Though the job market may appear bleak, from Career Services’ perspective, it’s looking to be a strong year.
Patricia Rose, director of Career Services, cited late September and October as the busiest times of the fall semester in terms of On-Campus Recruiting.
“The level of activity for OCR as well as for our fall career fairs … leads us to believe that the class of 2011 will have more options than the class of 2010, which in turn had more options than the class of 2009,” Rose wrote in an e-mail.
Definitive OCR data will not be available until later this year.
After a low point in the 2008-09 school year, more businesses are subscribed for recruiting. Rose said that according to surveys published by Career Services, more employers are hiring this year as well.
For Wharton and College senior Yuqing Fan, the economic downswing has not resulted in a shortage of opportunities.
“I knew exactly what I wanted going into OCR,” she said. “There was one ideal job that I wanted, and when I got it, I just cancelled all my subsequent interviews.”
Fan believes that her experience was influenced by a backup job offer she had from a summer internship. Because of this, the process was not especially stressful for her, though she realizes how difficult it could have been. Due to her liberal arts background, Fan found fault with one aspect of the OCR process.
“I wish Career Services would expand the range of companies that come to recruit on campus,” she said. “Most of them are either consulting or banking, and for people who are not into those fields, to see other people going to interviews every day is stressful.”
Rose encounters this complaint often, and stresses that OCR is open to all types of companies.
“We welcome employers of all industries,” she said. “The fact that somebody isn’t coming to campus to conduct interviews doesn’t mean they aren’t hiring at a certain time. It just means that they use a different process.”
For Wharton and Engineering senior Aditi Jain, OCR has been relatively painless as well. Interested in consulting, Jain has been successful in landing interviews.
“Because I’m dual degree, I was able to get different types of interviews,” she said. “We have the opportunity to explore different industries.”
Her only complaint this year is the recent redesign of PennLink, Career Services’ central job listing website.
“I noticed the change in the website from last year to this year, and I’m not sure if it’s better,” she said. “Last year the website was much more compact.”
Wharton senior Palak Patel, who is interested in investment banking and consulting, has no complaints thus far, though she is especially impressed by one marked difference this year.
“I saw a lot of boutique banks that don’t generally come to most other schools,” she said. “I think almost all of them come to Penn.”
Antonio Macasieb, an Engineering senior, began the OCR process this fall. After setting up an interview at an on-campus presentation, he is hopeful about a second-round interview this week.
“If I get it, I won’t have to do this OCR thing, thank God,” he said, adding, “It is complicated and it is time consuming, but the companies have to weed out the people who aren’t really interested.”
For students like Macasieb or those who haven’t begun the process at all, Rose has a word of advice.
“The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t end until classes end. So, if someone isn’t successful, or if someone hasn’t started, that’s okay,” she said, further emphasizing the broad range of career-related activities Career Services hosts outside of OCR.
“A lot of things are still to come, so students should not think, ‘Oh, I missed OCR, there’s nothing I can do,’” she said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
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