A Notice to Sophomores Regarding Fall 2015 On Campus Recruiting

Dear Penn Sophomores:

Yesterday Career Services sent an email to Penn sophomores to inform them of planned changes to the internship recruiting timeline for next year.  We immediately received feedback from a substantial number of students who had been planning to study abroad during Fall 2015 who felt that they had not received enough time to adequately plan for such changes and who were not comfortable with the option of using videoconferencing to conduct their internship interviews from abroad. We apologize for not making the decision earlier in the year, but we felt it was important to gather statistics and data from the 2015 internship cycle to better inform our decision about the optimal timing for internship recruiting.  We were not able to make a decision until right before Spring Break and so announced it as soon possible when classes resumed.

We have heard from a significant number of students with concerns about the proposed change, and at this point we have decided that the best course of action will be to postpone the implementation of fall internship recruiting until Fall 2016.  For current sophomores, on-campus interviewing for non-technical internships will take place in Spring 2016.  Current freshmen should expect that internship recruiting will take place in Fall 2016 which will give students more time to adequately plan.

Again, our goal in Career Services is to help each and every student to clarify and pursue their career interests and we hope that the revised timeline will work for all of our students.  We urge rising juniors who are studying abroad next fall to meet with a career counselor this spring or summer to discuss any career concerns they may have and to plan in advance for their return to campus in Spring 2016.

Career Services

Sophomore Career Exploration

My name is Pat Cawiezell and I am the Graduate Assistant in Career Services working on the Wharton team.  I am making my first blog entry today so thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself to the regular readers of the blog as a new voice.

One aspect of my responsibilities in Career Services has been to accompany a group of Wharton Sophomores on business exploration trips along with a fellow graduate assistant from the office in Huntsman G95, Chase Palmer.  In the first semester Chase and I took a group to New York and visited the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and a separate group to Washington to visit the State Department.  One of the primary objectives of the trip is to expose students to careers outside the traditional Banking and Consulting paths that so many Wharton students choose and to showcase that there are in fact other options available.

At the end of January Chase and I took a small group of sophomores to the headquarters of Ashoka (http://www.ashoka.org) in Arlington, VA.  For nearly 30 years, Ashoka has been funding social entreprenuers all over the world that are making a real difference.  The hiring process for Ashoka is extensive, applicants will have six interviews before being hired, including one interview with one of the top three people in the organization.  In fact, walking through their offices Bill Drayton, the CEO and founder of Ashoka, was sitting in his office talking on the phone.  Being part of a small non-profit such as Ashoka can provide access to the organizational leadership that isn’t possible at the multi-national corporation level.

The following week (right before a big snowfall, we have had so much snow I don’t remember which big snowfall, I just remember that as the bus pulled up to 38th and Walnut flurries were just starting to fill the air), Chase and I led a larger group to New York for two company visits.  In the morning we went to PricewaterhouseCoopers to learn more about their consulting division.  It was a pretty traditional presentation, we met four Wharton alums that work for PwC, all in different stages in their career.  In the afternoon the group went to Bad Boy (unfortunately Puff Daddy was in Miami for the Super Bowl) and met with many different people from the Bad Boy empire.  The CFO is a Wharton alum, Derek Ferguson, http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4188.html, and gave some solid advice about entering into the entertainment industry.

The striking difference between a corporate job at PwC and the environment at Bad Boy was evident to me, and I hope evident to the sophomores that attended the event.  At Bad Boy, every person we met, from Derek Ferguson on down to the interns that were there for the spring semester, had some level of relationship with Sean Combs.  You could usually tell what that level was from those that called him Puffy and those that called him Mr. Combs, but there is no question that Mr. Combs is involved in every level of Bad Boy and that if you go to work for him, you will have access to him.

I am sure that my vantage point as a 28 year old graduate student is different than the 19 and 20 year old sophomores that were the target audience of the presentations but I hope that as you consider your career path, you think about the things that are important to you and both the benefits and drawbacks of each possible job.  At Penn, there are lots of companies competing for students to hire but I hope you take some time to think about the organizations that don’t have the resources to wine and dine but could be a perfect fit for your unique interests and talents.