Tag: #GLI

Career Spotlight: Environmental Organizations

If asked to name a concern of global importance, many Lawrence students would cite the changing climate and its impact on the environment. Some go so far as to declare environmental justice as their desired career path. In fact, some past Lawrentians have already done so, choosing to turn their passion for the improving the environment into a career, by working for an environmental organization. 

While environmental organizations may occasionally be a private company or corporation, most of the time, such entities are part of local, state or federal government, or they may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), or an intergovernmental organization.  In addition to climate change, other environmental issues they focus on include pollution, waste, resource depletion and human overpopulation.

In the United States, the primary federal government agencies tasked with serving and protecting the environment include the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.  Most states have their own versions of some of these agencies as well. 

The list of NGO’s in the United States and around the world committed to environmental protection is too long to list, but you have likely heard of many of the larger ones, including the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Greenpeace

All of these government agencies and NGO’s hire interns, so if you are looking for a place to get hands-on experience in protecting the environment and fighting climate change, consider a summer internship for such an agency or organization.  Please note that government agencies hire their summer interns very early, so you should start looking as early as this fall for internships in the summer of 2023.

Another great way to get experience in this area is by joining one of the many Lawrence environmental clubs and organizations, some of which are Greenfire, the Lawrence University Environmental Organization, the LUCC Sustainability Committee and the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG)

A Career in Public Policy? Public Administration?

Jonathan Hogan

For those of us majoring in government, you’ve probably heard the terms “public policy” and “public administration.” You might not, however, know the difference between these terms. Broadly, public policy usually refers to positions that focus on the designing of policies and public administration typically refers to governmental positions that oversee the implementation of said policies. Yet, what do public policy and administration jobs typically look like? And what educational background does one need to get to these positions? Read more to find out…

 Public Policy

Jobs in public policy are quite wide-ranging; however, they tend to be found in government, and government adjacent industries. An archetypical job in public policy is the position of policy analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an agency which “provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, nonpartisan information” pertaining to various policies (“For Congress“). At the GAO, a policy analyst is responsible for reviewing federal government policies through a detailed statistical analysis and subsequently succinctly recommending modifications for programs to various members of congress. Another good example of a typical career for a public policy major is a position as a lobbyist. In fact, it is hard to imagine a good lobbyist, whose job it is to convince politicians to introduce or modify legislation, without a strong understanding of policy design.

Should careers in public policy sound interesting to you, a master’s in public policy (MPP) is probably something to consider. An MPP prepares one for a career in public policy through courses pertaining to different forms of statistical analyses, as well as courses focusing on different iterations of public policy such as policy evaluation (determining whether a policy has worked and potentially trying to improve it) and policy analysis (designing a new policy from scratch) (“Master of Public Administration & Master of Public Policy“). An MPP tends to take between one and a half and two years to complete when working as a student full time. Costs vary widely depending on university and the amount one receives in scholarships.

 Public Administration

Unlike those working in more public policy-oriented fields, Public Administration is typically characterized more by human interaction than data analysis. Similar to careers in public policy, public administration jobs can be found in a broad spectrum of areas. A good example of a typical career in public administration is that of a city manager. City managers are responsible for leading a team that carries out the policy of elected officials. As the name implies, it is the administering of public policy that occupies the focus of the public administrator. If public administration sounds interesting to you, but your interests lie outside of the government’s purview, a career as the director of an NGO is a strong option. NGOs in the U.S. are often funded by the government in exchange for their delivering of some sort of governmental service. In this context, a background in public administration, which ensures that the director fully understands the system of which their NGO is a part of and can competently lead workers, is priceless (“What Is Public Administration?“).

Should careers in public administration be interesting to you, the aptly named Masters of Public Administration (MPA) might be the right choice for you. Compared to an MPP, an MPA is more oriented around “leadership and management skills [necessary] to successfully plan and manage complex policies” (“What Is Public Administration?“). That being said, MPA students still receive training in data analysis skills, just to a lesser degree than MPP students. Just as an MPP, an MPA can usually be completed in two years.

Works Cited

“For Congress“. U.S. Government Accountaibility Office, https://www.gao.gov/about/what-gao-does/for-congress. Zugegriffen 10. Januar 2022.

“Master of Public Administration & Master of Public Policy“. Northeastern University, https://publicaffairs.northeastern.edu/online-mpa-mpp/. Zugegriffen 11. Januar 2022.

