One of the beneﬁts of working in government is that there are positions in every ﬁeld and location. You can make a diﬀerence and still maintain work/life balance. Often, people in the ﬁeld want to have a signiﬁcant impact on the lives of others and care about good governance. They are optimistic “change agents” balanced by a sense of realism and practicality. Government professionals understand that changes can come in small and large measures.
Check out the latest Firsthand guide on this industry here.
Sample Employers in LionSHARE
- American Enterprise Institute
- Govern For America
- National Committee on American Foreign Policy
- New York City Council
- New York City Office of the Mayor
- New York County’s District Attorney’s Office
- U.S. Department of Commerce — U.S. Commercial Services
- U.S. Department of Education
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Focus Areas in Government
Here is a sample list of applied areas in this industry:
Work in the Federal Government requires a demonstrated interest in serving the public. There are many interests and skills that can be put to good use in a multitude of areas within the public sector, so it is important for an individual to have a direction in mind at the federal level. A focus on a particular population, service or agency will help keep goals clear.
Local and State
The path to positions in the public sector is not always clear or straightforward. Often, an individual will begin their career as an intern or volunteer. The important thing to remember is to keep an open mind. It might be advantageous to take a position with an agency or departments which differs from your original plan.
Whether it is working for a political party, a politician, a candidate, or the advancement of a particular issue, there are many opportunities to get involved in politics. Political work includes people from a wide variety of backgrounds including IT, creative writing, media, film, and more.
If you have the desire to influence decisions within political, economic and social systems, and a drive to yield tangible results, a career in advocacy might be a fit. Community development or advocacy groups advocate around a particular issue or concern, and positions are often in the fields of law, public relations, and communications.
Columbia University Resources
- Explore opportunities under the job tab on LionSHARE. Try using keywords like “government,” ”campaign,” or “advocate,” or select “Government” or “Politics” from the employer industry menu.
- Read Start Preparing for Your Career in Policy or Politics Today: Industry Showcase Insights.
- Student groups at Columbia provide the opportunity to explore issues and get involved in the political realm. Consider joining the CU Republicans, CU Democrats, CU Libertarians, Columbia Journal of Politics and Society, Political Science Students Association, Women in Law and Politics, Columbia Political Review.
- Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs provides information, resources, and stipends to students pursuing Congressional internships during the school year and over the summer.
- Community Impact is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to serving disadvantaged people in the Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights communities.
- Columbia Community Outreach (CCO) coordinates Columbia University’s largest day of community service. In recent years, projects have included re-beautifying parks, serving food in soup kitchens, running errands for homeless shelters, and performing administrative work at neighboring schools.
- Kenneth Cole Community Action Program @ Columbia University: Spring-semester internships with civic engagement-oriented organizations in New York. There are many other opportunities available through our internship programs.
- Check out our Career Fairs. Sample non-profit organizations that have recently attended our Career Fairs include Make a Wish Foundation, The DREAM Project, and Safe Horizon.
- Learn about post-grad plans and transferable skills using our major tipsheets.
Job and Internship Search Resources