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PennLink was offline from the evening of Feb. 9 until the morning of Feb. 13 due to technology malfunctions.

According to Patricia Rose, Director of Career Services, the outage was the result of a hard drive failure at NACElink, the national organization that maintains a job-recruiting database that colleges like Penn use for their career websites.

The hardware was fixed as of Saturday morning, but students could not access the database with their PennKey logins until Feb. 13 due to software failure.

Rose said this was the first serious breakdown PennLink, the website for students to apply for jobs and internships, had experienced in its ten-year history.

“It has been about 15 to 20 years since we have had an outage on a system of any kind,” Rose said.

According to Rose, the NACElink hardware failure affected around 690 colleges. “It was a very, very unusual thing,” she said.

Despite the problems caused, Rose was satisfied with how NACElink handled the situation. “They addressed [the outage] immediately,” she said. “We e-mailed them regularly throughout the process. They were assiduous in dealing with the problem.”

In order to minimize impact on students, Career Services extended interview application deadlines.

According to Rose, some staff worked overtime to manually arrange Tuesday’s interview times through individual e-mails with students. She added that Monday interview slots were filled before the outage.

The window for interview sign-ups for later this week is shortened to “get them in on time.”

Some students were satisfied with the measures Career Services took to minimize the disruption.

Aude Broos, a College junior, felt Career Services circumvented the problem effectively. “I felt like Career Services did what they could with people who had issues,” she said. “I was e-mailed personally by someone from Career Services to arrange an alternative interview.”

Wharton junior Lauren Gibli first found out about the outage last Friday. “It’s inconvenient to not have a system working and not be able to use this weekend, but we’re still able to function,” she said.

However, the disruption may have been more inconvenient for others. “I have a lot of friends who have had inconveniences,” Broos added.

Rose was sympathetic with students who experienced difficulties over the weekend. “We apologize for the inconvenience students experienced, and we appreciate the patience students demonstrated.”

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