My staff and I were disappointed to read the article written by Gianna Ferrarin, "First-generation low-income students say Penn’s job resources fall short" — disappointed that so little of the 30 minute conversation with Senior Associate Director Claire Klieger made it into the article; disappointed that one student alleged that we do not take FGLI student circumstances into account; and disappointed that our office was charged (by this same student) with a one-size-fits-all approach to working with students, even though Claire Klieger addressed this question during her interview.
Here are the facts: We offer Penn students (both graduate and undergraduate) an incredible array of customized programs and services. Last year we offered 300 programs. About half were targeted to individual groups (for example, students of color, international students, athletes, FGLI students), to individual majors or programs, to individual schools, or to individual career fields not typically covered by corporate recruiters. Student appointments frequently cover the unique questions and concerns of each student. There are no one-size-fits-all careers or career paths, and we try to communicate that in our work.
We have been very active in working with FGLI students. Last semester alone we saw 400 individual FGLI students for appointments, walk-ins and resume reviews. As the article mentions, we offered our Quaker Wardrobe to provide students with professional clothing for interviews. We offered five workshops for FGLI students, including one for Penn First and one for Collective Success. We did a podcast with a Penn First leader. This semester we will once again be providing summer funding, with a preference for those who are high need. We have worked to support the 1vyG conference, and we will be launching other programs as the semester develops.
We look forward to working with all Penn students to help them find meaningful and rewarding careers.
PATRICIA ROSE is the director of Career Services.