Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Future with the Foreign Service? A Student Perspective

A Future with the Foreign Service?
Morgan Forrey is currently a graduate student at Seattle University for Student Development Administration. She is interning this Fall with Career Services in the Jackson School of International Studies.

Spring Semester of my senior year I was just back from four months in Norway studying a Scandinavian approach to democracy and development. I was a Public Relations major with a new charge to pursue all careers international. Where to go from here? Graduation loomed and life became a bit overwhelming. There were so many possibilities. I found myself asking which direction to choose and what steps would make the most sense. I battled my diverse array of interests as I investigated the possibility of the Peace Corps, teaching English, and the Foreign Service Exam. But I had trouble following through on any of these. I felt too tied down to one line of work and one life style. I chose a path through PR and surprisingly I am now pursuing a Masters in Education, but life abroad and the Foreign Service still sits at the back of my mind. I often wonder…did I miss my chance?

In November the Jackson School and the Evans School co-sponsored a panel with three accomplished Foreign Service officers to talk about their choices and experiences. Ambassador Darryl Johnson described his time as the Ambassador to the Philippines and Thailand and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Ruth Kurzbauer spoke of the breadth of positions she held from Cultural Affairs to her role as Vice Consul in Toronto, Canada. Finally, Philip Wall spoke of his educational path through the Jackson School to eventually work in Economics track for the Foreign Service. Their stories illustrated three distinctive paths to success within international government work. Not all their choices were traditional and yet their meaningful service to the international community still included the Foreign Service. It was clear that the possibility of Federal service abroad was not completely lost! Uniquely, I enjoyed hearing of Ms. Kurzbauer’s journey from musician to public servant. I realized my time as an educator could be as impactful to a career in the Foreign Service as Ms. Kurzbauer’s knowledge of the arts has been. The Foreign Service, after all, sends our most qualified representatives of American culture and society abroad.

As I am approaching yet another graduation date, I find some of those old uncertainties and fears about the next steps after school returning. The insights of our three guests have reminded me that I do not need to have the rest of my life figured out in order to make a difference in international affairs. In fact, I learned that applications for the Foreign Service are accepted for individuals between the ages of 20 and 59. I have 30 more years to consider my place as a public servant. Perhaps I am still unsure about what to do next, and perhaps my next steps will not be direct paths to the Foreign Service. What is important is that I am intentional about the work I choose to do, that I remember my interest and need to affect change through global initiatives. A career in the Foreign Service may still be around the corner!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Department of State Summer Clerical Program-- now taking applications!

Summer Clerical Program

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Click here to enter the Gateway to State online application system
Visit for details

How to apply

We are now accepting applications for the 2010 Summer Clerical Program. Please click here, or on the Gateway to State button above, to start the online application process. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is January 4, 2010.
Get acquainted with the challenges and opportunities at the U.S. Department of State through our Summer Clerical Program. Why do we offer this program? The reasons are twofold. First, it allows us to get you interested in a career with us. It also helps us to relieve staffing shortage when our employees are away on summer vacation. It's a win-win situation for everyone. We get the summer staffing we need. You get work experience and earn money to help with continuing your education. There's also something else that comes along with the job: the feeling of satisfaction when you know you're doing something really worthwhile for your nation.
Office support duties include but are not limited to: answering telephones and other receptionist-related duties; filing and maintaining office files; typing and/or using a computer terminal to perform various office functions including initial entry of drafted materials using a variety of computer software packages; reviewing outgoing correspondence for correct format, grammar, punctuation and typographical errors; and photocopying and assembling reports and briefings for distribution.
It's our policy to provide an open, systematic and equitable assignment process that assures that positions are filled with the best-qualified individuals. New-hire applicants for the Summer Clerical Program are appointed on a competitive basis according to Office of Personnel Management guidelines. Selections are based on job-related criteria in line with merit principles.
Eligibility requirements
To qualify for a Summer Clerical position, you must be:
  • a U.S. citizen, age 16 or older at time of appointment
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.,) seeking student
  • taking at least half-time academic/vocational/or technical course load in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4 year college or university, graduate or professional school
  • able to complete a background investigation to determine eligibility for a security clearance
Positions at the GS-1, GS-2, GS-3 & GS-4 levels also have varying minimum requirements for school and/or work experience.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What About Your Major?

