*adapted from CSVC’s October Quarterly Newsletter In Depth piece
Today’s college students are redefining career success. Increasingly, they seek opportunities aligned with personal passions and the ability to make a positive impact on the world. Broadly, this area of interest in doing well by doing good has come to be known as the “Impact” sector. Given this considerable shift in interest, universities are beginning to broaden career programming and services to empower students to pursue such goals.
The challenge however, is that many universities are trying to meet a contemporary need with a set of outdated beliefs. When we think “impact”, we generally think nonprofit; but in reality impact jobs exist across a variety of sectors, organizational structures, and often hybridized business structures. Another common assumption is that the impact sector is truly its own distinct space, when in reality it permeates all sectors. For instance, Calvert Investments and TOMS Shoes both empower underserved communities, but one is a financial services firm and the other is an apparel company. Both blend impact practices and language with the praxis and language of their respective, functional industries.
In these ways, the impact sector is truly a unique space and requires a different approach to job search preparation and planning. As such, we must look between and beyond traditional methods to get our students on track for impact careers.
Having the right skills, knowledge, and competency is essential, but it’s also only one piece in the impact careers puzzle. Students also need to know where to find, and how to identify, impact organizations that align with their specific career goals. Once identified, students must effectively market themselves and their experiences. Making this effort more challenging is the fact that many impact organizations utilize their tight-knit networks to promote new job opportunities. Therefore, unless an outside job seeker is paying very close attention, such opportunities easily go unnoticed.
In partnership with More Than Money Careers, the Smith Office of Career Services and both MBA and Undergraduate Smith Net Impact chapters, CSVC hosts an impact careers workshop for students at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. This workshop helps students better define what they are looking for (a critical and often overlooked step), and leverage online resources to target and connect with impact organizations, as well as engage specific impact individuals within the space. During our workshop this fall, Dr. Mrim Boutla, co-founder of More Than Money Careers, will lead the workshop and then provide focused group coaching to workshop participants. Participants of the workshop will also receive one month of free 24/7 access to the More than Money Careers e-learning platform.
Our next workshop is December 5th from 10am-2pm. Learn more about our Impact Careers Workshop and RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org