Credit: Hain Yoon

While many students across the country are still making their plans for the coming summer, some students at Penn are thinking two steps ahead for jobs and internships in the summer 2019. 

In recent weeks, a handful of big-name companies like Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan have begun promoting coffee chats, information sessions, and other networking events for the summer 2019 on Penn's campus. 

The phenomenon has to do with shifted timelines for recruitment at Penn, particularly in certain industries like investment banking. 

In 2016, Penn shifted on-campus recruiting for summer internships from the spring to the fall, as many employers began hiring earlier. Along with earlier calendar recruiting, employers also began paying closer attention to younger students. 

As of last year, various employers in consulting, marketing, banking, and technology held their recruitment efforts in the fall. Students have said that this accelerated timeline can introduce stress and disrupt other plans such as study abroad. However, the "race" between employers may pull this process even earlier for students. 

“It’s about wanting to go after what [employers] see as the best talent, as early as possible. It’s really a race they’re in with each other,” said Claire Klieger, the Senior Associate Director for College advisement at Career Services. “We are seeing employers specifically targeting sophomores for opportunities, specifically in certain industries."

The various networking events that have started on campus are meant to introduce students to analysts at various companies so that they can maintain relationships with potential employers as applications open up later on. 

“I think especially for sophomores this was the first year where a lot of internships came out in August or even earlier," said Wharton Sophomore Varun Vallabhaneni. "People that were doing banking got jobs by the end of September or the start of October at the latest."

The fast-forwarded recruitment timeline has led to increased pressure for participating students, some of who have yet to secure an internship or job for this coming summer. 

“I’m still looking for something for summer 2018," College sophomore Thomas Woldermariam said. "I think it’s crazy how I haven’t gotten anything for this summer and I’m already recruiting for summer 2019. It just leads to a lot more stress."

Wharton sophomore Linda Ashmead said that she also did not secure an internship yet for this summer, but had to start looking for summer 2019 internships. 

“I think people are mostly just annoyed and frustrated that they have to do this so early,” Ashmead said. “The one nice thing about it is that the potential of having the opportunity to have an internship before school starts. For me I’m willing to be more stressed now if it means that I don’t have to be stressed in the fall.”  

“Morgan Stanley is coming to campus in February for its main info session. It used to be way later – possibly even in the next fall semester,” Goodman said. 

“There’s always pressure in Wharton to get an internship, whether it’s your sophomore or junior fall," Vallabhaneni said. "I think people who follow traditional career paths, like consulting and banking, especially feel that pressure.”

Wanting to work in the tech industry, Engineering sophomore Ciara Brown said that she felt increased pressure coming into her sophomore year. 

“Companies like Google and Facebook were visiting campus in September and October," Brown said. "I also had applications due in that time period – it all felt very quick.” 

“Students love to talk about who their upperclassmen friends are that have worked at Goldman or Google. Those constant reminders of these things that people are doing made me worried that I had to start as early as possible to ensure that I was doing something," she added. 

The increased emphasis on job search can take away from academics. Brown recalled feeling overwhelmed by classwork and internship applications. 

“I was not prepared for all the time it would take away from my classes," she said. "But I guess you can’t tell companies to come back in April."

College sophomore Ella Bei said that she also felt stressed after seeing people around her begin to get internships. However, she said that although the internship scene at Penn was competitive, she urges people to relax because there are “a lot of opportunities out there.”

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