E3-S4 "Certifications, Fellowships, and Winning Resumes for the Future of Social Change Work” by Bri Riggio 

Summary & Key Takeways

PCDN contributor and career advisory council member as well as PCDN friend, Bri Riggio is an NCDA certified Career Advisor with years of experience advising hundreds of students from top universities in social change careers. In Episode 3 of Season 4  hear about Bri’s earlier years and struggles that led her to become an extraordinary professional. From why certifications work great; the in and out of Fellowships and tips for winning resumes. No social change professional can’t miss this episode.

Episode 3 of Season 4 is brought to you by The Rotary Peace Fellowship and the Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University.

In this episode we discuss:

  • When her parents divorced when she was 6 and learned to be very sensitive and empathetic at a very early age.
  • During her high school years, age 15, she developed an eating disorder that took her to the edge.
  • Her parents are highly educated psychologists helped her to learn to  read people quickly and understand the value of education that greatly influenced her choice to work as a career counselor.
  • Bri’s reflection on Grad School- what she knows now and why it’s healthy to be skeptical about it.
  • Why she went to Grad School to work in International Relations and why she pivoted to succeeded in career advising.
  • How the absence of a career center sparked her passion for advising others in their careers.
  • Upon graduation how she landed her first job in the newly created career center at American University.
  • How, instead of furthering her formal education she nailed it with a number of key certifications.
  • Why she chose NCDA certification and why certifications matter.
  • Bri’s recommendation to the question: do you need to invest 2-3 years and all that money or are there skilled-based certifications to be successful and employable ?
  • Key skills for the future of the work according to Bri. Of all the “soft” skills, Bri focuses  the topic of flexibility.
  • Why being humble is key to your success in your career
  • Bri answers how can a Fellowship advance your career:
    • What is a Fellowship and what is NOT
    • Different types of fellowships
    • Fellowships for mid-career professionals
    • Fellowship and Scholarships, are they the same?
  • Best Fellowship Resources for Bri
  • Opportunities for international students and professionals
  • A winner resume according to Bri
  • The idea of a master resume by Bri
  • Statement of Qualification, yey or hey
  • More resume advice from Bri


National Career Development Association

AU Fellowships Website

Columbia University Fellowships

UC Berkeley Fellowships

UCLA Fellowships

Institute for International Education


World Learning

Related topics

Become a member of the PCDN Career Campus to get daily access (to job opportunities) community (network with other impact professionals); learning with sector-experts and receive guidance from PCDN Career Coaches.  

This episode is sponsored by the Rotary Peace Fellowship and Brandeis University.

Are you an existing or emerging peace leader looking to take your career to the next level? You might be eligible to receive full funding to pursue a MA or professional certificate in peace & conflict studies. Learn more about Rotary Peace Fellowships at www.rotary.org/peace-fellowships

The MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at Brandeis University  where you gain the practical, hands on skills you need to become a peacebuilding professional in the U.S. and abroad.

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