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Nonprofit Career Fair offers BU students social impact opportunities

Thirty-four nonprofits set up tables at the BU nonprofit career fair on April 6. (Photo by Lincoln Son Currie/BU News Service)

By Lincoln Son Currie

Boston University News Service

Thirty-four nonprofit organizations attended Boston University’s Nonprofit Career Fair on April 6 at the BU Center for Career Development (CCD).

CCD Manager of Internship Programs Noelle O’Brien said all BU career fairs share three goals: career exploration, connecting with employers currently hiring and professional development practice in networking. However, O’Brien said the mission of BU’s nonprofit career fairs distinguishes it from other BU career fairs.

“The main difference is that the nonprofit community focuses specifically on social impact work,” O’Brien said. “That kind of focus isn’t always the focus of the university-wide career fairs.”

Alzheimer’s Association Associate Director of Talent Acquisition Laura DiTullio said BU alerted her organization about the event on Handshake. DiTullio said the Waltham office of the Alzheimer’s Association has plenty of college graduates working there. However, she said she preferred for candidates to intern with her organization first before making a full-time offer.

“Our goal is to get interns in even before they graduate,” she said.

Internships were a priority for many BU students who attended the career fair. Questrom MBA student Jesse Drury said he likes nonprofits and was looking for internships.

“I’m a social impact MBA, and so this is my jam,” Drury said. 

With so many job postings and candidates applying for positions, online job searches can be challenging. Drury said searching for an internship or job online is harder than in-person networking.

“When I come here and I talk to people, everybody loves me,” Drury said. “But I can’t seem to get an interview online.”

Questrom MBA student Jesse Drury (right) shared a laugh with a recruiter. (Photo by Lincoln Son Currie/BU News Service)

Some people who tabled for an organization at the nonprofit career fair were recent BU graduates, including Laura Tsang, a Massachusetts Promise Fellowship fellow, who graduated in 2021. 

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is an Americorps program that seeks to lead extracurricular programming for grades 6-12. The programming focuses on “mentoring, academic enrichment, and college and career exploration,” according to the organization’s promotional materials.

Kalena Wang is also a Massachusetts Promise Fellowship fellow who said her organization helps the young people who work for the program. The fellowship offers a living stipend, health insurance benefits and free classes at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. 

“It’s a beneficial program for people early in their careers,” Wang said. 

O’Brien mentioned the Yawkey program — which offers a stipend for students interning at nonprofit organizations — as a factor that affected which nonprofits were asked to participate. 

“We specifically are looking for employers who are not only interested in our students but also potentially interested in students who can get funding for their internship,” O’Brien said.

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