When Harriet Polites graduates in May, she isn't going to be experiencing the same anxiety that many of her fellow graduates will be going through — the anxiety of the job search.
"I attended the IST Career Fair at University Park in January, after receiving help from Jill [Laing, Career Services Coordinator] and Melody [Goodwin, Career Counselor] on my résumé and practicing my interviewing skills," explains Polites. "The extra time I took to work with them paid off. I received quite a bit of interest at the career fair and was doing an average of 3 phone interviews a week. I ended up bouncing company names and job opportunities off of my peers and teachers and turned down quite a few offers based on feedback I got."
Polites then began the interview process once again, this time with Hewlett-Packard.
"HP has been attending the IST Career Fair for a few years now and they told me they like to hire Penn State grads because they keep getting quality employees out of Penn State," says Polites. "The team I will be working with has four Penn State grads, me included."
Polites has been hired as a Technology Consultant for SharePoint, which deals mostly with business solutions.
"It's a little bit of a mixed bag," shares Polites. "I'll be working with a little bit of everything in their Herndon, VA office."
After receiving her associate's degree from Penn College of Technology in automotive technology, Harriet decided to pursue her bachelor's in information sciences & technology.
"I was very focused coming into Penn State Wilkes-Barre," says Polites. "Frouke [de Quillettes, Senior Instructor in IST] knew I had a goal of completing my degree in three years. She kept me on track from day 1 and helped me to realize that in order to achieve my goal I had to be personally invested, because the program is one where you get out of it what you put into it."
Polites has completed two internships during her time at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, one with Custom Computers in Kingston and the other with the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Information Technology department, and is a big advocate of internships.
"Internships are low-risk situations where you have an opportunity to stand out, to differentiate yourself," explains Polites. "They give you the chance to find your niche, find out what challenges you, and learn on the fly. The classroom is pure theory but with an internship you get to put what you learn into practice. And it demonstrates to future employers that not only are you able to work but you have a willingness to work."