Everything You Need To Know About Penn State’s Career Services
As Penn State says goodbye to the fall semester, the time has officially come to start looking for summer jobs, internships, and careers.
Penn State’s Career Services consistently ranks highly, beating other Big Ten schools and Ivies, but many of its resources are still underutilized by students. In fact, some Penn Staters may never venture to the Bank of America Career Services Center.
Yet that building is actually a gateway to Penn State’s vast alumni network, as well as numerous other services. And it’s just a two-minute walk from east halls. So without further ado, here’s just a few things you can find to aid in your job search on campus:
Drop-In and Individual Career Counseling
Drop-In counseling is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bank of America Career Services Center. On Tuesday nights form 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the counseling is held outside the Freeman Auditorium in the HUB.
Drop-in counseling is a brief ten minute meeting with a career counselor for any career-related concerns, such as major/career decisions, networking, job shadowing, internships, full-time jobs, resumes, interviews, graduate school, negotiating salaries, and evaluating offers. For reviewing documents such as resumes and cover letters, they request you bring a paper copy, rather than en electronic one.
One very important note: You must attend one Drop-In session to be eligible for Individual Career Counseling appointments, which are the on-going, in-depth 50 minutes sessions. Throughout one school year, you can schedule up to ten of these sessions, which are extremely beneficial as they help the student establish a relationship with their counselor as they, “engage in career exploration, increase self-awareness, as well as discuss the pressures and expectations that may surround academic and career decisions.”
Mock Interview Program
The purpose of these sessions is to give students a taste of what to expect from an actual job interview, as well as an opportunity to refine their skills. They last for an hour, and are available to help students practice for all types of interviews, including those needed for graduate school and many careers. Students should make an appointment through the scheduling assistant in 111 Bank of America Career Services Center. After noting the date and time of their interview, students will either need to deliver a copy of their resume to the staff assistant in 111 Career Services Center at least two business days prior to their interview.
Before going to the session, the Career Services Center asks that you review their guidelines, research the organization you are interviewing with, and dress appropriately. After the session, they request that you participate in a feedback session where you will watch the video and analyze the performance of both you and your interviewer.
Workshops and Courses
Career Services offers a variety of career planning workshops and classes, schedules of which can be found here and here. Similarly, the center offers courses about applying to grad school. They will help you decide if grad school is the right choice for you, help you identify programs and schools, take the entrance exams, and apply to schools. They also offer test preparation courses for the GRE and the LSAT, including free practice entrance exams.
As most of us know by this point, the Career Services Center hosts annual career fairs where employers seeking Penn State students come to mingle with prospective employees. While there were several career fairs already held this fall, there are still some scheduled for this upcoming spring. There are tons of programs and events held for specific majors where you can go and talk to people who are looking for employees in your career field.
When it comes down to it, Career Service’s website might just be it most valuable resource. While I have listed some of the biggest services that they offer, the website lists even more resources and opportunities available for people with specific majors and circumstances.
Even if you’re a freshman looking for a summer internship, a stop into the Career Services Building will only help you in the long run. It’s an easy thing to put off — the semesters slip by quickly. Soon enough it’s senior year, you’re broke, and you need a job. So instead of carrying the burden yourself, let Penn State’s stellar alumni network and career services help you out.