Over 30 Organizations, More Than 200 Students Attended Conflict Resolution Career Fair

On Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Lerner Hall’s Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia University, approximately 250 students across Columbia’s various schools gathered to meet with representatives from over 30 organizations at the Conflict Resolution Career Fair. The event was hosted by the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict & Complexity (AC4) and drew students pursuing their master's degrees in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution as well as various other related programs.

In attendance were a wide range of employers, from the United Nations Secretariat to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center to the New York Peace Institute.

Danielle Coon, a graduate of the M.S. program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, represented Tuesday’s Children, an organization founded to promote long-term healing in all those impacted by the events of September 11, 2001. Coon recently became the Director of Programs at Tuesday’s Children. She credits her graduate degree for preparing her for such a role: “Having that background gave me the experience I needed to be able to get started in the field.” At the career fair, she was hoping to connect with Columbia students who might be interested in the part-time internships or the entry-level staff position currently available at the their Manhattan office.

Another organization in attendance was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center (CPRC). The CPRC is the EPA’s primary resource for services and expertise in the areas of consensus-building, collaborative problem solving, alternative dispute resolution, and environmental conflict resolution. Joseph Siegel, Senior Attorney and Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Specialist said that his organization, too, seeks part-time interns. When asked what sort of experience he was looking for in an intern, he said, “Mediation training is the most important -- as well as a background in environmental issues.”

The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a nonprofit activist organization dedicated to the resolution of conflicts that threaten U.S. interests, occupied a table at the event. For their organization, they sought interns with strong writing skills who could produce clearly written reports. And because they host a wealth of events, they were particularly interested in applicants with organizational skills and preferably some event coordination experience.

The event, now in its third year, not only connected students with potential employers but also fellowship opportunities, campus organizations, and other students whose common goal is conflict resolution -- whether in business, law, education, healthcare, or government.