Five Ways to Make Something Out of Nothing

VOGUE Magazine-celebrated author, wellness guru and owner of fitness studio Nalini Method, Rupa Mehta is a pioneer in the fitness industry with a powerful one-of-a kind story.

After graduating from NYU’s Stern School of Business and studying Pilates, Yoga and Lotte Berk, Mehta’s signature fitness class— Nalini Method– was born. Mehta developed a fun and challenging class that fuses the results and attention of a personal trainer session with the dynamic energy of a group atmosphere. Called “pint-sized guru” by Vogue Magazine and the “Rachel Ray of Fitness” by The New York Post, Mehta’s passion is to weave together Eastern and Western philosophies through dynamic, innovative and accessible approaches towards wellness.

Noted as “One of the all-time Best Workouts in New York City” by NBC and voted a “Top Workout” by Oprah and FITNESS Magazine, Nalini Method is a dynamic class fusing Pilates, aerobics, barre work, strength and resistance training, and yoga.

 Have you ever been nervous? If the answer is no, I want to know your secret! While nervousness makes us feel uncomfortable, it is often a signifier that we are in the right place; a place of taking risks, challenging our comfort zones and exploring new territory.

 Building a business, creating something out of nothing, is one of the riskiest things a person can do.  It becomes an investment of more than just finances; when you put your life into your passion and make it into a career, you enter into a Russian roulette with your own emotions. It’s not easy, but it is one of the most rewarding choices a person can make.  Here are a few steps to propel your passion into a career.

 1. Write A Mission Statement:  When I was in my early twenties, passionate about business, health and wellness, I realized there was a huge hole in the fitness industry. People were (and still are) obsessed with weight, yet they weren’t being taught that weight management meant something far beyond a number on a scale. I developed a program that offered fitness classes as well as the opportunity to discover that emotional weight matters. My mission was simple: Get fit, physically and emotionally, because emotional heaviness can often make a person feel just as bad as those 10 extra pounds. With a clear mission statement, I was able to communicate the goals of my business efficiently, garnering respect and interest from peers and investors.

2. Share your business idea and plan with someone who is NOT in your field: After I began to plant the seeds of Nalini Method in my own head I knew I had to share it. I wanted to be able to spark the interest of people who weren’t in the fitness or business world. First on my list? Mom. I knew that if my conservative mom could understand the goals and need for my business others would too. I sat down with her and some friends and shared my idea. I was flooded with support, suggestions and information. Talking with friends and family also forced me to get clearer with what my goals were. I also never realized how many professionals I knew outside of  the fitness world that had relationships with people that could help me. The connections made and support given was overwhelming.

3. Get the domain, the bank account and make your business real: This is one of the hardest steps in building a business. Once that spark has been in your head, you have your mission and you’ve sought the guidance of others, it’s time to put your passion to the test. Committing yourself to your business financially can seem scary but I promise it will inspire you to move quickly and fervently toward your goals.

4. Say thank you: I started at the very bottom. I rented studio space, handed out fliers on the streets of Manhattan and had a lot of “coffee dates” with mentors, picking their brains and getting ideas. Now, I have two studios, a small group of employees and will be publishing my second book next year. The people who believed in me made all of this possible. Saying thank you not only shows your respect for the people who have stuck by your side, it also grounds you, reminding you that you are a part of a larger machine, a community of people that grow and support each other.  I truly value those initial relationships. I still maintain with the first clients who came to my studio as well as past colleagues and mentors.

5. Enjoy it: A few years ago I decided  to launch my own non-profit, NaliniKIDS, a school program that aims to bring the same values of the Nalini Method into public schools and underserved communities in New York City.  This was a  financially debatable decision (to say the least!), but something inside of me knew it was a good one. I love working with children and can happily say that NaliniKIDS is my truest passion. Being able to train educators on the front lines of changing our future and making our youth healthier is something that fuels my personal life as well as Nalini Method. It may be corny, but sometimes allowing yourself to have fun in your business, even if it doesn’t make sense to others, keeps you going and will inspire you to accomplish more with your business long-term. .

 If you are passionate about something, do it. Build a life around what makes you happy. Often times you’ll find that your passions coincide with the needs of others. In fully serving your heart you successfully serve your community and your world.

