Penn State Career Conversations
By Sue Chappell
Struggling to find an internship? Worried about entering into the workforce after graduation? We’re here to help! Welcome to Penn State Career Conversations, the new career-focused, student centered podcast hosted by Penn State Career Services. In each episode, host Zach Follador is joined by guests such as recruiters, Career Services staff, and recent alumni to help current students get prepared to enter the real world.
Episode 11, Part 2: DEI, from an Employer Perspective
On this episode, we’ll be continuing our conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. After speaking with students on the last episode about how DEI initiatives helped shape their internship experiences this past summer, I wanted to get an employers point of view. So, on this episode, I’m joined by two representatives from PPL, an electric utility company based in Allentown. Joining me was Brian Case, Manager of Corporate Talent Management and Diversity, and Monica Brooks, Manager of Diversity and inclusion. We talked about the history of DEI initiatives at PPL, the new initiatives that are currently being rolled out, the response to these initiatives, and how they help to shape the PPL culture. It was a very insightful conversation that I hope you’ll enjoy.
November 15, 2021
Episode 11: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
On this episode, I'm joined by current seniors Izaak Lustgarten, Nick Alico, and Jordan Scott. All three completed internships this past summer, and we discussed the DEI initiatives that they experienced at their internship sites, and how those initiatives helped to enrich their experience. All three give some great insight into what different organizations are doing to foster an inclusive workplace environment and share how that helped give them a great experience.
October 15, 2021
Episode 10, Part 2: Completing a Successful Summer Internship, continued
Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Penn State Career Conversations podcast. I’m Zach Follador. This episode will serve as part 2 in our series about successful summer internships, and I’m excited to share these conversations with you, as I found them very insightful. My first guest on this episode is Ryan Peterson, a senior aerospace engineering student who was offered an internship this past summer based on research he was doing with one of his faculty members at Penn State Brandywine. His good work doing research turned into something much more, and this conversation is a great highlight of how sometimes opportunities present themselves through non-traditional means. Next up, I’m joined by Paul Kyriakos. Paul is a multi-disciplinary engineering design student at the Abington campus, and he completed his internship this past summer with NAVSEA, a division within the Department of the Navy. Paul and I chatted about what it was like completing an internship with a government agency, what the application and interview process was like, and how that process differed from what you might experience in industry. For any students interested in working for the government, this conversation is a must listen. My third and final guest on this episode is Shariyf Goldstein. Shariyf is a senior at the Brandywine campus finishing up his degree in American Studies. Shariyf is in the middle of an internship with the Urban Affairs Coalition of Philadelphia, specifically helping with their “Home Buy Now” program, which helps folks obtain mortgages to buy houses. Shariyf talks about how he found the internship, how his classwork prepared him, and the advantages of interning with a non-profit. These interviews that I’ve done for this series have been very enlightening, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.
September 20, 2021
Episode 10, Part 1: Completing a Successful Summer Internship
I’m excited to kick off this academic year with some student voices here on the podcast, as I’ll be speaking with a few students who completed internships this past summer. Spread over two episodes, we’ll touch on what each student did to prepare for their internship, what their employer did to make them feel comfortable and welcomed, and how that environment impacted their overall experience. There were some great conversations, and I think you’ll find them very informative and beneficial. In this first episode, I spoke with two seniors who completed internships this past summer. First up is Isabela Carlos Alberto, an international student from Mongolia who worked as a Financial Analyst Intern with Goldman Sachs. Isabela and I spoke about how she found her internship, what Goldman Sachs did to integrate her into her team, and also some considerations and additional steps she had to take being an international student applying for an internship. Next up, I was joined by Clay Kimsal. Clay is a senior in the Sustainable and Alternative Energy track in the engineering program and Penn State Hazleton. Clay moved to Cleveland this summer for an internship with Rockwell Automation. He and I discussed how he found the internship, how he approached his initial interactions with the Rockwell recruiters, and how Rockwell helped him move from his home in Pennsylvania to Cleveland, while making him feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
September 08, 2021
Episode 9: Alternative Summer Plans
As the semester draws to a close, we’ll be discussing on this episode some options for alternative summer plans. Over the past year, a number of students have had internships taken away or drastically altered because of the pandemic. If you weren’t able to land the position you really wanted this summer, what are some things you can be doing that would look good on a resume? To discuss this topic, I’m joined by Emily Livingston, Talent Coordinator at WebFX in Harrisburg. As you’ll learn from our conversation, there are plenty of options for you if you find yourself in this position. Emily discusses projects, trainings, job shadowing, as well as how to properly convey these experiences on a resume or in an interview. We had a great conversation that I think will leave you with some great, actionable takeaways if this is the route you choose to take during your break. This will be our last episode of the semester, and I think it will serve as a fitting end as we head into the summer.
