Career Development

For Students

Heller students talking on Wallack Terrace, Schneider Building.

The moment you gain admission to Heller, your career comes sharply into focus. You’ll get an invitation to the Summer Career Academy, to be completed online before you even step foot on campus. You’ll get an introduction to Handshake, the hub for everything job-related at Heller and Brandeis, while learning our styles for resumes and cover letters and completing a self-assessment of your skills to determine what roles might be the best fit for you.

For some students, this confirms the career path they’ve already chosen. For others, this opens up new avenues to pursue with the skills you’ll gain at Heller.

Throughout your time here, you’ll follow a roadmap customized for your program. It will provide you with key times to make an appointment with a career counselor, conduct informational interviews, look for internships, attend conferences and attend interview and salary negotiation workshops. By the time you’re ready to graduate, you’ll have all the tools you need to secure a job with impact. 

Key Programs

  • Employer Treks: You’ll have the opportunity to visit employers across the Boston area, in New York City and Washington, D.C., each year. These student-led treks get you in the door at major nonprofit organizations, government agencies and mission-driven companies. The New York City overnight trip offers six to 10 site visits, while the Washington, D.C., three-day trip offers 25 to 30 site visits, in addition to an alumni career panel and reception.

  • Summer Career Academy: This four-week online course gets incoming students familiar with the career resources available at Heller. You’ll receive an email in July before the start of your fall semester. Over the next four weeks, you’ll learn about the online career development system, Handshake; complete a career exploration self-assessment; create a Heller resume or CV; and upgrade your LinkedIn profile.  

  • Employer Spotlights: Throughout the school year, employers will come to Heller to meet students by offering a short presentation and setting up a table to answer questions for several hours. This is a convenient way for you to explore different job opportunities between classes and activities.

  • MBA Board Fellows: Students in the MBA program can get matched with a nonprofit board to serve as a non-voting member for 12 months. You’ll gain valuable leadership skills, experience working with the challenges specific to the nonprofit sector, and direct access to the organization’s leadership team.

Experiential Learning 

Examine food security for the Food Trust in Philadelphia. Perform monitoring and evaluation for Plan International in Washington, D.C. Address human trafficking for the International Organization for Migration in China. The best way to prepare for a career is to jump right in as a student with a summer or semester-long internship, practicum or field work. Each Heller program has its own requirements for experiential learning:

  • Sustainable International Development PracticumHeller’s SID students complete a full-time, professional-level practicum in their second year with a development organization such as a U.N. agency, international NGO or local organization. Practicum positions include research, formulating policies, project management, and fundraising or advocacy campaigns. Practicum project titles include: 
    • “Climate-smart agriculture: A strategy to increase smallholder farmers’ production and mitigate Liberia’s dire food insecurity crisis”
    • "Factors impeding women's career advancement in Bhutan"
    • "Expanding educational opportunities for refugee youth in America"
  • Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Field ProjectHeller’s COEX students conduct at least three months of fieldwork, during which they develop a project in collaboration with an organization. Fieldwork project titles include:
    • “Conflict Mitigation in Lebanon: From Peace Labs to Arts Labs"
    • “REDD+ in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico: Conflict Analysis for an Inclusive Sustainable Biodiversity” 
    • “Transformative Scenario Planning: Thinking of the Future to Transform Today’s Conflict”
  • MBA Team Consulting ProjectHeller’s MBA students complete a three-month team project in which they act as consultants for a mission-driven client organization. Each team project applies management skills and principles to a real-world business challenge. Team Consulting Projects include:
    • Tufts Medical Center: Physician Compensation
    • City of Haverhill: Performance-Based Budgeting for a Better Tomorrow
  • MPP Program InternshipsIn the summer between their first and second year at Heller, MPP students intern at a range of policy advocacy organizations, government offices, think tanks, research institutes, nonprofits and foundations. Internships include: 
    • National Partnerships for Women & Families
    • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    • Urban Institute
    • The Boston Foundation


This is the core of all career activities at Heller—so sign up the moment you get your Brandeis email account. Through Handshake, you can view job and internship postings, make appointments with Career Development Center staff, find resources for job searching and applications and more. And it’s access you’ll have forever as a Heller alum, so get familiar now. 

What's a Career Trek all about? Find out from students who visited Washington, D.C.

Heller students at Sesame Workshop

Big City, Bigger Impact 

Daniella Fernandes, MBA/MA SID'19, shares her experiences during the Heller Career Trek to New York City.