job for the summer. Please know Career Services is always here to help. While our appointments can often fill up quite quickly each week, please also know that most teams have DAILY walk-ins that are on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific counselors’ walk-in schedules can be found on our website and are updated daily.

Finding an Internship Abroad

by Claudia Acha, CAS ’15


Finding an internship abroad can be difficult, but with the right approach you can make your search easier and more effective. First you have to figure out why you want to intern abroad. Is it to travel to a specific country, work for a specific organization, or get experience in a specific field? Once you figure out your objective, you can focus your search and start looking for opportunities that match your objective. Even though finding an internship abroad is harder than finding one in the US, the extra work is well worth it.

I wanted to spend this summer exploring my interests in marketing, Latin America, and the non-profit sector. Although there are opportunities to do this at in the US, the best option seemed like interning abroad.  I began my search on goingglobal.com, devex.com, Pennlink, iNet, and idealist.org. I submitted more than 30 applications. I didn’t hear back from any positions I applied to until late April. Despite this setback, I was determined to spend my summer abroad so I looked for alternate sources. I met with the staff from career services for guidance, and with their help I was able to narrow and focus my search.

At Penn we are constantly reminded how important it is to utilize our networks, and this was my next step. I knew someone who worked at the Oxfam office in Washington DC and was able to get in touch with Oxfam’s offices in Latin America through him.  I reached out directly to the Oxfam office in Nicaragua and was able to secure a communications internship this way. Securing this internship took much effort and time, but it was definitely worth it. I was able to get everything I had hoped out of my internship. I got to work at an international NGO, explore my interest in marketing, and travel throughout Nicaragua.

Tips on Interning Abroad
The biggest difference I have noticed with internships abroad and in the US are the cultural differences in the work place. During my internship at Korea Leadership Center there was an unspoken rule that employees should not leave until the boss leaves the office. In Nicaragua the workplace was a lot more casual than in most US offices. Employees are not required to be in their office from 8 to 5, instead, they are given much freedom and are each responsible for finishing their work by the deadline. Make sure to do some research about the country you will be working in to avoid any misunderstandings.

Some students rule out an internship abroad due to financial constraints. However, there are numerous resources to find funding for internships abroad. Like some students at Penn, I did not have the luxury of being able to have a non-paid internship. I tried looking for research opportunities, scholarships, and other sources for funds to pay for my internship abroad. Luckily, during my scholarship search I stumbled upon the Steven Alloy Global Internship Grant sponsored by the International Relations Department at Penn. Thanks to the generous support from the International Relations Department, I was able to spend my summer just the way I envisioned it.

My advice for students searching for opportunities abroad would be: start early, be creative with your search, tap into all of the resources you have access to, and persevere. This investment will be well worth the effort.



LinkedIn for International Students

by Gerald Parloiu, WH & CAS ’15

International students can have a harder time finding jobs in the U.S. especially because not all the companies can hire international students. If you are a freshman or a sophomore, firms might be reluctant to go through the complicated issue of sponsoring Visas, as they tend to look to hire juniors to whom they can extend full time offers at the end of their junior internship. However, OCR is not the only way of finding an internship!

inMails on LinkedIn
Coming from an Eastern European country and interested in returning and working in the area for the summer, LinkedIn proved a very helpful resource in my job search. After creating a profile and adding my experiences I received an email with an offer for a 2-month free LinkedIn Gold upgrade. I immediately signed up and received 10 free inMail credits. With these credits I was able to contact anyone on LinkedIn. The way it works is that you go on the person’s profile (HR, Associate, MD, Partner, anyone you’d like to contact) and you can write them a message. I used this function for job inquiries and it always proved successful as the messages sent through inMail go directly to the E-mail address the person used when they signed up for LinkedIn. Given this, you can rest assured that the person you are trying to contact will read your email. If for some reason they don’t answer to you in 7 days LinkedIn will give you another free inMail credit for the message you did not get a response back!

Whom to look for?
LinkedIn messages proved a very helpful tool as a lot of the people I contacted got back to me. In order to find out what companies to contact I did  preliminary research on the companies in banking and consulting in my country. It also helped to join different professional groups on LinkedIn – this gave me access to hundreds of different people who I could potentially contact. This might not work that well for contacting people in the United States or other countries that have a strong economy, as these countries tend to have a very formal recruiting process and the people you contact will most likely direct you to the company’s website or to HR.

Overall, I think LinkedIn is a great resource for international students looking for a job back home! And remember, most students find their job in April or May, there is no need to become anxious if you didn’t secure an internship in January. Start your search today by signing up and contacting people in the industry you are interested in!

To learn more about LinkedIn, visit Career Services’ LinkedIn resource page and come by for a LinkedIn profile critique!

Gerald_1Gerald is a sophomore studying in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. Besides his Romanian and Hungarian skills he is fluent in Spanish and is now studying Portuguese. He is the Academic Relations VP for Wharton Europe, is part of the CURF Student Advisory Board and also serves on the Career Services Advisory Board.