We Have A Confession To Make…

Between the Career Conference & Expo and the dedication of the new Struthers Family
Career Services Center, the Career Services office and the MarCom office have been
drowning in a sea of work! But we promise there is a silver lining on the horizon, so we’ve been told! We will have the internship blog back up and running in two weeks! Until then we wish you all the best!

Barristers. They Wear The Wigs And Cloaks.

 PART TWO IS HERE!!! This week’s former intern tale comes to us from Laura Mann 
(Administration of Justice – Class of 2014)
and Nicole Wiesner
(Psychology – Class of 2015) , written by Laura, who completed internships this summer through the Arcadia London
Internship program, while spending their summer abroad in the United Kingdom. Laura spent her internship with JD Spicer Law Firm and Nicole spent her internship at the Birkbeck College of the University of London Baby Lab.

After the first week, my summer went by far too quickly.  I had a job that I worked at for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week.  On my “off” days, I had class.  I was busy to say the least.
However it was the best busy time of my life.

As I said previously, I worked at JD Spicer Law Firm.  This is a firm of solicitors, not barristers.  Yes, there is a difference.  In short, historically, the solicitors worked for the barristers.  They worked with the public and relayed the information so the barristers did not have too.
Today, solicitors have their own cases and are given more respect.

Barristers today deal with the very high profile cases. Yes, they wear the wigs and the cloaks.  The solicitors at my firm had the wigs as well.  However they only wore them while assisting barristers in their cases.  My supervisor, Robert, asked me if I wanted to try it on.  I said, “Yes.” I really wish I had gotten a picture, at that time I was trying not to act too
American.  Thinking back, he probably would have totally been okay with me taking a
picture.  That was the first time I really felt like this internship was something very special.
Earlier that week I spent my time stapling, copying and running to Sainsbury’s and getting milk.

After the week of stereotypical intern jobs, my internship picked up drastically.  Suddenly I was proofing manuscripts and creating them.  I was given access to police interviews in very high profile cases and asked to create the manuscript of the interview. I was finally helping my firm in a way that let me into the world of law in England.  However, what really made my eyes open was when I began being the person everyone wanted to take to court with them.

I went to 5 different courts in London.  At times my commute took over an hour.  My favorite court is known as the “Old Bailey Courthouse.”  It is the oldest court in London.  I was taken to courtroom one where some of the most historical cases in the history of Britain took place.  Robert not only took me to his trials and hearings, he spoke to me about the history of the court.  He told me stories and made me feel like I was more than the intern.  I suddenly felt more like a colleague; it helped that he introduced me to his colleagues as such. Robert wanted me to learn all I could in 2 months.  He told me about tours that were not
publicized.  He brought me into the world of English Law, and truly put me under his wing.

Robert then introduced me to his colleague, Sarah.  Sarah quickly became a role model to me.  She owned the courtroom.  She spoke with confidence and determination.  She treated every client equally.  She always strove for the best possible outcome.  She never made a
defense when a client did not have one.  I went into this internship with a negative outlook on her role in defense.  She brought me into all of her trials and her meetings with her clients.  I heard the client openly say he committed the act.  She urged him to plead guilty.  She told him, they would lose the case because he did not have much of a defense.  Sadly I was not around when this trial took place (my visa expired) but Sara emailed me last week telling me that the client did indeed plead guilty to the offense. She has kindly kept me up to date on all the cases I had been with her for. She took me everywhere, including lunch.

My internship included a class.  This class was basically a paper and a presentation.  For my proposal, I created a questionnaire and interviewed several of my colleagues.  The questions were about the role of a solicitor and there place within the concept of justice.  I, of course, asked Sarah to participate.  She answered all my questions after her long day of work.  She did all this over drinks at a nearby pub.  She paid.  I was very excited since I am the unpaid intern living in the most expensive city in the world for two months.  After the questions she let me into her life and I let her into mine.  This connection is something I am so thankful for.

