Developing a skill set

Wondering about finding that dream job; well besides your degree, you need a particular skill set.  These can be developed through the courses taken but also through volunteering.

Below is a list of the requisites for a position, entitled, Civic Engagement Associate.  I’ve selected this as an example since, quite often, there are students seeking employment with an NGO.  Some of the particulars are related to the organisation itself but you can generalise how certain criteria are applied.

  • Strong cross-sectional analysis around civil rights issues related to civic engagement activities (including naturalization process and voter mobilization), race relations, immigration, economic development, access to institutional and non-institutional resources and hate crimes within the framework of these issues impacting specific communities.
  • A proven track record of successful community or labor organizing or at least 3 years leading campaigns.
  • History of demonstrated experience in leading community based advocacy efforts within culturally diverse communities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently to provide hands-on project management through all phases of project development process:  Research, planning (development of time-lines, work plans, and budget), implementation, tracking, and evaluation.
  • Experience with presentation, facilitation and training to small as well as large groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to write in an accurate, concise, and audience appropriate manner on complex public policy issues.
  • Serve as the primary staff liaison and support to the advisory groups for each of the projects/programs assigned.

Additional desired qualifications:

  • At minimum, undergraduate degree in political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, a related field, or commensurate experience.
  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Strong organization and time management skills.

Writing, speaking publicly, and critical analysis are all found in the classroom, including the ‘dreaded’ group work.  Since some jobs, like this, ask for a proven track record, this is where volunteerism comes into play.  Also remember that you will be asked for referees.  In this particular case, FOUR professional references and two personal were requested. This means you need to develop relationships with those who will vouch for your expertise/skill set.  You don’t have to be best buddies with your professor but s/he should know you well enough to remember who you are and something about your interests and abilities.

Wondering whether archaeology is for you?

Check out the podcast 15 Questions with an Archeologist.  This was launched last year (2014) by the National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Archeological Center.  From the introductory podcast: “This podcast is an interview that seeks to ask as many archeologists as possible the same 15 questions. These questions are designed to cover the areas in which archeologists are most often queried. They are also design to provoke though and commentary on our profession.”

NOTE: If you are wondering about the spelling of archaeology, i.e., ‘ae’ versus ‘e’, read Barbara Little’s explanation posted online through the Society for American Archaeology.  A simplification is to say it is British versus American spelling.