It is never too early to start thinking about a career. Even if it is a student's first year on campus, now is the time to begin conversations about career planning. It is important for students to make the most of their college years, gaining an education and experience while simultaneously developing leadership, interpersonal, and technical skills. This is the time when students will be building the framework for what will be documented on their résumé, ultimately leading them to a fulfilling career.
It is crucial that students use this time to develop the necessary skills to recognize and obtain both technical and interpersonal skills, and then document and promote those skills to employers. The Penn College Career Services Office educates and prepares students with these goals in mind, and parents can help by reinforcing these messages of early preparation.
When talking to your student about preparing for his/her future careers, encourage him/her to look into all of the resources that Penn College offers. Students and alumni are eligible to take advantage of the many learning opportunities designed around career preparedness in both individual appointments and group workshops. Parents and Career Services staff can partner to help students obtain skills to design a résumé portfolio that best describes their skills and abilities, increase their interviewing skills, and apply the knowledge they have gained to any and all job seeking situations for the duration of their career. Although the ‘job-seeking’ points in a student’s career are often uncomfortable and filled with insecurities, the goal of Career Services is to make the transitions from school-to-work and work-to-work an exercise filled with skills that have been honed to produce the best possible outcome. It is expected that students may often ask specific questions about résumés, interviewing, and the job market. You can feel confident in directing them to our office.
Do the Work...
The philosophy of Career Services is “Don’t do it for them, teach them how to do it,” and to that end, our activities are designed purposefully to have students practice the skills related to preparing for their careers. Because the majority of students we see are in the very beginning stages of career planning, there is a lot of opportunity to build a strong foundation. So, what are some suggestions to help students through their career planning process?
Résumé Review – Career Services will review any completed résumé for current students or alumni, to gain feedback and insight on what employers are looking for.
Mock Interview – While participating in a mock interview, students experience a variety of interview situations and questions that prepare them for future interviews.
Get Involved – Employers are interested in students who have been actively involved in campus life and their program of study. We can discuss with students how clubs and organizations help build their résumé.
Take Part in an Internship – Even if a student isn’t required to have an internship before graduation, employers are always looking for students who have work-based experience in their field. We are available to discuss potential internship or summer work experiences that are available to students.
Research Employers – While students are here, they can look into the employers who have hired graduates from their major. Who is the student interested in working with? Where is the student looking to settle down after graduation? Are they flexible with geographic location? What salary should they expect to make upon graduation? This is important information to gather along the path to graduation.
Attend Career Fair – This is an incredible opportunity for students, faculty, and alumni to meet and network with hundreds of employers! Each semester Career Services invites nearly 1,800 employers to the Career Fair. Career Services encourages ALL students to participate in the pre-event activities and to attend the Career Fair. Prior to the Career Fair, we hold a fun-filled week of pre-events to help students prepare to present themselves in the most professional manner possible.
Attend Employee Information Sessions – Employers are invited to campus throughout the semester to provide students with knowledge about their companies and the variety of jobs they are seeking to fill. These information sessions are free and open to all students.
Graduate School – We provide students basic graduate school information including: fundamental requirements on GPA; the need for testing such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc.; application timing; and academic preparation.
Career Exploration – Having trouble figuring out what you can do with your major? Students can set up an appointment with Career Services staff to explore opportunities within their major.
Career Gear Clothes Closet – The Career Gear Clothes Closet is a place where students can select professional clothing for upcoming Career Fair events, job/internship interviews, and other various reasons. These professional clothing items are FREE to students and do not have to be returned.
Penn College Career Hub – The Penn College Career Hub is a powerful job search tool offered by Career Services! The Career Hub connects students with employers who are looking to hire Penn College students for internships, full-time jobs, and part-time jobs. Students, staff, and faculty may login using their Penn College e-mail address and network password. The Career Hub also allows you to create a profile and upload a résumé! Once your résumé is uploaded, employers have the opportunity to search the Career Hub’s Résumé Book.
Resource Room – The Career Services Resource Room offers a variety of career resources to support and assist with career development needs. These career resources provide easy access to tools designed with information and exploration in mind. Students and alumni will find websites, videos, publications, employer literature, and more.
Part-time Jobs, Earn n’ Learn – The purpose of the Earn ‘n Learn program is to locate and develop both on- and off-campus, part-time job opportunities for currently enrolled students who want to work while going to school.
The recovering job market demands that new college graduates come to the workforce with more education, technical skills, and experience than ever before. Students can succeed by early career planning, making a connection with Career Services, and researching their career field.