My summer in London was beyond words.  I gained professionally, academically, and
personally. I also got to do all of this with my best friend (there is nothing better than that). The memories we created were what I will always look back on when I think my life is
anything but amazing and magical.  Heck, we opened the Disney Store in London while we were on our 5-mile walk to the Arcadia London Center at 8AM.  It is amazing to think that not many got to do that.  We saw the sets of Harry Potter, met dobby and went on the bridge.  We went to Kings Cross Station and waited in line to get a professional photo of us going through the wall with our trolley! In our 2 months we traveled to France and Scotland (yes, on an extremely long bus ride that left at 10PM and got us in at like 7AM). Then, we left 8 hours later. But, we did it, and saw so much beauty.  If I went over everything we did this blog would be way too long.Laura and Nicole Open The Disney Store
I am so thankful for the people at JD Spicer for letting me into there workplace and giving me more knowledge about the criminal justice system in England than I could have ever learned in America, in a textbook.  Our system has such strong ties to their system and that is the reason I chose to study law in England. I have first hand real experience and while some will say it costs about $10,000, to me it was priceless. 

Fun Facts about British workplace:
-They use explicit language more than usual
-They love American jokes (even while Americans present)
-They are very sarcastic (like very)
-Some like to watch The Hangover on their phone in between phone calls
-Everyone leaves early on Fridays

Why It Can Pay To Take That Unpaid Internship

As a follow up to last week’s Research, Exploration & Discovery post, this week we want to offer the flip side of the coin.

Why It Can Pay To Take That Unpaid Internship
(Link Source: AOL Jobs)

Have you had an internship that was unpaid? Or one that was paid for that matter? Both?

Unpaid Interns Strike Back

As we’ve shared in the past, from time to time, we run across articles that peak our interest and we find worth sharing with our audience at large. This week’s post is just that. We like to call this the “Research, Exploration & Discovery” portion of our blog. Our hope is that these articles
foster conversation between our readers.

Unpaid Interns Strike Back
(Link Source: USA Today)

Tell us, what do you think about paid vs. unpaid internships?

Seeking An Internship? Why Not Attend A Career Fair?

This week’s guest blogger is Jill Laing, Penn State Wilkes-Barre Career Services Coordinator.

One of the many benefits of being a college student at Penn State is having access to a wide
variety of services, events, and programs that are hosted throughout each academic year. In particular, if you are looking for an internship, why not try attending a career fair?

In both the fall and spring semesters, University Park Career Services invites students to attend a large career fair held at the Bryce Jordan Center, which essentially brings employers and
organizations to campus to recruit students for internships and full-time employment. There are many ways to search for an internship, but by attending a career fair, students have the
opportunity to make personal connections with employers, which can set them apart from those who solely submit resumes via online application systems. It is the personal networking that often helps land students an interview, if not an actual internship or job.

We understand that driving to University Park is often a daunting task to search for an
internship experience. In collaboration with five campuses in the Eastern Region, we have
decided to offer a career exploration expo here at the Wilkes-Barre campus on Wednesday,
October 9 for current Penn State students and alumni. This event has two main purposes: 1) to allow all students (first-year students through seniors) an opportunity to talk with employers about field specific topics and learn more about career opportunities, and 2) to allow employers an opportunity to recruit students for internships and jobs.

Career fairs are a great way to practice your networking skills and we encourage our students to prepare for this exciting 1st annual PSU Eastern Region Career Expo. For more information, please visit www.wb.psu.edu/career.

Internships, Success, and The Job Search

This week’s former intern tale comes to us from Mike Ackley  (Business – Class of 2013) who completed an internship this summer on campus with the Marketing Communications office. DISCLAIMER: Mike wrote this post at the beginning of July as he was wrapping up his time with Rachel in the MarCom office.

Getting an internship can be a big decision for someone to make and its important give yourself enough time to find the right internship so you’re not rushed into one due to lack of time. I am lucky enough to have found a position where I am comfortable and I like what I am doing. I
believe an internship can pave the way for your future. For most people, it’s the only credible source on their resume – most college graduates haven’t worked many jobs with real
responsibilities up until this point in their lives.

I have witnessed many students wait too long to look for an internship. This either resulted in no internship or one they were not happy doing. I think that the idea of an internship is looked at as somewhat of an obstacle for some students, an obstacle that is in their way of graduating, instead of an experience to be excited for.

