Spotting Fraudulent Employers and Job Postings

by shannon conklin, interim director of the temple university career center

The recent phishing scam/spam email messages that were posing as a non-existing “Job Placement and Student Services” office at Temple is an excellent reminder of why to exercise caution when an opportunity seems too good to be true.

Here at the Temple University Career Center (note, this is the legitimate, university-wide career services office on campus), we want to share a few important reminders and tips.

First, keep in mind that Handshake is the university-wide internship and professional job database. The Career Center’s Employer Partnerships team thoroughly vets both employers and career opportunities within the Handshake system. There are other platforms on campus, as well.  These include FoxNet, KleinConnect, and STHM’s Passport.  We highly encourage you to conduct your own research on the opportunities you apply for on Handshake, and other university systems.  In the Career Center, our online approval does not indicate endorsement of an employer, product, or service.

Second, there are a few red flags of a potentially fraudulent job or internship:

  • The hourly pay seems “too good to be true” ($20.00+/hour or $200 quick).
  • The employer contacts you via text message, with no in-person contact.
  • The employer claims to be “out of town/out of the country” and needs you to run errands for them.
  • The employer asks you to send them money or offers to send you a check in advance of completing any work.
  • There is language that generally seems off and not properly formatted.

Other precautions you can take:

  • Do not click links that are found in these questionable messages.
  • Research company websites thoroughly.
  • Use social media to research each employer, and websites such as for feedback and complaints.
  • Be cognizant of unsolicited emails that are not specifically directed to you. For example, they may simply say “hello”.
  • Do not share personal information (social security numbers, banking information, credit card numbers, passwords, birthday, mother’s maiden name, etc).

Click here to view a complete list of red flags to consider. If you have any questions or are concerned about any opportunities on Handshake, please contact the Career Center before applying.

Temple Intern Wins Case Competition During His First Internship

College of Science and Technology student, Alankato Cobb Jr., is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in 2021.  This past summer he interned on the medical and scientific affairs team at Novo Nordisk.  Read more to learn about Alankato’s experience…

Alankato after the case competition

What is/was your job function and what does a typical day entail?

I was an intern for the medical and scientific affairs team in the clinical, medical and regulatory department at Novo Nordisk. More specifically in this department, I worked with medical directors on our insulin portfolio. Every day varied. However, for the most part, I attended meetings with different departments in the organization; shadowing different areas. I also attended employee resource groups meetings and worked on several projects throughout the summer. A large project included a clinical experience forum, for which I gathered several health care prescribers that prescribed one of our products, and set up a conference in Nebraska to which I also got to attend and chair. The second biggest project was Novo Nordisk’s Innovation in Action Case Competition. We worked on developing an innovative solution throughout the last ten weeks on an issue facing Novo Nordisk.  There were eight groups of eight interns, and my team placed first.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I am connected to an employee that works at Novo Nordisk. She told me that I should apply for the internship program and I did, and thankfully got in. The interview process was split into two rounds. The first round I met with a hiring team member to answer some questions, over the phone. We were selected from this round into the next, where I then interviewed with my manager and her manager as well to again answer questions. This was done via Skype. The interview process was a little difficult for me since this was my first internship but by the second round, I believe I did pretty well.

How has your internship related to your course work?

So far I have taken science and math classes, and those have helped me to understand the products that Novo Nordisk creates. For instance, when studying up on the insulin products, I was able to understand the chemical knowledge that I was reading up on. Also, I was able to see the insides of an actual pharmaceutical company and how all the components of Novo work. More specifically I worked with physicians on different medical matters within the industry. I have met people with backgrounds I am seeking to pursue and it very much made me even more excited about the classes I am taking and the career path I am pursuing.


What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

During my internship, I have definitely learned how pharma can directly impact the patients for which they create products for. Novo Nordisk was not just a business but an organization that wants to truly help all of their patients through many resources. I also learned the different business paths that physicians can take, and it really broadened my horizon on career paths that I can pursue. Finally, the most important thing I learned was how to contribute and be a team player for group tasks. Many of my projects included group work and it was very eye-opening on the different challenges and benefits of group projects. Seeing and being a part of the processes where groups interconnected to reach a common goal was very cool.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

I believe establishing connections with people can go a long way. I was able to apply and thankfully get this internship at Novo Nordisk because of the connections I had previously. So definitely put yourself out there and try to create networks with different people, not just in your desired field but all over.

Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Instagram : aj.cxx

Complete Your Handshake Profile and Boost Your Employment Chances!

Did you know that you can make your Handshake profile viewable to employers? Many employers are using the platform to reach out directly to Temple students about internships and full-time job opportunities. The more complete your profile, the more likely you are to get the attention of an employer! Temple junior Franky Acosta, a mechanical engineering major, provides a great example of a robust Handshake profile that employers will notice:

Even just adding a profile picture makes an employer 7x more likely to notice your profile. Note that Franky also includes information about his past internships, education, and involvement with student organizations…

Franky has successfully utilized his public profile to land two different internships in his college career. Completing a robust Handshake profile takes less than an hour (most information is automatically pulled into the system when you upload a resume), and can pay significant dividends in your job or internship search!

Interning at the Franklin Institute

Last year, the Career Center visited with three outstanding Temple students who interned at the Franklin Institute. As we enter the spring semester, let’s revisit the advice and experiences that current Temple senior Colleen Byrne (pictured left) shared with us towards the end of her Spring 2018 internship…

What is your Major?

Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

What company did you intern with and what is your position?

I am the Marketing Intern for the Franklin Institute

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job function is to work with and help the Marketing Coordinator with various day to day tasks. No two days are exactly the same, but some of the typical things I do are use Excel to create email analysis document, help design and write copy for various types of marketing emails, do research on marketing best practices and create strategies for how to improve the institute’s current practices, and create marketing email lists.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found this opportunity on Klein Connect, which is Klein College’s career portal. To apply you must fill out an application (very old school) and then email that application and your resume to the email listed. I then had an initial phone interview with the Volunteer Coordinator, and then an in-person interview with the Marketing Coordinator who would become my supervisor.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

This is a tough one because I’ve learned a lot during this experience, but I would say my main takeaway is that hard work does not go unnoticed even when it seems like it might. Being an intern can seem like you’re not valued and you’re just there to do the work no one else wants to do, but someone will be watching you so if you’re working hard doing the mindless tasks that you have to do, it shows that you care and it could lead to working on an actual important project in the future.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Please do not get discouraged by rejections!! So much of the internship application process is simply networking and luck, so do not get down on yourself if you’re not hearing back from places – there’s nothing wrong with you! And going off of that, capitalize on your connections, because knowing someone in a company really helps.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Utilize the resources available to you!! I visit the career center in Klein and go to the different workshops offered all the time and it’s really helpful, and the Career Center is especially helpful for those students whose colleges do not have their own career center.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Yes I do! Both of my handles are @colleenbyrne7

Student Internship Spotlight – Davis Gray, STHM ’19

This past summer, the Career Center met Temple senior Davis Gray to discuss his internship with Visit Philly. Davis shared some valuable insights on how he prepares and customizes his resume during the job/internship application process. Read more to learn about his experience with Visit Philly and his advice for fellow Temple students…

What Company and department are you working with?

I am interning at Visit Philadelphia in the Research Department.

What is your major?

I am a Tourism and Hospitality Management major at the school of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I was forwarded the job listing by Brandon Mayer from the STHM CSPD office and then I applied for it.

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I am a research analyst. My job consists primarily of tracking and analyzing data from paid secondary

sources such as VisaVue, AirDNA, and others which helps our company to forecast trends in visitor spending and behavior. Using these analyses, I can then write summary reports which help inform the larger strategic decisions made within the organization.

How has your internship related to your course work?

I feel that STHM has done an excellent job preparing me for the work I am currently doing. Dr. Wes Roehl’s Strategic Decision-Making class has been especially helpful in the data analysis portion of my job. Additionally, material I learned in Dr. Ben Altschuler’s Global Issues class and Dr. Yang Yang’s Tourism Planning class has benefited me immensely in my current role.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The ability to independently prioritize projects and tasks I need to accomplish, while also being able to alter deadlines based on unforeseen circumstances.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Keep your LinkedIn up-to-date at all times. Also, always have a long-form copy of your resume with every single work experience you have ever completed. Then when applying to jobs, reduce it down one page with only the most relevant experiences.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Networking is key, it’s all about who you know.

As a Tourism and Hospitality Management major, did you ever think you would be working here?