 Allow yourself to feel nervous, to be wary, to wonder, to ask. These things can and will drive you to do better. Don’t fight the nerves and don’t let them overpower your talent. Breathe, let them in, allow them to live in you and see what they can make you do. Get inspired and write your mission. Lock in that domain name and thank the people who help you along the way and of course, don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

 Interested in more tips on Social Entrepreneurship? Join us at…. 

What’s Next? Social Entrepreneurship

Thursday, April 9, 5:00 – 7:00PM | Leslie eLab

Food and refreshments will be served Learn how this panel of social entrepreneurs created social change and made an impact on a community through business innovation. Join us at the Leslie eLab to discuss specific career opportunities and advice for social entrepreneurs.

Pursuing Your Passion Through Your Career: Reflections from NYU Graduate Students

Jessica and Rachel, two NYU School of Professional Studies students who attended last year’s Find and Follow Your Passion: A FindSpark Conference, share lessons learned as we gear up for this year’s conference at NYU.

Rachel Bradshaw is a storyteller at heart. She moved to New York to pursue a master’s degree in marketing at NYU, which she’ll be completing this May. Before moving to New York she worked as an account manager for a specialty food retailer in Canada, where she’s from. Now, she’s  fulfilling her dream of working in advertising as an Associate Account Planner at Razorfish New York. 

Jessica Abreu is a creative writer, bilingual in English and Spanish. She enjoys working with non-profits and community relations. She is completing coursework at New York University’s School of Professional Studies to earn her master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications.

 Setting your course, how to get started with finding your passion and incorporating it into your professional life.

Jessica recommends taking time to develop self-awareness, especially if you have a hard time articulating your passions as they relate to the world of work.  She explains, “sometimes we have more than one passion and it’s hard to blend all of our passions together-that’s when we have to think, which one do I want to turn into a career?  Your other passions can stay active as a hobby.  The unique blend of your passions makes you and your personal brand unique- cherish them all.”

Rachel agrees, “It takes self-reflection and work to get your career going, knowing what you want is key- keep your eye on the prize.  Take advantage of opportunities to expand and connect with your network and show your passion in a genuine way.”

 Be Genuine, Patient, and Persistent

Rachel found great value in networking with employers at professional conferences such as FindSpark.  As a career changer it was invaluable for her to meet employers face to face and to tell them the story of why she is passionate about her new career. Rachel explains, “It is sometimes difficult for employers to understand the value you can offer just by reading your resume.  The opportunity to interact in person (outside of an interview setting) means you get to show them who you are and I think it helps you to become ‘top of mind’ as long as you do your part and follow up.”  Rachel loves her job at a digital marketing agency but it took patience and persistence to achieve.  The first time she applied for an internship she didn’t get it, but she kept in touch with her contacts there, sending relevant articles and checking in.  They reached out to her with an internship offer the following year which led to her current contractual role, which she hopes will turn full time once she graduates.

 Pursuing Your Passion by Taking Risks

 Jessica was reminded that sometimes pursuing your passion through your career necessitates taking risks while listening to last year’s FindSpark conference keynote speaker.  She heard Nusrat Durrani describe his professional journey, which included an internship at the age of 35 with two masters’ degrees and management experience.  Accepting an internship at that point in his career may not have been his first choice but he was extremely passionate about working in entertainment in New York City.  That internship was at MTV where he went on to become General Manager/Senior Vice President of MTV World.

 By Genevieve Boron, Assistant Director at the Wasserman Center for Career Development with Jessica Abreu, graduate student in PR and corporate communications at NYU SPS and Rachel Bradshaw, graduate student in marketing at NYU SPS.

 Click here to learn more and register for the Find & Follow Your Passion Conference on Saturday, April 18th.

Myth vs. Facts! The Truth About Women in the Engineering Field

Happy Women’s History Month!

MYTH #1: Women aren’t interested in engineering.

Fact: Women are interested in engineering but there are stereotypes hindering them from developing this interest. Around middle school, significant gender differences begin to emerge where girls report that they don’t feel as confident in their STEM abilities compared to their male counterparts. Prevalent beliefs driving this lack of confidence include the gender-based division of labor, which deters girls from developing interests in occupations deemed inappropriate for their gender. Researchers at Stanford University recently published their findings which showed how “women engineering students perform as well as men, but…don’t believe that their skills are good enough and they don’t feel like they fit in engineering.” The best way to put an end to this leading myth is to break the underlying stereotype driving it and to encourage girls to pursue their interests from a young age. The upcoming Women in Engineering Summit at NYU SOE aims to address this issue while inspiring and empowering women in STEM.

