Public service career fair attracts caring students

The annual Careers for the Common Good Fair was held on Feb. 15, 2017 in the Student Union Ballroom. Organizations from charities to summer camps, graduate programs and teaching opportunities attended the fair. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

The annual Careers for the Common Good Fair, held yesterday, attracted students from a wide variety of majors, backgrounds and career paths dedicated to public service.

“We had about 80 organizations attending this year,” graduate assistant for Careers for the Common Good Emily Daher said. “Students come to find internships, full time employment and everything in between. Both undergraduate students and graduate students visit the fair.”

About 300 usually students attend this career fair, but Daher said she was hoping for about 400 students this year.

“Students stop by who are looking for employment that has a greater social impact,” Daher said. “They are looking for public service opportunities.”

While some students attend both career fairs held on campus, some students hold out for this one in particular, Daher said.

The booths overfilled the Student Union Ballroom and overflowed into room 304.

Organizations from charities, to summer camps, to graduate programs, to teaching opportunities attended the fair hoping to meet students eager to serve the public for the common good.

For example, representatives from Goodwill had a table at the fair hoping to recruit students interested in helping those with disabilities.

“We tabled at this event last year and found it successful,” Career Center coordinator Erica Begin said. “We hired a UConn student last year who is still working with us.”

Goodwill has 10 career centers throughout the state, the closest one being in Hartford. Anyone of working age is invited to visit the center for free career counseling, Begin said.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch also tabled at the event, looking for students interested in internships related to the judicial system.

Sixth-semester human development and family studies major Afsha Lakdawala interned with the judicial branch in a past semester and was interested in promoting the program to other students.

“The program is a great way to get your foot in the door,” Lakdawala said. “It provides a crucial foundation to the judicial system. I interned within the family courts. It was amazing; I loved the experience.”

The YMCA program also had two tables at the event, searching for students from “all walks of life.”

“We want students that are interested in changing the life of a child in the course of a summer,” Kelly Welch, the outdoor center director said.

The YMCA wants summer camp counselors ranging from high school to graduate school level. About 12 UConn students are current camp counselors in the Greater Waterbury area, Welch said.

UConn representatives for various offices, departments and programs also attended.

Project Specialist Christine Lowe from the Office of Public Engagement recruited students for their service learning work.

“We’re connected to academia in that we can give credit to students for the work they’re doing,” Lowe said. “Service learning is an amazing opportunity here. The more we get out of the classroom and into the community, the better.”


Claire Galvin  is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.