Are you an undergraduate or grad student, super interested or kinda-sorta interested in federal work, but just not sure how your academics "fit" with the vast amount of federal agencies / opportunities? 

If so, you are not alone. 

Check out this list, which provides a convenient glimpse into connections between federal job titles and college majors.  Also, curious about federal hiring trends?  Click here and learn more about hiring trends related to location, occupations, agencies.  Click here to explore how your interests fit with federal opportunities.

Continue [or start!] attending UW Making The Difference events, explore web links featured on this blog, and when you find federal internships and jobs that interest you, GO FOR IT.  Let advisers in your department know how they can support you..  Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try my best to point you in the right direction.  Cheers!  Patrick Chidsey, The Career Center:  chidsey [at]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Federal Agency Attorney's Perspective

I'm going to speak from my own experience, which is that of an attorney who didn't really know about federal job opportunities until I was almost through with law school. I think some of the plusses and minuses of federal work (on the whole, there are far more plusses in my experience) might hold true for members of other professions: for example, engineers.

Oftentimes one gets to a certain stage of career development where the worry of "can I get a job at all?" is accompanied, or replaced, by "can I get a job that has any meaning to me?" As an attorney joining the Bar, I knew I would be able to find a job, but I worried that I wouldn't get one that would enable me to both a) make the kind of contribution I wanted to make to society, and b) enable me to have work-life balance (this is a code phrase that law students use for "not wanting to spend the best years of their life chained to a desk every weekend doing document review, in the name of maximizing billable hours.")

Enter the federal government! Working for the Social Security Administration, I was allowed to handle complex cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and other courts, at a very early stage of my career. By attorneys' standards, I have a great deal of schedule flexibility. And, without getting too corny about it, I go home every day happy about who my client is (to wit, the American public) and the fact that I've put my skills to work on that client's behalf.

The major negative is simply this: one is working on a government pay scale. At the upper end, this is not comparable to the upper end of compensation available to attorneys in private practice. So you are not going to become wealthy working for the federal government, or anywhere in the public sector, as should be obvious to everyone. However, if you're considering federal employment in the first place, that's probably not your first concern; and even then, it is not as though you are living on a poverty wage by any means in these positions.

I've enjoyed my government career tremendously and would be happy to recommend it to anyone.

David J. Burdett
Assistant Regional Counsel
Office of the General Counsel, Social Security Administration
Region X, Seattle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Internships in Washington, D.C. - Upcoming Deadlines and Oct 29 Info Sessions at UW

Are you interested in doing an internship in Washington, D.C.?

If yes, please join us for information meetings about The Washington Center Internship Program on Thursday, October 29, at the following times:

1130-1220pm in Gowen Hall, Room 1A
230-320pm in Denny Hall, Room 206
330-420pm in Sieg Hall, Room 224

The Washington Center (TWC) runs a full-time internship program in Washington, D.C., that is open to all UW students and provides comprehensive service, including internship placement and housing. Placements include government agencies, corporations, nonprofits and international organizations. Hundreds of UW students have participated in this program since UW's affiliation in 1977, and many have made connections that led to post-degree employment.

At the informational meetings, a Washington Center representative will be on campus to discuss the program, scholarships and the application process.

For 2010 the program cost is $5455 and the housing cost is $3,540. In addition, students pay UW registration, transportation, and personal expenses. Students may use financial aid for this program, UW tuition is charged at a reduced rate, and students may apply for scholarships.

Upcoming application deadlines are:

Spring Quarter 2010, Regular: 1/15/10
Summer Quarter 2010, Competitive*: 2/1/10, Regular: 3/12/10
Autumn Quarter 2010, Early**: 1/22/10, Competitive*: 5/3/10, Regular: 6/18/10

Spring Quarter 2011, Early**: 5/24/10, Competitive*: 9/27/10, Regular: 1/14/11

* Deadline for scholarship eligibility (Regular deadline for WA State scholarship)

** See for the list of
organizations that require applications by the early deadline

Note that some established internship programs, such as the Congressional Black Caucus, may require earlier application submissions than the deadlines noted above.