MYTH #2: Women who begin a major in engineering are less likely to stick with it and graduate with a degree in engineering.

Fact: Engineering is often thought of as a difficult program, one that “weeds-out” the good engineer students from the bad, resulting in a high dropout rate. Contrary to this belief, engineering retention is not significantly lower than other fields and more importantly, women are just as likely as men to remain in engineering. Studies show that there is no difference between the innate skills of male and female engineering students so women perform as well as men in engineering school.

MYTH #3: There are no female role models in engineering.

Fact: The engineering field has plenty of female role models. One only has to do a quick Google search to find them. For instance, Hedy Lamarr, renowned actress during the 1930s and 1940s, is now more commonly known for her technological invention, “frequency hopping.” As World War II loomed, Hedy Lamarr wanted to help defeat Nazism and came up with an electronics radio system to help American and Allied submarines launch torpedoes without having their signals jammed. “Frequency hopping” was later used to help make cell phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless inventions. Another female role model is Ellen Richards who contributed to the field through her pioneering work in sanitary engineering. In 1892, Richards introduced the word “ecology” in the United States and through her studies of air, water and food quality she became the first female student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MYTH #4: Women do not occupy top positions in Engineering.

Fact: There is a significant gender disparity when it comes to top positions at companies across various industries and the field of engineering is no stranger to this disparity. In fact, when it comes to engineering, it’s much worse as men tend to dominate the c-suite positions. Part of the reason for this is there are fewer women at engineering schools to begin with. But, be that as it may, several women today occupy top positions in engineering including managers, directors, presidents and CEOs of companies. To strive toward these positions, women engineering students like their male counterparts should adopt a multi-layered approach to their job search, taking advantage of their school resources, leveraging their network to make important connections and effectively utilizing social media for their job search.

Interested in what it’s like to be a woman in other fields? Join us this Thursday, March 26th | 3:00- 4:30pm for Women in the Workplace. Come listen to a panel of women who found success in the workplace in spite of various obstacles. PwC, Nickelodeon, Triton Research, among others will be represented. Panel moderated by FairygodbossClick here  for more info and to RSVP.


Ace An Interview In 5 Easy Steps

Nicole Winston-Harrington, Director of Talent Acquisition & Development at Winged Keel Group

Since joining Winged Keel Group in 2000, Nicole has managed all aspects of Human Resources, Recruiting, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Training Programs, and Event Planning. In her current role as Director of Talent Acquisition & Development, Winged Keel Group continues to draw on her expertise in attracting and retaining highly talented individuals whose skill and aptitude are aligned with the firm’s business goals and whom can consistently perform at a high level.

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Florida International University, and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Barry University. She is also trained and certified as a Co-Active Executive Coach from the renowned Coaches Training Institute. 

Nicole enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, hiking, and traveling. She also volunteers her time to Habitat for Humanity and Our House Grief Support Center.

What does 500 mean to you? For me, it’s the number of candidates I’ve interviewed during my 15-year tenure at Winged Keel Group. Lobbying for positions from Interns and Associates, to Managing Directors and Chief Operating Officers, many have aced the interview — and many have failed completely.

The difference is in the details. As the Director of Talent Acquisition & Development, I’ve studied people and their behavior intensely to identify high-caliber talent.

This is your time to shine and to prove yourself as a stand out candidate who we want to fight to get an offer to, before our competitors. It’s also an opportunity for you to strengthen your communication and presentation skills, and showcase your ability to thoughtfully articulate who you are and why we’d want to hire you. Now is when you must sell yourself as a valuable contributor to a successful, growing organization. I recommend going on many interviews to keep yourself fresh and practiced.

Think about your competitors, too: candidates from other schools, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, social media recruiting, referrals networks and beyond. They’ve all got their eyes on the prize, too.  How will you choose to stand out?

