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Career Planning & Strategies Course (BA 297) and Boot Camps

BA 297: Career Planning & Strategies Course

1 Credit Course — Recommended for the Sophomore year

This course, which is offered in the fall and the spring, walks students through professional development skills in time with the recruiting season each semester.  Sessions feature guest speakers from Corporate Partners companies and allow students the opportunities to learn, practice, and receive feedback on many skills needed to reach various career goals.  A sample of course topics include:

  • Develop skills to be successful at career fairs, including attendance at a mock career fair
  • Practice behavioral based interview skills with a Corporate Partner recruiter
  • Learn how to utilize tools for researching companies
  • Use social media to network and practice networking with Corporate Partner recruiters and Smeal alumni
  • Attend an etiquette dinner that includes a four-course meal at the Nittany Lion Inn
  • Discuss job evaluation and negotiation techniques and ethical best practices
  • Assess transition to the workplace issues with recent alumni

Students will also have an opportunity to receive one on one feedback from the Business Career Center team through three assignments: tailoring their resume, honing their interviewing skills, and perfecting written networking communications.

Wall Street Boot Camp

Wall Street Boot Camp is a program initiated in 2007 by Robin Stevens and Randy Woolridge. It is designed as a training program to better prepare students who aspire to careers in the highly competitive field of financial services. The program has been highly successful in serving dual purposes. It provides a true glimpse of the dedication and focus needed to succeed in a career on Wall Street. This preview allows for the candidate field to be narrowed to only the most aspiring individuals. Also, the program’s targeted approach ensures that students completing the program will be sufficiently prepared to utilize the Smeal network of volunteers.

  • The program requires a full semester commitment for certification, and it is offered in both the fall and spring – 45 slots available
  • Sessions are held every Friday at 2:30pm in the Business Building. Each session lasts 90 minutes
  • ELIGIBILITY – freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who exhibit academic strength, leadership, and relevant experience indicating the potential for success in the industry
  • Sessions cover various career paths in the field including, but not limited to, sales and trading, investment banking, and private wealth
  • Students are instructed and evaluated on resume, interview, communication, and networking skills. Homework will be assigned, and must be completed prior to the following session
  • Participants are evaluated on their self-awareness and knowledge of the industry at the end of the program in a mock Wall Street interview conducted by the officers of the Nittany Lion Fund
  • Each student who successfully completes the program receives an embossed certificate, access to the mentoring list, and a personal endorsement from Robin Stevens and Randy Woolridge


  • Application for Spring 2020 Wall Street Boot Camp is now open at this linkApplications must be submitted by December 20, 2019. Only freshmen, sophomores and juniors are eligible.
  • Important: to be considered, all resumes should be one page and named as follows in PDF format: Last Name_First Name_GPA_Year.pdf. If you are a freshman and don’t have a Penn State GPA, please use your high school GPA as follows: Last Name_First Name_4.0HS_Freshman.pdf.
  • Accepted applicants will be notified before the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Questions: Contact Kyle Yousif at