Fords on Friday: The Fordian Trek into Tech (and Other Recruitment-Heavy Industries)

Posted on: October 9, 2015

By Karina Wiener

A common question I’ve heard students ask lately is how to best go about getting their resumes read in big recruiting industries such as tech, engineering, or business. Fords are worried that their resumes will be overshadowed by students from schools like UPenn, Harvard, and Yale.

This question came up yet again at last week’s career chat with Will Moss ’05 who has lots of insight into this issue, seeing as he majored in computer science at Haverford before it was even a major, yet he somehow managed to work at FactSet, intern at Google, create the “Bump” app, and finally end up as a software engineer on the application infrastructure team at Airbnb.

factset appbump icongoogle app logoairbnb logo

Here’s some advice and reassurance Will gave students regarding breaking into the industry:

  • Go to the alumni directory, type in the name of the company you are applying to and there’s likely to be someone from Haverford working at that company in some capacity. Reach out and ask to chat! Remember that they’re doing you a favor by talking to you so be respectful of their time and be sure to thank them.
  • Use Haverford as an advantage. A liberal arts education teaches you to problem solve: you know how to react and change. Additionally, the alumni network at Haverford actually means something, so use it!
  • Don’t be afraid to pester the HR recruiter…
  • The only difference between the courses at Haverford and those at big universities is that big universities have software engineering classes. However, most of what you do in a software engineering class is build something yourself, but you can do that without the class! Go through the process to see what it takes to actually make something, even if it’s simple, and put that on your resume–it demonstrates technical curiosity and you automatically gain experience.
  • Once you get an internship in industry, keep in touch with the people who you work with. There is a high turnover rate in tech (as well as in business and finance), so there’s a good chance that the people you work with will end up at other companies and can put in a good word for you there! It’s all about opening as many doors as possible.
  • The only hard part is the first step, but once your foot is in the door and you’re at your first interview, it doesn’t matter what school you went to or what it says on your resume. This goes for international students too–if you made it as far as the interview then the rest is up to you, it doesn’t matter what your citizenship status is.


He also discussed some tips for the interview itself:

  • Use or some other search engine to look up past interview questions from the companies you’re interviewing at.
  • Be aware that once you’re on site, you’ll often be asked to answer questions on a whiteboard, not just a computer screen.
  • Make people realize that you are capable of contributing right away. This field relies on fast-paced output, so it’s important to show that you can push things out quickly. When you’re answering technical interview questions, don’t try to look for the most creative way to solve it, look for the most logical, direct way to get it done quickly and efficiently.
  • Interview in the language you’ll do best in in a fixed amount of time.
  • Startups are looking for potential and pragmatism: they want people who can get things done, contribute as soon as possible, and hit the ground running.
  • This may sound obvious, but make sure that once you have gotten the interview or the job, you perform well! It’s important to make contacts as you go and to uphold the reputation of those who recommended you.

Finally, Will laid out the interview process for Airbnb specifically, and suggested other start up tech companies have a similar process. If you’re interested in applying to Airbnb or something similar, here’s what you need to know:

  • You’ll have an initial phone screen with a recruiter which is mainly to make sure you’re not insane.
  • Next, you have 1-2 technical phone screens in which you have a shared screen with the interviewer and they observe as you solve a problem by coding. For this portion, you choose what language you code in–use the language you’re most comfortable with, not the most impressive.
  • Then, if it’s a full time job you’re applying for, they’ll fly you out to their site location and you’ll have 3 more coding interviews. If it’s an internship you’re applying for, they will not fly you out but you’ll be interviewed again with harder questions.
  • Airbnb specifically does a “core value” interview which tests for your cultural fit, and to see that you care about the product.
  • Airbnb will then get back to you within 48 hours with a resopnse.
  • You need at least 2 industry internships to work full time at Airbnb, and you need at least one industry internship to get an internship at Airbnb.
  • You don’t necessarily need a PhD or a masters unless you want to teach. In industry, there are other ways to open doors.
  • A resume referral doesn’t help much at startups unless you actually worked with the person referring you and they truly know you.

