By Isabel Vasquez, Student Assistant.
The Center for Human Rights & International Justice recently wrapped up its autumn Human Rights Careers Intensive. This seminar provided a small cohort of twelve students a community in which to discuss their shared interests and their questions regarding careers in the human rights field. Together, these students worked to demystify the prospect of a career in human rights and explore what such a career might look like in reality for each of them.
Each week, students engaged with alumni and other human rights professionals representing a diverse array of job sectors. In listening to their individual stories, students heard about the twists, turns and passions that brought each of them to their current positions.
“I appreciated how many of them were in different stages of their careers. I especially enjoyed how they were willing to be open about the challenges and uncertainties they faced/face.” (Quote from student evaluation)
Through these weekly conversations, students learned to let go of the idea of a career “path” and to embrace the potential for fluidity and spontaneity in their own post-graduate lives. To better envision those lives, students embarked on job searches tailored to their specific interests and abilities.
"I really liked how the program held me accountable to career/internship searching. I always tell myself to look into programs and conduct informational interviews, but I always feel like classes/life gets in the way. Taking this class forced me to stay accountable by giving me a strict deadline.” (Quote from student evaluation)
They helped each other to identify their strengths and skills, and learned how to highlight them during practice interviews and cover letters for real job postings. Students appreciated this emphasis on developing the practical skills and the confidence for navigating their personal post-graduate job searches.
"I enjoyed how this program forced me to think about what I want to do in the future with a more strategic framework. I didn't realize how to be strategic with internship applications; I feel like this class introduced me to useful techniques that I will certainly employ in the future." (Quote from student evaluation)
The Human Rights Careers Intensive will accept a new cohort of students in Spring 2020. Stay tuned via our social media channels and email listservs for application details.