I’m a graduating senior looking for advice from professionals about the human services field. I major in psychology (but lately have gained more of an interest in a sociological world view) with minors in Hispanic studies and creativity, the arts, and social change. I am interested in going to graduate school for social work (to be a licensed clinical social worker) in a year or two, but it seems there are many paths to gain experience in the field including non-profit work, working as direct care staff in a mental health facility, etc. I am unsure of how to identify positions and job functions that allow for upward mobility, perhaps heading towards case management experience. I would love to hear more about beginning a career in the field of serving communities and marginalized populations and how to break in and get professional experience starting from zero. Activism is very important to me and some of my specific population interests include at-risk women (such as BARCC or Battered Women’s shelters), queer youth and young adults, and adults with disabilities.
I graduated from Brandeis University in 2016 with a degree in psychology and sociology. I currently work at Brandeis at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, assisting in social science demographic research on Jewish communities. This is a two-year gig, and once it’s up I’d like to move onto something else. But I am completely in the dark with what I’d like to do! I am interested in human behavior and social science, however, I don’t know if social science research is the right path for me. From what I’ve seen, it contains sitting in front of a computer and dealing with spreadsheets all day. Additionally, I don’t want to go into academia. Is there a path that social science researchers can take that entails a more engaging, non-academic atmosphere? For what it’s worth, I also do not want to go into clinical psychology or the mental health field, either. Information such as what an average day of a social science researcher looks like, inside and outside academia, would be very helpful. Social justice topics interest me, such as crime, gender issues, etc, as well as general topical social issues, such as why people vote the way they do, how technology affects human relationships, etc. I just don’t really know what to do with these interests! Graduate school seems like an appropriate option, but I don’t even know where to begin. It’s hard for me to articulate what exactly I’m interested in, and because I’ve never experienced the field except at the low level I am in now, it’s hard to know if it is right for me. Any assistance would be appreciated!
Name: Naomi Weinblatt ’16
Majors: psychology, sociology
Hometown: Queens, NY
I am a graduating senior at Brandeis seeking opportunities in the non-profit world, with a focus on human rights, international studies/development, and related fields. I am an International and Global Studies and History double major with a passion for human rights, social justice, foreign policy, research, and writing. I currently intern for a foreign affairs journal where I research international news and help edit original content pieces from top foreign policy analysts. I previously interned at a non-profit in Jerusalem that worked to provide social and educational opportunities to Ethiopian immigrants. At Brandeis, I am an editor for the school newspaper The Justice and have contributed to the Brandeis International Journal, and I am also the founder and editor-in-chief of a feminist website which works to promote creative works from women around the world.
I’m interested in learning about what it is like to work at a non-profit, particularly those focused on human rights, women’s rights, or related issues. I am curious as to what types of roles are typically available for entry-level candidates and what kind of impact one can make in those roles, as well as what future experiences non-profit work could potentially lead to. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!
Name: Rachel Sharer ’17
Majors: international and global studies, history
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
I’m an alumna, BA class of ’15 and MA class of ’16, looking to relocate from Boston to the San Francisco Bay Area. I currently work at an agency that serves poor and homeless women in Boston, seeing clients on a one-on-one basis, providing information, referrals and support. I am relocating to the SF Bay Area in May of 2017, and am looking for opportunities to network with Brandeis alumni who have experience with women’s issues, close contacts with clients, and working with a vibrant team that is passionate and knowledgeable about the work, with opportunities to engage in systemic change. I am interested in experiences in nonprofit development, startups, grant writing and reviewing, and charitable foundations.
Name: Karen Lengler ’15, MA’16
Majors: International and Global Studies, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hello! I’m currently a senior graduating in May ’17. I’m hoping to gain more experience either working for a law firm or politician before perhaps applying to law school. For the past three years I’ve been interning (via internet) as a legislative analyst for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. This work has been fascinating and given me some insight into the whole process of local legislation.
I’ve also been working for the Schuster Institute’s Innocence Project. As a research assistant, I help re-investigate cases and create memos on potential wrongful MA convictions.
I hope to eventually work in policy and help women and children facing systemic inequalities both at home and abroad. I’m interested in connecting with people in law and/or government and would be very grateful to speak with current professionals in these fields.