Will is an active alum and although he can’t get you hired at Airbnb, he’s happy to chat about his experiences at Airbnb as well as his time at FactSet, Google, and creating the “Bump” App.

CCPA Summer Series: The Exchange Traded Fund Options Desk at Cantor Fitzgerald

Posted on: October 7, 2015

By Justin Winkler


I recently finished my summer internship at Cantor Fitzgerald. This is my second year receiving Whitehead Internship funding, and I cannot be more appreciative of Haverford for providing such incredible opportunities.

Cantor Fitzgerald is a financial services firm specializing in institutional equity, fixed income sales and trading, and investment banking services for middle market companies.  Cantor is headed by its CEO Howard Lutnick, a Haverford graduate from the class of 1983, and many other Haverford grads work throughout the company.  The entirety of my internship was spent with the exchange traded fund (ETF) options desk.  ETFs are publicly traded funds designed to mimic larger indices or entire sectors.  The head of the desk, Chief Market Strategist Pete Cecchini, is also an alumnus of Haverford and started this particular sales desk at Cantor about five years ago.  They have carved out a very particular niche in the industry, so I was able to have a truly unique experience, not available to interns at many other firms.

ETF options are used to hedge entire portfolios over a short period.  They will often be used in situations when a very short term outlook counters a fund’s long term investment view.  Rather than selling and repurchasing the stocks in a month, funds will enter into options contracts to make a profit or at least minimize losses while still keeping the portfolio intact. Cantor’s ETF options desk develops hedging strategies for its clients, as well as actually executing the options trades once they are ordered.

Interns cannot take part in any of the actual trading occurring on the desk, so most of my projects were research-based.  My longer term project was working with the desk’s senior quantitative analyst to develop a mathematical model to predict company defaults using a company’s capital structure.  Based on a prediction of a global economic slowdown, we hoped that the model could illuminate specific sectors most at risk for default.  I researched existing credit default models, capital structures of at-risk companies, and global sector default trends to assist the analyst in his modeling.  Besides this project, I completed many shorter term research projects based on current events, such as the Greek default crisis, the Chinese economic slowdown, and 2015 second quarter earnings announcements.  Each morning would start with a summary of market news from the past night and the early morning, but after this, each day’s work was different.  Because options trading is so time-dependent, I was required to work under tight deadlines to provide anything from general news summaries to in depth analyses of earnings reports.

In addition to research projects, I had the opportunity to shadow salesmen and traders on our specific desk and in other products.  Our team worked closely with equity sales, ETF sales, and single-stock options trading, so I was able to experience the day-to-day work of several types of traders.

My internship allowed me to conduct fascinating economic and market research to compliment my coursework, as well as allowing me to experience the high intensity and exciting environment of a trading floor.  I cannot thank Haverford and Cantor Fitzgerald enough for providing me with such a great summer experience.

Tips for Getting to the Interview Table

Posted on: October 5, 2015

Over the past few years we have been able to collect great information from our peers and colleagues in the field of career services and human resources.  Below is a blog originally posted to the Bi-College Career Development Office in November 2011 by guest blogger and recruiter Gerard Lanning of G. X. Clarke & Co.  Take a moment to read these tips from the recruiting perspective and, implement them, and you’ll make it to the interview table where the rest is up to you!

interview table


As a College Recruiter, I see hundreds of cover letters, resumes and unofficial transcripts each year. Often what I’ve seen happen is that bright students make stupid mistakes and don’t get invited to interview for a position they may be well qualified for. So here are my suggestions aimed at helping you get to the interview table:

Carefully read the job posting on your college’s Career Services job posting system. Note all the key information: the job title, the job description, desired majors, GPA requirements, required documentation, i.e., cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and any experience the employer is looking for. If you are truly interested in a specific job and honestly believe you possess the qualifications for it, your next step is writing your cover letter.

The three key points for every cover letter are (1) explaining your reasons why you are applying for the specific position, (2) describing the relevant skills, abilities and experiences you can bring to the specific position and (3) thanking the firm for considering your application.

Explaining your reasons for writing (applying) gives you the opportunity to showcase to the employer why you should be interviewed. Briefly and succinctly specify the following information: where you learned about the position and why you are interested.

