Impactful Career Paths

Students learn from professionals pursuing non-corporate passions
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

ILR students were encouraged to follow their non-corporate passions when 24 professionals spoke at the second Social Impact Career Forum on Friday.

Representatives of government, non-governmental organizations, law, policy, labor, think tanks, international rights groups, non-profits, social justice and advocacy organizations, they shared their experiences during sessions at King-Shaw Hall.

Buffalo City Court Judge Amy Martoche ’92, among 19 speakers who graduated from ILR, described what motivated her to attend the school.

“The reason that I went to ILR was that I was always very concerned about social justice issues and it is also what has driven me through my career,” she said.

“When I decided to go to law school, it was after having been a Teach for America teacher for several years.”

Chris Banks MILR ’14, a presidential management fellow and budget analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor, found his career passion later, during his college years.

“I started off as an undergraduate interested in medicine and then went into community organizing and union organizing,” Banks said.

“When I got my position as an organizer, I figured out my passion and that was improving the lives and economic conditions of the majority of American citizens.”

Marcela Cabello ’13, research assistant at The Brookings Institution Center for Health Policy, said, “I would have loved to have had an event like this when I was an undergrad to help me navigate into the non-profit and policy space.”

Eager to help current students see possibilities in those areas, Cabello said she was glad to participate in the forum.
“I thought it would be really great to join some of my fellow alumni and talk to students about how there are other career paths that are very impactful.”

ILR classes have helped her in her role at Brookings, Cabello said.

“All of Professor Liz Karns’s classes were amazing and really helped shape my perspective on the intersection between statistics, law and policy,” Cabello said. “I highly recommend taking all of them.”

Alexis Pollitto ’18 said the forum gave her a look at the non-profit world.

“I went into it not knowing a lot about careers in social justice, but came out of it knowing a lot about getting involved in these careers,” Pollitto said.

“After seeing so many people involved in this sort of work, it makes me feel it is possible for me to go into this work and that it is a good type of work to be in.”