Follow these 5 easy steps to stand out and win the job:

1.     Look Sharp:

It’s true about lasting first impressions: dress appropriately and professionally, and you’ve earned my attention both during the interview and when I consider candidates later in the process. Successful people dress for success: a suit and tie for men; a nice top and skirt or slacks and blazer for women. Look in the mirror one last time: messy hair and an unshaven, sloppy look fails in a professional environment.

2.     Be Prepared:

Review the company website, company reviews on Glassdoor, bios of the firm’s leadership team, and beyond: make sure you are aware of the company’s competitors, culture, and current industry updates.

Coming prepared to an interview with knowledge about the firm, industry and job opening shows the Hiring Manager that you are dedicated, resourceful, professional, and taking your job search seriously. I’ve interviewed candidates who didn’t know anything about Winged Keel Group: Wow! Why would we want to hire anyone who doesn’t know who we are or what we do? We look for candidates who are well prepared and ready to take on the exciting challenges and growth opportunities offered at our firm. Want to set yourself apart from the pack? Come prepared, do the research. You will stand out!

3.     Know Your Strengths and Goals:

Where does your excellence lie? What differentiates you from any other candidate? You need to know the answers to these questions: what sets you apart, what you are good at, the tasks you enjoy performing, and what would make your contribution leveraging to those you work with.

What are your 2-year goals and your 5-year goals? Be clear in the vision you see for yourself. If you sincerely don’t know it yet, invest time in the process. The clearer you are with your own goals, the more articulate you will come across in an interview.

4. Be Curious:

Intellectual curiosity is appealing to an interviewer. Ask questions: “What has made someone successful in this role?” “How does the company expect to grow and outlast the competition?” “What is the most challenging aspect of the position?” You might also want to know what a typical day is like, how performance is evaluated or who your fellow employees are. Make a list of your questions ahead of time. Curiosity shows that you are inquisitive, engaged, interested in learning more about the position. You can ask about growth opportunities but stay focused on the current opportunity. If the interviewer thinks you’re looking to just get a foot in the door, they may not consider you a viable candidate.

5.     Say Thank You:

Emailing a simple note of gratitude after the interview is professional, impressive and highly appreciated by Hiring Managers like me. We see that you have strong follow-through, integrity, humility and sincere interest in the role. It’s considerate and gracious and, if well written, leaves a positive lasting impression.

Do you feel ready to ace your next interview? Practice with a friend and record or videotape your responses so you can replay the interview and see how well you did.

Want to interview at Winged Keel Group? We love meeting talented individuals! Check out our career page and apply:

Winged Keel Group is an independent advisory and brokerage firm specializing in the structuring and administration of the largest life insurance portfolios in the industry and insurance dedicated hedge funds for the wealthiest families in the country.  We specialize in advising our clients on how to make their hedge fund portfolios tax efficient using annuities and life insurance products. Since our formation in 1989, we have established a differentiated position in the market by continuously investing in building an operating infrastructure that enables us to deliver consistent high quality work over long periods of time.

Why Your Humanities Degree Matters

Susan Zheng is the co-founder and CEO of Lynxsy, a mobile recruitment marketplace for companies to hire junior, non-technical talent. Previously, she was an early employee at Tough Mudder where she helped the company grow from 10 to 200 in two years. She graduated from NYU Stern with a degree in Finance and International Business.

Career Advice: Take chances, and don’t worry if your career doesn’t follow a formula. The most successful people in history have had non-linear careers.

You’ve just graduated, or you’re about to graduate, with a degree in the humanities. The media is picking on your degree with increasing intensity. Articles about the least useful degrees for graduates are popping up in your news feed, and Buzzfeed is pushing out videos on How to scare humanities majors. No wonder if you’re feeling nervous about your job prospects and bashful about your choice of study.

Don’t regret your college decisions just yet. While a STEM degree is a must for certain career paths, your humanities major can actually be a very appealing asset to potential employers. It represents a certain set of competencies that uniquely prepare you for the world of work.

Here are some capabilities you’ve picked up along the way that you shouldn’t take for granted—or let anyone forget:

Top-Notch Writing Ability

Employers want candidates with strong writing skills. You have the chops, having churned out numerous papers to satisfy the professors of your various humanities courses. Your ability to convey your thoughts in writing is worth a great deal in the workplace.

