What’s the deal with OCR?!

by Mylene Kerschner, Associate Director

Ever feel like this?

It’s understandable. This is the time of year when *everyone* is walking around in suits, talking about OCR sign-ups and interviews and offers. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be, say, a marine biologist. Or an architect! But *everyone else* is pursuing consulting, and they’re getting full-time offers in October – if they didn’t have one before they got back to campus! Maybe you should be a consultant, too?


I saw this post on the Humans of New York Facebook page* earlier this month and it stopped me in my tracks. What a perfect analogy! We’ve all been there. You watch one Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and then suddenly it’s four hours later and you’re not sure why you’re watching this segment, or where your afternoon went.

But as it relates to the daunting “choosing what do I want to do with my life,” the analogy can be less amusing than an afternoon of comedy. And honestly, based on my conversations with students recently, this guy could be a Penn student. When you were growing up, did you even consider a career on Wall Street or in consulting? Or did it pop into your head when you got to Penn and saw the upperclassmen tying their ties and sliding on their heels and heading over to the On-Campus Interviewing suite in droves. On-Campus Recruiting has a huge presence on campus, and it’s an incredible opportunity for many of our students. It’s completely natural to glance over to see what it’s all about.

And I’m not saying don’t explore. By all means, do! Take an internship in a field that’s unfamiliar. Join a club that you find interesting but know very little about. Network, network, network!

Just be true to what YOU want to do. Find your calling. Be sure that while you’re glancing left and right in DRL and on Locust Walk, you’re also checking in with yourself, and considering your interests.

And if your calling is in latex sales, don’t be afraid to pursue it with abandon.


Say Vandelay!


*Also, if you don’t already follow Humans of New York on Facebook, you must! Brandon photographs and interviews strangers, then shares stories and images of rare book librarians and inspirational architects, farmers who moved to Alaska to find a new start and many, many others.

Not Invited? Try an Add-on!

by Marlene L. Cohen, Recruiting Manager, Career Services/On Campus Recruiting

resumehandmanThere is an employer on PennLink that you have submitted your resume for consideration.  You really want to be selected as an invite.  You wait – you check PennLink – you’re “Not Invited.”   Don’t be discouraged, submit an “Add On” request.  Over 150 Add On interviews were held in OCR last season.  Most employers will look at and even schedule last minute interviews with students who have submitted an add-on request.  Of course there is no guarantee of acceptance, but you never know!  Sometimes employers will experience a late cancellation or even a dreaded no show and would like to fill those empty slots.  If your resume is in their packet, you may be selected.

The process is very simple.  Go on the Career Services website and under the main OCR page, select Recruiter Add-on Interview Request Form.  Fill out the form or print several copies to have on hand.  Once the form is filled out, attach your resume and bring them to the Career Services office in the basement level of the McNeil Building, Suite 20.  There you will find the Recruiter Add-On Interview Request Box.  The box will be available to you between the hours of 9:15 am until 2:00 pm.  Now please keep in mind that you’re submitting add-on requests for the next working day’s interviews.  For instance, submit on Monday for Tuesday interviews; submit on Friday for Monday interviews. The add-on requests will be given to the recruiters when they check into OCR the following morning. The recruiter will review the resumes at their convenience and will ask the OCR receptionist to call the students they wish to interview. There is no need to call and check on the status of your add-on request. The OCR receptionist will contact you by telephone if you are selected for an add-on interview.  If you are not selected, you will not be contacted.

Many students who have received add-on interviews have also received offers from those employers.  So try it!  You might get an interview with the employer you really want!

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

O.C.R. = Overly Confusing Recruiting?!?

It’s that time of year again, when Career Services welcomes recruiters to campus to conduct exclusive interviews with Penn students.

We understand that On Campus Recruiting can be a difficult process.  The anticipation of  getting an interview, figuring out the best things to say during an interview, wondering about second rounds and offers – these things can all be stressful, but what we sincerely hope is that OCR itself is not confusing.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the basics of On Campus Recruiting, so now seems like a good time to point out that almost all the information you need can be found on our website.

First and foremost, you should watch the On Campus Recruiting Orientation video. This narrated Power Point will take you step by step through the process of OCR, from logging in to uploading your resume to accepting and scheduling interviews.  This is a NOT TO BE MISSED video!  Think of it as the must see movie of the season!

If you have a very specific questions, the first place to check is the On Campus Recruiting FAQ page, where you can also search for questions by topic.

The OCR section of our website should be a “one stop shop” for your all of your recruiting needs.  Besides the orientation and FAQ, you’ll find printable forms from Add-Ons, our Cancellation Policy, Recruiting and Offer Policies and more.

You can also check out this video where graduating students offer advice on navigating the OCR process:

On Campus Recruiting Advice from Graduating Students from Penn Career Services on Vimeo.

Still have questions?  Stop by and see one of the career counselors for your school during walk-ins or call us to make an appointment!  Good luck!