The next step: describe what you can bring to the company and the position and why they should hire you: your education (major), personal achievements, problem solving skills, internships and any work experiences you’ve picked up along the way that qualify you to apply for the position. Always link what you say in your letter to what you write in your resume.

End by thanking the firm for considering you and reading your documentation; mention you are looking forward to an interview to reinforce your solid interest in the position.The essential characteristic of every effective cover letter: be brief! State the facts about yourself and your qualifications in a clear, orderly, concise way and how they directly relate to the position you are applying to interview for. Limit yourself to one page.

Finally, use a standard font like Times Roman size 12 pitch, no smaller. If you make it easy for the recruiter to read your letter, you will make a friend. Correctly spell her/ his name and position and the firm’s name. Check your spelling and grammar! Don’t cut and paste from previous letters to employers for similar positions. That technique only increases the possibility for errors. If the position is one you really want and are serious about applying for: start from scratch. And before you press that send button make sure you have included all the required documentation and materials mentioned in the posted job description.

Gerard J. Lanning
Human Resources
Consultant G. X. Clarke & Co.

CCPA Summer Series: Philadelphia FIGHT Intern

Posted on: September 29, 2015

By Vivian Nguyen

Internship at Philadelphia FIGHT via Jaharis Primary Care Pre-Medical Fellowship

It’s the first day of my four-week internship at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Jonathan Lax Medical Center, a comprehensive HIV/AIDS clinic located in Center City, Philadelphia. I arrive half an hour late due to a train schedule mix-up, and walk into Triage Nurse Julie Fort bandaging *Billy’s leg – a process that I soon learned was repeated daily because Billy became mentally impaired years ago in a car accident and could not handle the wound care himself. I sit down in a chair opposite them, explain myself, and observe carefully. (After the first few days, I actually became Billy’s personal wound care attendant, undoing and re-bandaging his leg every day the clinic was open for the rest of my internship).


Daily wound care for Billy.

Two minutes later, Dr. Mounzer, the medical director of the whole Philadelphia FIGHT operation, knocks on the door and asks Julie do an EKG on a patient for him in a room down the hall. As soon as Billy walks out the door, we head over to Exam Room 7 to give the patient an EKG exam. We come back to Julie’s room and triage a walk-in patient. It’s hardly been an hour since I walked into the building, and I’ve already witnessed some major facets of Julie’s work: wound care, triage, and EKGs.

Julie explains that Mondays are the busiest day of the week for the clinic, especially in terms of walk-ins, since the clinic does not open on weekends, and people may become anxious to see their medical providers over the span of those two and half days the clinic is not open. It is also especially busy in the last week of the month (the week I started at the clinic) because people haven’t gotten their paychecks yet and/or may be running out of medicine, making them anxious and worried. She reassures me that when I come in next Monday, the clinic will be much quieter because it will be “Kings’ Week.” People will have received their monthly paychecks. They’re “living like kings” and trying not to think about their health problems.

Later that day, a patient named *Lily came into the clinic while I was in the back completing my EMR (Electronic Medical Record) system training. Actually, I should say stormed in. She was apparently loud and belligerent when she came in, wearing only a thin t-shirt, a bandana, dirty old sneakers, and a pair of men’s boxers. I can’t remember what she needed most when she came in. But by the time Julie grabbed me, Lily had calmed down considerably. She was lying on an exam table with a cold compress on her head, asking for a pair of pants. Julie introduced me to Lily who was more than happy to have a student observing and taking interest in her. At this point, Lily had received her medicine and there was little more medical care the clinic could offer her. She should have been good to go. But Julie noticed that her legs were dirty and smelly, and so provided her with a plastic tub of soap and warm water and a thin sock to use as a sponge. Julie had to triage another patient, and left me with Lily for several minutes. As she scrubbed her grimy legs with soap and water, Lily asked me about my career plans, told me some of her own life story, and taught me the biological mechanisms behind her extremely rare diagnosis of being a long-term non-progressor. This means the HIV virus lives in her system, but does not cause progression of the disease into AIDS for a very long time.

