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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Government agencies solicit Brandeis workers

Published: October 22, 2010
Section: News

Go to work: Students interested in public service jobs atended the Hiatt Career Center’s Government Career Forum and Networking Night Wednesday.
PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot

The Hiatt Career Center, the Politics Department, and the Pre-Law Society co-sponsored the second annual Brandeis Government Careers Forum and Networking Night Wednesday in order to encourage students to think about careers in public service.

Dean of the Hiatt Career Center Joseph Du Pont said the purpose of the first forum “was to create even greater visibility for federal, state and local government careers,” because “these sectors are great places for students to work.”

The importance of working in the public sector was a theme that occurred several times during the night. Both the Dean of enrollment, Keenyn McFarlane, and the key-note speaker, Mary Thompson-Jones, the diplomat in residence for the United States Department of State, reiterated how working within the government paralleled the Brandeis student body’s dedication to social justice.

Many of the guest representatives were Brandeis Alums, both from the Undergraduate School and the Graduate Schools, which substantiated McFarlane and Jones’ assessment.

The International Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Peace Corps and the Central Intelligence Agency were just some of the 25 agencies and organizations represented at the forum. Some of these organizations were more popular than others, but each attracted interested students.

After Assistant Director of Career Development Jane Pavese, Keenyn McFarlane and Mary Thompson-Jones finished introducing the event, the rest of the night was divided into four 15-minute sessions in which students could talk to any one of the representatives at a round-table discussion with other students. During these sessions, the government representatives outlined what they did for their jobs and what students might expect if they decided to enter into the career.

Du Pont said “bring[ing] government representatives to campus to meet students and engage personally with all that Brandeis has to offer these employers” was one of Hiatt’s goals for the forum. Some representatives did provide information about available internships or other applications while others discussed more general topics, rather than specific job opportunities.

When asked whether he thought this year’s event would equal the success of last year’s event, Du Pont responded that “we expect a great student turn out like last year,” both because “there will be an extraordinary set of government agencies,” and because “over the past year, with Hiatt’s additional programming, panels, and resources related to government opportunities, increasing numbers of students are considering this career path.”

Amanda Feldman ’11, commented that she attended because she “is interested in a career in government, but isn’t sure what sector yet.” The round table discussion she participated in “did help to clarify what different sectors did, but might not have been helpfully for getting a job.” She also complained that “it was a little too crowded to talk.”

Fernando Escamilla ’12, commented that “the event was helpful,” but “the online description of the event made it seem like there would be more actual interaction. And there wasn’t enough time to talk [to the representatives] except for general questions.” So there wasn’t any “real networking.”

Meghan Breslin-Jewer ’11 “liked the variety of the speakers,” and she thought “the event was obviously very popular,” indicating the large crowd. She also appreciated that she could “talk to a lot of people in a short amount of time.”