Clutch Critical Thinking

Your studies have emphasized analysis and speculation. You’ve had the freedom to examine topics from multiple viewpoints. Employers recognize that this kind of mental prowess transfers well to the business world.

Expert Communication

While you probably did your fair share of g-chatting in the library, surely that’s not the only communication skill you honed in your four years. The time you didn’t spend solving mathematical puzzles or mixing chemicals was instead invested in lively discussions about big ideas, whether in class or over coffee with friends. You’re articulate, and it shows.

Mad Research Skills

Remember those works cited pages you toiled over late at night? They weren’t in vain. Though not gleaned in a laboratory, your hard-won research skills will be useful to your future employer. And if you’re looking at a startup, your ability to dig and make sense of what you find is pure gold.

Creativity to Boot

Just as STEM degrees tend to attract empirical folks, humanities degrees are a magnet for free thinkers. Your left brain dominance is an advantage when there’s a problem to solve. Businesses—especially startups—thrive on bold ideas, and you may be just the person to provide them.

Be proud of the work you put in to earn your humanities degree. As you market yourself, make sure your resume and answers to interviewer questions reflect your unique skills—thanks to your humanities degree. And if you’re considering a startup endeavor, you can consider yourself a serious contender. Don’t forget! Lynxsy can help!

Article Originally Posted on The Lynxsy Blog.


My Fulbright to Bulgaria: Teaching English and Cultural Exchange

Ariel Bloomer is a first year master’s student of Higher Education and Student Affairs at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She graduated with a B.A. in creative writing from Scripps College in California, and spent the following year teaching English in Bulgaria. More insights on her Fulbright year can be found on her blog, the Unintentional Explorer (

I may be a Steinhardt master’s student now, but I still clearly remember the existential stress of my senior year of undergrad where I had to decide what to do after graduation. Over the course of my undergraduate studies, I had discovered and indulged interests in student affairs, writing, travel, and religious studies. Knowing what I was interested in was a first step, but knowing what do with those interests… it was like unfamiliar choreography.

I applied for programs to teach abroad because my curiosity about the world was the most insistent. I was fortunate to be awarded a Fulbright fellowship to teach English in Bulgaria. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research/study and English teaching grants to U.S. citizens that have earned Bachelor’s degrees. Although it is a teaching program, Fulbright seeks applicants who have various levels of teaching experience and do not require applicants to have completed a degree in education. For instance, I had little experience with teaching. However, some countries do look for applicants with previous teaching experience.

I decided Fulbright was the right program for me because its mission so closely matched my own. The Fulbright program, under the U.S. Department of State, has a goal to increase mutual understanding between citizens of the U.S. and those of countries around the world. As a writer, this goal of cross-cultural communication spoke to me. I knew that Bulgaria, often-neglected in the realm of travel writing, would offer fertile ground for me to practice creative non-fiction in my spare time.

 In addition, I saw the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program as an opportunity to try on a new role in the field of education and immerse myself in a new culture and language. It was also an opportunity to use the skills I had learned in Balkan Dance, a class I thought would not be useful beyond satisfying my fine art requirement. This course influenced my desire to apply to teach English in Bulgaria. Somewhere in Bulgaria was a choreography I at least sort of knew.

 In the year I spent abroad in Smolyan, in the Rhodope Mountains where Bulgaria meets Greece, I did not learn to teach. My hit-and-miss lessons were more misses than hits. I did build lasting relationships with teachers and students, facilitated a creative writing club at a high school, spent the fall attending weekly folkdance classes with a Geography teacher from my school, and I learned to cook some of Bulgaria’s unique dishes, a blend of Slavic, Turkish, and Mediterranean fare. I read extensively, took an online travel writing course, and kept a detailed journal. I traveled the Balkan Peninsula by bus and train. I learned that my passion for education is geared towards student development outside of the classroom. This led me to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. More so, Fulbright helped to fine tune my research interests in student outcomes in, and access to, international education.

Now that I contemplate a doctoral program in my not-so-distant future, I wonder if Fulbright will again be a part of my journey forward. I taught English through my grant, but the program also offers research opportunities for those with a Bachelor’s degree to conduct independent projects abroad. It is a unique opportunity to follow a passion, carry out grant-funded research, serve as a U.S. cultural ambassador, and learn a dance you never knew before.

