Smeal offers students worldwide opportunity for jobs, internships

Last spring, Cassie Jacoby -- a supply chain and information systems major in the Penn State Smeal College of Business -- took a risk and accepted a co-op with Georgia-Pacific, which moved her hundreds of miles away from Pennsylvania to Atlanta, Ga.

She is one of many students who looked outside of Pennsylvania for job and internship opportunities. Smeal, the top-ranked school for corporate recruiters, provides opportunities for students to gain work experience all over the country.

According to the Smeal Career and Corporate Connections Office, only 45 percent of internship placements in the 2011-12 academic year were in Pennsylvania; dozens of students interned in states like New York, Connecticut, Illinois, California and Texas.

Jacoby said she didn’t really have a location in mind when she started applying for internships. But she became interested in the opportunities at Georgia-Pacific after talking with their recruiters at a supply chain career fair.

Georgia-Pacific, a national company that manufactures tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and more, regularly attends Smeal career fairs and recruits students for co-ops and full-time positions.

“They had a lot of different opportunities as far as positions, and they offered a lot to their co-ops, like social events and mentoring.” She continued, “What drew me in was that it was kind of a risk to go out of my comfort zone. I know with greater risk, there’s often greater reward.”

Jacoby was offered a full-time position with the company as a logistics analyst just a few months after returning from her co-op. While she says that moving across the country to Atlanta after graduation is a big step, she knows it’s the right move for her.

“My co-op experience was so great that I’m ready for the next step,” she said.

Meg Handley, director of Smeal Career and Corporate Connections, said, “We encourage students to keep an open mind when considering a company’s location. There can be a lot of really cool opportunities all over the country or even abroad.”

Georgia-Pacific is just one company that recruits for locations all over the U.S. Many firms that work closely with Smeal have several locations across the country.

According to Handley, students can search internship and co-op positions by location on SmealConnect, a Smeal online recruiting system accessible by all current Smeal students.

Internships and co-ops are an integral part of the Smeal experience. The Smeal Career and Corporate Connections office reports that 80 percent of 2011-12 graduates had held at least one internship, and 91 percent of them had accepted full-time positions within six months after graduation.

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Last Updated September 10, 2013