No one could find a spare pair of pants lying about for Lily, but one of the clinicians generously made a small gift basket out of some clean socks, underwear, and lotion. Having received the care and attention she needed, Lily happily and gratefully walked out of the clinic, full of smiles. I got to watch Julie triage a few more walk-ins, and then 5:00 pm came around, marking the end of my first day.

Me and Nurse Julie!

Me and Nurse Julie!

Over the next several weeks, I would get the chance to observe Julie and the other clinicians at the Jonathan Lax Center work with all different types of patients living with HIV/AIDS. I say “clinicians” because physicians are not the only ones taking charge of the primary care of their patients here. Nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and M.D.’s saw their own load of patients every day.

Though the population they served was mostly African-American, patients of FIGHT were of all different races and ethnicities. They varied from the poorest of the poor (such as individuals living on the streets or in one of the many homeless shelters in Philadelphia), to the richest of the rich (such as museum curators and art collectors). Some were unable to maintain their health on their own and came to the clinic every day to receive their medication, while others were as fit as a fiddle, just coming in for their regular 6-month checkups. Many were gay, trans, or bi, and many were straight. About half of the patients had unstable housing, and many were completely uninsured, yet none were turned away as long as they were HIV positive. The clinic was almost always bustling and noisy during business hours. And this was also true in the back of the clinic where the staff were diverse in job description as well as in identity and personality. The organization was truly a place where patients never had to feel judged or limited, enabling them to be honest about their health concerns and any lifestyle factors that may affect their well-being.


The unique thing about the Jonathan Lax Center that is different from other HIV care offices is that it truly offers comprehensive care for all its patients. On the same level and basically in the same office that they offer primary medical care, there is also case management, a psychiatrist, a phlebotomy lab so patients could instantly have their blood drawn and lab results delivered to the clinicians, and a small pharmacy to instantly receive their medication. In the same building and just a couple levels down, there’s an AIDS library, the Diana Baldwin Clinic which offers counseling to those individuals living with HIV as well as their families and significant others, as well as Project TEACH, an “innovative health education program which trains people living with HIV/AIDS to act as peer educators, activists, and advocates in the under-served communities hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic….” The building next door also houses a Walgreens that almost exclusively serves the Jonathan Lax Center and especially stocks up on HIV/AIDS medication, allowing patients to access their medication quickly nearby without having to go upstairs to the clinic each time or seek out their own pharmacy.

In addition to the privilege of witnessing the amazing amount of comprehensive patient care happening daily at the Jonathan Lax Center, helping Julie call patients and doctors’ offices to coordinate specific patient care, I was also able to complete a project of my own that empowers patients to make their own appointments with medical specialists. I made one-page guides that helped both the clinicians and patients save time, easily determine which specialist was most recommended, and learn exactly what the patient needed to bring to the appointment in an easy to follow step by step guide. I also updated and created a couple patient information pamphlets to help make personal health and lifestyle choices or procedures more accessible and understandable.


IMG_20150817_162645-2 IMG_20150817_163406-2

Looking back at the last four weeks, I have learned what real comprehensive, culturally-competent, patient-centered care means, what serving in an under-privileged community clinic entails, and the kind of commitment, open heart, and open mind clinicians need to truly care for patients of all kinds.Going forward, I’ll be asking myself:

  • Do I want to work in primary care or specialized medicine?
  • How important is it for me personally to work for an underserved population?
  • Can I see myself, perhaps 10 years from now, in the shoes of the clinicians whom I’ve shadowed?
  • Could I take what I have learned about Philadelphia FIGHT and apply it to a clinical setting for another kind of under-served population?

These, among others, are questions I’m starting raise and starting to answer for my personal studies and career interests, thanks to the opportunity to intern at FIGHT; an opportunity generously provided by the Jaharis Primary Care Pre-Medical Fellowship.
* denotes names that have been changed to protect patient information

Participate in one or more of the 3 Virtual Networking events for students and alumni in October 2015

Posted on: September 28, 2015

Interacting with fellow alumni and students is a good way to learn about career options, to get advice, and to build your network.  Participate in one or more of the 3 Virtual Networking Events for students and alumni in October 2015, co-sponsored by CCPA

• October 15
 Virtual Networking Event for Haverford and Bryn Mawr (multi-industry)
7:309:00 p.m. EDT 

  • Don’t miss out on this virtual opportunity to connect with alumni and students at Haverford and Bryn Mawr. Enjoy short online conversations with individual alumni and students involved in business, communications, education & social service, healthcare, law, and science & technology, exchange career tips, and build your professional network. Co-Sponsored by the Center for Career and Professional Advising.
  • Register here.

