November 21, 2017

Amy Benedict helps students and alumni envision making their working lives flow

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When students and alumni come to Amy Benedict for advice, she often asks them to think about flow—the state where their minds are fully engaged, and tasks feel natural, even when they are not easy.

Amy Benedict asks, “What would be your perfect job?”

Benedict, Penn GSE’s Director of Career and Professional Development, says that sense of flow offers important clues for job seekers. What skills and qualities are you using when you are in that flowing work state? How else could those skills be applied?

Benedict hosted a pair of special events on November 15 for National Professional Development Day, which included special drop-in hours with visiting Penn GSE alumni.

Building relationships, including with alumni, is important, Benedict said. The point isn’t just getting someone to offer you a job. Meeting more people working in your desired field can open you up to a broader array of career possibilities.

Your ideal position, Benedict will tell students, might be a job title you don’t know exists.

“I love hearing people’s stories, and teasing out from those stories what their strengths are, what their passions are, and helping them think about how they can use them to the best of their ability,” Benedict said. 

Throughout the year, Benedict and a team from Penn Career Services regularly speak with students and alumni in person, by phone, or over Skype.

Benedict also recommends job seekers explore these resources:

  • Vault is an online resource with rankings and reviews of top companies and schools, thousands of employee ratings and reviews, complete access to award-winning career guides, and new jobs and internships posted daily.
  • Handshake is an online career management platform available to all Penn GSE students and alumni. Each person has an account; they just need to activate it to look at job postings, events, workshops.
  • InterviewStream is an online practice interview program that Penn GSE students and alumni can use. The site features hundreds of pre-recorded questions for many different career fields, and will simulate an actual interview. Later, users can review their own session or ask a career advisor to offer feedback on their performance.