Skip to content

Graduate Career Services

Penn State College of Medicine Graduate Career Services assists graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and fellows in preparing for and pursuing meaningful and rewarding careers through a comprehensive array of programs and services.

For details, contact:

Jessica L. Kirkwood, MS
Director of Graduate Career Services

Penn State College of Medicine
Office of Graduate Education
Room C1712A, Mailcode H170
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033

Jump to topic


Latest News from Career Services

More About Career Services

Services Offered Expand answer

Career Counseling and Planning

  • Individual appointments and quick question/drop-in hours
  • Career exploration and coaching
  • Career assessments
  • Career information and resources
  • Resume/CV/cover letter assistance and review

Programming and Information

  • Penn State Career Guide
  • Workshops/webinars and presentations
  • Internship/job search strategies
  • Interviewing skills and mock (practice) interviews
  • Networking skills and LionLink (student and alumni networking system)
  • Job offer and salary negotiation tips
  • Professionalism/soft skills development

Recruiting and Employer Engagement

  • Nittany Lion Careers: Primary online resource for connecting students, alumni and postdocs with employers
  • Career fairs: Fall Career Days; Spring Career Days (Penn State University Park);
    GCC PhD & Master’s Virtual Career Expo
  • Employer visits, panels, and information sessions
Resources Expand answer

Graduate Career Development Collection

A collection of print and electronic titles offered through Harrell Health Sciences Library to assist students with career exploration and development.

Find more information about the collection here, including reading recommendations from Dr. Clifford.

Nittany Lion Careers

Penn State’s single-system recruiting platform for all students, alumni, postdocs and employers. Provides access to job and internship postings, employer profiles and contacts, career fairs, and on-campus interviewing (OCI).*
*Only conducted at select campuses for specific majors.

Job Posting/Company Verification Disclaimer

Read the full disclaimer, which describes the shared responsibility among Penn State Career Services (including University Park and Commonwealth Campus career offices) and internship/job seekers in researching and identifying potential concerns about the legitimacy of employers and their respective postings.


Online mock interview system that allows users to practice and improve skills for any internship or job interview with the use of a webcam/camera.


Connect with Penn State alumni to ask questions about respective career paths, networking, and professional interests.

Penn State Career Guide

This publication, produced by Career Services, offers information on an array of career-related topics including Finishing Your Master’s Degree and Planning Your Next Step, Finding a Teaching Position in Academe, Finding a Postdoc, and more. Pick up a copy in Career Services.

Penn State Career Services

The Penn State Career Services (University Park) website provides comprehensive information on career-related topics such as resumes and cover Letters, interviewing, internship and job searches, and tips and resources for diverse populations.

Online Career Resource Center

Provides information and resources on a variety of career-related topics including resume/CV, cover letter, and correspondence, internship and job search, interview prep, and job offers and negotiation. A sampling includes:

FirstHand (formerly Vault): Careers, industries, salaries and more.

Mergent Intellect: Industry information, growth projections and company lists.

GoinGlobal: For those looking to work internationally or international
students and postdocs looking to work in the U.S. or abroad.

Career Fairs and Events

Fall Career Days and Spring Career Days (Penn State University Park)

GCC PhD and Master’s Virtual Career Expo

LinkedIn Groups

Search for the group name under the “Groups Directory” tab within the “Groups” section of LinkedIn.

Penn State College of Medicine Graduate Alumni and Student Group: This group provides an opportunity for PhD and master’s graduates and students of the Penn State College of Medicine to connect and stay in touch with the College and with each other.

Penn State Career Connection: This group is focused on connecting Penn State students with employers on career-specific issues. You will be able to discuss general career topics such as resume writing, interviewing, job search strategies, etc. with employers. You can also join a subgroup relevant to your career interests.

Resources for International Students – Office of Global Programs

For those wishing to work in the U.S., it is important to understand the processes involved in applying for work authorization on a student/scholar visa. If unclear about the options, contact Global Programs.

Education and Teaching Resources Expand answer

Graduate School Teaching Certificate

Penn State graduate students wanting recognition of their commitment to college teaching may earn the Graduate School Teaching Certificate. The Graduate School Teaching Certificate was developed to provide graduate students with an avenue to enhance their teaching skills. The certificate is self-directed and available to all Penn State graduate students who fulfill the specified requirements.

Learn more about the Graduate School Teaching Certificate.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) Facilitation Opportunities

Rewarding educational opportunities are available for College of Medicine graduate students, postdocs, faculty and professional staff, both basic and clinical science departments, to facilitate Interprofessional Education (IPE) experiences for medical, nursing, and physician assistant students. You do not need to be a “content” expert in any particular area to participate.

Three types of facilitation opportunities are available (single-session IPE, simulation IPE, and ongoing clerkship IPE). These are once-a-year commitments, although facilitators are encouraged to participate as often as time allows.

Contact: Nicole Vasquezi-Rode, IPE Coordinator,

Graduate Students as Educators (GSaE)


The goals of the GSaE program are two-fold:

  • to provide basic evidence-based teaching skills to all Penn State College of Medicine graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to prepare them for working with learners
  • to provide instruction for any graduate students and postdocs who are interested in teaching as a career goal

The program will consist of two mandatory sessions (three for PBL facilitators) as well as one of two additional workshops. All sessions are offered in the evenings and the same mandatory sessions are offered on multiple days to facilitate scheduling.