• October 22
Fords in Finance Virtual Networking
7:309:00 p.m. EDT 

  • Don’t miss out on this opportunity to virtually connect with alumni and students.
  • During this event, enjoy short online conversations with individual alumni and students in finance fields, exchange career tips, and build and expand your finance professional network, from the convenience of your laptop!
  • Register here.

• October 29
Virtual Networking Event for Current Student-Athletes with Fords Athletics Alumni
7:309:00 p.m. EDT 

  • Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity for athletic alumni to be a resource to current student-athletes.  Provide advice to current student-athletes by sharing your experiences, exchanging career tips, and building your professional network — all online.  Co-Sponsored by Fords Athletics Alumni, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Center for Career and Professional Advising.
  • Register here.

For more information, contact the CCPA.

Career Chat with Don Fried ’72: When Retirement Just Means “It’s Time For Career No. 2!”

Posted on: September 27, 2015

By Karina Wiener

As someone who just graduated last year, I’m feeling a lot of pressure to find the “right” career. As a liberal arts student, there seem to be so many options that the choice has become almost paralyzing. This is especially true because it seems like whatever I choose is going to bind me for life. But I’m learning that that’s really not the case. I can’t tell you how many adults have told me that they started on a path to one career for a few years and then switched over to something completely different. In talking to Don Fried on September 17th I realized that there are not only two, but three possibilities in choosing a career:

  1. You can choose a career path and stick to with until you retire.
  2. You can choose a career path and change it until you find something you like.
  3. You can choose a path, stick with it until you retire, and then start a totally different career!

Don majored in English at Haverford and went on to get an M.A. in Linguistics. After a brief stint teaching English as a Foreign Language overseas, he spent 30 years working in multi-national projects in the Information Technology services industry in Europe. During this time, he picked up an M.S. in Management Science and was able to do business in 10 different languages! Needless to say, Don put a lot of work into making the most out of his career.

Upon retirement, however, Don didn’t just pick up a hobby or join a club, he began his second career as a writer. In the past 9 years, he has written 10 full-length stage plays, 9 full-length screenplays, and a full-length, non-fictional travel adventure! (If you’re interested in following his work, check out his website.) Needless to say, his second career is shaping up to be just as successful as his first. What I’m trying to get across to you all is that it’s okay to be interested in more than one thing, and just because you choose to work in IT for 30 years doesn’t mean you can’t be a writer later on.

A piece of advice that Don imparted on us during his talk, which I believe to be applicable to any career, was to “make yourself indispensible.” When networking, use your varied skills as a way to offer someone something unique. Volunteering is a great way to build a relationship with someone. For example, Don told a story in which he was reading the program at a theater and realized they didn’t have any grants. As a retired businessman, he offered to help the theater get some sponsors and grants and in return he asked that they simply read his play. This way, the playhouse built a positive relationship with him and, as you may expect, eventually decided to produce his play. This worked for him in the business world too—he took the initiative to learn the languages of the countries where certain projects were taking place so that he would have a better chance of being put on that project.

For those of you who are interested in pursuing writing as a career, here are some tips Don dropped that may help you:

  • Keep an ongoing file of “story ideas.”
  • Keep a spreadsheet with every inquiry you’ve ever sent, every contact you’ve ever made.
  • When something makes you passionate, write it down.
  • Find the story that needs to be told, not just what’s on the surface.
  • Be conscious of the sale-ability of a play.
  • Be conscious of the producability of a play.
  • Have momentum once you submit a story so that people can’t catch up because you can’t copywrite your titles or ideas, only your expression of ideas.
  • Listen to people talking and be conscious of the language they use.
  • Read work from the playwrights that you admire.
  • Stick with it and you’ll be successful.