 To learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, attend an upcoming Fulbright Information Session for Graduate Students at The Wasserman Center (133 East 13th Street, 2nd Floor, Presentation Room B) on Thursday March 12th from 1pm to 2pm. RSVP Today!

How I, an English Major, Snagged an Awesome Job in Startup Tech Sales

Sawyer Huff is in sales development at Mag+, a platform for creating and distributing designed mobile apps. He graduated from NYU in 2014 with a degree in English and American Literature. Sawyer grew up in Minnesota and currently lives in Brooklyn.

 To say the least, I didn’t envision myself in sales or tech when I started undergrad at NYU. After sitting through my MAP courses for most of freshman year, I decided to take the least practical track and pursue a degree in English just because it was fun. Becoming an English teacher seemed like the career path of least resistance, so I told myself that was the one for me.

After graduation, I spent four years working as a tutor, speculating about writing some books, and questioning everything; I then found myself in a business development role at a tutoring company. My job was to drive around New Jersey networking with psychologists and schools and hire college kids as tutors and match them with referred students. I was stuck at an unoriginal company in a saturated market. Luckily, I did get to do some of my first cold calling, networking, sales, and presentations to prospective clients, all of which were invaluable experiences to dip my toe into. But I was bored by the monotony.

I started looking aimlessly on the internet for job openings on Craigslist,, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Trying to steer clear of education because of my unstellar experience, I started looking around at sales jobs in the tech industry (which I had paid close attention to since some of my friends had dropped out of college to work at startups).

Although I felt confident in my sales and business development skills, I didn’t have the resume for these jobs. I kept having to come up with fluffy cover letters about how I have great people skills and how much I looked forward to devoting myself to evangelizing ABC company’s Product X. I didn’t hear back from anyone.

That was when I came across CloserIQa platform that connects job-seeking tech sales professionals to all the awesome startup jobs out there. On, I was prompted to build my profile using my resume stats as well as my specific sales skills: how many years of sales experience I had, which industries I was familiar with, what knowledge of CRM systems and sales tools I had, and so on. Filling out the form was intuitive and quick—I was finished with the basic info in five minutes.

Anticipating the cover letter section, I navigated forward with sweaty palms. Ah, not yet—CloserIQ then prompted me to attach my resume. One more click landed me on a page with just two questions and a play button beneath each. The top of the page read, “Record your answers to the questions below. We recommend keeping your answers down to one minute!”

I was thrown off at first. “Am I confident in my ability to string together a sentence?” I thought. “I know I can identify the meter in sonnet, but can I talk?” The questions were tough, too. “What are some of your greatest professional achievements so far?” and “What are some challenges you’ve overcome and how?” After a few minutes of foot tapping and nail biting, I had my confidence re-gathered and my responses prepared.

After finishing, I had a good feeling. Submitting a recording of myself answering a question was an easier and better way to convey my personality to potential employers. It also saved me a ton of time—no more forced cover letters.

The next day, I got a message through CloserIQ from Javier Rosas, the director of global sales at Mag+. Over the course of the next few weeks I interviewed with him and the CEO Gregg Hano. I knew I could see myself working under both of them, I liked their vision of the future of Mag+, and I was desperate to get into something—anything—that was stimulating. I got the job, so it turns out that thing was tech sales!

Javier is my boss now and I’ve been with Mag+ for about 4 months. It’s been a great experience that will definitely keep me in the industry for a while. Mag+ is a software platform that allows designers to build mobile apps for materials that would have been traditionally printed, such as product guides, memos, and brochures. We started out in the magazine industry when the iPad came out, and grew from there.

Being on the sales side is continuously dynamic, and I have learned a TON on the job, not only through figuring out how the product itself works, but through researching the diverse businesses, industries, and solutions the platform is used in and for. Now I’m working with a creative, intelligent group of people putting something out into the world I can really get behind. Boxes checked!

Getting an English major wasn’t so bad after all.

Interested in tech startups and sales jobs? Check out CloserIQ to find open positions you’ll love and read our career blog for advice on how to get hired.

