UCS, Dwight Hall build on their collaboration

Dwight Hall
Photo by Samantha Gardner.

After Undergraduate Career Services opened its satellite office in Dwight Hall last month, the two organizations have decided to join forces to bring a broad range of career-related services closer to students.

The week before spring break saw the opening of UCS’s Friday afternoon office hours in Dwight Hall. Now, in a continuation of that partnership — which began with an alumni career panel that the groups co-sponsored last year — the two campus organizations are considering means of future collaboration to benefit students interested in public service and nonprofit careers. UCS is currently holding regular hours in the Dwight Hall library two days a week, and the groups will also partner to hold a career fair on April 11.

Robyn Acampora, UCS associate director of employment programs and counselor for the nonprofit and public service fields, said UCS’s involvement with Dwight Hall this semester is hopefully “just the beginning” of something that will continue to grow.

“I see this as a launching point for a number of initiatives to serve students who are committed to public service — both through the communities they currently serve and the career paths they are seeking to enter,” she said.

UCS and Dwight Hall administrators began brainstorming ways to increase communication with students about nonprofit career opportunities several months ago, and Dwight Hall Interim Executive Director Jeannette Archer-Simons said the discussion expanded into the establishment of UCS office hours in Dwight Hall because of the building’s central campus location and student interest in broader service offerings at Dwight Hall.

According to Archer-Simons, there has been a “steady stream of students” to the UCS satellite hours in Dwight Hall so far. Additionally, Dwight Hall and UCS are sharing internship and career opportunities on each other’s websites.

“It is a natural partnership,” she said. “It offers UCS a space to reach more students, and Dwight Hall students can connect to career opportunities.”

Dwight Hall Co-Coordinator Leah Sarna ’14 said some students may think of UCS as a resource for students who are only interested in careers on Wall Street — a misconception that the partnership with Dwight Hall may change. Lately, UCS has been expanding its reach in other realms as well in order to ramp up its presence on campus. In addition to the Dwight Hall partnership, UCS has begun holding satellite office hours in the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, which officially opened in February.

In an effort to encourage students to pursue nonprofit and public service internships and jobs, UCS started offering a travel reimbursement this year for students who need to attend in-person interviews for public sector jobs and internships in Washington, D.C. UCS Director Jeanine Dames said the number of students who traveled to D.C. this year for interviews has more than doubled from last year, when the reimbursement option was not offered.

“We certainly see more students coming to talk to us about public service [than before],” Dames said.

Though statistics on student interest are unavailable for the current year, a Yale College study of postgraduation activities found that one year after graduation, 8 percent of the class of 2010 worked in government or public service, compared to 6 percent of the class of 2008.

As the term is approaching its end, Dames said UCS will likely not launch any major events for the rest of the semester but is planning programs for the fall. UCS’s current level of involvement with Dwight Hall, she said, is “the tip of the iceberg.”

Beginning on April 5, UCS will also start a partnership with Yale Printing and Publishing Services: From 2 to 4 p.m. on Fridays, a representative from YPPS will be present at the UCS satellite hours in the Dwight Hall library to take student orders for free resume printing services, as well as discounted business card printing.

The April 11 event co-sponsored by Dwight Hall and UCS — titled “Impact and Service at Home and Abroad” — will invite recruiters and alumni from organizations such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, Teach for America and Public Allies.

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