May 04, 2021
Episode 8, Part 2: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership
Hi everyone, welcome to part 2 of our series on entrepreneurship and small business ownership. I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the series. Today, I’m joined by two more individuals who were kind enough to share their stories with me. First up on today’s show, I’m joined by Scott Woods. Scott is the founder and CEO of West Arete, which is based right in State College. Scott has a fascinating professional story, having spent a few years as a rock climber and ultra marathon runner prior to founding West Arete. He shares some great insight on how to successfully approach business ownership, and your professional life in general, while finding a balance and avoiding burn out. I think Scott’s perspective on taking risks in your career are very powerful, and that I hope will ring true to you. Next up, I’m joined by Megan Steele. Megan brings a bit of a different perspective to the podcast. Megan is not a business owner herself, however she has started her career and grown as an employee at a small business. After starting with MasonJars.com as a Graphic Design intern, Megan got hired on full-time by the company and is still there over 5 years later. Megan offers some great perspective on why students should consider working for start up’s, and how the experience has benefitted her. To learn more about the organizations mentioned in today's episode: West Arete: https://westarete.com/ MasonJars: https://masonjars.com/
March 26, 2021
Episode 8, Part 1: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership
This week is Start Up Week here at Penn State. To tie in with the theme of the week, we’ll be releasing two episodes of the podcast related to entrepreneurship, running your own business, and working for a start up. Today on part 1 of this series, I’m joined by three guests who own their own companies. First up, I’m joined by Matt Campagna, Founder and CEO of Refelxion, a visual cognitive sports training organization based in Lancaster. Matt joined me to discuss how he got his start as an entrepreneur, as well as the challenges and rewards of choosing the entrepreneurship path. Next, I’m joined by the co-founders of SecondWave Systems: Anuj Bhardwaj (CEO of SecondWave), and Kash Patel (COO). Together they talked about their own respective personal journeys, the practical considerations of owning a business, and some things that students can be doing while still in school to prepare themselves for a career as an entrepreneur. Learn more about Reflexion and Second Wave below. Reflexion: https://www.reflexion.co/ SecondWave Systems: https://www.secondwaveus.com/
March 24, 2021
Episode 7: Women in STEM
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss women in STEM. Joining me to cover this important topic is Lori-Anne Meyers, Co-founder and Head of Talent Acquisition and Product Development for Werkberry. Lori-Anne, who goes by LA, is a long time entrepreneur who has spent much of her career running her own businesses, many of them in the technology field. In our conversation, we discussed her career path, the obstacles she had to overcome early in her career, and how women in our STEM majors can prepare themselves for a career in STEM.
March 08, 2021
Episode 6, Part 3: Negotiations from the Candidate Perspective, continued
In the third and final episode of our Salary Negotiation Series, we’re shifting back to the candidate side of the fence. In order to get a few different perspectives, I’m joined in this episode by two recent Penn State alum’s who have had success early in their career. First off, I’m joined by Mari Magabo, a 2018 grad of Penn State Hazleton in the Engineering program. Mari completed her degree in the Alternative Energy track, and now works in the solar energy sector in Philadelphia. To close out this episode, I’m joined by Caitlyn Ridge, a 2020 grad from the HDFS program who used her experience in Development & Alumni Relations at Penn State to get a job working as a Fund Development Specialist for the Girl Scouts. With two different perspectives from two very different industries, I think this episode provides some great context and things to consider when approaching a negotiation. As I think you’ll find from these conversations, some of the basic principles of negotiation apply to any job, and any industry.
February 05, 2021
Episode 6, Part 2: Negotiations from the Recruiters Perspective
For episode two of the Salary Negotiation Series, we’re focusing on negotiation from the recruiters perspective. A lot of the focus in our episodes thus far has been student focused. When it comes to negotiations, though, how do the recruiters view it from the other side of the table? To answer that question, I’m joined today by two recruiters from UPMC. Sophie Rocco is a Senior Recruiter on the UPMC Nursing Talent Strategies team, and Bri Bayer is a Recruiter on the UPMC Corporate University Relations team. Both of them have a wealth of experience dealing with hiring managers, calculating job offer rates, and extending offers to candidates. In this conversation, they shared their perspective on the best way for candidates to approach a negotiation, as well as some other useful tips and insights. If interested in learning more about some of the things Sophie and Bri discussed during this episode, these resources will be of some help: Nursing University Relations mailbox: NursingUR@UPMC.edu Corporate University Relations mailbox: CorporateUR@UPMC.edu UPMC Talent Networks: https://careers.upmc.com/pages/talent-network UPMC Careers: https://careers.upmc.com/
February 05, 2021
Episode 6, Part 1: Negotiations from the Candidate Perspective
Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Penn State Career Conversations Podcast. I’m your host Zach Follador. It’s been a while since we last spoke, I hope everyone had a restful holiday break and a good start to the new semester. As a reintroduction to the podcast, this week we’re releasing the Salary Negotiation Series, which is a series of three episodes that will tie into the Financial and Occupational Wellness days. The purpose of these episodes is to provide some tips and reassurances on negotiation tactics while going through the interview and job offer process. Two episodes will focus on the candidates viewpoint, and the third will be based on the recruiters perspective. This first episode will be candidate focused, and I’ll be joined by a few fellow Penn Stater’s who were kind enough to join the show. In the first interview in this episode, I’m joined by Latrese Morris, a 2019 grad who obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and now works as a Technical Writer in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland. To close out this episode, I’m joined by Matt Corlew, a current senior at the Behrend campus in Erie. Matt will graduate in May with his degree in Mechanical Engineering, and he has already accepted an offer to join the rotational leadership development program at Ford upon his graduation. I think both interviews offer some great perspective on interviewing and negotiating, and I hope you’ll find some value in them.
