Student fills need in career fair for nonprofit organizations

By Trevor Allison

Baylor Career Services will present the Make a Difference Career Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Barfield Drawing Room on the second floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

The fair will give students a chance to find part-time and full-time jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities.

Representatives from 19 groups, including government organizations, nonprofit businesses and for-profit social businesses, will be attending. The fair is open to students of all majors.

Baylor has had similar career fairs in the past, but they focused on government organizations such as the Peace Corps and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Houston senior Lindsey Warner said she realized during her summer 2011 internship at a for-profit social business that Baylor wasn’t reaching its full potential in helping students get jobs with nonprofit and social businesses.

“I had an idea for a different kind of nonprofit career fair,” Warner said. She worked with Career Services to make it a reality.

“Lindsey initiated the dialogue and helped with marketing the fair among employers,” Carolyn Muska, associate director at Baylor Career Services, said.

Warner said she and a couple of her friends helped plan and do research for the fair, as well as cold-call organizations to ask if they were interested in attending.

Warner was also instrumental in getting the word out to her peers in her major — non profit marketing — and beyond, Muska said.

Kevin Nall, associate director of Baylor Career Services, said Warner marketed the fair through word of mouth, and noted that students telling their peers about events can be more effective than other types of announcements.

Nall said he hopes the new approach of getting students involved will carry over into the future and help all the career fairs grow in number of organizations and in student interest.

Raven and Lilly, the company Warner interned with, is a for-profit social business, which Warner said means the business makes a profit but has a “non profit vision.”

Warner said Raven and Lilly was started by a Baylor graduate and sells jewelry made by women in Africa that are HIV positive. She said the jewelry may cost more than some would expect, but the money goes to support these women.

Warner said her experiences at Baylor and at Raven and Lilly have helped her decide what to do with her life. “I found my own career path,” Warner said. “I’m now focused on social entrepreneurship and social business.”

At the fair Wednesday, students can find ways to make a difference and jobs with socially conscious companies or organizations, some of which are local.

“There are numerous opportunities here in Waco,” Muska said, noting the Waco Foundation, KWBU-FM radio and Heart of Texas Goodwill.

Most of the other companies that will be at the fair are based in Austin or Dallas.

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