On Campus Recruiting Starts Tomorrow!

By Barbara Hewitt

Starting tomorrow the on-campus interviewing suite will be bustling with activity as the 2014 full-time interviewing process gets underway. Penn is fortunate to have a very large interviewing suite with 48 rooms (and we support interview schedules at the Inn at Penn for overflow space!) so on any given day we can schedule upwards of 700 interviews! It’s an exciting time of year, but can (understandably) result in some anxiety as students start the interviewing process.

For those of you interviewing, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the employers have already selected you as someone who has the basic qualifications they seek…They’ve reviewed your resume and chosen you for an interview out of dozens if not hundreds of applicants from Penn.  This should give you some confidence that they are serious about considering you for their opportunities. Your job now is to wow them in the interview and show that you can indeed do the job.

We have several resources to help you prepare for your upcoming interviews.

Career Services Interviewing Guide:  This is a quick-start guide to get you prepped for interviews, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time. It’s a great place to start!

InterviewStream: This is the leading practice interview system that allows job seekers the opportunity to see and hear themselves online.  Using a webcam, individuals can simulate job interviews by responding to pre-recorded interview questions and practice both their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  InterviewStream allows you to customize your own interview by choosing from thousands of questions in a wide variety of industries and job functions. Afterwards, all interviews are immediately accessible online for self-review, or can be sent to career counselors, mentors, or others from whom you would like feedback.  Penn  students can create an InterviewStream account here.

Vault and WetFeet Guides:  Career Services subscribes to two excellent career resources: Vault and WetFeet Guides.  In addition to loads of good information about various industries to help you develop a deeper understanding of them before you interview, check out these specific interviewing guides. (You can access both resources from the online subscriptions link on the Career Services library page.)

Vault Guides





Vault Guide to Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews

Vault Gide to the Case Interview

Vault Guide to Finance Interviews

Vault Guide to Private Equity and Hedge Fund Interviews

Vault Guide to Advanced Finance and Quantitative Interviews

Wet Feet Guides




Ace Your Interview

Ace Your Interview: Consulting

Ace Your Case: Consulting Interviews

Ace Your Case: Business Operations Questions

Ace Your Case: Mastering the Case Interview

Ace Your Case: Market-sizing Questions

Ace Your Interview: Accounting

Ace Your Interview: Information Technology

Ace Your Interview: Brand Management

Beat the Street: Investment Banking Interviews

Beat the Street: I-Banking Interview Practice Guide

Examining and Defining Yourself Via Social Media

by Panxin Jiang, W’13

Every semester around the time OCR rolls around, I discover that suddenly, a portion of my friends start disappearing from my Facebook chats and messages and these new contacts appear. We always hear horror stories about how employers checked up on a person’s Facebook profile and decided to not hire them or to retract their offer as a result of what they find. As a result, a number of people modify their names so that prospective employers would be unable to find them using social media.

However, what people need to realize is that you aren’t only recruiting during recruiting season. Headhunters and companies are constantly taking names and reaching out to prospective employees. We all have friends working for other companies who might suggest your name when a position becomes available. Recruiting does not just occur when you are actively seeking a job, but also at times when you least expect it. Because of this, shouldn’t our online profiles reflect our best every day and not just days where we are actively seeking a job?

Our generation grew up in a world filled with social media. We are accustomed to posting photos on Facebook and tweeting our feelings on Twitter at our whim. In fact, it is difficult for me to imagine a time where we could not connect with friends via Facebook or Twitter. I often find myself deactivating from Facebook only to reactivate my profile a few hours later. And while there may be a number of benefits that social media brings into our lives, such as connecting with childhood friends who we haven’t seen in years and who live across the country, there are a number of disadvantages that we need to be wary of.

What you put on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, or any other form of social media will stay with you forever. You might put up a potentially risqué photo only to take it down a few seconds later because of the nature of the photo. However, in the time it took you to delete it, a person, maybe a prospective employer, may have downloaded that photo onto their computer. Once you upload a photo onto the internet, you lose control of who has access to that photo.

Privacy settings may help, but in a world where we all know someone who knows someone, all it takes is a favor and everything on your profile could be leaked out to a company. Because of this, the best way to avoid having potentially damaging photo appear on your profile on any other social media site is to not put it out there for the world to see.

So, the next time you log into any social media platform that you use, look at your profile and think about whether it really reflects who you are and whether your profile is what you want portrayed about you. Who knows, it might even impress someone and land you a job.

Panxin JiangPanxin Jiang is a senior at the Wharton School concentrating in Accounting, Finance, and Real Estate. Asides from social media, she enjoys shopping, cooking, baking, and exploring all that Philly has to offer. You can find her on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook.


OCR: Organize, Communicate, & Reap the Rewards

Maximilian Lamb, WH & SEAS '14
Maximilian Lamb, WH & SEAS ’14

Maximilian Lamb, WH & SEAS ’14

When I dove headfirst into the On Campus Recruiting season during this second semester of my junior year at Penn, I expected it to be completely different from my experience in securing an internship at a startup company last year. And believe me, it was. Always running around in a suit, constantly looking around the room and thinking, “I have to compete with these people?” and endless applications on PennLink definitely differentiated this year from the last. However, at a fundamental level I have finally realized that getting a job at a major investment bank or consulting firm versus a small startup is not as different as it might seem.

