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Bard Students Visit New York City to Explore Careers in Social Justice

The Bard College Career Development Office and Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program Partner with Parents, Alumni/ae, and Friends for Social Justice Career Trip

The Bard College Career Development Office (CDO) and Bard Globalization and International Affairs program (BGIA) partnered with parents, alumni/ae, and friends of the College to host a Social Justice Career Exploration Trip on Friday, April 29. Bard staff and students traveled to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City to learn about careers in social justice from a wide range of professionals at each organization.

The day began with a visit to PPFA’s new headquarters at 123 William Street where Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards welcomed students. A panel of staff ranging from the director of digital advocacy strategy to vice president and executive director of Planned Parenthood Global followed. "I appreciated the varied points of view on the panel," said Eleanor Robb '16. "It demonstrated how large organizations have many different ways into a career. It also showed just how encompassing of a nonprofit Planned Parenthood is. It helped to hear where they see new graduates joining the organization, and insights into the hiring process."

Bard and BGIA alumna Sara Abramowitz '12 and Bard alumnus Rashad Crooks '15 were part of the panel and shared invaluable advice learned between graduating from Bard to working at PPFA. They each credit the College with helping them land careers at PPFA. During her BGIA experience, Sara had an internship at the Center for Reproductive Rights. This opportunity then led to an internship at PPFA and eventually a full-time position. Rashad worked with the Bard CDO beginning in his freshman year, participating in several workshops and programs. When the CDO shared a PPFA opportunity with seniors in 2015, he applied right away and quickly landed the position.

Following the panel, students had the opportunity to network with panelists and other PPFA staff members who joined the event. Helen Vrontikis, parent of a current Bard student and associate director at PPFA, was instrumental in making this visit a possibility. Lunch and a tour followed before departing for the ACLU.

Making their way down to the ACLU’s picturesque office at 125 Broad Street, Chris Hampton, a friend of the College and youth and program strategist for the LGBT and HIV Project at ACLU, greeted the group. Joined by colleague Diana Scholl, ACLU’s social media manager, a conference-style discussion commenced. Students learned about the many departments and programs at the ACLU, from the National Security Project to the Criminal Law Reform Project, as well as internships and career opportunities. Chris and Diana also shared insight about their own career paths, resume tips, and networking advice. Eleanor Robb appreciated hearing their insights, "A big take-away was that passion over time can produce opportunities you wouldn't expect. When Diana spoke about her job not even being invented when she graduated college, it made me realize how quickly things can change and develop! It took a little bit of pressure off my shoulders thinking about 'what comes next.'"

Students at Bard College have the opportunity to learn about social justice and human rights issues through their academic programs, as well as through unique experiences and events outside the classroom with the Center for Civic Engagement, the Hannah Arendt Center, BGIA, and the Bard Works program, among others. Career exploration trips like this one help students begin to translate their studies and experiences on campus into professional settings and future careers. "Beyond the shock and awe of being in the offices of two organizations I admire, I appreciated the accessibility of those who took time out of their schedule to talk to us. Both visits had qualities that I love about Bard, just translated into the workplace," Robb concludes.

We thank our alumni/ae, parents, and friends for making this trip possible. If you are interested in hosting a career exploration trip to your workplace, please contact cdo@bard.edu
Post Date: 05-04-2016