Name: Olivia Gladstone ’17
Majors: Anthropology, business
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
I have decided to devote my life to fighting gender inequality. I have some savings of my own and family financial supports, but it wouldn’t be enough to tackle this issue in China. I would like to operate a feminist non-governmental organization in Asia; however I need some guidance in terms of its establishment, funding, etc. I would also like advice on whether it is necessary for me to obtain a Master’s degree in business or education to better achieve my goal.
Name: Kebei Zhao
Majors: Economics, business, international & global studies
Hello! My name is Naomi Rodriguez-Finer and I’m a graduating senior ready to pursue a career in entertainment in the city of Los Angeles. I’m aiming to start as a PA and learn as much as I can. Moving across the country feels like a big step and I’m sure there are a number of ways to avoid some common mistakes. I would like to ask anyone who has ever moved house for advice on how you handled the move, where you found housing, transportation, etc. Did you have a secured job before you moved? Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
Name: Naomi Rodriguez-Finer ’16
Majors: Business, women’s studies
Hometown: Stroudsburg, PA
My name is Karen and I’m a Master’s candidate at the comparative humanities program at Brandeis, graduating this coming May. Academically, I focus on feminist literature – fiction, theory and ethnography – and I explore how this intertextuality can bring knowledge to bear upon social policy and social justice movement. I’m engaged in issues of gender inequality, especially sexual and otherwise gender-based violence. I have experience advocating for survivors, facilitating discussions regarding consent in local community groups, fundraising and development, and awareness raising through the strategic use of social media. I’m interested in breaking into the field of gender-based direct service nonprofits in Boston as well as the San Francisco Bay Area. Any tips or advice from alumni with some experience in that field would be much appreciated!
Name: Karen Lengler ’15
Majors: Women’s, gender and sexuality studies, international and global studies
Hometown: Boston, MA
My name is Samantha Daniels and I am currently a senior majoring in women’s and gender studies. My professional experience has fallen under two categories: outreach/education and counseling-type roles. I am particularly passionate about sexual and domestic violence awareness and survivor services.
During a summer internship at Jewish Vocational Service in Boston, I designed a vocational English curriculum for newly arrived refugees. Each day, I would give the teacher the lesson plan I created. I now work for the Brandeis Office of Prevention Services. In this role, I coordinate sexual assault prevention education programming and conduct outreach to student organizations and other university departments. I am also beginning to develop curriculum.
Last fall, I was one of four students who worked to develop the Brandeis Rape Crisis Center, where I served as Volunteer Coordinator and as a peer counselor. I held office hours for survivors who wanted a safe space to talk. Currently, I serve as a Community Advisor. I serve as a support system for my residents in their times of need.
I have loved each of these positions. I am seeking opportunities that are either similar to the work I do at the Office of Prevention Service or to the work I did at the Rape Crisis Center. While I am passionate about prevention education programming, I also am very fulfilled by counseling roles. I am looking to work at a nonprofit or in higher ed. Many of the jobs that have interested me are masters preferred and I would love advice on how to enter the field. I would also love advice bout entering the field of clinical social work. Thank you for your time!
Name: Samantha Daniels ’16
Major: Women’s and gender studies
Hometown: Syosset, NY
My name is Gabriella Guillette and I graduated this past May with a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and International and Global Studies. I plan to work a few years before acquiring my master’s degree in public policy. I have work experience with impoverished communities and have interned in an awareness raising capacity for Jane Doe Inc. around sexual assault and domestic violence. I am particularly looking for advice on working with domestic violence and gender based violence. However, I am also eager to hear advice/perspectives/experiences on service work in general especially that which has a holistic and survivor-centric approach. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Name: Gabriella Guillette
Majors: Women’s and Gender Studies, International and Global Studies
Hometown: Lunenburg, MA
International and Global Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies senior looking for advice on entering the non-profit field, preferably with a focus on women’s rights and feminist organizations. Particularly interested in opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area, but open to mostly any location.
My name is Jenny Cheng and I recently graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Business and Film, Television and Interactive Studies. I am based in New York City. I have various interests and would like to pursue a career that includes any combination of them. I am interested in sustainability, social issues (especially women’s rights), photography, and video editing. I am currently looking at administrative assistant jobs in organizations that have to do with any of my interests. Any opportunities that relate to my interests or advice on what path I could take would be very helpful. Thank you!