#GovernmentJobs

Tag: #GovernmentJobs

Government Gap Years

By Jonathan Hogan

If you are interested in working in government but you’re not quite ready to commit to a career, or if you are simply looking for something to do between Lawrence and a career and have a background in government, you might want to consider a government gap year. In the following paragraphs, then, I will outline the most prominent programs and what they broadly entail.

Pathways Recent Graduate Program

The broadest program for government gap years is the Pathways Recent Graduate Program. Most broadly, the Pathways program is designed to “provide students [and recent graduates]… with a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed” (“Students & Recent Graduates”). The Recent Graduates Program, as the name implies, is generally open to students who have graduated in the last two years. An important caveat, as with many government programs, is U.S. citizenship. Interns must have U.S. citizenship by the end of their one-year program. What sets the Pathways program apart is the fact that it is administered by nearly every federal agency. This means that students with interests as differentiated as agricultural and diplomacy could both find Pathways internships working with the State Department and the USDA respectively. Such a variety of programs, nonetheless, makes it difficult to talk about specifics. Most broadly, recent graduate interns are expected to work full-time for a year, for pay, while learning the ins and outs of their agency. Excitingly, one of the benefits of the program includes the possibility of being offered a full-time position at the end of the internship, thus making Pathways an interesting program even for those more certain about a career path with the federal government. To learn more about Pathways programs, it’s best to go to the website of an agency of interest to learn more about their specific practices.

Peace Corps

One of the most prominent gap year programs is the Peace Corps. Broadly, Peace Corps members are deployed to countries around the world where they learn the local language, typically live with a host family, and volunteer their time working on projects ranging from education to community economic development. While experience in the Peace Corps is not an internship with a government agency per se, its challenges of working abroad, fostering cultural and linguistic competencies, and working to support development overlap significantly with many positions in the State Department and USAID. The benefits of the Peace Corps include a stipend of $10,000 upon completion of the 2.5-year program, tuition assistance to a broad list of graduate school programs under Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, and a higher likelihood of getting a job within the federal government. To learn more, check out the Peace Corps website and get in touch with a local representative. 

State Government Gap-Years

State governments generally have fewer gap year opportunities than the federal government for recent grads, that being said, many states do offer some form of an internship. In Wisconsin, there appears to be only one opportunity for recent grads, namely the Department of Transportation Internship Program. This program can see interns working in a wide variety of areas while “networking with other interns, state government employees, and management” (“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships”). State internships are likely to vary greatly, so it is wise to investigate the programs offered in your state when considering gap years.

AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps, much like the Peace Corps, is a service-based experience in which recent grads can gain experience working to help communities in areas ranging from disaster recovery to education. As the name implies, however, this program sees volunteers help communities in America. It is important to note that AmeriCorps workers work through an NGO partnered with AmeriCorps rather than AmeriCorps itself, thus, volunteering doesn’t constitute government work. Nonetheless, volunteers, who dedicate between a summer and a year of their time to the program are granted not only a reasonable living stipend and student loan repayment assistance but also professional development resources that can help kickstart careers in non-profit and governmental industries. Additionally, dedicating a year of your life/resume to government-sponsored service certainly helps one stand out to potential government employers. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit their website!

Works Cited

“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships.” Wisconsin.Gov, https://dpm.wi.gov/Pages/Job_Seekers/StudentInternships.aspx. Accessed 18 May 2022.

Home | AmeriCorps. https://americorps.gov/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Meet the Moment.” Peace Corps, https://www.peacecorps.gov/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Students & Recent Graduates.” U.S. Office of Personnel Management, https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-information/students-recent-graduates/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Virtual Student Federal Service Internship

by Jonathan Hogan

Among the internships offered by the Department of State, the most accessible in terms of acceptance rate while also granting interns valuable insight into a career in the State Department is The Virtual Student Federal Service internship.