Don Fried Headshot Again

CCPA Summer Series: WhiteHead Summer Internship with PeopleFund

Posted on: September 24, 2015

By Alesia Lujan-Hernandez

This summer I have had the opportunity to intern at PeopleFund, a non-profit microfinance company in Austin, Texas. What initially drew me to PeopleFund was its focus on community development and social justice. PeopleFund has taken the unique route to combine community development and social justice through not only creating opportunities for economic advancement in the form of access to capital, but also by providing education and resources to build a healthy and sustainable small business.


Despite having the classic 9-5 in a cubicle, my internship has been much more than just time spent in an office. It was understanding the complexities of the nonprofit world, seeing the impact microfinancing can have on low income communities to make them more compatible with gentrification of their neighborhoods, building connections, hearing dreams and helping those dreams come true.

Throughout my internship I worked on various reports including donor-client compliance and program evaluation. As a nonprofit PeopleFund gets its funding from grants and various partnerships with banks. Often times donors have set certain parameters in which they want their funds to be allocated. My role was to double-check our existing list of clients complied with all the terms of the donor and to expand that list to include new clients. Working on this project allowed me to gain insight into how being a nonprofit lender works financially.

Other evaluations I worked on was evaluating loan readiness programs offered by PeopleFund to prospective clients. My biggest evaluation was that of our veteran program which has only been ongoing for three years. My evaluation included tracking trends in the program in terms of attendance, participation, content and loan application output. This report was my “baby” of the summer, not only was it a time consuming report in which a lot of data had to be organized and analyzed but it was also strongly needed to determine how our next years program would look in terms of what was working and what wasn’t. My internship overlapped with hiring a new education and training specialist, who was revamping and changing PeopleFund programs. My report was a way for me to really feel like I was having an impact on the organization and where it would be going in future even after my departure.

The timing of my internship was also very unique in that it not only overlapped with the hiring of new staff and modification of education programs but it also overlapped with the implementation of using a new CRM software to track our loan applications. Thus, I was able to not only be one of the first trained on new software but also help other new employees as well, giving me a leadership role even as an intern!

Other responsibilities I had were attending and representing PeopleFund at different events that ranged from networking events to tabling at a Business symposium hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, I also joined loan officers in block walking and site visits. Block walking is literally walking around different neighborhoods in hopes of recruiting new clients. Site visits include visiting the business of our clients and personally checking in on how they are doing. These two activities were two of my favorites because they materialized all the office work my colleagues and I had done, as well as demonstrated the need and impact of PeopleFund.

Securing a Job Share or Meaningful Part-time Work

Posted on: September 18, 2015

By Dorilona Rose ‘00

Operations Manager, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,

Drexel University 


While coming right out of college may lead to a search for full-time work, there are times when part-time work may make the most sense in one’s career.  Perhaps you have a significant life change, or you want to pursue a hobby or less lucrative work, but still need something secure to pay the bills and provide benefits.  Part-time work does not have to mean filing papers; it can be a rewarding and meaningful step towards an advancing career.

My personal reason for pursuing part-time work resulted from having kids.  After having my first child, I felt a new tug that I wanted to be able to spend more time with her while also having the opportunity to be with other people and use my brain and my skills.  While I did not want to be a full-time stay-at-home parent, I also felt that I did not want to be at work five full days a week.  I had been at my job for six years when I asked if I could go part-time.  I was fortunate in that my boss was understanding and he consented to me going part-time for five months after maternity leave was up, but then asked that I come back full-time at the end of the five months.

After my second child was born, I was determined that I would be part-time for the longer term.  I had begun to research the idea of a job share, two people sharing one position.  A job share is typically 50/50, but does not have to be.  I felt that this arrangement would be better than me just going part-time since it would maintain the position as full-time, only with two people acting as one.  While my boss was supportive of me going part-time this second time, he was skeptical of the job share.  Would the two of us get along?  Who would this second person be?  How would they fit into the fabric of our department?  We met with the head of Human Resources at the time, who was very supportive and also indicated that Drexel University would be ultimately rolling out a formal flex-time policy.  My boss decided we could give it a go.  We interviewed people and brought in a wonderful, capable job share partner, who brought new and fresh skills to our department and to the position.  After about a year and a half, my job share partner’s own life situation changed, necessitating her to go full-time.  We were lucky in that our new department head was able to offer her a full-time position within the department, while maintaining my part-time position.  While no longer officially a job share, we still work very closely together, thinking of ourselves as a person and a half.  I believe that Drexel has gained significantly from our relationship and the diverse skills we have brought to our positions.

