A panel of career advisers experts counseled job seekers and students yesterday on how to find jobs in educational policy and research.
State Sen. Michael J. Barrett '70 joined a job consultant and faculty at the Kennedy School of Government and the School of Education in addressing more than 50 people in Longfellow Hall.
The panel emphasized the need for job applicants to take risks, keep career options open and capitalize on individual skills.
As an employer who often hires people in educational policy, Barrett discouraged job-seekers from presenting themselves as dogmatic and inflexible.
"I want someone who can play with ideas," said Barrett, who represents Cambridge. "If you don't understand that there are two sides to every single issue, I can't use you."
Ellen S. Raphael, a policy and strategic planning consultant suggests applicants should not fear "breaking new ground in new territory."
"That's what makes leadership," she said. Raphael also encouraged job seekers to utilize their professors and other resources.
"You've got an incredible wealth of people you can draw on and you have to take advantage of that," Raphael said.
Richard F. Elmore, Chair of the Administration Planning and Social Policy Department at the School of Education, said most applicants already have the "basic generic skills" that employers seek.
"One of the secrets of having a successful career is [being] capable of capitalizing on your skills," Elmore said.
Tom Loveless, assistant professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School, rounded out the panel.
The presentation was co-sponsored by the Kennedy School and School of Education.