While many Josef Korbel School students were getting some much needed rest and relaxation over spring break, other were networking and learning about different career opportunities in New York City.
"Many of the organizations that I have heard or and been interested in are based in New York," first-year International Development student Stephanie Roberts said. "I wanted the chance to get a better understanding of what work would be like with them and what they look for in applicants."
About 20 students spent March 14-16 in the city visiting government agencies, think tanks and non-governmental organizations. They visited 15 sites in total, including the United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, Freedom House and Human Rights Watch, among others.
"I really enjoyed International Women's Health Coalition," Roberts said. "I had heard of the work that they did before, but getting to visit them was great, and hearing more details about how they work as an organization was really helpful."
Organized by the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD), Melissa Martin, Associate Director for Internship Programs, said that the career connection trip helps students sharpen their focus on their career options.
"If they had the idea to work at the UN, exposure to a UN office is critical so they can determine if this is a fit for them, or at what point in their careers it might be a fit," Martin said.
Mira Morton Luna, the Associate Director of Employer and Career Development, said that an organization may be a fit for some people and not for others. She added that this trip allows students to find out early if they really want to work for the employer that is currently in their sight.
"An organization may not be what they expected," Morton Luna said. "It may be frustrating but it's a tremendous benefit of the trip. An important part of the job search is figuring out what fits you."
The students paid a $120 administration fee for the trip in addition to all transportation and lodging costs. Many considered it a small price to pay for the benefits the trip provided.
"It was great to get a sense of the city and have a chance to talk with organizations that interest me and find new ones," Roberts said. "One of the most beneficial parts was the alumni happy hour, as I made some great connections with an organization that I could realistically apply to right out of grad school."
In addition to the Spring trip to NYC, the OCPD provides an opportunity for students to network in Washington, D.C. during the winter break as well and is currently exploring opportunities to offer a trip to Geneva, Switzerland.
-M. Schwinn, MA candidate in International Security
Josef Korbel School of International Studies