To me, it means you’re almost there and all those years of hard work have finally paid off. You’ve become successful.

Speaking of success, once I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I took a second to think before answering and then I said “I want to be successful.” I sat there pleased with my response until they asked me the inevitable follow up, “what do you consider being
successful?” I took another second to think about this question and finally said “my version of successful is to be happy.”

Later that day when I was relaxing, I couldn’t help but to think about those two questions. Did I answer them right? Did I even really answer the questions? I am sure they were looking for me to answer and tell them a profession, like business owner or chef. After I thought about it over and over again, I knew I had answered the questions exactly how I wanted to. I want to be
successful in my future and I will feel successful if I am happy.

I graduated from college within the last year and I couldn’t be happier. It wasn’t easy at times but it was well worth it. If there was one thing I would do over, it’s that I didn’t start looking for a job sooner. Now I know this is ironic given my advice on looking for an internship early. But I’ve learned it’s extremely important to start looking for a job early. It takes longer than you think and that’s not just because the economy.

The reason it’s taking me so long is because I’m really trying to make the right choice and find the right fit for me. There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of companies looking for
employees but there are also a lot of companies that are not what they appear. I have been let down and misguided by job descriptions. You need to ask questions and figure out if the
company is what you’re looking for.

I hope my advice can help even one of you out there. Good luck to you all!



We Are Going To Be Supermodels. Seriously.

This week’s former intern tale comes to us from Laura Mann  (Administration of Justice – Class of 2014) and Nicole Wiesner (Psychology – Class of 2015) , written by Laura, who completed
internships this summer through the Arcadia London Internship program, while spending their summer abroad in the United Kingdom. Laura spent her internship with JD Spicer Law Firm and Nicole spent her internship at the Birkbeck College of the University of London Baby Lab.
DISCLAIMER: Laura wrote this post (the first of what we hope is a two parter!) at the end of June when she and Nicole were just getting into the swing of their internships.

The journey to London was a long one indeed. Let’s start with the flight. Thunderstorms + Philly = Not a good situation. On Sunday morning, Nicole got the call that her flight was delayed. It was then delayed again and again, and well again. Thankfully, Nicole’s mom was a rock star and got her on a flight to Philly, even if it was 6 hours early. My (Laura’s) situation was not much
better. Long story short; my mommy drove me to Philly. That was fun. Thankfully, we did arrive in London, on time.

We were finally ready to begin our week of orientation to the Arcadia’s London Internship
program. During this week, we made several revelations. The first one of course, is that we are going to be supermodels. Seriously. Londoners walk, a lot, everywhere. They also walk
incredibly fast, like they have a destination or something, weird. You can definitely tell who was new to London. People are so concerned about missing a “tube” [subway] that comes every 5 minutes that they jump on it while seconds away from the door closing and decapitating their limbs. We were told during orientation week that the best way to spark a conversation with a true Londoner was to either complain about the public transportation system or the weather. It became apparent that both are wonderful conversation starters since everyone has a word or two to say about it.

Onto our housing. We live in Palace Court. Palace Court is within minutes of Notting Hill, a very lovely area. The one downside to our living situation has to be the fact that we are the last room. It is important to note the rooms go up. We are the roof, in a flat that has no air
conditioning. On the occasional day (all of our orientation week) when it is hot, it can be called unbearable. Thankfully we have a lovely British man, Phil, who will carry our suitcases, give us a free hairdryer, and a fan. He is our favorite. There are MANY, 87 (Nicole counted) stairs, adding to the fact, we are going to be supermodels. Seriously.

While we wish we could have aLaura Mann and Nicole Wiesner fun filled summer in London with no
academic responsibility, sadly that is not the case. However, the academic side will probably be more important to our future than the long walks in Hyde Park and our Afternoon Tea. We are both taking a writing course taught by a British professor. We are happy to
report we are sure we will be learning a lot. On the first day, I learned how to use a semi colon! Nicole learned the rules of the comma! That was exciting.

