Welcome to Spring 2021!  Updates from Career Services

It’s wonderful that we will have more students back in Philadelphia this spring.  We hope that with the vaccines more readily available our staff will be fully back on campus by the summer or fall. In the meantime, we wanted to share Career Services updates for the spring 2021 semester.  While the Career Services staff will continue to provide comprehensive services to Penn students and alumni over the coming months, we will be doing so virtually to ensure everyone’s safety.

Here are some important things to know for the spring:

  • Career and Graduate School Advising:  You can schedule a 30 minute video or phone appointment with a professional career or graduate school advisor or a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) through Handshake. Note that appointments are often put in at the beginning of each week, so if you are not able to find an available appointment time try checking back a few days later, as appointments tend to fill up quickly at the beginning of the semester. You can also find information on shorter “same day advising” options for quick questions on our website.  If you need to contact a staff member, the easiest way to do so is via email. You can learn more about and reach out to our undergraduate career advisors and our graduate career advisors.
  • Career Fairs: We will be offering a number of virtual career fairs this spring – some which are Penn-specific and some which are consortium-based. These start early in the semester so check our career fairs page soon for details on the following fairs: Zell/Lurie Real Estate Career Fair  |  All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair  |  Spring Career & Internship Virtual Fair  |  Design and Creative Careers Virtual Fair  |  Science, Data, and Tech Virtual Career Fair | All Ivy Just in Time Fair (to be scheduled in April).
  • Employer Information Sessions, Job & Internship Listings, and Virtual On-Campus Interviews:  Thousands of jobs and internship listings are posted on Handshake each month so be sure to take a look!  You can also see employer information sessions on Handshake or the Events page on our website.  Note that virtual on-campus interviewing tends to be relatively light in the spring, but we do have some employers participate.  You can watch a very quick OCI orientation to better understand the process. While in Handshake, take a few minutes to fully complete your profile as it helps raise your visibility with employers and improve suggested jobs.
  • Enhanced Summer Funding Program:  Career Services manages a summer funding program for students in need of financial support to complete unpaid or underpaid summer internships or research experiences.  This year we are thrilled to announce a large increase in funding from Student Financial Services specifically for students with moderate family income levels of approximately $65,000 – $140,000.  (Students designated as highly aided should continue to apply through the funding program provided by Student Financial Services.)  Check out our “Find Funding” page for details.
  • Collaborations with Student Groups:  We are profoundly aware of Zoom fatigue and are hesitant to overload students with too many virtual workshops. However, we always welcome opportunities to collaborate with student groups on programming so if you would like to discuss a targeted workshop for your group, please fill out our Workshop Collaboration form and we will reach out to you to discuss.
  • Personalize and streamline your weekly newsletter.  Did you know that the Friday Penn Career Services Digest – Jobs, Events, News and More can be tailored to your specific interests? Take a few minutes to log in on the top right on the Career Services website with your PennKey and update your “content preferences.” You can choose to receive information for specific affinity groups (such as students of color, international students, or students with disabilities), job and internship listings for particular industries (finance, nursing, non-profits and more!), or information on applying to graduate or professional school, among other options. No matter how many interests you indicate, you will only receive one newsletter!
  • Explore the MANY resources on the Career Services website! Visit our 25 industry communities, our 10 affinity communities, peruse the Events calendar, explore upcoming career fairs, take the interactive CareerExplorer assessment, learn how to write a resume, practice your interview skills with BigInterview, or learn about applying to graduate, health professions, or law school!
  • Career Services for Students Taking a Leave of Absence in Spring 2021:  Given the extenuating circumstances brought upon by COVID 19, students opting to take a leave of absence from Penn for spring 2021 who have previously completed at least one semester at Penn are welcome to participate in many career services typically provided to them while enrolled including Handshake access, online resources available on the Career Services website, individual career and graduate school advising, virtual Career Services workshops, and virtual employer events including career fairs, employer information sessions, and “on campus” interviews.  Students MUST, however, ensure that their graduation date is accurately reflected on Penn-in-Touch, on all employment documents (resumes, cover letters and employer applications), and on their Handshake profile. Employers, particularly those with regular, cyclical hiring patterns, often select students for interviews based on their expected graduation date. Internships are often reserved for students who will graduate in December or May after the internship is completed and who would therefore be in a position to accept a full-time offer. Students who have individual questions about how changes to their expected graduation date may affect their recruiting cycle should schedule an appointment with a Career Services advisor through Handshake. Students should speak with an academic advisor from their school to change their official graduation date if necessary. Failure to accurately report expected graduation date can result in a loss of the privileges outlined above.
By Barbara Hewitt
Barbara Hewitt Executive Director