Three Steps to Getting an Internship in Non-profit / Government

Deniz Duru Aydin is a senior at CAS, majoring in Politics and European & Mediterranean Studies. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she interned at various arts-related nonprofits and government organizations including the Lincoln Center and New York State Council on the Arts. She is currently working as a Policy Fellow with Access (, an international non-profit organization that focuses on issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. She is also involved in various projects on internet-related policymaking such as the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance and Freedom Online Coalition.

Three Steps to Getting an Internship in Non-profit / Government

by Deniz Duru Aydin (Peer in Career)

Whether you are a politics major who is dedicated to becoming the next President of the United States, or an environmentalist looking to gain experience while working for the advancement of a cause you are passionate about, an internship experience at a nonprofit or governmental organization is a great for your pre-professional development. Here are a few steps – all tested and verified – that will help you if your career search in the non-private sector:

1- Use NYU CareerNet with the right keywords and timing

You should know the best tags to filter from the hundreds of opportunities listed on NYU CareerNet. If you are interested in the non-profit sector and/or government organizations, using specific keywords including, but not limited to, “policy” “human rights” and “advocacy” will make your life easier.

Are you passionate about a specific cause? As the NYU CareerNet job search looks through job descriptions by default, you should also try searching for positions using specific policy issues. As an example, using “climate change” as a keyword will let you find internships posted by organizations working on environmental issues, including specialized governmental agencies. Alternatively, try to run your search using a geographical focus – ie. “Middle East” or “Latin America” – which will help you navigate the best opportunities that fit your academic experience or personal background. If you are an international student, remember to leverage your language skills by looking for opportunities in international organizations that require or prefer foreign language fluency.

Is there an election coming up? Use NYU CareerNet to look for opportunities to volunteer at an election campaign. Timing is definitely important when it comes to finding an interesting experience. As an example, I volunteered during the 2013 New York City mayoral elections to get a chance to observe first-hand how electoral politics work in the United States. Keep an open eye to what is happening around you and unleash your curiosity!

2- Take your job search to external platforms

Apart from NYU CareerNet, keep an eye on the websites of the organizations you are passionate about. Most nonprofits have year-round volunteering opportunities, as well as paid internship/assistantship options that they publish on their websites, mostly under “Careers” sections.

Another great resource for finding the right opportunity is Twitter! Most organizations publish their job advertisements on Twitter, as they think that it is an effective way to reach people who are most passionate about their work. Create a Twitter list that includes organizations that you would like to work/intern for. This way, you will not only have a great resource to check new opportunities in 140 characters, but also a personally curated list that will help you follow the updates on causes you care about!

If you are looking for a more aggregated job search platform, is very useful for finding nonprofit internships and volunteer opportunities, as its mission is “to close the gap between intention and action by connecting people, organizations, ideas, and resources.” In addition, most job search platforms such as and LinkedIn job search have opportunities in the non-profit and government sector. Finally, remember to use more specialized resources such as to find federal and state-level opportunities.

3- Develop new interests, network & network some more!

In today’s world and while you are in New York City, the opportunities for networking are limitless for all sectors, including nonprofit and government. Attending lectures outside your school at NYU would be a great idea to meet with influential thought leaders in the policy area you are interested in, as well as developing new interests. Use the NYU Events listing and keep an eye on the events calendars of interesting university-wide NYU institutions including but not limited to Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Institute for Public Knowledge or The Governance Lab.

Events outside NYU are also helpful in finding your dream job or internship at a nonprofit. As an example, Dylan James Welch, a senior at NYU studying International Relations, found his current job through attending a TEDx Conference in his hometown Boston. After hearing about the organization, he got involved in its NYU Chapter, which led to an internship opportunity at the organization’s main office in New York City.

If you’d like to put your networking skills to the test, attend this popular Wasserman event featuring a number of non-profit organizations:

Dining for Success (For Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students)

Thursday, April 2, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. LOCATION: TBA (check CareerNet for the latest information) IN-PERSON REGISTRATION AND REFUNDABLE CASH DEPOSIT REQUIRED! Registration is first-come, first-served! Mastering interviewing skills is hard enough, but what about when your interview is over a meal? Don’t let your dining etiquette stand in the way of getting the job! Join NYU Recruiters from ESPN, Teach for America, Ernst & Young, PwC, The Walt Disney Company and more to practice these skills over a three-course meal! More information about in-person registration HERE.

