Dressed in business attire, members of the Class of 2016 flocked around the Quad on Friday for the chance to interview with 30 organizations in the public sector on the second annual Public Service Recruiting Day.
“Last year was a really innovative idea,” said Gene A. Corbin, assistant dean of student life for public service. “We don’t know any other peer institution that is doing this.”
The event saw an increase in scope from its inaugural year, with more student applicants and 10 additional participating groups. According to Center for Public Interest Careers director Travis A. Lovett, 182 seniors applied, with 130 receiving an interview. Participating groups included media outlets, non-profit organizations, and local governments.
“We know that the public interest sector doesn’t have the same resources for recruiting that the private sector has,” Corbin said. “We’re trying to provide a structured and early recruitment process much like the private sector.”
Students and recruiters alike were thankful for the opportunity to network.
“Being a non-profit, we don’t have the opportunity to attend a lot of things like this,” said Patricia A. Pinchinat, a recruiter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP was one of the new public sector employers in attendance this year.
Last year, 23 seniors received job offers through the event, according to Lovett. Students said they hoped for similar luck this year.
“I’ve been interested in public service my whole life,” said David K. Kilstein ’16, who interviewed with the NAACP and with Baltimore Corps, which puts people to work improving the troubled city. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to pay it forward in this sense.”
The event came amid increased advocacy for public service opportunities on campus. In September, administrators announced that the University had received a $15 million donation to support public service initiatives at the College, as part of its ongoing capital campaign.
Organizers said they are confident that the event has staying power and will continue to increase in size.
“Organizations, if asked, are eager to be here on campus meeting with our students,” said Amy Howell, director of internships and career services at the Institute of Politics. “We thought an increase of 10 organizations was substantial, but we are confident we could grow more.”
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