Monthly Archives: September 2016

All In

Yesterday, HHD held our Multicultural Student Reception to welcome and celebrate our international and diverse students in the college, and it was such a fun chance to talk with many of them.  One of the things I love about HHD is the diversity of our college–diversity in academic disciplines, diversity in career paths, diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and much more.  While I know we have room for improvement, I hope all of our students have found HHD to be a welcoming college for everyone.

I hope you have heard about and plan to attend the kickoff for Penn State’s new diversity and inclusive excellence initiation, “All In”.  As the news announcement explained:

“”All In at Penn State: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion” will begin with a public event at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 6 in front of Old Main on the University Park campus. The event will include remarks from President Eric Barron and Vice Provost for Educational Equity Marcus Whitehurst, along with music from the Essence of Joy choir; remarks by faculty member Susan Russell and undergraduate student Jin Brooke; and the announcement of a new “All In” Achievement Award to recognize a Penn State student, faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution to the yearlong celebration and whose life and work embody diversity, inclusion and equity in all of its forms.

The October kick-off event will feature a unique multi-media presentation that will be shown across the front of Old Main and will highlight Penn State’s history, reflect on ways the University can foster dialogue and respect, and ask individuals “Are you all in?” — seeking acknowledgement that diversity, inclusion and equity must continue to be among the core values that drive Penn State’s future.”

This is a great chance for all of us to come together and begin the work needed to accomplish the mission of our university and our nation.  Penn State, like the United States, should be a place where every person can take advantage of the opportunities.  Only when we can say that this is true can we really say that our nation is united.  Only when we can see that this is true for every student can we really say that “WE are Penn State.”

Winning the Career Fair

  1. GO! You can’t win if you aren’t there.
    • If you are a first year student, GO to check things out and identify companies to research.
    • If you are a sophomore, GO to see if you can get an early internship
    • If you are a junior, GO to nail that internship down and begin planning companies to research for jobs
    • If you are a senior, GO to get that job search going.  The typical search is a the equivalent of a 3 credit class that lasts 6-12 months.
  2. Ignore the tech/non-tech distinction. It’s an artificial line with huge grey areas. Tech companies hire liberal arts grads. Non-tech companies need tech and STEM employees. Go both days. NEVER assume a company is not interested in students like you.  Talk with as many as you can.
  3. Do a broad search on the companies visiting to identify potential employers to visit and make a list.  By a broad search, I mean use simple terms like “health”, “tourism”, “education”.  A big net will make sure you do not miss companies.  Is General Electric a health care company? Yes, it is:
  4. Research companies ahead of time.  Look at the websites of the companies on your list. Read their 5 most recent press releases. Look at their careers page. Come up with 3 good questions you can ask about their industry, future, job opportunities. Make a note card for each employer.
  5. Prepare your elevator speech.  Have a 1-2 minute intro that tells someone who you are, what you are studying, and what relevant experience you have (focused on your accomplishments). Finish with a solid question that shows you’ve looked into the company.
  6. Dress for success. Check out what you plan to wear with your friends.  Make sure it’s both professional and comfortable–you can’t succeed if you feel awful.
  7. Never assume the game is not on. True story–student is in BJC bathroom chatting on phone with a friend, bad mouthing an employer’s table they had visited. Said they had an interview, but were not really interested in the employer. Toilet flush. Stall door open. Out walks person wearing shirt with employer’s name on the breast pocket. Guess who had an interview cancelled.
  8. Be yourself.  Faking it never pays off in the long run.  Even if you get the job/internship you’re not the person they thought you were and you can’t maintain the false role forever.  Find the employers that fit who you are, rather than trying to fit into their mold.
  9. Take a break.  Schedule breaks during the day, so you don’t burn out. If there’s an employer you really are interested in, plan your visit when you’ll be refreshed and ready.
  10. Relax. You got this.