Virtual Employer Information Sessions for Students
Every year, Career Services promotes and facilitates hundreds of employer information sessions and other recruiting events for Penn students. The events are often (although not always) scheduled in conjunction with employer on-campus interview positions or with participation in Career Services Career Fairs. Employers present on topics that include the organization’s culture, mission and work, and available career opportunities. For Fall 2021, all employer information sessions will be held virtually and employers will have the opportunity to include a link for students to connect to their event. We expect events to vary widely. For smaller events, students may have the opportunity to make connections with the employer by asking questions and speaking with representatives (often recent Penn alumni) individually or in groups after the presentation in individual virtual breakout rooms. These types of interactions are likely to be less possible for events that have many participants. However, regardless of the format, information sessions will provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the positions available with a particular employer as well as ideally meet some of the organization’s employees.
Note that from August 31 – September 3rd the information sessions publicized will be mainly those that are Penn specific and only open to Penn students. After September 3 students will see both Penn specific and “multi-school” events that Penn students and students from other universities are invited to attend.
How to Find Employer Information Sessions
To learn about upcoming employer information sessions and events (including date and time, event descriptions, target audience), log in to Handshake and click on the Events tab. Check back periodically for new sessions. You are encouraged to “Join Event” if you plan to attend. (However, if you can’t attend, please don’t join. Employers do not look favorably on students who indicate they will attend and then don’t and it may reflect negatively on you when apply for a job with the organization.) You may also view upcoming employer information sessions on our website events calendar. A URL to participate in the event should be visible in all Handshake sessions five minutes before the sessions is set to start. In addition, many employers (especially those holding multi-school sessions) may ask you to register on their site instead of or in addition to registering on Handshake.
How to Prepare
- Research beforehand if you don’t have a clear sense of the employer or their opportunities. Being up-to-date on important news about the employer will help you engage with meaningful questions and conversation.
- Learn about the industry so you understand what the companies do and what they expect from their professionals
- Determine what is important to you and what you want to get out of the information.
- Attire: Even with the virtual format, it is important to make a good impression. Career Services therefore recommends business casual attire for most sessions in which cameras will be on, unless otherwise indicated through publicity.
After the Event
Now that you know what the employer is looking for, you can demonstrate these qualities in your resume, cover letter, and interview. It’s always helpful to say you attended an employer’s information session during your interview or to mention in your cover letter that you met a specific representative – this increases your credibility when describing why you are interested in the employer and opportunity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many answers to OCI-related questions may be found on our OCI/Handshake FAQ page.