Common Skills for OCR and Startup Interviews
First, both recruiting processes require substantially developed skills and knowledge. These skills are the primary focus of the dreaded technical questions that require quick number-crunching and analytical thinking in any investment banking or consulting interview, as well as in engineering or science related fields such as computer science and biotechnology. But these skills are just as vital at a small company. Both large corporations and startups value hires that possess analytical skills, a quantitative background, creativity, a strong work ethic, and the list goes on and on. Industry knowledge is also crucial for every company I have ever considered for a summer internship in the past two years. In a large investment bank or consulting firm, knowledge of a specific industry not only demonstrates interest in the job that you are applying to, but it is essential to identifying future areas that will have a major impact. On the startup side, it is crucial to be aware of how a startup fits into the larger market, but this still requires overall industry knowledge.

Clear Communication is Key
Second, it is essential to be able to communicate the skills and knowledge in question. In client facing roles at IB and consulting firms, communicating clearly and effectively with a client is essential to the success of the entire firm. If you can’t accomplish this type of communication in an interview, an interviewer has no reason to trust that you will be able to do it in front of a customer or with other employees. The same goes for a startup, where communication with customers as well as fellow team members is essential to forming a cohesive and efficient organization.

Always Prepare to Reap the Rewards 
After considering the similarity of these two superficially different recruiting processes, On Campus Recruiting didn’t seem so scary after all. Granted, for large top tier investment banks and consulting companies, the competition can be more numerous, definitely more visible, and more often found in business formal, but this should not lead to increased anxiety for either process. At the end of the day, the best way to land that perfect job is to organize what you know, communicate your prowess and knowledge confidently, and reap the rewards of an OCR well done.

To The Seniors Who Are Enjoying the Fall in T-Shirts and Jeans…

It was at this time in my senior year when I saw something that changed the rest of my college experience: students wearing suits. At first, I thought these were just Wharton students. Yet, everyday I kept seeing more. Campus started crawling with them.

And one day, I felt a tinge of horror rush from my feet to the hairs on the back of my neck. These weren’t just Wharton students but folks from the College as well, and I had no idea what to do about it…

Fortunately, if you are right now in the same place I was, I have an answer for you, one that can give you the freedom to take control of your job search and get rid of the panic you may soon experience.

To understand this answer, I feel compelled to briefly share my own embarrassing fall senior year job experience. You’ll understand why in just a minute.

Continue reading “To The Seniors Who Are Enjoying the Fall in T-Shirts and Jeans…”

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Dr. Joseph Barber

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best advice, and so I am going to give you some simple advice. It is advice that you may choose to ignore during finals, or might be prevented from heeding at other times because small creatures (e.g., cats, dogs, wicked babies) spend the twilight hours wailing. But the advice is “get enough sleep”. It is advice that I certainly hope to follow again someday very soon (wicked baby permitting).

It may come as no surprise that lack of sleep can have an effect on mood, on health, on the ability to access different types of knowledge, on relationships, on academic success, and potentially on your ability to maximize career opportunities. Getting enough sleep before that important job interview should be a critical part of your preparations. There are lots of studies investigating the link between sleep deprivation and disruption and many of the factors I list above. If you are looking for some (somewhat soporific) reading materials to help you slumber, then you can check out some of these studies and see the results for yourself:

  • Gomes et al. 2011. Sleep and academic performance in undergraduates: a multi-measure, multi-predictor approach. CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL 28(9): 786-801
  • Gunzelmann et al. 2011. Diminished access to declarative knowledge with sleep deprivation. COGNITIVE SYSTEMS RESEARCH 13(1): 1-11
  • Soares et al. 2011. Sleep disturbances, body mass index and eating behaviour in undergraduate students. JOURNAL OF SLEEP RESEARCH 20(3): 479-486
  • Forquer et al. 2008. Sleep patterns of college students at a public university. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH 56(5): 563-565
  • Pallos et al. 2007. The quality of sleep and factors associated with poor sleep in Japanese graduate students. SLEEP AND BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS 5(4): 234-238

The reasons that undergraduates and graduates may have poor sleep habits may vary, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sleep-specific research that focuses primarily on graduate students out there. Stereotypes might suggest that in the wee hours of the morning undergraduates are out partying, and graduates are locked away in libraries or labs trying to make progress on writing their thesis or getting experiments to work. There is probably some truth in these, but these stereotypes obviously won’t tell the whole story.

Now, there is not much we can do at Career Services to help you sleep better (unless you sleep better listening to online OCR orientations). However, if you are worried about finding internships or jobs, then perhaps the advice of a career advisor will help you feel more prepared and confident – and that will certainly help you sleep better. Addressing your stress and anxiety is important, and if helpful advice from a career advisor doesn’t necessarily help, then make use of some of the other student services available to you as well. It is worth it for a good night’s sleep.

I’ll let Wordsworth have the last word today, and wish you all a good night (do I hear the wailing of my nocturnal baby?).

A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by,
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
I’ve thought of all by turns; and still do lie
Sleepless; and soon the small birds’ melodies
Must hear, first utter’d from my orchard trees;
And the first Cuckoo’s melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to night away:
Without Thee what is all the morning’s wealth?
Come, blessed barrier betwixt day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!

“To Sleep” William Wordsworth