Career Services

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

Career Counseling and Planning

  • Individual appointments & 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
  • Presentations/seminars on career-related topics
  • Internship/job search strategies
  • Interviewing skills & mock (practice) interviews
  • Networking skills
  • Job offer and salary negotiation tips
  • Professionalism/soft skills development

Recruiting and Employer Engagement

  • Nittany Lion Career Network (NLCN): primary online resource for connecting students with employers
  • Career Fairs: Fall & Spring Career Days at University Park, regional, and online
  • Employer visits, panels, and information sessions

Jessica L. Kirkwood, M.S.
Career Services Coordinator
jlk296@psu.edu
717-531-5467

Quick Question/Drop-In Hours:
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays, noon to 2 p.m.

Penn State College of Medicine
Office of Graduate Education
Room C1712A, Mail code: H170
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA  17033

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 Career Network

Nittany Lion Career Network (NLCN) is Penn State Career Services’ primary online resource for connecting students with employers.

Nittany Lion Career Network enables graduate students to:

  • View employer profiles and apply for internships and jobs
  • Learn about career fairs
  • Connect with PSU alumni through LionLink (professional online networking program)
  • Participate in On-Campus Interviewing (OCI)OCI is open to all PSU students but only conducted through NLCN at 3 campuses: Penn State Harrisburg (PSH), Penn State University Park (no designation), and Penn State Behrend (PSErie). Interviewing opportunities are designated with an ‘OCI’ and campus location in the position title.

Current Students

Alumni (Job Seekers)

Students and alumni may learn more about NLCN at University Park Career Services.

Employers

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.

InterviewStream

Practice and improve your interview skills to prepare for any internship or job interview with the use of a computer/webcam or tablet.

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 Post-doc, and more.

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 Information Center

As Penn State graduate students, you have access to powerful online career information tools and resources. A sampling includes:

Vault and Wetfeet: Comprehensive information related to careers, industries, salaries, and more.

Uniworld and GoinGlobal: Valuable resources for students looking to work internationally or international students looking to work in the U.S. or abroad.

Hoovers: Accessible through Penn State University Libraries, this is an excellent resource for researching industries and companies.

Career Fairs and Events

Penn State holds two elaborate career fairs at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus each Fall and Spring Semester. Throughout the year, Penn State also remains informed of other fairs being hosted in major cities such as Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia; this information is placed on the events calendar of the career fairs website.

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: 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

If you wish to work in the U.S., it is necessary to plan ahead. For example, it is important to understand the processes involved in applying for work authorization on your student visa. If you are unclear about the options, contact the Office of Global Programs.

Graduate Student Resources for Choosing a Postdoc

Many doctoral recipients decide to pursue a postdoc as the next step after graduation. The National Postdoctoral Association provides information and resources on deciding to complete a postdoc, choosing the right postdoc, developing independence, applying for a postdoc, and navigating the interview process.

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.

Graduate Students as Educators

You are invited to join a group of graduate students interested in learning more about research-based teaching methods. By providing your contact information, you will be notified about opportunities that will help you to prepare to teach in a variety of settings. Learning opportunities available to you include:

  • A four-hour workshop designed specifically for graduate students (details below).
  • Group debriefing sessions to reflect on teaching experiences.
  • Personal feedback on educational philosophy/teaching statements prepared for job applications.
  • Workshop sessions offered to Penn State College of Medicine faculty and staff through the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education.

Additional learning opportunities will be designed over the coming year.

Sign up here.

Graduate Student Teaching Workshops: Becoming an Effective Educator

Part 1 and Part 2: Two hours each, TBD

For this program you will complete readings and attend two two-hour workshops designed to provide you with teaching and learning strategies to become an effective educator. During each interactive workshop you will have the opportunity to try research-based strategies and techniques that you can use with your future students. Topics addressed will include, but are not limited to:

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

For more information or if you have questions, email Jeanine Beatty-Chadha at jbeattychadha@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) Facilitation Opportunities

Rewarding educational opportunities are available for College of Medicine graduate students, 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.

For details, contact Lynne Peterson, Office of Associate Dean for Medical Education, at lpeterson@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or 717-531-0003, ext. 280808.

LabLearner Career Development Opportunity

Apply your scientific knowledge and expertise to shape PreK-8 teacher training through LabLearner, a hands-on science curriculum. LabLearner is seeking graduate students and post-doctoral fellows looking for an opportunity to step out of the lab and make an impact on the educational system for seasonal summer work.

Visit LabLearner website.

Establishing good communication between graduate students and their mentors is critical for a successful relationship. The Individual Development Plan (IDP) serves as a communication tool and provides a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives. The IDP opens communication, identifies expectations, establishes objective criteria for success, recognizes the importance of training and service, and is flexible to allow new opportunities to be pursued when they appear. The IDP should include defined time and resources devoted to research and career development activities in addition to contributions to the supervisor’s research.

Two recent reports (the NIH Biomedical Research Workforce Report and the NIGMS Strategic Plan) have brought renewed attention to the value of career planning for scientists. IDPs have been suggested as particularly useful tools for assisting in the career development of science PhDs. In response to this need, a interactive, web-based tool that will help postdocs set and achieve long-term and short-term career goals was launched in September 2012: myIDP. Created with support from the Burroughs Welcome Fund, myIDP helps postdocs and graduate students in the sciences develop a step-by-step plan for reaching their career goals.

According to Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the purpose of the IDP is to provide a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives. Furthermore, IDPs serve as a communication tool between individuals and their mentors.

The IDP will set a course for your appointment that will match your skills to your career ambitions. Of course, since your skills and goals will almost certainly change over time, the IDP will be an evolving document that you will return to with your mentor over the course of your appointment. The purpose of IDP is to build upon your current strengths by identifying areas for development and crafting a plan to address those areas. You should work with your faculty mentor(s) to agree on a development plan that will allow you to be productive while positioning you to be successful in your chosen career.

For graduate students, it is recommended that you utilize the AAAS’ free online tool myIDP. This tool asks a series of questions on your

  • Interests
  • Skills
  • Values

And provides several suggestions for possible career matches. It also contains links to career resources and tools to help you develop concrete plans, attend workshops, networking etc.

An annual IDP helps graduate students:

  • create annual plans to reach their career goals
  • establish target dates for academic and research milestones
  • set goals for next year, including discussions of how to spend time and
  • define in detail the approaches to take to obtain specific skills and strengths needed (e.g., courses, technical skills, teaching, supervision) along with an anticipated time frame necessary for obtaining these skills and strengths.

The IDP form should be shared in draft form with the mentor(s) at the meeting where the graduate student or postdoc accomplishments and goals will be discussed in light of the core competencies and the graduate student’s career aspirations.