Today I attended a job fair addressing “how to make a career in Non Profit Organizations.” This job fair was hosted by San Jose State University in partnership with NOVA. The program started with a forum which had four speakers on the panel: Albert Rivas – Deputy Chief, External Affairs CA Department of Corrections, Cash – Sr. management Analyst, City of Palo Alto, Gwen Ford – President/CEO, Optimistic HR Solutions, LLC, HR lead from a non profit recruiting firm, and Fred Slone the Director Global Literacy Benetech. They mainly explained what types of jobs are available in non-profits, how to search them, and what do non-profit employers look while selecting candidates.All of them explicitly emphasized on the mission of the nonprofit organizations to create change for the benefit of the society. Therefore, they pressed on the point that candidates seeking jobs in non-profits should approach only if they believe in the mission of the non-profit and want to work towards bringing about this change in the society. Further they unanimously encouraged participants to engage in volunteering as an ideal way to get a non profit job. According to them volunteering benefits employers and the volunteers equally because it allows the employers to see if the volunteer is passionate about the cause and work towards their mission. At the same time, it is a great opportunity for the the volunteers to get first hand experience of what is it like to work in this sector. As a result, if the volunteer does not like the work he/she can always call it quits to explore another area of interest.Personally, I think volunteering offers a chance to practice different skills and tasks on job that boost individual confidence of working in a particular capacity. Volunteering opportunities also offer a great career launching pad for students and fresh graduates to understand the real world pragmatism of textual knowledge.
So coming back to today’s job fair, there was half an hour of networking session after the forum followed by the fair. Participants were encouraged to explore different booths in the fair and see if any opening for volunteering, internship or job was available in the participating non-profit organizations. I found two interesting volunteering opportunities in the fair, one with YWCA tech girls and the other position as a social media manager with Wande E.
Thus far we learned that constructivist research paradigm is interested in exploring, describing and interpreting human experiences, whereas positivist paradigm focuses on investigating cause and effects of social issues in a scientific manner. So my question is, does anyone think about a resolve to the social issue beyond analyzing it subjectively or objectively? Well Yes! The answer is critical paradigm researchers. Critical paradigm in social science tries to go beyond the research findings by offering remedial solutions for transformative action.Critical researchers believe in ‘reality’ that can be captured. This reality or truth is created and shaped by social, political, cultural, economic, ethnic and gender-based forces that are preserved and ruled by the social structures over time. The key objectives and goals of this research are to critically scrutinize and identify inequalities to bring transformation. Critical scholars are judgmental about right and wrong in the society to determine reformative actions for betterment of the society. Marxism, feminism, gender studies, deconstructionism are the standing pillars of critical studies. Critical paradigm also predominantly employs qualitative methods like interviews, focus groups, and observation because the emphasis is on understanding human experiences with oppression from social structures. Besides qualitative methods also offer subjective remedial solutions for transformative action. Few examples of critical research are as follows:
Teaching controversial issues in the social studies: A research study of middle school teachers.
Promoting critical thinking and inquiry through storytelling in elementary classrooms.