The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Non-Profit Career Fair to be held tonight

K. Aaron Van Oosterhout | Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Career Center, in collaboration with four other campus organizations, will host the first annual Non-Profit Career Fair tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. in Stepan Center. The fair, presented in a more formal, one-on-one setting than other past career fairs, is designed to highlight internship and job opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.Anita Rees, associate director of the Career Center, invited representatives from many local, national and international non-profit organizations to attend. There will be approximately 27 organizations that will participate and lobby both potential interns and full-time employees, she said. In addition, 10 other organizations will post drop boxes to collect résumés from interested students.Among the participants, many rank within the Nonprofit Times’ largest 100 non-profit organizations in the nation, including the second-ranked American Red Cross and the seventh-ranked Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Others include the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, Church World Service, Tax Assistance Program and Indiana Legal Services, Rees said.Tonight’s fair will offer a wide variety of jobs, ranging from athletic director at the Boys and Girls Clubs to a public policy internship at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.Unlike January’s career fair, the organizations will not be hosting specialized information sessions before or after the event. “These [representatives] are overloaded; they wear multiple hats within their organizations, and therefore do not have ample time to give the sessions,” said Rees. “They do not have the staff to take up the slack that other for-profit companies have.”Also, attendees should be prepared to meet and socialize more with representatives tonight than in January, said Rees. In the non-profit sector, employers, working with a typically more limited budget, make an extra effort to meet and get to know potential employees “because they cannot afford to make a mistake in hiring someone” she said. “It’s very important to come and meet employers at this fair, one-on-one, to make the connection,” said Rees.This fair is the brainchild of Rees, who through her position on the advisory board of idealist.org, a Web site for the non-profit “network” Action without Borders, has met with other like-minded administrators.”There is a whole crew of colleges and universities that have non-profit career fairs,” said Rees. The extensive list includes Brown University, Harvard, William and Mary and University of Pennsylvania. “How many [students] show up is going to tell me something: is this something Notre Dame students want to have?” she questioned.As students may have noticed, however, non-profit organizations have always attended previous career fairs, and at some fairs, have constituted one third of all businesses present. Rees decided to devote an entire fair to non-profit organizations because “our office and other offices around campus are trying to liaison better between non-profits and our students.””We felt there was a great interest in this kind of a fair from the students that we work with,” Rees said.She added that 10.9 million people in the United States alone work for the non-profit sector, or one of every 12 citizens, making it a very viable option for future employment.Also, many otherwise-interested non-profit organizations are unable to attend the January fair due to time and staff constraints, and Rees has tried to amend the problem by hosting tonight’s fair much later in the spring.”They’ve always been here; we’ve just never had a career fair to serve those people,” said Kimberly Brennan, administrator at Mendoza’s Master of Science in Administration program, of interested students.The other four organizations that join the Career Center in sponsorship include the MSA program at Mendoza College of Business, Law School Career Services, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Center for Social Concerns.