Center for Career Exploration

Careers in the Common Good

Each year, more than a quarter of Brown graduates immediately begin full-time positions in government agencies, nonprofits and community-based organizations, as well as social ventures and for-profit positions focused on social impact.

Working for the common good includes careers in the following fields, among others:

  • activism and advocacy
  • nonprofit and social service
  • education
  • government, public interest law, and public policy
  • healthcare and public health
  • social enterprise
  • corporate social responsibility
  • nonprofit and impact consulting

Searching for jobs and internships in the common good

The vast majority of employers who hire for positions in the common good have a few things in common:

  • They don't send recruiters to college campuses. Many civic, nonprofit and similar organizations don’t tend to participate in career fairs or other campus visits. Big-name national employers in education and policy work, such as the U.S. State Department, are notable exceptions.
  • They hire students in the late spring or after graduation. The vast majority of Brown students who accepted first jobs in nonprofit or government work were hired in the spring or in the summer following graduation.
  • They offer unpaid or low-paid internship opportunities. Because many service organizations don’t have large budgets for internships, students may want to seek funding elsewhere, such as through Brown’s SPRINT program.

Chart your path and develop a strategy

Because of the unique nature of jobs working in social impact or government, you will need a different job and internship search strategy than students pursuing careers in other industries that have employers recruiting on campus.

  • Partner with the Brown Center for Career Exploration. Meet with a career counselor to talk about your skills, values and needs and reflect on your interests in a social impact internship or job.
  • Utilize BrownConnect to engage with Brown alumni working to have a positive social impact in the nonprofit, government and for-profit sectors, through conversations, coaching and mentoring.
  • Explore Brown’s Signature Internship opportunities and find similar Careers in the Common Good (CCG) opportunities in Handshake.
  • Explore classes, centers and organizations on campus that can help you learn more about and engage with the problems you want to tackle and the causes you want to work with. 
  • Attend internship, job and career search programs, CCG career education weeks and open hours with the director of the CCG Pathways Program to help develop your own plan for identifying and pursuing opportunities.
  • Check Handshake regularly, but also look to other resources. While Handshake has thousands of jobs listed at any given time, this represents only a small fraction of the opportunities available to you. Connect with alumni and other members of the Brown community to uncover opportunities tailored to your unique skills, values and interests.

Additional resources

Get information and insights about a variety of career fields and industries with free access to Vault Guides.
Connect with more than 65,000 Brown alumni and search for internship opportunities — many reserved exclusively for Brown students.
Access funding to support unpaid and low-paid internships, research and curricular development opportunities and domestic and international internship programs in select fields.