For Penn students interested in a finance internship for summer 2020, the fall semester is a busy time filled with submitting applications and preparing for interviews.
While on-campus recruiting remains a large presence on campus, many prestigious banking firms have shifted to a more digital presence, Executive Director of Career Services Barbara Hewitt said.
A number of banks now prefer digital interviews through online interviewing services such as HireVue, Hewitt said, where there is no person-to-person interaction and the applicant records their responses to pre-selected questions. Students also conduct more phone interviews now or will travel directly to the companies’ offices, Hewitt said.
The career outcomes for many Penn students, however, have not dramatically changed, Hewitt added.
“Penn students are still doing fine,” Hewitt said. “They are great candidates for a lot of different kinds of jobs. And they are still getting hired. It’s just the way they go about it is different.”
From some of the companies that Hewitt has talked to, she said the shift to less on-campus interviews is because of the companies' desire to be able to recruit more equitably across many different schools.
“It’s less important what particular schools you are at. It’s more important who you are,” Hewitt said. “And if they are putting a ton of resources and emphasis on 10 target schools, they are missing a lot of people outside of those 10 target schools.”
Consulting, finance, and technology have consistently been ranked as the top three industries for Penn graduates for the past eight years across all four undergraduate schools, Hewitt said.
Twenty-seven percent of Penn graduates went into financial services, whereas 19% and 14% pursued careers in consulting and technology, respectively, according to the 2018 Career Services Report.
According to the Wharton Undergraduate 2018 Career Plans Report, 27.5% of Wharton graduates pursue investment banking. The next most popular employment fields are consulting, with 23.1%, and marketing/sales/retail, with 6.3%.
Private equity and investment management come next at 5.7% and 5.2%, respectively. The rest, which include but is not limited to data analytics, venture capital, sales (financial), and trading have figures below 5%.
Though many companies are decreasing their presence of on-campus interviews, many still come to campuses for information sessions. Hewitt said it is particularly important for students to go to those events to meet employees and learn about the organization.