Daniel Zhao

The Yale College Council, Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19 and the Elm City Innovation Collaborative have been informally collaborating on projects to encourage more Yalies to work in New Haven over the summer and post-graduation.

The group, which consists of YCC’s Finance Director Kahlil Greene ’21, Catalbasoglu, and ECIC Director Michael Harris, will give Yalies more centralized and formal information about job opportunities the Elm City. It plans to create a database with summer job opportunities in the city, write a handbook helping students navigate New Haven outside of Yale and plan a career fair with just New Haven businesses and organizations, according to Greene.

So far, the group has met with Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Hannah Peck and Director of the Office of Career Strategy Jeanine Dames about their three main project ideas.

“Our priorities are to publicize opportunities in New Haven, encourage Yalies to take up those opportunities and then encourage networks to form where they just keep growing and people pass down information,” Greene said.

YCC has already started putting together a centralized database of opportunities for students in New Haven under the purview of the new Yale-New Haven Task Force. According to its director Sammy Landino ’21, the task force, with help from Catalbasoglu, is doing the research required to fill the spreadsheet with meaningful internships and jobs. The database is a way to clear some of the hurdles that prevent Yalies from finding meaningful employment opportunities in New Haven, such as the lack of readily available information about jobs in the area, according to Landino.

Once the database is close to completion, Greene said that he wants the Office of Career Strategy to formally advertise it on its website so that students can access the information in the same place where they search for other jobs.

“We are trying to provide that continuity so that New Haven groups can define their own needs, not have us come in and steamroll over them and tell them what we think they need, and then, give them the skills, through Yalies, to help actualize their goals,” Landino said.

Catalbasoglu said that the group’s second goal — creating a handbook — would address topics like housing, transportation and cultural events in the Elm City and cover everything Yalies need to know about New Haven. He added that it will also be a collaborative effort between the group and the Office of Career Strategy. According to Greene, the group hopes to finish creating both the handbook and the jobs database by the end of spring break.

Still, Yale students might have to wait a bit longer for the New Haven career fair, since many students have already found internships for the upcoming summer, Greene said. He added that he is aiming to host the event in fall 2019 for students looking for internships for the summer of 2020.

“It helps both Yale and the city,” Catalbasoglu said. “When New Haven succeeds, Yale succeeds. I think a strong town-gown relationship is critical for the success of both entities, but I want to qualify that by saying we have to do it the right way.”

This informal collaboration comes at a time when YCC and Catalbasoglu are seeking to expand Yale students’ general access to and involvement in New Haven. Last week, YCC announced the New Haven Interns program in partnership with Dwight Hall. Earlier this month, the Council also entered into a formal partnership with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Catalbasoglu, meanwhile, has been encouraging students to serve on municipal boards and commissions.

YCC was established in 1972.

Jose Davila IV | jose.davilaiv@yale.edu