An NYU Stern student with a traditional consulting and a nonprofit background talks about the difference between Net Impact 2007 in Tennessee and this year’s conference in 2008, and the trends he’s observed due to the financial crisis.
On the general vibe at Net Impact 2008:
I think people in general had a mix of fear and optimism depending on the sector they are interested in. Those who want to work in healthcare and education feel a little more optimistic. Non-profits, too.
Everyone brought their A game. Last year, you didn’t see that. This year 80% are business professional; last year, only 50%. Some wore jeans. Today everyone is wearing a suit. You can tell that the job market has changed significantly
On the Career Fair:
This year it’s better than last year. The level of professionalism was higher this year. They didn’t just send HR professionals – which is what they did last year – this year they brought people who are a lot closer to the decision-makers in their companies.
It seems like the current crisis works in favor of the social sector. For example, there were a lot more people at the Bridgespan-type tables that there were last year. This is a good thing in the short term, but the non-profit sector needs to be cautious of cherry picking talent. There would be long-term ramifications if these people weren’t truly committed to the field.
Finding the right balance of skills and commitment is really important – but it’s difficult.