The Virtual Student Federal Service Program is best summed up in an advertisement posted by the federal government. It states: “1: State & other U.S. agencies post unclassified projects that might leverage talent. 2: U.S. college, masters, Ph.D. & post-doc students apply to three projects. 3: … and that’s it! Selected interns work virtually for agencies Sept-May.” To apply, interns (which must be U.S. citizens) simply go through the U.S. federal jobs platform USAJOBS, and, after creating an account, submit a “resume, transcript & short responses” (“How It Works”). To make things even easier, the Career Center has already released an article on how to create a USAJOBS account—just click this link. Here, It is worth noting that federal agencies other than the Department of State participate in the program, however, it seems that the Department of State is particularly active in the program.

If the Virtual Student Federal Service Internship has piqued your interest, you might be wondering what the experience is actually like. In general, interns work between September and May for roughly 10 hours a week. Furthermore, interns can work anywhere in the world. The internship is not paid, however, many interns receive credit for their work—something which feels particularly likely at Lawrence. It is difficult to discuss specifics, as the program is based around a nearly unending array of projects posted by the State Department; however, at the moment of writing, one project is already posted to the website which would see students work as research assistants on the Afghanistan Lessons Learned Project to examine “the goals, policies, strategies, and programs implemented” during U.S. involvement in Afghanistan (Virtual Student Federal Service). Given that the application deadline for this coming year is in July, more programs are likely to be posted shortly. If you determine that the Virtual Student Federal Service Internship is right for you, feel free to schedule an appointment with our government advisor, Ty Collins, for help with the application process here.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Works Cited

“How It Works.” U.S. Department of State, https://careers.state.gov/interns-fellows/virtual-student-federal-service/how-it-works/. Accessed 3 May 2022.

Virtual Student Federal Service. https://vsfs.state.gov/projects. Accessed 3 May 2022.

Career Spotlight: Environmental Organizations

If asked to name a concern of global importance, many Lawrence students would cite the changing climate and its impact on the environment. Some go so far as to declare environmental justice as their desired career path. In fact, some past Lawrentians have already done so, choosing to turn their passion for the improving the environment into a career, by working for an environmental organization. 

While environmental organizations may occasionally be a private company or corporation, most of the time, such entities are part of local, state or federal government, or they may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), or an intergovernmental organization.  In addition to climate change, other environmental issues they focus on include pollution, waste, resource depletion and human overpopulation.

In the United States, the primary federal government agencies tasked with serving and protecting the environment include the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.  Most states have their own versions of some of these agencies as well. 

The list of NGO’s in the United States and around the world committed to environmental protection is too long to list, but you have likely heard of many of the larger ones, including the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Greenpeace

All of these government agencies and NGO’s hire interns, so if you are looking for a place to get hands-on experience in protecting the environment and fighting climate change, consider a summer internship for such an agency or organization.  Please note that government agencies hire their summer interns very early, so you should start looking as early as this fall for internships in the summer of 2023.

Another great way to get experience in this area is by joining one of the many Lawrence environmental clubs and organizations, some of which are Greenfire, the Lawrence University Environmental Organization, the LUCC Sustainability Committee and the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG)

A Career in Public Policy? Public Administration?

Jonathan Hogan

For those of us majoring in government, you’ve probably heard the terms “public policy” and “public administration.” You might not, however, know the difference between these terms. Broadly, public policy usually refers to positions that focus on the designing of policies and public administration typically refers to governmental positions that oversee the implementation of said policies. Yet, what do public policy and administration jobs typically look like? And what educational background does one need to get to these positions? Read more to find out…

 Public Policy

Jobs in public policy are quite wide-ranging; however, they tend to be found in government, and government adjacent industries. An archetypical job in public policy is the position of policy analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an agency which “provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, nonpartisan information” pertaining to various policies (“For Congress“). At the GAO, a policy analyst is responsible for reviewing federal government policies through a detailed statistical analysis and subsequently succinctly recommending modifications for programs to various members of congress. Another good example of a typical career for a public policy major is a position as a lobbyist. In fact, it is hard to imagine a good lobbyist, whose job it is to convince politicians to introduce or modify legislation, without a strong understanding of policy design.

