A new program to connect students with careers in government
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A new program to connect students with careers in government

March 27, 2023 | Updated on March 28, 2023

With just under 7% of the full-time federal workforce under the age of 30, it is critical that government recruits and retains diverse young talent to solve our country’s future challenges.

But the federal hiring process can be daunting—and identifying opportunities within an institution as large and complex as our federal government can make it difficult for job seekers and those who support and advise them to know where to start.

That is why the Partnership for Public Service created the Federal Advisor Certificate Program. Designed for career advisors, internship coordinators, program directors and other college and university staff who support students’ professional development, the program covers all aspects of the federal hiring process. By the end, participants will better understand the wide range of job opportunities in government and learn how to connect aspiring public servants to them.

The challenge: Connecting students with government careers

I know the challenge of navigating the federal hiring process all too well. For eight years, I oversaw programs that placed students in federal internships for a large public university. In that role, I encountered countless students who ran into roadblocks when trying to navigate our government’s hiring and application system.

One student told me her dream was to work for the State Department, only to be frustrated and confused by the timelines. Others told me they wanted to make a difference at the Department of Education, only to find no paid internship opportunities. Still others ran out of patience trying to navigate USAJOBS.

Despite these challenges, I found reasons for hope during my time as a higher education professional.

In my previous role overseeing intern programs in Washington, D.C., I learned how to use USAJOBS, write a federal resume, navigate complex and often prolonged hiring timelines, and where to find paid opportunities for interns and recent graduates.

As a result, I began to provide students with in-depth resources on federal hiring and connect alumni in government with my students. I’m proud to share that these efforts helped place students in paid programs such as the Pathways Program and the Presidential Management Fellowship Program. I learned that with the right tools and knowledge, students can navigate the complicated system of federal hiring.

The solution: The Federal Advisor Certificate Program

Last year, after nearly a decade in higher education, I left for a new challenge.

I’m proud to share that my team at the Partnership is now offering the Federal Advisor Certificate Program. The program is designed to help any college or university staff who support students’ professional development understand all aspects of the federal hiring process. Participants will gain a deeper knowledge of the wide range of federal job opportunities and learn best practices for guiding aspiring public servants as they prepare to launch a career in government.

Upon completion of this fully asynchronous seven-week program, participants will be able to help students and recent graduates use USAJOBS, identify paid opportunities in government, apply for federal work and better understand the different pathways into public service.

When I led the design of this program, I envisioned myself eight years ago—a higher education professional that had incredibly committed and motivated students who did not know how to work through the complex federal hiring process.

This program is designed to address this need. It will be the synthesis of all things federal, make things easier on advisors and, ultimately, provide college and university professionals with the tools to empower the next generation of public servants who are so desperately needed in our federal government.

Ready to join? Enrollment for the summer 2023 session is now open. Enroll on GoGovernment.org and on our Call to Serve program page. The summer session runs from June 26-August 11, 2023.

Learn more about the Partnership’s work to fill the federal talent pipeline and remove the barriers to a career in government. 

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