February 05, 2021
Episode 5: Career Transitions and New Career Seekers
On this episode of the podcast, I wanted to cover career transitions. Everybody wants to have a job that fulfills them and excites them, and oftentimes self-reflection and assessment can lead you down the right path towards a career that you love. Joining me on this episode is Brian Case, Manager of Corporate Talent Management at PPL Corporation in Allentown. Brian is an individual who has successfully transitioned more than once in his career. He was nice enough to discuss what prompted him to switch careers, as well as how he was able to do it successfully. Even if you're at the very beginning of your career, or if you're not yet sure what you want to do, Brian gives some great advice and some resources you can utilize to figure out what may be the best fit for you. If interested in learning more about opportunities at PPL, feel free to visit https://www.pplweb.com/careers/.
December 11, 2020
Episode 4: Emerging Trends and Skillsets
This week, I'm joined by two guests: Jill Thomas, Talent Acquisition Manager at Enterprise, and Kalie Schmitt, Talent Acquisition Partner at Lowe's. Jill and Kalie stop by to discuss emerging trends in recruitment and hiring practices, and how students and job seekers can prepare for an interview given these trends. https://careers.enterprise.com/ https://corporate.lowes.com/careers
November 04, 2020
Episode 3: LinkedIn and Virtual Networking
This week, I'm joined by two guests from LB Foster: Nicole Wilson, Manager of Talent Development, and James Swanson, Talent Management Specialist. Nicole and James drop by to discuss how to build a strong LinkedIn profile, and how to utilize that LinkedIn profile to be a strong digital networker. Transcripts for this weeks' episode can be found here: https://pennstateoffice365.sharepoint.com/:w:/s/All-Staff/Ef_3KDwbxr1OkOEPMfrhde0B_hQkjeX_ybvbszAK8OOK4A?e=gTryLd For more info on LB Foster: https://www.lbfoster.com/en/careers
October 12, 2020
Episode 2: Virtual Interviews
This week on episode 2, I'm joined by Madie Hudac, Talent Acquisition Campus and Community Program Specialist at Highmark Health. Madie joins me to discuss how to properly prepare for a virtual interview! Many thanks to Madie for joining me. Transcripts of our conversation can be found here: https://pennstateoffice365.sharepoint.com/:f:/s/All-Staff/EvRkCVDQoGBBhiQBh7B5amIBnUph0GJHku1pNdQSX0RCTQ?e=cZFWcN
September 28, 2020
Episode 1: Virtual Career Fairs
On this episode Zach is joined by Tori Hoffman, Recruiter at Kohl's, to discuss how to best prepare for a virtual career fair. Fall Virtual Career Prep Expo Want to know all about Career Services? Need some resume, cover letter, interviewing, or career fair tips? Looking for resources to connect with employers and alumni? Attend the Fall Virtual Career Prep Expo hosted by Career Services on September 15th and 16th from 11am to 3pm. More information here: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/fairs/fall/student/virtual/before/prep Hosted on the Brazen platform. September 15th: https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/psu-career-center/s/a7nx4/4xgrP September 16th: https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/psu-career-center/s/a7nx4/G99n7 Brazen Series Anxious about using the Brazen platform to attend a virtual career fair? Attend a virtual workshop to discover how the platform works. Visualize screenshots with a step-by-step tutorial on navigating the Brazen platform. September 10 from 9am to 10am September 11 from 12pm to 1pm September 14 from 6pm to 7pm https://psu.zoom.us/j/97157034103 https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/fairs/fall/student/virtual/before/prep Transcripts available here: https://pennstateoffice365.sharepoint.com/:f:/s/All-Staff/EvRkCVDQoGBBhiQBh7B5amIBVMmVT8cQINIlQTJi_9R_rA?e=6PpDDN
September 08, 2020
Penn State Career Conversations Trailer
Struggling to find an internship? Worried about entering into the workforce after graduation? Looking to switch your career path? We’re here to help! Welcome to Penn State Career Conversations, the new career-focused, student centered podcast hosted by Penn State Career Services. In each episode, host Zach Follador is joined by guests such as recruiters, Career Services staff, and recent alumni to help current students get prepared to enter the real world. Conversations will center around career readiness, including topics such as: · Finding your fit/picking a major · Diversity and Inclusion · Resume and cover letter tips · Job/internship search tips · Interview and networking tips · Navigating the technology of a job search
August 14, 2020