Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Turning students' dream careers into reality

Managing class schedules, going to club meetings, and speaking with advisers about life after college are some of the many responsibilities college students face each day. Amidst all this pressure, there are those nagging questions running through students' minds: How prepared am I to enter the real world? What experiences should I gain now to prepare me for my career?

Students can now participate in the Connect For Good Internship Program, which is specifically designed by Catalyst Miami and Florida International University (FIU) to give college students hands-on experience with local nonprofit organizations throughout Miami-Dade County.

No matter your major or passion, Connect for Good can make your dream career a reality.

For a glimpse of what this program can bring to the nonprofit community and students at FIU, we spoke to Jaheera White, AmeriCorps VISTA and Catalyst Miami's Community Learning Coordinator. Here she explains her vision for The Connect for Good program and what it can offer students at FIU this semester.

What is Connect for Good and what makes this program unique?
The Connect For Good Internship Program is a program very unique to Catalyst Miami. We have taken the role of being an intern to the next level. We hand pick organizations as well as students that have exemplified hard work, determination and interest in bettering the Greater Miami. The main goal of the program is for students to connect to nonprofit and government agencies, to serve the community that surrounds them, and to gain critical career and life skills. 

We supply tools and train our partner organizations in techniques that will assist students in seeing their growth and accomplishing goals in projects to ensure a successful internship. Not only are we striving to promote nonprofit working experiences, but we are also promoting learning experiences outside the classroom. Connect for Good is a chance for students to receive exceptional professional experience, experience personal growth and show solidarity in being a proud Miamian.

What opportunities will students have through their involvement in the Connect for Good Internship program?

Students will have the opportunity to choose an organization they would like to apply to aligned with their intersts and academic studies. Students will also have the opportunity to receive first-hand experience with social-good organizations that work to provide programs that directly serve the community.

What advice would you give to students who are looking to gain nonprofit work exposure and pursue a career in the nonprofit sector after receiving their degree?

I would suggest that students specify what interests them the most. Whether that is volunteer management or strictly providing social services, become an expert in what you would like to persue to better serve your future employer and community. In that same breath, remain open to learning and continually broadening your knowledge on nonprofit sector as a whole.

FIU Students can apply via the Career Services JobLink. A Matching Fair will be held on January 22, 2013 for selected students and the partner organizations.

 The Connect for Good student application is available at: https://fiu-csm.symplicity.com/students/

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