PhD Questions of the Month: May 2021

Welcome to another installment of our blog series, PhD Questions of the Month, where the Grad Student/Postdoc Team at Career Services answers the top questions that we have been asked in our individual PhD career advising appointments. This month, we’ve gotten questions about our services. Feel free to connect with us if you have career questions in need of answers – you can make an appointment to meet with a Career Advisor on Handshake!

Is Career Services open in the summer?

Yes! Career Services is “open” and advisors are available to meet virtually with students in individual and group career advising appointments all throughout the summer. Just book an appointment with us online at You can meet with us via Zoom or, if you prefer, we can also meet via phone. In addition, if you ever need some quick career advice (like a quick resume review or some questions about negotiating a job offer, for example), you can reserve a “same-day appointment” with us by logging into Handshake after 9:15am on weekdays and booking a 15-minute “same-day appointment.” Check out our office’s webpage on same-day advising just to verify the hours based on the school you’re in.

Are there any Career Services events for PhD students this summer?

Yes! Although we won’t have as many programs and workshops as we normally would during the academic year, we have two exciting “prep camps” that we’ll be running during the summer. The first is a Job Search Prep Camp for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences, taking place virtually in the mornings across four days: Monday, June 7 to Thursday, June 10. It’s a set of 10 programs and workshops aimed to help PhDs explore careers and prepare for a job search outside of academia. You can find the full schedule at our Prep Camp webpage here. Among the programs, we’re especially excited to have a Student/Alumni Job Search Panel, a presentation on Reviewing Job Candidates from a Hiring Manager’s Perspective, a Hiring Manager/Recruiter Panel featuring experienced HR professionals from the fields of consulting, tech, and higher education, as well as a webinar announcing the launch of Aurora by Beyond the Professoriate, Penn’s newest digital resource for PhD career exploration. Our prep camp is open to all Penn PhD students, postdocs, and alums in the humanities and social sciences. Please register for our prep camp programs in Handshake!

For those of you who are planning to apply for faculty positions, we will also be planning a Faculty Job Search Prep Camp for early August. Keep an eye out in July for the exact dates and prep camp details!

I’ve just graduated, but I’m still job hunting. Can I continue to access Career Services and meet with advisors?

Yes! All degree holding Penn alumni from any of the schools or programs we serve have lifetime access to Career Services, so that includes using digital resources at Career Services, having access to Handshake, and meeting with a Career Services advisor. If you’re still job hunting, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss the status of your job search and to get feedback on your job documents and your interviewing skills. We’re also happy to discuss with you your overall career exploration and goals.

By Helen Pho
Helen Pho Associate Director, Graduate Students & Postdocs