Are you a current student wondering where your major will take you? A first-year who has no idea where to begin looking for a job or an internship?
Fear not, because the Center for Career Advancement (CCA), located on the first floor of the Botany Building, is a resource that is happy to help. Among some of the tools the CCA utilizes to help the University’s students are career counseling appointments, workshops, assessment tests, externship opportunities, first-year job seminars, and career fairs.
Pamela Keiser, the Executive Director of Career Services at the University, said the goal of the CCA is to “to educate [University students] in the art of integrating an individual’s career goals with their varied academic and life experiences. Students and alumni are coached to learn the process of making informed and thoughtful career decisions by providing diverse learning experiences, quality resources, career expertise, and the opportunity to create meaningful connections with an engaged university community.”
The University and its Center for Career Advancement are reputable for finding students networking and career opportunities. To prove it, the Class of 2018 boasts a 96 percent rate of employment or active career engagement (i.e. enrolled in graduate school, applying or preparing for graduate school, or volunteering in another activity) within nine months of their graduation. The median starting salary of the Class of 2018 is $59,628.
But, first, how do you get a job?
One important career resource available to students is the alumni network of over 54,000 living former University students. In addition, students can find internships and externships through the University’s specific career programs. These programs provide students with full-time internships over the summer, and can even fund stipends to those working in specific career sectors. Some of the internships the University provides include: the West Branch Internship, the Shepherd Internship Program, the McKenna Summer Environmental Internship, the Campus Theatre Internship, and the Cynthia Fell Internship at the University’s Press.
Here are a few of the University’s Internship programs in detail:
Public Interest Program Internship (BPIP)
The University’s Public Interest Program Internship (BPIP) funds students with full-time, unpaid summer internships at nonprofit and public service organizations. The awards — which amount to $3,000 — are the product of generous parents, alumni, faculty and administrative staff members.
First-year students, sophomores, and juniors who will be enrolled at the University in the fall after completing their internships are encouraged to apply. Applicants who meet the criteria will be invited back to interview in front of a selection committee comprised of faculty and alumni.
Applications are due on March 23, 2020.
Capitol Hill Internship Program
The Capitol Hill Internship program funds students who secure unpaid, non-credit internships in the fields of politics, policy, or public service. Through this program, students can receive a stipend of up to $300 per week (or a maximum of $3,000 per summer) while working in Washington, D.C. or in a local Congressional district.
Interested students are encouraged to attend the program’s information sessions. Applications are due by Oct. 21, 2019.
Executive Intern Program
The Executive Intern Program is for motivated students seeking to intern at one of the University’s executive offices on campus. During their time, they will learn professional and administrative skills. Some of the executive offices participating in this program include: the Office of the President, Division of Communications, Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Human Resources, Office of Alumni Relations, and Division of Athletics.
More information about the program or the application process, contact Carol Kennedy at [email protected]
So, what were our fellow classmates up to?
Tim Briggs ’21, a Mathematical Economics major, worked at Geisinger as a Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics intern. He first applied to the internship through the Bridge, and then conducted an in-person interview with Geisinger employees at the Center for Career Advancement.
“I worked on two main projects over the course of the summer,” Briggs said. “The first [project] forecast[ed] time series data to better predict the number of patients that come to a particular Geisinger location per week. The second included data cleaning, data wrangling, and data visualization to identify variations in blood tests based on location, time of day, and day of the week.”
Briggs’ internship at Geisinger not only provided him with the necessary training for his field of interest and improved his data science skills, but it also related to his major. He said his internship was “essentially the perfect internship to have for someone going into their junior year who would like to work in the data science field.”
“The skills and training I acquired were important but physically being at work each day and developing professional relationships was probably the most impactful part of my internship,” Briggs said. “Living on my own and being away from home was also good for me.”
In considering tips for other students seeking internship opportunities, Briggs advised to apply early and use the leverage of contact networks. “Make sure your resume is up to date and reflects the skills you would like employers to know the most at the top of it,” he said. “Last thing, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get an internship — there are so many more things that go into getting one than the merit of your application.”
Many other students also held impressive internships this past summer at companies including: Goldman Sachs (Securities), PJ Solomon (Investment Banking), E&Y Consulting (Economic Transactions), ABC News/Good Morning America, Calvin Klein, Save the Children, ExxonMobil, Northrup Grumman, Pfizer, Whiting-Turner, Cummins, California Dept. of Transportation, Simply Smiles, Here and Now (NPR, WBUR), and Representative Lori Trahan (MA-3-D — Bucknell Capitol Hill Internship Program).
Still don’t know where to start?
Schedule an appointment with the insightful career coaches at the Center for Career Advancement. But, until then, here are some useful tips from Keiser in all of her time working in career services.
Tips from the CCA:
Start early in the year — deadlines for internships vary widely depending upon industry.
Read the news (Wall Street Journal and NY Times are available on campus) and industry sources on a regular basis to learn about key issues and current events in your field of interest.
Create a list of potential industry and company contacts.
Review Internship postings on the Bridge (CCA’s web-based recruiting platform) regularly.
Research company websites, look for career or employment sections within these sites to review postings.
Create a LinkedIn profile and keep it current.
Download the University’s Alumni App from the App Store or Google Play and access the alumni directory.
Network/make connections with University alumni and/or parents who work within the organizations/industries that you have an interest in pursuing an internship.
Attend the University’s career fairs, career events, campus programs and speakers who come to campus for department programs and class visits. Speak directly with employers when you have the opportunity.
Make time for your search. Be patient and willing to work on your search.
Meet application deadlines and promptly follow up with thank you notes after interviews or networking conversations.
Be open to exploring a variety of fields if you are not sure what you want to do after graduation.
Gain experience on campus through on–campus jobs, research opportunities, and involvement/leadership roles in campus organizations.