I could definitely picture myself working at Visit Philadelphia but if you told me two years ago that I would be working in the research field I would probably be kind of surprised.

Career Wisdom For Winter Break

by mark kaloko, senior career coach, temple university career center

Hello Temple students,

Congratulations on making it through another semester!  As you get ready to take final exams and rest from your studies, here are some tips from the Career Center on how to maximize your winter break:

  1. Update Your Documents:  If you had an internship or served on a student organization this semester, update your resume and LinkedIn with your achievements.  Employers always want to see what you’ve done recently and it’s best to add those new accomplishments before you forget.  Feel free to setup an appointment with a career coach over break to talk about your resume or LinkedIn profile.
  2. Follow-up with Contacts:  Did you meet any interesting faculty or professionals this semester?  Stay in touch with them over the break to maintain those valuable relationships.  Send them a compelling article or wish them season’s greetings.  Nurturing your professional contacts is a part of growing as a professional.  Make sure to follow-up over break.
  3. Start Searching Early:  Perhaps you are thinking about getting an internship or job for the summer.  No need to wait until the spring semester begins.  Login to Handshake over break and start getting familiar with the job search function.  Favorite some jobs for which you might be interested in applying.  Update your Handshake profile.  The more familiar you become with the Handshake system, the easier it will be to locate opportunities when the time is right.


I hope these tips will give you some ways to stay proactive in your professional development over break.  And, don’t forget the most important tip of all: make sure to rest and spend time with the people you love.  Wishing you a successful close to the semester and wonderful winter break!

Gaining Hands-On Experience at a Small Company

We recently caught up with sophomore, College of Engineering student, Dalton Benard about his internship with Graham Engineering. Read more to learn about Dalton’s electrical engineering experience…

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job at Graham Engineering was to assemble electrical panels which would then be used to control large plastic extruding machines. This job was new, as the panel shop was created about a month or two before I joined. It was very insightful to see how Graham Engineering made processes more efficient and productive. This was one of the major advantages of being at this job when I was, as I got to see a part of the company start up and begin to take shape.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found this position from an employee that worked there previously and recommended me for this internship. The interview process involved two people, including the head of the HR department.

How has your internship related to your coursework?

Through this internship, I gained the base layer knowledge of what my intro classes have been teaching me – seeing how assemblers take the designs of engineers and then assemble these electrical panels for later use in machines. This internship allowed me to see how my job as an engineer will impact the manufacturing side of work.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I learned through this internship was the importance of teamwork.  Working with a small group of very knowledgeable people helped me.  I also realized that I have some knowledge that some of the employees didn’t have. It was a give and take relationship being able to use all of our skills to build and assemble these panels. Another thing I learned is to ask questions. If you don’t know something, definitely speak up. Ask for someone’s help who knows the answer rather than guessing and making a very expensive mistake.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Always put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to start at a small company. My long-term goal is to work for a large tech company, but to establish my reputation I must start out by honing my skills through small companies to help myself gain the attention of larger companies. Also, join many clubs and organizations on campus. You will meet new people to help build your connections and possibly learn of new job opportunities that were unforeseen before you connected with that person.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Join many organizations and attend career fairs to meet new people and to connect with new individuals that can present opportunities for possible jobs and or internships.

Twitter- Dalton_benard                      Instagram- daltonb3399

Leveraging LinkedIn Helped this Student Launch Her Career

The Career Center recently connected with recent Klein School of Media and Communications graduate, Hannah Lea McComsey, about her past internship at Good Morning America in New York, NY. Read on to learn more about the unique way that Hannah landed her internship. Sometimes your personal network can get you farther than you might think…

Hannah McComsey

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I worked for the Field and Series unit of Good Morning America. The Field and Series unit creates all of the pre-produced news packages that will air on Good Morning America in the mornings. My favorite part of this internship is that there was no such thing as a typical day! Some days I was assigned to research stories and people to potentially interview, other days I was actually conducting the interviews that aired on the live show. Each day was something different and I learned how to thrive in that type of environment.


How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

After interning for several news stations in Philadelphia, my next goal was to secure a network internship in New York. I applied to many different shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS. After about a month, I got a phone call from the ABC News Internship Recruiter. After I had an initial phone screening with the recruiter, she passed my information along to the Coordinating Producer at Good Morning America. I had an interview with the Coordinating Producer, and a few weeks later, she called and informed me of my acceptance to the internship program at GMA.


