Alumni Jessie Lan ’21 talks about her experience getting involved with Second Day, and how it helped launch her career in Social Impact.
During my senior year at Tufts, I joined the Community Scholars program, through Second Day. It’s a career development and mentorship program for social impact and change careers. Through it, I’ve found support for my job search and upcoming transition into the looming big world. If you’re interested in working in nonprofits and/or social change after graduation, I recommend getting involved in the Second Day community.
The community and mentorship has been incredibly meaningful to me in this program! We met weekly as small groups, and the program is broken down into semester/year-long groups of 5-10 seniors with one facilitator. Facilitators are professionals that work in nonprofit consulting, policy, and more [click for current facilitators’ bios]. The facilitator for my group was an aspiring environmental justice lawyer at Yale Law school!
Beyond the concrete programming resources, I really appreciated Second Day’s awareness of sociopolitical structures and social inequities, and the work they do to center justice. I met other students that are studying, thinking, and worrying about the same things as me. Second Day provided us a shared space to talk about those things, from uncertainties about salaries to political commitments and social justice. In one of my favorite classes at Tufts, Critical Education Policy with Dr. Shameka Powell (highly recommend to anyone interested in education, policy, and progressive social change!), we read a book by a Professor Eve Ewing that illuminated racist policies and harmful consequences undergirding school closings in Chicago. I then had the opportunity talk to someone in my group that is taking a class with Professor Ewing at that time, and we’ve talked a lot about how we want to/can integrate our visions of social justice into our future work.
Second Day also holds program-wide sessions for skill-building (i.e. personal finance and budgeting 101, enacting anti-racism in the workplace), podcast/reading discussions, networking, and speaker events with working professionals, and has various other resources (social impact career guides, job postings, etc.)
Second Day acknowledges that few job applications from college seniors (10%) go to social impact organizations because they often don’t seem as well-paying or feasible coming right out of college (among other reasons), and that the barriers are particularly high for first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color. This is exactly what they’re working to change! [Check out what else they say about this “Talent Gap” here.]
Second day has a Fellowship Program which connects seniors with a paid nonprofit or social enterprise internship (that can often be extended to full-time positions post-grad), in addition to the Community Scholars Program that I’m a part of.
Take a look at what other resources & supports the program offers here.