Rebecca Barr, a 2021 Smeal graduate with a degree in marketing and a minor in Chinese, said that when she was considering colleges, Penn State rose to the top of her list because of its vast alumni network and focus on providing career support to its students and alumni.

“I was particularly impressed by the number of quality employers coming to campus each semester for various career fairs,” Barr says. “As a student, my professors were constantly encouraging us to attend because that’s where Smeal students were finding their internships and full-time employment. In fact, my first job after college (as a warehouse manager with Amazon) is the direct result of attending a Smeal career fair.

“I was excited for the opportunity, but I also worried about how my marketing degree would contribute to my success, both immediately and in the future,” she says. “Smeal Alumni Career Services has been an important partner in helping me develop a strategic plan to advance my career.”

Smeal graduates are eligible for up to five career coaching sessions to help set professional goals and create an action plan to reach their career objectives.

Barr said she knew that her skills in marketing analytics helped her exceed Amazon’s warehouse processing goals. Still, the role also offered exposure to supply chain issues, and she was ready to learn and grow in those areas as well.

ACS provided access to a digital repository of career management resources exclusive to career coaching clients to help rebrand her resume and LinkedIn profile so she could pursue more advanced supply chain roles.

Barr was also invited to attend a virtual career fair for early career professionals hosted by Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research. She met with her coach to prepare for the fair and, later, to prepare for a case interview with Camelot Management Consultants. She was offered, and ultimately accepted, a position as an associate consultant.

Fast forward to fall 2023, and Barr was looking to grow in her current role. She reached out to Smeal Alumni Career Services once again for assistance in developing a plan for internal advancement or researching graduate schools for 2024.

“I still rely on the Penn State network to continuously advance my career and develop myself as a young professional,” she says. “I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

— Keleigh Asbury