Regardless of your major, there is an internship position for you. If you would like to know more, please come to an information session or contact UW's liaison, Meera Roy, at for an appointment. Information about the program is also available online at

U.S.-China Bilateral Trade Internship program at The Washington Center in D.C. - Nov 13 Deadline

The University of Washington is one of three U.S. programs to participate in The Washington Center's U.S.-China Bilateral Trade Internship Program for students who have strong interests in issues of bilateral trade, business practices in the United States and China, and cross-cultural collaboration.

This Washington, D.C., program brings together 20 students, 10 from the United States and 10 from China, to

* work in internships in governmental, international, business and nonprofit organizations in their areas of interest
* take a class that focuses on both cross-cultural awareness and U.S.-China trade issues, and
* participate in other events such as a speaker series and simulated negotiations.

It is a competitive scholarship program sponsored by Boeing (students are named Boeing Fellows) that covers TWC fees, housing fees, airfare, and provides a monthly stipend. Participating students register at UW and receive 15 credits of Pol S 498.

Juniors and seniors who have an average GPA of at least 3.0 may apply. The application deadline is November 13, the program begins on January 21, and it ends on May 7. Although this schedule coincides with two UW quarters, students have successfully participated in the past.

For the application form and program details, including a listing of
possible placement sites, go to

If you have questions about the program or would like to apply, please contact Meera Roy, a UW adviser and the liaison for The Washington Center, at or 206-543-9456 for an appointment. You are also encouraged to attend one of the information session about TWC on Thursday, October 29:

1130-1220pm in Gowen Hall, Room 1A
230-320pm in Denny Hall, Room 206
330-420pm in Sieg Hall, Room 224

This is a fantastic opportunity to do an internship program in D.C. with almost all expenses paid. If you are interested in issues of trade with China, please consider applying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 10)

Continuing my internship with the U.S. Department of Commerce I interned at the Seattle U.S. Export Assistance Center. My internship was from the middle of June until the end of August at the Belltown office.

During the internship I assisted the trade specialists in client file management, research projects and export development programs organized by the trade specialists. Research included trade leads and organizational contacts for companies interested in exporting building and construction materials and services to Africa. For possible Export Achievement Award recipients, I made a client list for each trade specialist for future reference. For a logistics trade delegation from Singapore I research relevant trade and port statistics for Washington state as well as researching various company and trade association contacts for a networking event with this delegation.

Continuing from my internship at the Trade Information Center in Washington, DC the Seattle Export Assistance Center was an entirely different experience. Rather than focusing on country and regional economic data and forecast projects, I became involved in research for local businesses on specific commodity exporting. As intended this internship gave me a much better perception of international trade in Washington State. While doing this internship I was also taking classes at the University of Washington, this experience enhance my time management and multitasking abilities while at the same time I was able to relate my course studies and internship as they reinforced each other by both focusing on international issues.

This internship has reinforced my determination to seek a career in public service as it has exposed me to how Federal Service can work on the local level.

Nathan Gardner
Seattle U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC)
U.S. Department of Commerce

Monday, October 12, 2009

Federal Employee Q&A

As part of the UW Making The Difference campaign, one of our goals is to showcase a variety of options, roles, units and professionals within the federal government. 

We shall highlight UW alumni who currently work for federal agencies, and also profile students who have interned with federal agencies.  Below is a question & answer with one of my friends, Roger.  If you have any questions or comments, send me [Patrick] an email ... chidsey [at]  Cheers! 


What is your current job title, agency name, job location [city] and brief description of what you do and what you like about your work?

I am an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), working for the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington (located in Seattle). We are one of 93 different districts throughout the United States who work under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Justice. I work in the criminal division and am responsible for investigating and prosecuting those people who commit federal crimes. These offenses can include identity theft, child pornography, drug trafficking, major white-collar fraud, and other interstate crimes. I love the process of investigating major criminal enterprises, trying to determine the truth, and seeking justice for victims. I am fortunate to be able to appear in court often, present cases to juries and ensure that people are fairly held accountable for behavior that hurts the people of the United States. Seeking justice everyday is often an exhausting and difficult task, but one that brings enormous joy and satisfaction.

Where did you get a Bachelors degree & what did you study? Did you go to graduate/professional school, and if so, what did you study & where?

I received my Bachelor’s degree at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I studied International Affairs (a combination of political science and languages – Russian and Spanish). I attended the University of Washington School of Law where I completed my juris doctorate.

