Life After Graduation
Even though at times you may not think so, your life as a graduate student will end. Facing you will be the daunting task of finding a job. The program at Penn State Chemistry offers numerous opportunities for students to acquire the skills needed to compete in the job market. In addition, recruiters from many prominent companies visit our department each year to interview students.
Preparing for the Job Market
In addition to technical skills, many employers look at “soft skills’ such as public speaking, writing, interpersonal skills, and ability to work on a team. Students have the opportunity to enhance their skills through formal workshops and informal talks sponsored by the department. In 2009, for example, the department sponsored a workshop that included presenters from University Career Services and the Smeal College of Business who spoke to the students about interviewing skills, business etiquette and public speaking. During the year, other visitors to the department made presentations about potential careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Graduate students also have opportunities to participate in the governance of the department by serving on standing committees. Graduate students work on the Safety, Colloquium, and Newsletter committees. Committee service presents opportunities to develop leadership skills and opportunities for networking with colleagues.
Penn State Chemistry is a highly ranked department and recruiters from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries seek its students. Each year numerous recruiters visit the department to meet students and talk about potential employment. Sponsors Days, our signature recruiting event, occurs each fall. Sponsors Days is a forty-year tradition that offers a unique opportunity for our students to meet with representatives from industry, many of whom are Penn State graduates. Representatives of the sponsoring corporations are brought up to date on the research activities within the department and given an opportunity to interact with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in informal meetings, luncheons, and formal employment interviews. Almost all of our third and fourth-year graduate students and postdoctoral scholars participate in the program, which has been enormously successful in placing them in industrial positions. First and second-year students are also encouraged to participate in some of the social activities of Sponsors Days.
During the past three years recruiters from the following companies have visited Penn State Chemistry.
Air Products & Chemicals Inc.
Albany molecular Research
Milliken Research Corp.
Procter & Gamble
Rohm and Haas
W. R. Grace