While a Wednesday freshman recruiting session by Goldman Sachs at Undergraduate Career Services attracted 40 students, a similar Peace Corps panel addressed to all Yalies only drew a crowd of 15.
To raise interest in the field of social justice among students, community service organizations have begun using Dwight Hall as a clearinghouse for posting information about recruitment activities. The social justice network has begun advertising internship and job opportunities both to present options for community service work over the summer and to launch students into long-term careers, Dwight Hall Public Relations Coordinator Justin Ash ’07 said.
Ash, a former Production and Design Editor for the News, said social justice opportunities for Yalies have not only increased in numbers in recent years, but have also become more multi-dimensional in nature. As an example, he cited an information technology job recently posted by Boston-based GreenLight fund, a nonprofit community service consulting firm.
“It’s something where someone can parlay one interest, technology, into community service,” Ash said. “It’s a nice synergy of work a student finds intellectually interesting while also doing community service.”
In order to meet rising student demand, Dwight Hall has recently begun posting career opportunities in a new “Classifieds” section of their redesigned Web site, which Dwight Hall Program Director Johnny Scafidi ’01 said he hopes will attract the attention of Dwight Hall alumni. He said the positions and opportunities — which are also advertised in the organization’s “D-Holla” newsletter and on news racks outside the Dwight Hall library — aim to complement the offerings of Undergraduate Career Services.
“I think that UCS does a great job with certain of the offerings, but it’s just the nature of the beast that community service organizations don’t gravitate toward UCS in the way that the financial sector might,” Ash said.
Dwight Hall’s recent drive to inform students about nonprofit internships and jobs coincides with a recent drive by the University to find opportunities for students seeking an alternative to Wall Street, UCS Director Philip Jones said. In 2000, UCS organized its first career fair focused exclusively on nonprofit opportunities, an event that continues to grow in popularity.
“There was a misperception that the nonprofit sector was not very popular among our students,” Jones said in an e-mail.
Jones estimated that 30 percent of each year’s graduating class enters careers with nonprofits. Education, he said, has historically been the largest single field entered, and UCS expects around 400 of this year’s seniors to pursue nonprofit careers. Jones said he hopes Dwight Hall and UCS can work together to keep students informed about non-profit opportunities.
“It’s a pretty dynamic and organic communication link,” he said. “We hope to solicit more of those types of opportunities so we can post them with the idea that users of Dwight Hall … let us know about opportunities they might know of.”
But Jones also said the non-profit sector remains a “hidden job market” for many students, as formal, on-campus recruiting and advertising is rare among most nonprofits due to their tight budgets.
“Not least, it is an expensive way of sourcing new talent,” he said. “Many people are approaching these organizations directly, on a daily basis, so on-campus recruiting is rarely the preferred method for this sector of the economy.”