“What Is Public Administration? – MPA@UNC“. UNC-MPA, https://onlinempa.unc.edu/academics/what-is-public-administration/. Zugegriffen 10. Januar 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Tips for Talking About Your Volunteer and Service Experience

Tip 1: Think about it like any other job

The mindset that most people get tripped up on while thinking about their volunteer experience is “Well, I didn’t get paid for it so it doesn’t matter”. Because of this they end up not talking about the enriching experiences they had while volunteering, which is a really big misconception! To get out of this mindset we recommend thinking and talking about your volunteer experience as any job. For example, if you were talking about a part-time retail job you once worked at you may mention in an interview “My experience in retail allowed me to gain organization and collaboration skills”.You could say almost the exact same things for volunteer experience as well! Let’s say you are a volunteer at Riverview Gardens here in Appleton. You work with others to winterize gardens and take inventory of plants. If you wanted to talk about your volunteer experience while at Riverview Gardens you could say, “My experience at Riverview Gardens allowed me to gain organization and collaboration skills.” Thinking about your volunteer experience like your job experience makes it easier to translate during an interview. 

Tip 2: Relate your volunteer and service experience to your career field

If you happened to volunteer in the particular career field you would like to end up in, you’re in luck! You can use this experience as a core interview response for, most likely, quite a few questions. If you are planning on pursuing a career in theatre arts, it might be helpful to mention your volunteer experience at a non-profit theatre, traveling theatre, etc. For example, employers may ask you the question “What drew you to apply for this position?” In terms of the theatre arts example, you can answer “I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in theatre, however, my experience volunteering at Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee really solidified my motives…” Using your passion as a segway into talking about an experience is very moving for the employer and shows how dedicated you would be to the position that you are applying to. 

Tip 3: Describe the success you had 

Even though sometimes we are plagued with dreaded questions like “Tell me about a time you failed” in an interview, employers really do like to hear about your successes as well. If during your volunteer or service experience you had a leadership position, headed a project, or even just got positive reinforcement from colleagues, feel free to mention this during your interview. An example of this is when an employer asks you a question about your collaboration skills, such as “Tell me about a time you worked as a group, how did it turn out?” A possible start to your answer could be, “During my time with Habitat for Humanity I was a group leader for the volunteers…” This answer would show how your volunteer experience put you in a leadership position and how you handled that position.

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

It’s time to practice for your interview! While knowing what experiences you have had in the past is very important, knowing how to answer behavioral questions can make the difference between being hired or not. Behavioral questions are designed to learn how you would respond to a specific workplace situation, and how you solve problems to achieve a successful outcome. Here is a list of possible behavioral questions that they could ask you divided into different sections.


With teamwork behavioral questions, interviewers get a sense of whether or not you like working on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on a team project (leader, mediator, follower..). These questions also show whether you are easy to get along with, which is important in almost any work environment.

  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague

Client-facing skills

Client-facing skills behavioral questions give interviewers a way to see how you react to different kind of clients. What would happen if the client is frustrated, or if there a large number of clients waiting and how you can handle that pressure.

  • Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service
  • Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?

Ability to adapt

The ability to adapt is a very important soft skill that is required in any job. The way you answer these questions will give a sense of how you are able to adapt in a new working space and how flexible you are to change and adjust to new situations.

  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure

Time management skills

Time management is another very important skill to have. When one of these questions is asked, make sure you are clear about how you managed your time carefully, what tools did you use and why did those tools help.

  • Describe a long term project you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities

Communication skills

The ability to communicate is closely evaluated in a job interview. Some recruiters will not ask questions directly related to communication in the interview but just see how the candidate is able to communicate during the interview. However, other recruiters might ask you behavioral questions that show the candidate’s communication skills with a real life example.

  • Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit
  • Tell me about a time you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle the situation?

Motivation and values

Motivation and values behavioral questions are asked to see what values and what kind of personality the candidate has. It is important to always be honest and show how your personality could be an asset for the company. 

  • Tell me about a time you saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it rather than waiting for someone else to do it
  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment in work or school
  • Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a challenging situation you overcame at work
  • Tell me five things that you are NOT

How to prepare to answer behavioral questions

Read the job description carefully. Make a list of the top skills or qualifications it calls for. Think of a story that demonstrates your ability in each area. Following the STAR technique, write your stories down, including the situation, task, action and result. Then, practice saying them out loud several times. Your answers should only take about 1 ½ to 3 minutes. In order to make a good impression, telling stories that are related to each one of these questions is crucial. Telling stories is the best way to be remembered by the recruiter.

Practice is the best way to succeed at behavioral interviews. If you would like to practice doing behavioral interviews, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or Grace Kutney (grace.kutney@lawrence.edu).

