Deconstructing Penn Pathways is an interactive data project conducted by The Signal, in partnership with Career Services, that links what students did each summer to their pursuits post-grad. Our purpose is to alleviate confusion around choosing a “perfect internship” and expose students to a diverse set of possible journeys to take here at Penn. The sample includes 2231 students in the Class of 2017 surveyed by Career Services, with 553 from the Wharton School, 340 from the Engineering School, 129 from the Nursing School, and 1317 from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Freshman Summer
Sophomore Summer
Junior Summer
The statistics below apply only to the students who filled out this survey and may not accurately reflect the College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate class as a whole.
  • With the diversity of interests and fields that the College provides, students commonly pursue a variety of internship and job opportunities both while at Penn and post-graduation.
  • 21% of seniors sought to continue their education post graduation instead of pursuing an immediate full-time job.
  • 10% of students sought to enter careers in financial services while another 10% entered consulting full-time.
  • The “Other” category includes people who did not fill out the survey for that year as well as categories that were not among the top 7 most popular during that year (these excluded categories include legal services, manufacturing, traveling, transportation, design, insurance, energy/natural resources/utilities, accounting, hospitality, classes, independent research, real estate/construction, and study abroad).


Data was collected by Career Services in their annual survey and analyzed and visualized using R and Categories were defined by academic advisors from each school. The Signal did not alter any category, except for detailing the type of “Healthcare” for the Nursing School as opposed to keeping it general for other schools for better data visualization. In addition, we created an “Other” category that includes people who did not complete the survey for that year and categories with an insignificant number of students pursuing them. The statistics below apply only to students in this survey and may not accurately reflect the Penn undergraduate class as a whole.

How to Interpret Visualizations:

Each bar is a category and its height represents its popularity among students that year. By hovering over the bar in this example, readers can determine that 64 students interned in Technology that year. Students came from two different categories the year prior and went into three different categories the year after. By hovering over the linked path, readers can see the number of students that pursued A (labeled as “Target”) after pursuing B (labeled as “Source”) the previous year.

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ⓒ 2018 The Signal Team.


Laura Gao

Hoyt Gong

Olivia O'Dwyer

Sophia Ye

Design and Development

Laura Gao

Qi Linzhi

Halil Can Memoglu