You may be thinking that it was easy for me to pursue a job share and part-time work because of the length of time I have had at my job.  You would be surprised at the number of people from Drexel who contacted me immediately after finding out about my job share to ask “how did you do it?” as though I engaged in some type of backdoor negotiation.  My first bit of advice to anyone in an established full-time position who wants to convert it to a job share position or part-time arrangement is to ask.  If you don’t ask, it will certainly never happen.  I had a solid, trustworthy relationship with my boss when I asked him first for the part-time, and later for the job share.  I was definitely nervous to ask him and didn’t know how he would respond.  While he ultimately was supportive, he was initially extremely skeptical, especially of the job share, and tried to talk me out of both the part-time position and the job share.  In the end, he respected my decision and was willing to take on the job share as an experiment.  His primary concern was, would we find someone decent from outside of Drexel to come in part-time and would they work out.  Would we work well together?  Would they bring on the necessary skills for the position?  The answer in this case was a resounding yes.  My job share partner not only brought in new skills that I did not have, but she also brought a wealth of knowledge from other organizations where she had worked.  Our work habits and styles meshed well and still work very well together and Drexel has gained significantly by bringing in this new employee.  I thought extensively about how we would split the work (I worked Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday mornings and she worked Wednesday afternoons, Thursdays, and Fridays) and keep in contact on a regular basis.  Fortunately, modern technology really makes it quite easy to keep the communication lines flowing and aids in a smooth transition during the week.

But what about the costs for Drexel?  Isn’t supporting two employees more expensive than supporting just one?  The answer is no.  In most companies and organizations, full-time employees receive a greater subsidy for their benefits from the institution than a part-time person.  It is actually cheaper for an institution to hire two part-time people who are paying higher out-of-pocket costs for benefits than it is to support one full-time person.  And since the salary gets split, those costs remain the same.  Therefore another argument for a job share is that it can save your organization money in the long run.

While I don’t know how long I will decide to stay in my part-time position, I have no regrets about converting to part-time and enjoy every aspect of my current situation.  I am fortunate to be in a job where I can use and develop my skills and apply my educational background while working with a wonderful team of people.  Concurrently, I still have part of the week to engage with my kids in a meaningful way.



Fords on Friday: Job and Internship Search Tips from Hao Wang ’15

Posted on: September 16, 2015

By Karina Wiener

Last Friday (9/11), Hao Wang, HC class of ’15, discussed his recent job search experience in which he emailed 160 alumni, got 100 responses, and completed 60 informational interviews! He is now happily working at Promontory Financial Group in Washington D.C. Hao majored in Economics, spend his Junior year abroad at the London School of Economics, spent one summer performing chemistry research in Alex Norquist’s lab at Haverford and another summer performing a Whitehead internship.

Hao Wang


Hao was a frequent visitor of the CCPA and put a lot of careful time and energy into his job-search process. Because of that, Hao had many useful tips to share with the students. Here are 10 tips that stood out to me:

1. Know what you’re looking for, and start looking early.

2. Informational interviews are a great way to get a better idea of the specific companies you’re interested in.

3. Understand what it is you’re applying for.

4. Talk to young alumni for advice on the application process, and old alumni for advice on their overall journey and company specifics.

5. Use your liberal art skills of creative thinking and communication to your advantage.

6. Use the Haverford alumni network (use the alumni directory:

7. Don’t reach out to people for a job, reach out for advice and ask them about themselves–everyone loves to talk about themselves!

8. Don’t be afraid of failure. Face it, thank your contact and ask if they can provide feedback so that you can improve and learn from your failures.

9. Remember, alumni WANT to help.

10. Read old CCPA blog posts for more advice! Specifically, Hao found the following posts very helpful:

Hao chat

Students chatting with Hao through Skype.