What to Look for in a Future Employer

By: Sonia Aviv

As a graduate student soon to embark on the long and winding journey of finding a full-time job #afterSIPA, what am I (and other students) looking for in the place that we one day will call our employer? Beyond salary and name brand, shouldn’t we as policy students be thinking about how our future companies make an impact, beyond their core products and research? The ability to make a change can seem complicated and unattainable. But, if we start simply by making educated decisions in our own lives that promote rather than contradict our beliefs, we are taking the first step.

This summer I worked at a New York based non-profit, JUST Capital. The organization works to build a more just marketplace, following from the belief that if people have the right information, they will buy from, invest in, work for, and otherwise support companies that align with their values. Every year, after a rigorous polling and data collection process the organization publishes the “JUST 100” in Forbes Magazine - a list of the most “just” companies in the United States. The criteria encompasses a wide range of topics: from how companies treat their workers (through programs promoting diversity and inclusion, career development, etc.) to how they practice environmental sustainability, among other drivers. JUST promotes a message of capitalism for good. Unlike other organizations that try to paint corporations as the “bad guy,”, JUST accepts the reality that corporations have a gigantic impact and aims to maximize that influence for the greater good by working alongside corporations and workers to educate, praise and ultimately, promote change. Say what you will about capitalism, but the approach of JUST Capital is undeniably a unique and compelling one. 

I encourage all SIPA students and job seekers to check out the 2018 JUST Capital rankings. There are so many companies - like Accenture, S&P Global etc. - that are doing such great things. They deserve our attention and consideration as we enter (or re-enter) the labor market.