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Career Planning & Strategies Course (BA 297A) and Wall Street Boot Camp

Information on BA 297A: Career Planning & Strategies and Wall Street Boot Camp at Smeal

BA 297A: 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 Associate 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:

  • Career Fair preparation, including a Mock Career Fair
  • Behavioral Based Interview skills with practice from a Corporate Associate recruiter
  • Dress for Success Fashion Show with an opportunity to win professional clothing from Kohl's
  • Learn how to use Social Media to network and practice networking with Corporate Associate recruiters and Smeal Alumni
  • Dining Etiquette which includes a 4 course meal at the Nittany Lion Inn
  • Negotiating a job offer

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

Quotes from students

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
  • 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 Fall 2015 Wall Street Boot Camp is now open. Applications must be submitted by April 3, 2015. Only freshman, sophomores and juniors are eligible. To apply, please visit this page.
  • Important: to be considered, all resumes should be one page and names 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.
  • For information about getting into Wall Street Boot Camp, attend the Information Session on Tuesday, March 3 in 217 Business Building starting at 5:30pm. RSVP is required to
  • All applicants will be notified before the beginning of the fall semester.
  • Questions: Contact Cindi Satterfield at or Robin Stevens at or stop by room 209 in the Business Building.


Quotes from students

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Fall '14 Drawing Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated by reporting your internships and co-ops! The winners of the $50 gift cards for the Fall 2014 drawing are:

  • Guilherme Coulibaly
  • Junyeong Lee
  • Seth Yellin

The next drawing will occur on May 29th, 2015! Report Your Internship and you will be automatically entered into the drawing!