University of Pennsylvania’s
Engineering Career Day
A virtual event in 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET
Open to students and alumni served by Penn Career Services; prepare your Handshake account and resume in advance, and while interactions will be virtual, recommended dress is business casual.
IMPORTANT: Student Registration begins approximately two weeks before the event date; carefully review this page and the several steps required to update and/or set up your Handshake account properly, so that you may participate!
What students/applicants should know about the event and how it will work:
1. Employers will each have one virtual “booth” hosted by their representatives.
2. When you register for the event, you’ll see 2 types of engagement offered by each organization – 30-minute group information sessions and 10-minute, one-to-one video meetings with company representatives for which you qualify; note that employers set their own requirements and arrange their schedule independently; their choices are not controlled nor can be adjusted by Penn Career Services.
3. One-to-one meetings (10 minutes each) are limited by the number of representatives each organization chooses to have for their booth, and again participation is limited to students that meet each organization’s pre-set criteria; sign-ups are first-come, first-served.
4. Group sessions (30 minutes) can be for up to 50 attendees within the Handshake platform; employers may opt instead to use their own external sites (WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.) for group sessions, thereby limited in attendance by what is allowed on their platform. Please be sure if the event is on an external platform that you follow all employer instructions for registering in advance if necessary.
**For information directly from Handshake’s technical team on how to best update your Handshake account and prepare for the event, including more detailed information about each step of the registration process, please see: https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049934274
*Engineering Career Day is open only to University of Pennsylvania undergraduate and graduate students who study on campus, and alumni from those programs. Online students, Penn Medicine (MD), MBA, J.D. students, the general public or those without an active University of Pennsylvania Handshake accounts will not be permitted to register for this event.
Best Candidate Practices for this virtual Career Fair
1. Read through every step above so that you understand how the event works; check the Handshake Student Virtual Fair FAQs linked above if you still have questions. Penn Career Services staff members, specifically members of the Engineering Career Services team, will be available online during the days leading up to and during the event to answer questions not addressed in the Handshake FAQs.
2. Register for the event and update your Handshake profile completely as employers will be able to see it during the event:
- Be sure to complete all fields in your Handshake profile including job and industry interests.
- To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, your profile privacy setting must be set to “Community” or “Employers”.
- Because employers can set requirements on the following fields for eligibility to sign up for 1:1 meetings in the virtual career fairs, make sure that the basics are accurate: graduation date, school year, major, GPA and work authorization. Click on the pencil icon in your Handshake profile to make any necessary changes. Students who have not yet declared a major or concentration should feel free to add their intended choice. Since only one school automatically transfers into Handshake, dual degree students should add their second school. Note to transfer students, first-year graduate students, certain PhD students, and post-docs: If you don’t (yet) have a Penn GPA, put in the GPA from your previous institution or previous degree for the career fairs so that you are not screened out based on not having a GPA in the system.
3. Even though the event is online, we recommend business casual dress – you may be engaging in personal video chats and you’ll want to look your best!
4. In advance of the event, spend a bit of time researching the organizations attending as shown on Handshake, especially those with which you’ve scheduled to attend a group chat and/or 1-to-1 meeting. The Handshake search will list organizations by majors being sought, those looking for summer interns, and those seeking graduate students, among other searchable variables. Identify the organizations with which you wish to engage so that you can plan your time strategically.
5. Before you sign in to join a group session or 1:1 meeting, decide which companies you will visit first. Then, think about the following:
- What do you already know about the employer? What can be learned from a quick, couple-of-minute review of their website and “careers” page about what they’re about and what they’re looking for in candidates? Be careful not to waste their time – and yours – by asking questions you could have answered yourself with a little advance research.
- Prepare your thoughts as to how you want to introduce yourself and why you think you’re a strong candidate for their consideration. Be sure to state your (preferred) name, your major/program, what type of role (internship, full-time) you’re seeking and have something to share about your relevant experiences and coursework.
- Think of questions that you can ask to help you understand what the organization is seeking beyond what may already be in the descriptions you can find online yourself – and ensure that you build in a question about their hiring process and timeline so you know what to expect after the event.
6. Try your best to not be nervous by remembering the recruiters want to speak with you!
7. If you would like to continue the conversation beyond the virtual fair, don’t be afraid to ask! You can certainly say in closing, “I’d like to speak with you further, but I am sure that you have others waiting. May we reconnect when you have more time?” If you want to pursue an opportunity, remember to make sure you know what to do next (ie. apply through their online portal, submit your resume for their on-campus interview schedule, etc.)
8. Quickly during the event, or even just after, jot down some information about your conversation with each representative to whom you spoke. Sending emailed thank you notes is recommended for those organizations with opportunities you are especially interested in pursuing. Try to trigger the representative’s memory of you by stating something that you had discussed with him or her during your conversation.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Engineering Career Services Team