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Job Prospects for Humanities Majors

By Jonathan Hogan

If you’re a humanities major, you may have received some pessimistic or rude comments about your choice of major. As a German major, I am personally sick of people thinking that all I do is study the language of German, and I’ve heard people tell English majors that they’re “majoring in a language that they already speak fluently.” Regardless of your humanities major, whether it be History, Gender Studies, a language, or something else, I hope you haven’t internalized the discourse that demands that your prospects are dim. As this article will demonstrate, humanities majors have the widest array of careers to choose from, making your problem not a lack of opportunities, but rather the difficult decision of which path to take.

Before delving into some of the main career paths taken by humanities majors, it’s worth mentioning that one of the distinct specialties of those holding humanities majors is finding niche positions to work in that likely won’t be enumerated because of their specificity. Thus, if nothing listed is in your interests, don’t fret! This is merely a broad and by no means an exhaustive list. If you know with all your heart that you want to work as a religious advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, then go for it! 


               One of the most common majors that apply and are accepted to Law school is English. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as both humanities majors and law degrees require a mastery of language, as well as the ability to analytically read and critically think about texts. If a law degree sounds interesting to you, click this link to read an article on the first step to applying for law school—the LSAT.


               Similar to Law, the field of publishing plays into a strong connection with written language. In comparison to Law, publishing places more of an emphasis on a love of books, networking abilities, and editing skills. For an article on what it’s like to work as an editor, click this link, and for an article on how to break into the relatively tight-knit industry, click here.


               Okay, NGO can mean a lot of things, ranging from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political think tank, to Médecins Sans Frontières; however, the humanities can also mean a lot of things, making NGOs a potential place of work for essentially any major. The Center for Reproductive Rights, for example, would pair nicely with the Butlerian gender theorist out there, and Public Allies, an NGO dedicated to social justice through representative leadership, would pair nicely with a History major, or really any major that focuses on inequality in general.


               Another popular path for humanities majors is journalism. Because of the broad range of subjects that are written on, the only real requirement for Journalism is strong writing skills; however, Journalists are most effective when they can pair their strong writing skills with deep background knowledge in another area. For this reason, humanities majors are especially well-positioned to go into the field, as they typically command a deep well of knowledge on a specific topic, as well as immaculate writing skills.


               For those of you who have read the above career industries and are struggling with the idea of giving up theorizing and researching for more general use of skills developed at Lawrence, academia might be for you. One of the major advantages of going into academia is that, if a doctoral program really wants you, they will ensure that you aren’t losing money when pursuing your degree through fellowships and undergrad teaching positions. That being said, academia in general, is going through a major upheaval in the U.S. and the humanities appear to be suffering more than STEM and Social Science Departments. When asking your favorite professor for advice about pursuing a doctoral program in a humanities field, a question that will likely come up is: “would you still choose to pursue your doctorate even if you knew that it wasn’t going to lead to a job in academia?” If the answer is no, then it’s probably advisable to find a different outlet for your passion. If the answer; however, is yes, then you’ve just determined your next step for after Lawrence.

               A short list of five broad industries in which humanities majors typically find themselves working likely has not solved all of your professional development problems; however, hopefully, it has pointed you towards an industry that you might want to learn more about. In the worst case, however, this article can serve as a good tool for fending off anyone who’s mocking your decision to major in the humanities—just say you’re planning on going to law school 😊. 

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Idealist.org Review for #NES Community

Idealist.org is great for students who may not have their teaching certification yet, looking for non-profit work or mission-driven experiences. In the #NES Community, you can find relevant education and non-profit work easily through their search engine, and many of their opportunities are entry-level! Not only do they have jobs and internships but they also have relevant volunteer and graduate programs listed. This site is definitely a good catch-all source for those looking for relevant NES experience. Thankfully, the site is also well organized.

Their site is very easy to navigate, especially for students who are used to searching on Handshake. You just type in keywords for the field you are interested in, the area you are looking around, and then select if you are looking for “Jobs”, “Internships”, “Volunteer”, “Organizations” “Mutual Aid Groups” or “Grad Programs. There are also many other filters that can be used to apply to your search, such as “Job Function”, “Issue Areas”, “Education Level” and so much more! You can really curate the search to exactly what you are looking for, which is very helpful in narrowing down the thousands of search results. Once you find an opportunity you are interested in, then you can apply directly on their site, or it will direct you to the company site where you can apply. Depending on your specific field of interest, for those in the NES Community, we suggest using keywords such as “education”, “teaching”, “non-profit”, “social”, “fundraising” and “giving” to help kick-start your search. 

Idealist.org also has many resources listed on the bottom of its website. They have career resources and also grad resources for applying to grad school. They have hundreds of articles aimed at helping you find the perfect opportunity to apply to next!

Overall, Idealist.org is a very useful tool for searching for jobs, internships, and other opportunities. Those in the NES community should definitely check out what Idealist has to offer since they have thousands of opportunities and also many resources for applying and maintaining your opportunity.