In an effort to help students find jobs that aren't traditionally offered during the winter recruiting season, the Harvard Public Service Network (HPSN) and Office of Career Services (OCS) sponsored the first-ever "Professions in the Public Spirit" seminar at Phillips Brooks House on Saturday morning.
The panel, designed to teach students about networking and job hunting in the public service sector, featured three recent college graduates who offered their advice on the job search. After a brief question-and-answer period, Gail Gilmore, assistant director for public and community service at OCS, unveiled the "syllabus" for "the fifth course," a timeline for students hoping to land a job after graduation.
"A job search process is a very time-consuming thing," Gilmore said. "It's really like you're taking an additional course. You put as much time and effort into it."
The timeline was developed to emphasize the unique skills needed to land a public service job, Gilmore said. While many seniors will be receiving job offers in the coming months, students hoping to work in the non-profit sector won't be seeing offers until April or May, she said.
"People think it's OCS's fault, but it's not," she said. "It's the difference between investment banking and public service."
At the seminar, Michael A. Everett-Lane, a second-year student at the business school, spoke about the networking and "informal interviews" necessary to land a job offer.
"You'll be surprised how much the Ivy League brand helps-even Harvard's brand," said Everett-Lane, a recent Yale graduate. "They assume you're head and shoulders above the rest."
The seminar kicked off a series of HPSN events tailored to students who want to work in public service, which HPSN officials hope to make an annual series.
"We've got to make this happen," said Assistant Dean of Public Service Judith H. Kidd. "We want to have this whole house filled up with every possible opportunity for students," she said.
On April 10, HPSN and OCS will hold a seminar called "Tales from the Trenches," with public service workers from finance, social work, health and technology
Will Smith, the Harvard Foundation's Cultural Artist of the Year, has assumed many roles in his life-as an actor, musician, comedian, husband and father. Will the next one be teacher?
After the festival Saturday, Smith said he might return to Harvard to give seminars or lectures some time in the future.
"The concept of me giving a lecture is so weird," Smith confessed, "but I guess I'm learning these things that people would want to hear about."
Smith said he was thinking about teaching about transitioning between artistic genres and roles.
"I was thinking about the concept of the transition between music and television and film," he said. "What I believe the differences between the mediums are, and as a performer the way you make believe and as producer the way you make the transition."
Smith, 29, said he never had the opportunity to go to college, because his music career got off the ground when he was very young.
"It's been a full sprint for the past 10 years in my career," he said. "I'm ready to start settling into that next phase of my life."
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