Career Services Non-Profit Program
To what extent do our career offices provide opportunities for public and nonprofit career choices? The University of Vermont (UVM), building on a long tradition of community and public service, has created a new and innovative program to encourage students and alumni interested in exploring and attaining government and non-profit careers.
UVM Career Services “”Non-Profit Program”” began in 1997 with outreach as its first goal. Utilizing publications, PSAs, group gatherings and broadcast emails, we announced the program to students, faculty, alumni and parents. Key organizations such as the Senior Class Council and the groups associated with Volunteers in Action were visited and asked to help shape the program. Local nonprofits were canvassed for ideas and input, and information was catalogued in the career library.
As a result, it became clear that encouraging student interest in nonprofit career areas could not be done in a student s final semesters on campus. Instead a comprehensive program including volunteer, service-learning, internships, fellowships and full time employment support was required. Luckily, UVM s Community Service and Service-Learning Internship coordinators had well-developed programs and a history of collaboration with each other and across the campus. As a result, this year we have catalogued hundreds of full time job openings, in excess of 1000 internships, more than 100 Work-Study community service positions, nearly 300 short-term service opportunities. In addition, there have been monthly workshops attracting hundreds of students, in-class presentations to hundreds more, and one-to-one consultations serving well over 1000 students per year.
As major events are key to building awareness, the Non-Profit program has sponsored “”For Purpose, Not for Profit,”” a daylong event featuring volunteer, internship, and employment options. This event attracted 500 students and drew media coverage from network affiliates and praise from community leaders. In addition, we have hosted Fellowship Day, which highlights over 50 nonprofit organizations offering one and two year employment opportunities to students; and AmeriCorps Day, providing information to students and training to staff about identifying and applying for AmeriCorps/VISTA options. In addition, we co-sponsored the regional Student Activism Conference, where students and community members discuss the importance of engagement and advocacy, and the Senior Women s Transition dinner, which brings together graduating students and alumnae who have transitioned into successful careers.
While many students participate in our events, workshops and individual appointments, still others prefer to take advantage of our hundreds of web-based resources (e.g. postings of volunteer opportunities, internships, Work-Study openings, and full-time jobs, or our extensive collection of printed reference materials and fellowship options. Career Services staff members, led by the Assistant Director for Non-profit Careers, the Service-Learning Internship Coordinator, and our own AmeriCorps/VISTA member, collaborate across campus to raise the profile on jobs related to the public good.
President: JUDITH RAMALEY
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