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Prepare Yourself to Work in the Public Interest



Starting in your first year at Stanford, there are many resources and opportunities that will help you prepare for exciting work in the public interest. Explore opportunities and suggestions below!


Cardinal Courses

Prepare Through Coursework
Work with renowned faculty across disciplines through community engaged learning (service-learning) courses addressing complex social and environmental issues. Choose from more than 150 innovative classes that integrate rigorous coursework with real-world service experience.

Cardinal Quarter

Prepare Through Summer Fellowships
Cardinal Quarter offers you the opportunity to participate in a full-time, quarter-long (8+ week) public service experience designed to integrate your academic learning with field-based experience. You can pursue prearranged placements or self-designed opportunities in both domestic and international settings. Nearly 500 opportunities are offered each year through more than 30 campus partners involved in the Cardinal Quarter initiative.

Cardinal Commitment

Gain Leadership and Professional Skills
Build your skills through making a long-term commitment to a service program or participating in a student organization.

BEAM Treks

Explore Workplace Environments

Visit different workplaces to explore different career paths.

Informational Interviewing

Get Insight from a Professional

Take some time to informally interview an experienced professional in your field of interest to learn how it aligns with or challenges your assumptions about the work and field.

Job Shadowing

Shadow a Professional

Spend part of the work day with someone in your field of interest to get a first-hand look at the skills, knowledge, and experience needed.