By participating in the GSaE program, students will be able to:

  • Connect learning and teaching experiences with key educational principles in order to inform his/her choice of teaching methods.
  • Apply educational theory and research-based learning and teaching practices in a variety of educational settings.
  • Articulate how feedback from faculty and students will be used to improve learning and teaching practices.

The content for the GSaE sessions will include but not be limited to the following topics:

  • Principles of Adult Learning
  • Effective Planning Processes
  • Designing a Lecture and Selecting Resources for Learners
  • Engaging Learners in Small and Large Groups


  • All graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are expected to attend the following workshops offered by the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education:
    • Becoming a Successful Educator
    • Science of Learning and Adult Learning Theory
    • orientation to PBL facilitating (for those interested in teaching in the PBL curriculum)
  • Two additional workshops (Just in Time Teaching and Designing Effective PowerPoint Presentations) will be offered twice per year (Spring and Fall – open to all students and postdocs). GSaE participants must also attend these workshops.
  • GSaE participation will be recorded and tracked by the Woodward Center.
  • Participants who complete the GSaE program will be given a certificate acknowledging their participation.
  • All graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are strongly encouraged to participate in other advanced teaching skills sessions provided by the Woodward Center or other entities (e.g., Schreyer Honors College (UP), World Campus, Penn State University – Harrisburg, etc.).

Additional workshops will be announced throughout the year.

Contact: Lisa Shantz,

Internship/Teaching Participation Expand answer

This information pertains to all graduate students enrolled in the following doctoral programs: Anatomy, Biomedical Sciences, Biostatistics, DrPH, Epidemiology, MD/PhD (during graduate years) and Neuroscience.

In order to participate in an internship/teaching experience, the graduate student must be post-comprehensive or complete the experience during the summer.

Any exceptions to this must be approved by the student’s program director and PI.

Graduate students who have already secured and plan to complete an internship/teaching experience must submit the required Career Services Internship/Teaching Consent Form and attachments by the deadlines specified below.

  • Summer experience: April 30 deadline
  • Fall experience: June 30 deadline
  • Spring experience: Oct. 31 deadline

Internship/teaching experiences encompass all supplemental learning opportunities including, but not limited to, internal and external internships, off-campus teaching, off-campus research, special projects and job shadowing/externship experiences.

Fill out the form

Course Credit During the Summer

If you are planning to complete an internship/teaching experience for course credit during the summer and you are on a graduate assistantship, you will need to apply for STAP funding to cover the tuition. All STAP funding requests must be submitted by the established deadline.

International Students

International students are required to work with ISSA (International Student & Scholar Advising) to obtain the appropriate authorization PRIOR TO starting all internship/teaching experiences.

Please read the information regarding F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT). In general, CPT can be done before completion of coursework as long as full-time enrollment is maintained during fall or spring semesters (unless you do not require a full course load based on F-1 enrollment requirements) and as long as you receive credit for the internship. If you are beyond coursework and post-comprehensive exam, CPT is generally only available if the internship provides data for the thesis. If you are not eligible for CPT, you may have to use pre-completion OPT.

Start this process via iStart.


Internship Process and Form: Jessica Kirkwood, MS,

Graduate Assistantship & STAP funding: Rachel Reager,

Course Information (number, credits): Contact the program coordinator and/or director

Individual Development Plans (IDP) Expand answer

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdocs. IDPs typically include assessments that will connect you with potential career options, strategies and resources for career exploration, a goal setting resource, and the ability to track your progress and accomplishments. Visit any of the IDP resources below and create a free account to begin.

myIDP (Sciences)

myIDP is a web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences. myIDP provides:

  • Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests and values
  • A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests
  • A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track
  • Articles and resources to guide you through the process

ChemIDP (Chemical Sciences)

ChemIDP is an individual development planning tool designed to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the chemical sciences plan and prepare for rewarding careers. ChemIDP enables users to:

  • Assess professional and technical skills
  • Strengthen professional and technical skills
  • Track accomplishments
  • Develop and prioritize goals
  • Explore career options

ImaginePhD (Humanities and Social Sciences)

ImaginePhD is an online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. ImaginePhD allows users to:

  • Assess their career-related skills, interests, and values
  • Explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines
  • Create self-defined goals
  • Map out next steps for career and professional development success
Self-Assessments Expand answer

Self-assessments can be very helpful in identifying your interests, skills and values as well as a range of career options.

General Career Assessments

MyPlan is a free web-based career planning resource that allows graduate students and postdocs to take assessments, explore options, and gain clarity and insight to make well-informed career decisions. Contact Graduate Career Services to obtain the licensing code to take the assessments for free. Schedule an appointment with Graduate Career Services to review your results, discuss potential options, and develop a career plan.


The O*NET Program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. The O*Net database contains hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The free database is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation. Get started by using the “My Next Move” tool.

Career Exploration Roadmap

MIND’s Career Exploration Road Map (copyright Dorman, 2018, and updated as an interactive pdf in 2021) was designed to alleviate the stress and overwhelming experience of career exploration by breaking down the process into manageable and actionable steps shown in a gameboard-style schematic.

Science Career Assessments

PhD Career Choice Indicator (Biosciences)

The PhD Career Choice Indicator (copyright Sarah Blackford, 2014) aims to help PhD students and early career researchers start to formulate some preliminary career decisions.