Links We Love: Why your IQ doesn’t matter, classroom hacks for teachers, jobs & events galore

This week’s edition: all things education.

Watch an inspiring video from TED Talks on Education, like this one about how grit is key to success:

Read:

Take action:

There are over 250 events worldwide on Idealist right now with the tag “education.” Search the site and see what grabs you.

Idealist is currently hosting over 6,500 job postings throughout the world tagged “education.” We also have almost 4,000 education-related internships and 9,000 volunteer opportunities to choose from.

September is back to school time. Dive into Idealist.org and see what you can learn!

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How one student found her first internship on Idealist

We love hearing stories about changemakers who find great opportunities on our website. We recently came across this piece from Aja Rigenbach, a student at Northwestern University on how she found and landed her first internship through Idealist:

I have been working as a “Program Assistant” (just a fancy word for “intern”) at an organization called WorldChicago. In general, WorldChicago hopes to promote citizen diplomacy by welcoming international visitors to the city and arranging professional meetings for them with leaders and community member in Chicago. Many of the visitors come through a specific program called the International Visitors Leadership Program which focuses in on a particular theme for discussions during their visits…

So how did I find this position? Honestly, it was kind of by chance. A friend from home told me about a website called idealist.org that posts jobs and internships for the more philanthropic/non-profit/NGO sector (I would actually recommend it to anyone interested in that work who has not found good job listings anywhere else). I was scrolling through it one day during spring quarter and noticed a summer intern position open at WorldChicago. After emailing the contact person, I quickly heard back that the position was full unless I would be available for late summer into September – what luck, thanks quarter system! So I was able to set up an interview at their office downtown and began my journey as an up-and-coming professional.

Read more about her journey — and questions she asked on her interview that wowed her interviewer — here on the Northwestern UCS Career Development Blog.

 

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Opportunity spotlight: “Life itself is the proper binge” edition

Julia Child's Kitchen

Julia Child's Kitchen (Photo Credit: c_nilsen, Creative Commons/Flickr)

This week was Julia Child’s 100th birthday! We here in the Idealist office are big fans of anything involving food, so in celebration, we’re highlighting some food related goodness recently posted on the site.

  • If you’re looking for an internship in the DC area, Share Our Strength is seeking a Corporate Partnerships/Dine Out Intern. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit devoted to wiping out child hunger. Their Dine Out campaign partners with restaurants to raise money for their programming. Participating restaurants donate a portion of sales, host a fundraising drive, or incentivize employee donations. You’ll be helping research prospective partners, plan events, create presentations, and generally support the work of the campaign.
  • If a little competition is more your style and you’ll be in San Mateo, CA this weekend, check out the San Mateo Fire Fighter’s Chili Cook Off! Fire departments across the Bay Area will offer up their best homemade chili – $10 gets you a sample of all the chilis, a bowl of your favorite, and one drink. Kids 12 and under are totally free! All the proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
  • Want to think about food full-time? Apply to be the new “Food, What?!” Associate Director!  Food, What?! is a Santa Cruz-based youth empowerment and food justice nonprofit that partners with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food. You’ll be the third member of a small team, working on fundraising, marketing, and program support and leadership. Farm and gardening experience is a plus!
  • Or join Open Table in Maynard, MA. Their volunteers organize food drives, grocery shop, cook, and serve food as part of a weekly community supper program that serves over 225 guests. The organization aims to relieve not only hunger, but also social isolation, offering a warm, welcoming community to anyone in need. Many of their guests require other social services as well, and Open Table often operates as a resource center, referring guests to other community organizations and providing assistance whenever they can.

Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Whatever you’re passionate about it, you can find ways to do good while doing what you love by taking a look at all the great opportunities to intern, volunteer, or work with the perfect organization.

Are you following your love of food? Or music? Or sports? Tell us about it!

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Opportunity spotlight: "Life itself is the proper binge" edition

Julia Child's Kitchen

Julia Child's Kitchen (Photo Credit: c_nilsen, Creative Commons/Flickr)

This week was Julia Child’s 100th birthday! We here in the Idealist office are big fans of anything involving food, so in celebration, we’re highlighting some food related goodness recently posted on the site.