Have you worked for another federal agency or city/county/state agency?

Prior to working for the US Attorney, I worked for 13 years as a county prosecutor, responsible for supervising other deputy prosecutors and prosecuting cases primarily in the sex crimes and domestic violence units.

Advice for students or career changers in conducting a federal job search?

Be honest with yourself about what interests you. Do not seek jobs based on the amount of money you think you will make or the amount of work you will have to do. Seek jobs that thrill you, that make you ache to go to work every day. If you truly enjoy your work, you will do it well. Once you are doing something well, all the financial and other rewards will come your way.

Additional comments about the benefits and/or realities of federal employment?

Those of us in the US Attorney’s Office work hard. Any fantasies about government employees having cushy jobs are quickly put to rest in this office. We hire committed public servants who want to make sure our country remains safe and vibrant. Without the drive to do this kind of work, it can become overwhelming. On the other hand, every time a victim thanks me, or a defendant is held accountable, it is extremely satisfying.

[Seattle Federal Courthouse]

Friday, October 2, 2009

Insider's Perspective - Acclimating to life as a Presidential Management Fellow in DC

When I joined the Peace Corps as a Masters International student from the Evans School of Public Affairs, I fully intended on it being a stepping stone into a traditional international development career: USAID, International Rescue Committee, or Gates Foundation. But plans change in the Peace Corps. Sometime during my two years assisting a small village with ecotourism development while confronting the environmental challenges of balancing subsistence with preservation, I discovered that my passion was not in some abstract form of "helping people," but was instead in working on this specific issue of sustainable development. I also learned that this form of "development" did not necessarily mean traveling around the world. Instead, I felt that I could use my experience working with a community that walks this fine line between providing a better life for their families now and ensuring the same same for their grandchildren in order to make real change where it counts.

So upon returning to the US, I began the process of entering into US Federal Service through the Presidential Management Fellowship. Working for the US Government may not have quite the same sexiness to it as the Gates Foundation, but I firmly believed that the actions taken by the US in terms of domestic environmental policy have a major and real impact on the ability of communities around the world to thrive.

Accepting my current positions as a Policy Analyst at the Department of the Interior did not come without serious consideration. After two hot, muggy years in Central America, I swore that the only way I would ever leave the Pacific Northwest would be kicking and screaming, with a hot cup of Cafe Vida in one hand and a cool pint of Big Time IPA in the other. But life here is good. Though it is no Mt. Rainier, the view of the Washington Monument is pretty awe-inspiring, and while I have yet to find a good coffee shop to sit and relax, the parks and open spaces have exceeded my expectations. And most of all, I am fulfilled by the work that I am doing, helping to inform decisions at the highest level of Interior, protecting our nation's public lands and resources in the best way that I can.

Shella Biallas
Presidential Management Fellow
Office of Policy Analysis
Department of the Interior

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doing Meaningful Work

In 1961, President Kennedy urged Americans to commit themselves to achieving the goal of landing a person on the moon before the decade was out. It was one of the most ambitious goals a nation had ever undertaken. And it was the kind of goal that required such vast support, resources and coordination, that only the United States federal government could have achieved it.

Last July marked the 40th anniversary of Americans landing on the moon. This anniversary got a lot of media coverage and what struck me over and over was the way that everyone involved in the space program was proud to have played a part in achieving that monumental goal. They didn’t just help America gain bragging rights, they changed the course of human history. Their work had meaning.

Today, America faces issues that are vastly more complex and more urgent than taking a person to the moon. Climate change, the global recession, leading nations to ensure all people have access to basic human rights, these are all situations that cannot be solved by market forces or individual organizations. These problems need the size and the capacity that only the U.S. Federal Government can bring to bear. 

But the U.S. Federal Government faces another kind of challenge— recruiting talented, passionate young people who bring new ideas and the potential for leadership to federal service. It’s been estimated that one third of federal employees will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. This exodus of baby boomers is made worse by a federal recruiting and application system that is old, slow and difficult to navigate.

The Good News (Part 1)
Luckily the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget and Plan  established requirements for hiring reform. And congress is drafting legislation to overhaul the way that federal agencies attract and hire people. These efforts should hopefully make finding and landing a job with a federal agency simpler and faster. But it’s still not easy to wrap one’s mind around the huge number of federal agencies and how to get into them.

