Cornell University

Exploring Public Service

There are three important steps in your process of exploring opportunities:

Reading—to identify possibilities

  • Visit the Career Library in 103 Barnes Hall, especially the Nonprofit and the Government sections. Also, search the library database from the Resources section of the website using key words to identify relevant holdings.
  • Use the Idealist.org website to view employers, jobs, and internships by area of focus (see Resources... Link Library for this and other helpful websites).

Talking—to learn more

  • Meet with CCS staff to learn about careers in nonprofit, government, teaching, and environmental careers.
  • Learn how to conduct effective (and fun) information interviews. More information is also available in our Career Guide.
  • Talk to Cornell alumni about their careers by using alumni networks at Cornell.
  • Gather information from employers attending the Nonprofit and Government Career Fair.
  • Talk to others about their work—professors, previous employers, friends of family; strangers... Be creative.

Doing—to try out a career field

  • Volunteer in the Ithaca area. The Cornell Public Service Center, 200 Barnes Hall, offers many options in the Ithaca area and beyond.
  • Volunteer anywhere in the USA. Volunteermatch.org enables you to locate opportunities by zip code and career area.
  • Complete an externship offered by CCS over winter break (available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors); or the FRESH program over spring break.
  • Check into the activities offered by Cornell’s Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy (CRESP).
  • Join a student organization that relates to your interest. There are hundreds of registered Student Organizations at Cornell.
  • Find part-time work for the academic year or the summer. Check the listings at the Student Employment Office.
  • Land a nice internship or summer job that appeals to you.