  • If you’re looking for an internship in the DC area, Share Our Strength is seeking a Corporate Partnerships/Dine Out Intern. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit devoted to wiping out child hunger. Their Dine Out campaign partners with restaurants to raise money for their programming. Participating restaurants donate a portion of sales, host a fundraising drive, or incentivize employee donations. You’ll be helping research prospective partners, plan events, create presentations, and generally support the work of the campaign.
  • If a little competition is more your style and you’ll be in San Mateo, CA this weekend, check out the San Mateo Fire Fighter’s Chili Cook Off! Fire departments across the Bay Area will offer up their best homemade chili – $10 gets you a sample of all the chilis, a bowl of your favorite, and one drink. Kids 12 and under are totally free! All the proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
  • Want to think about food full-time? Apply to be the new “Food, What?!” Associate Director!  Food, What?! is a Santa Cruz-based youth empowerment and food justice nonprofit that partners with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food. You’ll be the third member of a small team, working on fundraising, marketing, and program support and leadership. Farm and gardening experience is a plus!
  • Or join Open Table in Maynard, MA. Their volunteers organize food drives, grocery shop, cook, and serve food as part of a weekly community supper program that serves over 225 guests. The organization aims to relieve not only hunger, but also social isolation, offering a warm, welcoming community to anyone in need. Many of their guests require other social services as well, and Open Table often operates as a resource center, referring guests to other community organizations and providing assistance whenever they can.

Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Whatever you’re passionate about it, you can find ways to do good while doing what you love by taking a look at all the great opportunities to intern, volunteer, or work with the perfect organization.

Are you following your love of food? Or music? Or sports? Tell us about it!

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What will your intern learn this summer?

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Summer interns at Inter-American Development Bank. Photo: Alex Guerrero, Flickr

By Amy Potthast.

What separates unpaid internships from other kinds of volunteering in the nonprofit sector? While well-designed volunteer programs consider what’s in it for the volunteer, internships should emphasize educational and training benefits to the intern.

As an intern, or as an intern manager, how do you ensure an internship will be educational?

  • First, agree on learning objectives.
  • Then, tie internship activities to the objectives.

What are learning objectives?
Objectives are goals for learners, and center on observable behaviors that learners display at the end of learning experience (a class or in this case, internship). Ideally, learners’ behavior will change because they’ve learned something new as a result of the internship.

Typically, objectives include:

  • A statement that begins, “By the end of this [internship], learners will be able to…”
  • A verb that describes an observable action
  • Conditions under which the learner will be able to take action

So an example objective for an intern working in a nonprofit might be, “By the end of this internship, Jeremy will be able to draft a full event marketing plan, incorporating feedback from staff during the creation and revision processes.”

How do you write learning objectives for an internship?
Good objectives take into account knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They progress from simple to more complex (as the intern gains mastery).

Consider both the intern’s and the organization’s interests—what do both need to get out of the internship in order for it to be successful?—to brainstorm ideas for what to include in a list of objectives that will guide specific activities for the internship.

Drawing on Bloom’s Taxonomy, you can establish objectives related to:Click to learn more about Bloom's Taxonomy.

  • Cognitive learning – recalling, explaining, producing, etc.
  • Skills acquisition – demonstrating, building, implementing, managing, etc.
  • Emotional development – listening, acknowledging, questioning, etc.

If the intern is getting school credit for their participation, you may have had to establish specific educational objectives in order to complete school-mandated paperwork.

Using the objectives
Once intern and intern manager have agreed on several objectives, use these to guide the intern’s activities.

Returning to the example above, with Jeremy creating a full event marketing plan, related activities that might build up to the plan’s completion could include things like:

  • Fully grasping the event in question by getting a good orientation, and participating in the event and/or in meetings to plan it
  • Researching what goes into a marketing plan
  • Talking with marketing professionals to get ideas for event outreach
  • Creating and analyzing a survey of past event participants
  • Evaluating how the event has been marketed to date
  • Drafting and getting feedback on pieces of the marketing plan
  • Revising pieces of the marketing plan based on feedback

Agreeing on objectives can help an intern understand the bigger picture of their assignments, and can gently remind intern managers that internships are, after all, about educating the intern.

Resources:

Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at amypotthast.com.

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Returnships: A win-win in the nonprofit sector?

Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at amypotthast.com.

People face challenges in returning to work after a career break – especially parents of young children. The resume gap, rusty job skills (real and perceived), and the cost of childcare during the job search process are just a few of the bumps in the road.

