Idealist Nonprofit Career Fairs Coming to a City Near You

picture-91The 2009 season of Nonprofit Career Fairs launches next Tuesday in Boston.

Looking for a job? An internship, full-time service opportunity, or part-time volunteer gig?

Check out this spring’s Nonprofit Career Fairs taking place in cities across the United States:

  • Boston, Feb. 24
  • Washington, Feb. 27 at the PowerShift 09 Conference
  • Philadelphia, Mar. 26
  • Los Angeles, Apr. 6
  • Cleveland, Apr. 8
  • Minneapolis, Apr. 14
  • Chicago, May 19

In addition to the nonprofit organization representatives (and even some grad school admissions staff) that you’ll meet, you can participate in workshops that run concurrently with the event. Workshops usually touch on topics of career transitions into the nonprofit sector.

At next week’s events in Boston and Washington, DC, I’ll be offering workshops on questions to ask if you’re considering full-time national or international service.

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Pres. Obama and Government Careers

images-4With record numbers of first-time voters and young people backing Obama’s presidency, perhaps a new generation of government workers will not be so hard to recruit after all.

With Baby Boomers retiring in droves over the next decade, fears have been widespread in public and nonprofit sectors that the United States will face a leadership shortage.

Not enough young people have shown an interest in government careers, and in-roads to government careers are not well known. Government has a reputation of being inefficient, less lucrative than business sector work, and very, very bureaucratic. People cite student loans that are just too high, and the need for better marketing of the compelling opportunities available in the government.

“This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program – this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.”– U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama during a speech given at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs July 2, 2008.

John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of youth to serve through initiatives like Peace Corps. Will a new generation of people — young people and people who are recently discovering civic engagement — be inspired to join the ranks of an Obama-led federal government? What do you think?

If you are considering a career in government — whether you supported McCain or Obama during this election cycle — you should know about these resources:

President-Elect Obama has been particularly clear that his administration will count on the help of people who have supported his candidacy and on those who didn’t. Young people may accept this invitation by entering the government workforce. If they do so with the enthusiasm and turn-out they have shown in his election bid, the looming leadership crisis may fail to materialize.

Emerging Leaders Fellowship in NYC

Young public service professionals in New York can experience the support of a cohort without joining a service corps

The Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU offers the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service to non-students for the past several years that provides career and moral support, professional development, and camaraderie to nonprofit professionals who are in the first years of their career.

So the bad news is, the deadline to apply for next year was Oct. 17. Sorry I didn’t post about this sooner! The good news is, it exists! And Wagner — which has been both a grad fair host for Idealist and a career fair sponsor — has some other can’t-pass-up fellowships that I’ll link to at the end of this post.

Here is some information about FELPS from the web site for next year:

FELPS is one of the first organized programs that actively guides and engages emerging leaders in a process that encourages self-directed career development. This process encourages Fellows to explicitly answer the question “Why public service?” while simultaneously presenting them with the exciting and challenging options that a modern-day public service career offers. Through this Fellowship, NYU Wagner is extending its commitment to educating the next generation of public service leaders.

Fellows will be brought together for a series of twice-a-month workshops in the evening, during lunch time, and over breakfast with an opportunity to:

  • Discuss public service issues and career challenges with experts in the public service field;
    Gain a clear assessment of their own assets, knowledge base and skill set;
  • Build a network of peers and mentors who can offer insight and guidance on career development; and
  • Develop a career plan based on personal assessments and professional goals.

For those of you who are interested in Wagner as an educational destination, know about these opportunities: Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship offers a $50,000 scholarship for 23 in-coming full-time students at NYU’s graduate schools.

The David Bohnett Scholarship offers full tuition for MPA and MUP candidates who have expressed interest in working in municipal government to solve pressing social issues. Many more named scholarships and fellowships are on Wagner’s site.

Listen to this podcast show featuring Wagner’s career guru David Schachter.

Read more about grad school and financing your education on Idealist’s Public Service Graduate Education Resource Center.

This week our graduate admissions fairs are in the Midwest—St. Louis tomorrow night! Then next week the South! Durham (Oct. 27), New Orleans (Oct. 30) and Atlanta (Nov. 3).