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STEM Career Fair – Students and Postdocs

STEM Career Fair

STEM Career Fair

Tuesday 20th October 2020, 12:00 – 5:00PM EST

NEW NAME: The BioSciences Career Fair is now the STEM Career Fair
This year the fair will be VIRTUAL | Click here for Handshake’s Student Resources!

You can find a list of currently registered employers here: https://upenn.joinhandshake.com/career_fairs/15528

IMPORTANT: Student and Postdoc Registration Begins at 6PM EST on Wednesday 14th October
Carefully review this page and the several steps required to update and/or set up your Handshake account properly so that you may participate!

1. Employers attending the STEM Career Fair will each have one virtual “booth” hosted by their representatives.

2. When you register for the events, 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. Please note that employers set their own requirements and arrange their schedule independently; their choices are not controlled by Penn Career Services, nor can Career Services adjust employers’ requirements.

3. 1:1 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 and/or postdocs who 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. Please be sure if the event is on an external platform that you follow all employer instructions for registering in advance if necessary. Employers will be able to collect resumes from Handshake (if you have made these publicly available) for any students/postdocs who attend the group sessions, and this provides another way to engage with employers. See best practices

5. Who can attend?

  • Current Penn undergraduate students
  • Current Penn graduate students
  • Alumni from Penn graduate and undergraduate programs
  • Current postdocs at Penn

**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

1. Read through every step above so that you understand how the event works. Check the Handshake Virtual Fair FAQs if you still have questions. Penn Career Services staff members 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 and postdocs who have not yet a major or concentration to their Handshake profile 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 postdocs: 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 you learn from a quick, couple-of-minute review of their website and “careers” page about what they do 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!

Please join us for two virtual events in preparation for the fair:

If you missed the STEM Resume Workshop on the 30th September, then you can find the recording of this session here: https://youtu.be/tSyYvuQva_s

If you missed the Prepare for the Virtual STEM Career Fair on the 8th October, then you can find the recording here: https://youtu.be/-ARh4EHOb94

The employers attending this fair provide an insight into many of the common careers pursued by STEM students and postdocs. Begin your exploration to determine career options for when you complete your degree or postdoc. Talk with the employers to gain an unprecedented insight into opportunities that match your career goals.

Take this opportunity to network even if you are not job/internship hunting right now. The best time to network is when you are not looking for a job, and when information is all you are looking for. Employers want to be kept busy during a career fair. They want to talk to as many interested and interesting students/postdocs as possible. The more engaged they are at the fair, the more likely it will be that they will keep coming back to future career fairs. You may not be applying for job this year, but at some point you will be, and so take this opportunity to make a connection at employers that might one day be on your shortlist. You can connect with these employers each year (and throughout the year) to learn more about future opportunities.

The Virtual STEM Career Fair will be hosted on Handshake.
For additional information, please visit: https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049934274-Virtual-Fairs-Student-Experience
And click here for information on accessibility: https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049932314-Virtual-Fairs-Accessibility