Liberal Arts Career Week helps students develop professionally

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network focuses year-round on students’ career and professional development opportunities. One of its largest projects, Liberal Arts Career Week, took place Jan. 22-26, and achieved a high level of success in the week-long event’s second year.

Liberal Arts Career Week provided students with more than 20 workshops, panels and sessions geared towards liberal arts majors. Network staff hosted a coffee hour each morning and ran some of the workshops, but additional events included speakers from well-known employers such as Vanguard, Johnson & Johnson and Deloitte Consulting. Each day focused on different opportunities such as internships, global experiences, graduate school, and working in the government.

For students not yet considering full-time employment options, the week also offered internship-focused sessions, as well as interview and resume workshops. “The Liberal Arts Career Week is a great way for Liberal Arts students to learn more about many different career options,” said Katie Wysocki, assistant director of the Career Enrichment Network. “The week also gives students the opportunity to network with recruiters and alumni and gain valuable professional skills to support their future career success.”

Some of the highlights of the week were sessions on marketing a liberal arts degree to employers, developing your brand on LinkedIn, and a networking session run by Happy Valley Improv and sponsored by Vanguard, which challenged students to step outside their comfort zones.

Penn State Liberal Arts alumni also made appearances throughout the week at networking sessions and as recruiters.

Melanie Maguire, recruitment manager at Teach for America, praised the networking events saying, “The resume workshop I led was well organized, well planned, and students were able to engage professionally as a result of the setting and layout of the chosen venue.”

This demonstrates the success of the events themselves, but the ultimate praise toward Penn State and the Career Enrichment Network came when Maguire praised the college’s students saying, “In that session and in the subsequent resume reviews offered to students, I even found students I particularly wanted to recruit to and hire for my organization, which is always a recruiter’s goal.”

Carlton Bradshaw, a 2015 economics alumnus and senior account manager at Amica Mutual Insurance Company, said, “We certainly enjoyed the events and hope the students got as much out of them as we did. I thought the events were a great mix of presentation/open discussion that allowed for some great questions to be asked. We look forward to the next year!”

In everything from talking about enrichment funds over coffee, to mock interviews, to conversations with big-name companies, students demonstrated the value of a Penn State education and made an impression on the recruiters.

Lauren Sproles, university relations and partnerships lead at Vanguard, said, “Overall Liberal Arts Career Week was a success. These opportunities allowed for us to connect in a more informal and comfortable setting with students within the College of the Liberal Arts and really get to know them, their career aspirations, and hopefully give them guidance on how to best achieve those aspirations! Each year I attend this week, I very much enjoy the various events and activities we are involved in. This allows for us to build relationships with these students and give them tools and the confidence to succeed at future career fairs.”

The week was also sponsored by the Center for Global Studies. The opportunities do not stop with Liberal Arts Career Week — the Career Enrichment Network has a variety of opportunities scheduled throughout the rest of the spring semester. Liberal Arts students should check their Network Symplicity account often for new events and internship postings. Liberal Arts students are always welcome to share their suggestions on programming with the Career Enrichment Network including collaboration with Liberal Arts clubs and organizations. For more information please contact the Career Enrichment Network, lanetwork@psu.edu.

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Last Updated February 09, 2018