Penn State Career Services released a letter online addressing fears and concerns students may be having about potential internship and job opportunities on Monday.
It addressed both current students and employers, Career Services Senior Director Jeff Garis, who wrote the letter, said.
In wake of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being charged with child sex abuse, some have expressed concerns that Penn State students’ prospects with potential employers could be in jeopardy.
But as of Monday afternoon, no employers or students have contacted Career Services about revoked internship or employment offers. The university has not received any cancellations of prospective employer visits either, Garis said,
“The letter is a proactive start,” he said, adding that he, along with his staff, plan to offer continued support to students. “While we hope employers wouldn’t ask questions regarding this, we have to acknowledge that they most likely will.”
In the letter, Garis advises students to acknowledge to prospective employers that their main concerns are with the university and those who suffered any type of sexual abuse. Garis also said it is important to mention students are only responsible for their own actions, rather than those of a select few.
The strong alumni relationship the university has maintained in major corporations will also help students in landing the jobs and internships they’ve had for many years, Orndorff said.
“We have so many alumni planted securely in big corporations,” he said. “They are championing the efforts, bleeding blue and white and assuring colleagues that [Penn State] is truly a great place.”
And colleges within the Penn State community said students believe in their university and are ready to rebuild, Susan Knell, College of the Liberal Arts director of career enrichment, said.While Knell said she couldn’t speak for the entire student body, recent meetings with students have been relatively normal.
“Students need to focus on what they can bring to an organization,” Knell said. “I truly believe organizations will focus on the positive.”
Orndorff said an upbeat attitude will get students much farther than focusing on the negative actions of a few.
“We need to say that on a whole our students are people of strong character and strong values who do a lot of great things, not just for Penn State, but in State College,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with students saying they have full confidence of their peers. There are great people at Penn State doing many great things.”