Frequently Asked Questions
Isn’t it better to start in a corporate job and then shift to a social impact job later?
There is a common misconception that it is easy to shift from a corporate job into a social impact job, but that it is impossible to do the opposite. In fact, 84% of social impact leaders spent 10+ in the industry rising through the ranks. We think this is backwards. As you work your way up the corporate ladder, the jump into social impact seems harder and harder. Instead, if you spend a couple of years working on the front lines of a critical social issue, you will understand what specific skills you want or need to build in your career. You will be differentiated by your willingness to take risks and your future decisions around corporate jobs or grad school will be informed by a sense of purpose rather than existential dread.
What if I have significant student debt or if salary is a major concern?
This is an unfortunate reality of a lot of social impact work. While some nonprofits or social enterprises do offer market-rate salaries, many pay less than comparable corporate roles. We will work with you to better understand what salary is necessary based on your financial obligations and objectives, so that you can filter for opportunities based on that benchmark. As a general rule, we’ve found that the narrative around starting salaries often intertwines financial need with prestige. Coming from schools where many households are in the top 1% of income-earners, it can feel like it’s hard to live on less than $100K. The vast majority of the jobs we promote offer a salary of at least $40K, which represents the top 17% for earned income of 23 year-olds in the US.
What if I’m just not sure what I want to spend my career working on?
That’s totally normal - no one is ever sure! But we believe the best way to advance your career is to work hard on the issues that you care most about now, because you are most likely to excel in those opportunities and learn more than simply speculating about what you might like. If it becomes clear that you want to pivot to some sort of corporate experience as a tool for accomplishing your life plan, we will support you in that. In fact, our brand is designed as a tool for you to leverage - that you had the qualifications to do anything you wanted, but chose to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
How competitive is the Second Day Impact Fellowship?
We would love to support everyone into mission-driven careers, but we are constrained by the nature of the Impact Fellowship. We want to ensure that we can support everyone we accept into a compelling social impact role and that we can provide a strong community experience as part of the program. In the 2019-2020 school year, we will only be able to accept 5-15 fellows per school.
Why do you serve only college Seniors?
College Seniors are in a unique moment in their careers - they’re thinking about what they want and also are about to plunge into their first post-college role. While we will have some resources available to younger students and plan to roll out more robust services for young professionals, are current program design is geared towards serving college seniors exceptionally well, rather than serving many groups tolerably well.
Why do you only serve Georgetown, Harvard, Rice, and UT Austin?
The program is a campus-based model, featuring intense in-person sessions that are hard to replicate virtually. It has also required partnerships with campus administrators and student groups to ensure that the program is set up to succeed on campus. For this first set of campuses, it was important to have a mix of school ‘culture’ and location, to test for viability across the country. We plan to expand more broadly in future years. Please fill out this form if you are interested in us expanding to your campus!
Can I apply for other roles outside of the Impact Fellowship?
The expectation of accepting an offer with the Second Day Impact Fellowship is that you will pursue a Social Impact job opportunity upon graduation. We don’t require you to work with one of our employer partners vs other opportunities that are compelling to you. Some people find roles in the Fall before even starting the Fellowship while others don’t find them until Graduation. The exact timing and role that you select is personal, but we expect full program participation with your other fellows to build skills and discern your long-term career path as an expectation of acceptance.
Still have questions?
Reach out to the Second Day team directly by filling out the form below.