The Policy Case Competition at NYU

Tommy Wang is a sophomore studying Finance and Economics at Stern School of Business. He is also the co-director for the Policy Case Competition and the e-board member of Politics Society at NYU which organises the event. 

 The Policy Case Competition at NYU - Deadline is Tonight at 11:59pm!

 If you are in any way involved in the politics clubs at NYU, you’ve probably heard of the NYU Policy Case Competition. The Policy Case Competition launched last year when 12 teams competed in solving policy problems regarding domestic, foreign, or economic policy.

 This competition serves as a great way for students to foster their critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. It is also a great opportunity for students to network with policy makers from NYU DC, the New York Federal Reserve, and other political think tanks. Last year, the winning team got a free trip to NYU DC to have dinner with political insiders and discuss their proposed solutions. For those who wish to have a career in politics, this is a great chance for them to get their foot in the door.

 This year, we have opened up the competition to schools outside of NYU. Currently, we have teams coming from Columbia, Princeton, and Hunter. This year’s Policy Case Competition will be bigger and better; we’ve invited esteemed panelists from Harvard, BlackRock, the Eisenhower Institute, and many more! The Politics Society at NYU encourages students to sign up to participate, or just attend the event on April 4th.​

Policy Case Competition


Find real world solutions to domestic, international, or economic issues. Present your team’s policy proposal to experts from the Federal Reserve, Roosevelt Institute, Harvard University, BlackRock, and other distinguished institutions. Single entrants and team registrations are both accepted. Register here! Space is limited. More info about PCC.

Humanizing the Resume: Add WWOOF, Add Character

Emily Sujka is a Junior at New York University studying Economics.  As part of her Sophomore year, she attended NYU Prague in the Czech Republic. She has journeyed to all seven continents.  Abroad and domestically she has been involved in several English-teaching volunteer programs.  On campus she participates in Polish Club, American Red Cross Club, CommAg, and several other organizations.  Her passions include Polish language study and darkroom Photography. 

Student Assistant, Farmhand, Intern, English Teacher, Global Peer Educator, Stacks Assistant: these are the first four job positions I have listed on my resume.  Let me ask a question now, which of these occupational titles sticks out the most?  Which of these are not like the other?  Which of these will make your interviewer fall back a little more into the recline of his/her office chair?  If you said either Stacks or Student Assistant, I don’t believe you.  Employers get these vague titles all day long.  They read these and think, what skills do you have from being an assistant that I can utilize?  Maybe some Excel proficiency?  They jump down to skills: beginner Excel.  They see Intern and for a brief moment they chortle at the synonymic nature of assistant and intern.  Their eyes catch the words teacher and educator and they know that you’ve done more than watch YouTube behind a desk all day.  So, I’ll ask again, what throws them?

You’re sitting at the interview and they lean back a bit, “Farmhand, huh.  So tell me about that.”  The squint in their eye conveys the skepticism.  He/she has caught you in a lie.  But, rather than scrambling to make up a story to preserve your resume’s color, your eyes turn glazy.  “Well, every morning I fed the 12 kids…my favorite was Schwarklop (giggle), but that’s a tragic story so I won’t tell it now, and took out the 43 goats for breakfast…” Your interviewer couldn’t hastily glance over your Experience.  You caught them by curiosity before they got close to the Interests portion, the part where they try and forge some type of artificial connection to see what type of person you are along with the resume-proclaimed worker you are.

Now comes the usual, how, where, why did I farm?  World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), answers that first question.  This truly international organization circulates volunteers from all over the world, putting them on organic farms from Bangladesh to Oregon.  You choose the site (the farm, country, etc.), you choose the time, and you go get your hands dirty while breathing in an unfamiliar air and sharing in a different culture.  As for why, I could list off the millions of practical reasons for me going alone to rural Poland to bake bread at 3AM and feed cows in the pouring rain.  But, really, what could satisfactorily rationalize that last statement?

Nothing looks better to employers than thriving outside of your comfort zone.  Showing  that you’re a quick learner and a global, open-minded individual is invaluable in a job environment when many applicants look like cookies, all cut the same.  So grab hold of WWOOF, the opportunity to get away from the too tall skyscrapers.  Take steps to mold yourself.  WWOOF: go anywhere and grow something.