IOP Launches Series of Tech Initiatives

The Institute of Politics has launched a series of technology initiatives to create a more unified online community and to integrate technology with services and programs that the IOP already provides.

The IOP has created a new JFK Jr. Forum microsite and a IOP public service database online this spring, in addition to utilizing iTunes and YouTube to publicize events.

The microsite aims to be a cleaner, user-friendly site for current Forum events. It also offers access to the archived recordings of Forum events in an easier-to-view format.

“Our hope is that we can broaden the audience to the forum beyond [its] capacity,” said  C. M. “Trey” Grayson ’94, director of the IOP. “[We want] to have something for people around the world who might otherwise be interested in the content but cannot be at the Forum,” adding that the microsite also targets undergraduates and other Harvard affiliates who may have been unable to attend.

In addition to the microsite, the IOP has made Forum event footage available on iTunes and a YouTube channel to reach out to regular users of those sites.

“We don’t really have a preference [for what people use],” Grayson said. “We’re not trying to drive people to our site—we want people to view the forums in wherever it is easiest for them.”

Ibrahim A. Khan ’14, the Forum committee chair, will work with the Forum team to create video recaps of events that include clips of highlights for students to view afterwards, according to Grayson.

The IOP also debuted a new Public Service Job and Internship database, which expands the range of public service opportunities currently offered through the Office of Career Services’ system.

The database—which was launched this semester—focuses primarily on opportunities for undergraduates.

“We really thought we could bring something to help complement public service opportunities that the University offers, particularly for undergraduates—to give them that first chance,” said Kara M. Minar, director of career services at the IOP. “In public service it is a lot more difficult to get that first job, to get that toe in the door,” Minar said.

With 336 jobs and internships currently available, the database operates independently from the OCS jobs database. The IOP reached out to various alumni and former fellows to build up the database, with listings ranging from federal and local government positions to political journalism and think tank jobs.

Minar said she hopes that the database, along with the IOP’s career advising and panel opportunities, will attract students who would not necessarily think they fit in the traditional public service sector mold.

—Staff writer David Song can be reached at davidsong@college.harvard.edu.

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