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On-ramp photo by Scott Hingst (Flickr)

Enter the Returnship

Returnships are part-time, paid internships for people “on-ramping” after a voluntary career break – not so much looking to launch their career as to jump back in. The concept offers these benefits:

  • The pay helps transitioning parents offset the costs of childcare
  • The professional experience allows them to renew and update work skills and habits, and add something recent to their resumes
  • The schedule gives them and their families time to adjust to a new normal at home
  • And the host organization’s supportive parenting culture offers career relaunchers a soft landing.

Family Forward Oregon, a nonprofit that advocates for a more family-friendly economy in my state, is currently offering two six-month Returnships that focus on fundraising and event planning.

According to Sharon Bernstein, the organization’s co-founder, one of the trickiest aspects of navigating the career transition when you have small children at home is setting up affordable, high-quality childcare during the job search process – before a pay check starts coming in. The problem is tougher with more than one child (greater expense; harder to find another stay-at-home parent to swap childcare with; etc.). While the Returnship stipend may not fully cover childcare costs, it helps.

Different from an internship

What distinguishes Returnships from paid internships may be more in branding and attitude than substance. Good internships, after all, are more about the intern’s educational needs than the organization’s productivity.

But the name Returnship invites a different segment of the intern market to apply; and organizations with cultures (not just policies) supportive of parenting are beacons of light for modern parents who constantly feel the double tug of family and work.

Is it time for more nonprofits to embrace the idea?

Returnships seem to have more of a history in the business sector. The Sara Lee company pioneered the concept which is now simply integrated into the company’s hiring process. Goldman Sachs has also developed a Returnship program.

For the nonprofit host, Returnships could attract people who were once established in their professional roles and may bring more expertise than a less-experienced intern. Returnships could also offer organizations a way to connect with a broader, more diverse workforce—highly ambitious people who may want to work part-time—ideal for some nonprofits looking for top talent on a tight budget.

Have you participated in a Returnship (even if it wasn’t called that)? Does your nonprofit offer opportunities for people on-ramping after a voluntary career break?

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Career Corner: Paying Your Dues

By Meg Busse.

I was on a panel a few weeks ago at a retreat for Executive Directors (EDs). The panel was focused on supporting emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector and featured four people to speak to our experiences as 30(ish)-year-olds in leadership roles. The other panelists were fantastic: Matthew Bennett and Michelle Cote of the Purpose Project and Fahd Vahidy, ED of Public Allies Connecticut.

One of the most interesting moments of the session came at the very end when one ED commented that young hires don’t want to pay their dues. This created a bit of a hubbub in the room — the audience seemed split as to whether they strongly agreed or disagreed.

I’ve been thinking about that idea since then. I’ve heard that that sentiment is out there, but had never run into it. I’ve been lucky to have jobs where ‘paying my dues’ was never part of the job description, either because of organization philosophy or the fact that there was just too much to do to waste time on a dues-for-dues’-sake routine.

My current job is a perfect example. Russ is the Associate Director of Idealist and is my direct manager. From the beginning of my work at Idealist, Russ has gone out of his way to put me in situations where I can learn. I’ve sat in on interviews with big newspapers, participated in committee meetings so I could get to know the players, and traveled to conferences that would provide professional development, networking, and even practice in talking about Idealist and my work. Sure I do stuff that could be counted as paying my dues that I don’t love, but that’s just a fraction of my job. Those mundane tasks are balanced out by a host of incredible opportunities that Russ is constantly throwing my way. These opportunities are great for me and great for Idealist — a win-win situation.

There are lots of thoughts out there on why to pay dues, why millennials won’t pay dues, and who thinks dues paying is still important (hint: generally people already in leadership positions). These perspectives are not sector-specific, but seem to apply to nonprofit organizations.

My two cents?

  • The average time a younger employee spends in a job is down to around sixteen months these days. Why spend valuable time paying dues instead of doing real work?
  • Competition for talent within the nonprofit sector as well as between the sectors is fierce; great candidates aren’t wooed by dues-paying job descriptions
  • Most importantly though, the issues that we’re all working on are too pressing and too huge to not throw everything we have at them.

…Basically, I’m for fewer dues and more interesting to-dos.

What do you think? What has your experience been?

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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