What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

During my time as an intern for Good Morning America, I learned that saying “yes” to anything you are asked to do is the key to success. Sometimes, a task may seem tedious or boring, but once people at your internship see that you are willing to help in any capacity, they will ask you to do more and more things! I started out by logging interviews for producers. Although this was not the most exciting task, I said yes every time and made sure to do the job as best I could. Then, after a while, the producers started to ask me to go out in the city and do actual interviews to air on GMA. Saying yes and working hard really pays off, I would recommend that to everyone who is starting a new internship.


What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

I would tell other students who are looking for internships to apply everywhere and be very persistent! I applied for the internship with Good Morning America two times before actually getting an interview. By being persistent and keeping in touch with the ABC Internship Recruiter, I made sure that she knew I was serious about this position. Then, when the internship for the spring semester came up, she told me I was the first on her list to interview because I kept in touch with her.


Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

Karen Demmler, one of the Career Center coaches, helped me immensely! Karen helped me revamp my LinkedIn profile so that potential employers could see my work and identify exactly what my goals were. LinkedIn notifies me when people look at my profile, and after Karen helped me, I noticed I was getting more views from potential employers.


Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Temple has taught me to not see rejection or failure as a bad thing, but to see rejection as an opportunity to learn and go forward stronger than ever. When I did not get the internship at Good Morning America the first time, I made sure to work on my storytelling skills so that the next time I applied, I would be ready. It paid off!


Instagram: hannah_mccomsey

Twitter: @hannah_mccomsey


10 Owls Spent the Summer in Rewarding Retail Internships

This summer, Career Center staff visited 13 Temple students interning at Burlington Stores. Burlington’s 10-week summer internship program employs students for 40 hours per week, allowing them to accumulate lots of valuable experience.  During our visit, the students explained how they developed their time management, organization, communication and analytical problem-solving skills through the internship experience. Many of the students particularly enjoyed the opportunity to shadow various departments during their experience. The Career Center interviewed senior, Media Studies and Production major, Jordyn Fisher-Robinson while we were there. Read on to learn more about her experience, and keep an eye out for opportunities similar to the Burlington Stores internship program in Handshake

Temple Owls in front of the Burlington Store logo

What department are you working with?

Buying – Ladies Athletic Shoes

What was the interview process like?

The College Recruiters from Burlington were very responsive and great to work with! I had a phone interview, then an in-person interview with 4 people in the office, and I actually work under one of the buyers that interviewed me! The questions were focused on my experience and what I knew about the off-price industry. Coming from a major with no relation to buying was interesting, but I wanted to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry. I learned through this experience that I really love buying as well!

Jordyn Fisher-Robinson – KLEIN 18′

What is your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I work with an assistant buyer in completing daily tasks such as going over the style report to see what our best sellers were, looking at shipping to know what was appointed for the month, and writing purchase orders for companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, U.S. Polo, and Sketchers. I also traveled “in  market” twice a week (Wednesday and Thursday) in New York to meet with said vendors. I made sure my style report was printed and highlighted so I knew which styles were our best and worst sellers for the vendor meetings. Next, we did a lot of comp shopping. A big part of being a buyer is looking at your competition and making sure your prices are better. Burlington prices itself on its value, so we make sure our customer gets the best deal.

How has your internship related to your coursework?

Currently, I do not go to school for buying so everything I learned was completely new. I worked in retail for 3 years at Charming Charlie as a manager so I wanted to get into anything fashion so I could get my foot in the door.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

Try your best to maintain a work/life balance, this summer I worked three jobs and being in buying can definitely be overwhelming sometimes. But know your priorities and get done what you can! It can definitely be done.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Keep trying! I applied to 10 jobs before I got this one. It can be hard and you may shed a few tears but it’s all worth it when you get the job!

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Networking and connecting with people is so important. I’ve met so many people in important roles, but as long as you stay humble and are yourself everything will work out.




Alumni Spotlight: Damara Donovan at GSK

Temple alum Damara Donovan (Class of 2018) recently began her career at GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. With a large campus located in the Navy Yard, GSK hires many Temple students and alumni of all majors for full-time jobs and internships. Damara shared with us a little more background about how Temple prepared her for life at GSK, why she enjoys working there, and some advice for current Temple students…

When did you graduate?