Should careers in public policy sound interesting to you, a master’s in public policy (MPP) is probably something to consider. An MPP prepares one for a career in public policy through courses pertaining to different forms of statistical analyses, as well as courses focusing on different iterations of public policy such as policy evaluation (determining whether a policy has worked and potentially trying to improve it) and policy analysis (designing a new policy from scratch) (“Master of Public Administration & Master of Public Policy“). An MPP tends to take between one and a half and two years to complete when working as a student full time. Costs vary widely depending on university and the amount one receives in scholarships.

 Public Administration

Unlike those working in more public policy-oriented fields, Public Administration is typically characterized more by human interaction than data analysis. Similar to careers in public policy, public administration jobs can be found in a broad spectrum of areas. A good example of a typical career in public administration is that of a city manager. City managers are responsible for leading a team that carries out the policy of elected officials. As the name implies, it is the administering of public policy that occupies the focus of the public administrator. If public administration sounds interesting to you, but your interests lie outside of the government’s purview, a career as the director of an NGO is a strong option. NGOs in the U.S. are often funded by the government in exchange for their delivering of some sort of governmental service. In this context, a background in public administration, which ensures that the director fully understands the system of which their NGO is a part of and can competently lead workers, is priceless (“What Is Public Administration?“).

Should careers in public administration be interesting to you, the aptly named Masters of Public Administration (MPA) might be the right choice for you. Compared to an MPP, an MPA is more oriented around “leadership and management skills [necessary] to successfully plan and manage complex policies” (“What Is Public Administration?“). That being said, MPA students still receive training in data analysis skills, just to a lesser degree than MPP students. Just as an MPP, an MPA can usually be completed in two years.

Works Cited

“For Congress“. U.S. Government Accountaibility Office, https://www.gao.gov/about/what-gao-does/for-congress. Zugegriffen 10. Januar 2022.

“Master of Public Administration & Master of Public Policy“. Northeastern University, https://publicaffairs.northeastern.edu/online-mpa-mpp/. Zugegriffen 11. Januar 2022.

“What Is Public Administration? – MPA@UNC“. UNC-MPA, https://onlinempa.unc.edu/academics/what-is-public-administration/. Zugegriffen 10. Januar 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

The Military After Lawrence?

Jonathan Hogan

For those of us majoring in government, economics, or a similar field, the government is one of the most popular employment destinations. One position in the government that is often overlooked is the U.S. military, yet it turns out that joining the military after college, although somewhat unusual, is a viable career path.

The perks of an undergrad?

Okay, so it’s June of your graduation year. You’ve just walked, shaken hands with President Carter, and received your diploma. What do you get for that hard-earned diploma in the military? It turns out, actually quite a lot.

Perhaps the biggest perk is that all branches of the military allow someone with a college degree to join an accelerated program that will see them join as an officer. Officers, for those who don’t know, are essentially service members on an upper-level management track. Even at the beginning of their career, an officer is responsible for leading a small number of service members; however, officers, when promoted, become captains, majors, and eventually, generals. These promotions are typically unavailable to enlisted service members, who begin their military careers as privates.

Another major perk of joining the military with an undergrad is that some branches, such as the Army and Navy can enter a loan repayment program that will repay up to $65,000 in student loans. The Marines have a similar program that will pay up to $20,000 for loans and the Airforce will repay up to $10,000 for loans. It is generally expected that officers on a loan repayment program serve for a range of 3-5 years.