We also both have internships. Nicole’s is with Birkbeck College of the University of London, working in their BabyLab studying brain and cognitive development working along fellow
research assistants. There is a huge possibility that if Kate Middleton gives birth soon; she might get to study the royal baby! I am working at JD Spicer Law Firm in Kilburn and City of London, yeah it’s confusing. I will update you later on that (when I actually know).

Our first week in London came with so much surprise and anticipation. While we were prepared for the slight cultural differences; the tremendous amount of walking is something we will
adjust to. We are going to be supermodels. Seriously. Do not worry though, after every trip up the stairs we make sure to have chocolate waiting. However, if by some horrible twist of fate that does not occur, do not quote us. We are excited to see what’s next, hope you are too!

When Do I Start Applying for Internships?

This week’s guest blogger is Jill Laing, Penn State Wilkes-Barre Career Services Coordinator.

When Do I Start Applying for Internships?

It depends.

The world is not black and white, so why should the internship process be?

If you are in an academic program with a required internship, ask your major advisor in what semester you are to complete the internship for academic credit. The advisor should also be able to provide you with a document on the expected criteria in order to gain the internship credit. Academic internships need pre-approval by your major advisor; do not assume you can do an internship and then use it later for academic credit.

If you are seeking an internship for experience and not academic credit, you can begin as early as your freshman year. However, some employers will not hire interns until they have
completed at least the sophomore year of undergraduate courses.  It is up to you to begin searching as early as your freshman year to determine which employers have education level criteria to meet so that you can be prepared when your time comes to apply.

Overall, there are a few things to do when preparing and applying for internships:

  1. Explore your field-related options. Utilize the assistance of the Career Services office at your campus to find out more about the research process.
  2. Start talking with professors about the types of opportunities they think will be most
    helpful to connecting your education to the world-of-work.
  3. Talk with peers at your campus that have completed internships; find out the steps they took to find their internship positions.
  4. Tap into your local network of family and friends; find out if they ever did an internship or know of anyone in the community who is looking for an intern.
  5. Utilize your campus librarians. They have a wealth of knowledge on how to do research on companies.
  6. Determine if you want to remain local or apply for an internship away from your home campus. Some employers provide stipends or housing assistance. Understand your
    options before shutting the door on opportunities.
  7. Put together a resume and cover letter. Have a career advisor critique them with you.
  8. Review actual job listings to get a better feel for the types of opportunities available to you and to gain insight into the companies who hire. REMEMBER: Some companies and
    organizations have strict timelines for applying to internships. Don’t miss out because of lack of planning and research.

It is never too early to start exploring internship options. Depending on your field, internships can begin as early as your freshman year. Good luck!



Welcome Back Penn State Wilkes-Barre!

As the summer starts to wind down and the leaves slowly begin their journey into various shades of the sunset, we want to take this opportunity to welcome back the campus
community! A special welcome to all current and brand new students!

For those of you who are first time visitors to our blog, let us take a moment to show you around!

Please let us introduce ourselves. First up, from Career Services, we have Jill Laing, our Career Services Coordinator. Jill will be located in the under construction Struthers Family Career Services Center, but currently resides in the Murphy Student Center. Feel free to reach out to Jill via email (jlaing@psu.edu), in person, or through the Career Services Facebook or Twitter pages listed at the top of this blog.

Our second active participant hails from the Marketing Communications office, Rachel Rybicki, our Marketing Communications Specialist. Rachel’s office is located on the 2nd floor of Hayfield House – stop by to play some office basketball, create artwork for her walls at her coloring
station, or just simply say hi! Rachel can also be reached via email (rrybicki@psu.edu) or through the Campus Facebook or Twitter pages also listed at the top of this blog.

Our purpose in creating and maintaining this blog is to give students, parents, and community members alike a taste of what our students are experiencing each semester in their various

Most blog posts will be written from the student’s point of view with a handful of posts thrown in by guest bloggers. Each student blogger has been given complete freedom on their topic,
focus and what they want to share thus making the blog expansive in its scope and coverage.

Please leave comments, share the blog with friends, and most importantly – ENJOY!