I graduated May 2018.

What was your Major?

I studied HR and Strategic Communications in Organizational Leadership

Did you have any internship experience prior to graduation?

I knew I wanted to work in the human resources field, so I aimed to find internships in that industry, but was open-minded to other related fields. As a result, I completed three internships prior to graduation. As a sophomore, I interned at The American Red Cross working alongside the senior HR manager. After that internship was completed, I switched gears to work in Strategic Marketing at a local firm in my hometown. I gained even more cross functional skills in marketing that could easily be used in the HR field. The summer before my senior year, I began interning at AmerisourceBergen Corporation in an HR rotational program until I graduated.

What is your current job function at GSK?

I am currently in GSK’s Future Leaders Program (FLP). It is a three-year HR rotational program for recent college graduates that aims to develop early talent to become successful business leaders within GSK.  I am currently on my first rotation and I help support GSK’s Global HR Functions.

What does a typical day entail?

GSK is a global company, so I find myself working with people from around the world! As soon as I started at GSK I was placed in challenging multifaceted HR projects. A typical day may entail collaborative meetings with colleagues in the UK or working closely with my team to complete a project. At GSK I am treated as an equal and I am always encouraged to speak up and share my ideas, which allows me to learn more about the business and gain a broader perspective of HR at GSK. Regardless of the task I am working on, I feel fully supported by my colleagues and know that if I have any questions, someone is always willing to answer them!

How did you find out about this opportunity? (Online, referral, through your school/college, etc.)

I was a member of Temple University’s SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) chapter and received an email about a post-graduate HR opportunity at GSK. I was immediately interested and attended the session where I met recruiters and learned more about the business.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your job search and interview process? 

Check your email every day! I know most students aren’t checking their university email, but they should. If I hadn’t checked my email that day, I would have missed the reminder about a possible job opportunity with GSK from SHRM and missed out on working at such an amazing company! While you are job searching and applying to jobs, always make sure you are checking both your school and personal email for recruiters reaching out to you. I regularly received emails from various student groups and even my professors about possible jobs. Another piece of advice would be to have a good internet presence. Google yourself and determine if what pops up is positive or negative. Most of my internships and work-related endeavors started from a recruiter messaging me on LinkedIn and personally inviting me to apply to a job position.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search? 

I would advise current students to do three main things: build a solid network, gain experience, and participate in student professional organizations at school. Building a solid network requires more than just adding someone on LinkedIn. It involves setting up meetings with the person you want to connect with and conducting your own interviews to learn about their specific role or gaining industry insight about your chosen profession. If you find it daunting connecting with professionals, your student professional organization can help with that! In SHRM, I was able to attend panel sessions where I met recruiters from various businesses and network with future employers. Professional groups at school also offer opportunities to join competitions and projects within your chosen field and gain experience to build your resume, which allows you to be a competitive candidate when applying to jobs. Gaining experience through interning or student organizations helps you stand out as a candidate and lands you interviews. During the interview process at GSK, I was able to talk about projects I completed from various internships and student groups I was a part of. From there I showcased skills I developed and how it would enable me to be a great fit for the role I was applying for. I truly believe building a solid network, gaining experience, and participating in student professional organizations at school aid students in their job search and help them land jobs!

What do you enjoy most about working at GSK?

I absolutely love GSK’s culture! We have a collaborative environment, emphasized by what we call, a SMART workplace office. All our offices have an open floorplan which encourages greater transparency and teamwork, which enables a new collaborative, responsive and fast-moving culture. I can sit anywhere I like because there are no cubicles and network with anyone in GSK no matter what department they are in, even high-level seniors within the company! The sense of community at GSK is something I’ve never experienced anywhere else and it makes me enjoy coming into work every day!

What can you tell students about GSK that they likely don’t know from checking out the Careers page?

While I was researching GSK before applying to the company, the Careers page showed me that I would be challenged in my field and work with some of the best minds in the industry. That led me to believe that GSK one of the global leaders in the industry, and as a result, I thought it would be a typical corporate office with a strict professional atmosphere. However, working at the company has shown me the complete opposite. Everyone here is so supportive and friendly and dedicated to their work. I quickly formed great relationships with my colleagues, not just in the US but around the world while gaining a better appreciation for HR and the work we do at GSK.