Economically speaking, the military is not only a strong option because of the loan repayment program, it also pays well. Officers, for example, immediately earn between $30,000 and $40,000 and typically are not responsible for their housing and food costs when they are posted at a military base. Because officers are often quickly promoted, it can be expected that one’s salary will increase relatively quickly over time. Furthermore, all U.S. service members enjoy extremely good health insurance.  The combination of minimal living expenses, a competitive salary that can be expected to increase over time, and superior health care constitute a job offer that is highly competitive for recent graduates.

Being a member of the military is also a strong resume builder for a variety of careers. Having served in the military is looked upon fondly by most governmental departments, and the general public (should one wish to get into politics). Furthermore, officers can often specialize in areas that will allow them to enter the market with valued experience. Cyber security is a good example of this, as officers that specialized in cyber during their time in the military can easily transition to high-paying private sector cyber security jobs.

As is perhaps evident by the extensive list above, there are quite a lot of benefits for joining the military after receiving a bachelor’s. This is, of course, not to say that joining the military is the right option for everyone. The military may not be the right stepping stone for one’s intended career. It is also, when compared to other jobs, a very large commitment that often sees service members deployed for months at a time. Furthermore, the military is often responsible for executing U.S. foreign policy at the cost of human life. One ought to be certain that they are ideologically/morally willing to take part in this institution and that they are ready to assume such high personal risk. Should one be unphased by these realities, however, the military is an option worth considering.  

Works Cited

Faris, Stephanie. “Benefits of Joining the Army With a Bachelor’s Degree.” Career Trend, 9 Dec. 2018, https://careertrend.com/benefits-of-joining-the-army-with-a-bachelors-degree-13654867.html.

“Joining the Military After College: Benefits, Steps, & Expert Advice.” Become, 9 Nov. 2020, https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/career-resource-center/joining-military-after-college/.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Social Marketing

Jonathan Hogan

If you’re a humanities major, there’s a good chance that you’ve been told that your excellent writing and analytical skills could allow you to go into marketing.  You’ve probably rolled your eyes at this idea—why sell your soul to the optimization of an economic system that so obviously perpetuates terrible injustices?  But before you write off marketing forever, read this article on social marketing, a type of marketing typically sponsored by NGOs or governments and used for the betterment of society.

Social marketing is perhaps best explained through examples, and one of the best comes from Wisconsin’s own UW Madison. In 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, UW Madison, and a handful of NGOs teamed up to advertise healthy eating. They played off of Wisconsin residents’ love of their sports teams to create the ads visible in this article (Henschen). Further examples of social marketing can be found in the now ubiquitous “click it or ticket” campaign, and a water rationing campaign led in Jordan, in which businesses were entered into a lottery after installing water-conserving valves in their buildings to incentivize their installation and raise awareness about their effects (About Us | The NSMC).

If this article has piqued your interest, you might be wondering: how does one learn more about social marketing? A good place to start is The National Social Marketing Centre (link), an NGO dedicated to social marketing that has its origins in the innovative British Department of Health. The National Social Marketing Centre appears to be the home for social marketing, at least as it pertains to public health, and can serve to give you an even deeper understanding of social marketing as an industry. For a job in social marketing, the best places to look are state and federal government platforms such as USAJOBS. Simply entering the term “marketing” will yield plenty of results. The one caveat to this approach is that strong knowledge of marketing is typically required for these jobs. To be a competitive applicant, you’ll likely need an educational or experiential background in marketing. While this experience may indeed come from an entry-level social marketing position, it will most likely come from a Master’s in marketing, or experience at a less mission-oriented marketing position. Hopefully, however, the appeal of social marketing as an industry that both requires writing and analytical skills, and sees marketers work for the betterment of society, is enough to consider spending a few years in general marketing.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Works Cited

About Us | The NSMC. https://www.thensmc.com/about-us. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.

Henschen, Holly. “FoodWIse’s FNV Campaign Wins International Social Marketing Award.” University of Wisconsin-Madison, 10 July 2018, https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/news/2018/07/10/foodwises-fnv-campaign-wins-international-national-centre-for-social-marketing-award/.