Following a shift in hiring policies led by major Wall Street banking firms, on-campus recruiting for next summer’s internships has been moved to the fall semester — for the first time in Penn’s history.
While tech companies have long done their on-campus recruiting for internships in the fall semester, recruitment for summer internships for other sectors will now take place in the fall. The change reflects a trend that has been occurring on college campuses for the last several years.
“We were one of the last,” Career Services Director Patricia Rose said. “It was really just the Ivy [League] schools with a handful of other exceptions who restricted internship recruiting to the spring.”
But holding recruiting in the spring had its advantages as well.
“Frankly, I think our preference would be to keep it in the spring,” said Barbara Hewitt, the Senior Associate Director at Career Services. Hewitt works primarily with students at the Wharton School. “I think students have had a little more chance to have another semester here, maybe explore more, but we began to feel that it was a disadvantage to our students not to allow employers to come in the fall,” she said.
In addition to networking sessions held over the summer in cities like Chicago and New York, Career Services has started off the semester with information sessions on on-campus orientation and resume and interview workshops, which will begin this week.
“In the past, [students] might have learned of opportunities in the fall but they didn’t know, should they hold out until spring when the internship process through OCR was going to happen,” Rose said. “At the same time, if you’re a student who thinks ‘Oh, maybe I would like to work at one of these organizations and it doesn’t work out for you, you know that in November. That gives you six months to gear up, really do a successful search for an internship.”
For those students who hope to work at internships that do not participate in on-campus recruiting, such as many governmental or nonprofit organizations, Rose and Hewitt also emphasized career resources for students that did not center around on-campus recruiting. The new job and internship search series will focus largely on such positions.
Nevertheless, on-campus recruiting is a source of stress for many students each year. Leading up to the change, Career Services met with administrators at Penn’s various schools about how to help students handle the stress of OCR, particularly at the beginning of the semester.
While students who planned on studying abroad in the fall have expressed concern about the change in the OCR schedule, Career Services has tried to make the process available to them as well.
“We worked very heavily with Penn Abroad so that [for] students who wished to study abroad in the fall...we can make information available to them; it’s doable to look for a job and recruit while you are abroad,” Rose said.
Despite the change in the recruitment timetable, students appear to be dealing with OCR-related stress.
“I’m probably going to use resources like Piazza Careers and PennLink, and ask friends,” College junior Lily Wu said. Wu, who studies mathematics and computer science, said that she feels that both her classes and her friends have helped prepare her for on-campus recruiting.
“During recitation for CIS 121, they always gave problems that might come up in interviews or at least concepts that might come up in interviews, “ she said. “And people will help you do mock interviews in Engineering.”
Internship resume submissions for on-campus recruiting begin Sept. 19.
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