The Good News (Part 2)
Another bright spot is that the University of Washington was recently awarded one of five grants from the Partnership for Public Service to promote students exploring careers in the U.S. government. As a result of this grant, a diverse group of UW students, faculty and staff are working together to make sure that UW students and alumni have the tools and the knowledge needed to explore federal careers. This includes not only the blog  you’re reading, and links to helpful documents and websites, but also real human beings; UW students and alumni who have done or are doing work with federal agencies, as well as employers from federal agencies. Agencies that are doing meaningful work like mitigating global climate change (Environmental Protection Agency), recovering from the global recession (The Federal Reserve Bank), ensuring human rights (The Peace Corps), or even being part of a mission to put a person on Mars (NASA). To get involved and/or learn more, please attend the events promoted on this website and/or email

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Apply by Sept 29th for Part-Time Student Jobs with the EPA

Student Temporary Positions (must be enrolled and pursuing a degree)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Submit resume by Monday, September 28 to Westley Foster at foster.westley [at]

TWO POSITIONS with the The Fiscal Management and Planning Unit, which manages the Environmental Protection Agency Region 10's fiscal resources and ensures the region complies with standardized accounting policies and procedures:

1) Entry Level Budget Technician
2) Entry Level Financial Technician


The Budget Team manages the Region's payroll and FTE budget centrally, oversees Regional Support and Working Capital Fund budget, and allocates, monitors, and reports on the budget. Budget is responsive to our customers at every level within the Agency, just as we rely on employees at all Agency levels to be responsive to our needs. FMPU is a dynamic Unit that often works under pressure and tight deadlines.


1. Serve as an entry level budget technician for the FMPU's Budget Team.
2. Perform general office or program support duties such as preparing, receiving, reviewing, and verifying documents; processing transactions; maintaining office records
3. Locate and compile data or information from files and other data sources
4. Research EPA regulations and guidance to make recommendations for the resolution of pending budget and accounting issues.
5. Maintain Excel spreadsheets used to track and report budgetary and accounting information related to appropriated funds and recovery act funds.


The Finance Team (Finance) deals specifically with regional policy, quality assurance and control, payroll and time-and-attendance, funds control, superfund cost recovery, travel, and financial systems. Finance is responsive to our customers at every level within the agency, just as we rely on employees at all agency levels to be responsive to our needs. FMPU is a dynamic unit that often works under pressure and tight deadlines.


1. Serve as an entry level Financial Technician for the FMPU's Finance Team.
2. Liaise with other regional finance offices, EPA financial centers, and Headquarters to research pending financial and accounting issues.
3. Research EPA regulations and guidance to make recommendations for the resolution of pending financial and accounting issues.
4. Maintain Excel spreadsheets used to track and report budgetary and accounting information related to appropriated funds and recovery act funds.
5. Assist Superfund Cost Recovery personnel track bills, dunning notices, and other cost recovery documents needed to maintain accurate cost recovery files/records.

If you have questions about either position, please contact Westley Foster at foster.westley [at] or 206-553-1604.

Westley Foster
Tribal Coordinator
Vice-Chairman, National EPA Hispanic Employment Mgmt. Council
Region 10 Hispanic Employment Program Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs
Tribal Trust and Assistance Unit, TTAU-085
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900
Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: (206) 553-1604
Fax: (206) 553-015

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Serve America Challenge

The Federal Government Supports Your Community - Do You?

On April 21, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which calls on Americans to make a difference by volunteering. In support of the President’s call to serve, we challenge you to serve your community. If you are a current or recent undergraduate or graduate student in the greater Puget Sound area, we want to recognize you for your volunteer service efforts.

Step 1: Serve your community.

Volunteer a minimum of eight hours of your time at a recognized organization. Find volunteer opportunities at

Step 2: Tell us about it.

Create a work of art, a video, essay, website or photograph that demonstrates how your volunteer activity served and improved your community. Please be sure to answer each of the questions below in formulating your creative entry.

What did you experience?  How did it make a difference?  Why was it significant to you?

Step 3: Get recognized.

All participants will have their names published on the SFEB website: Just follow the links to “Serve America Challenge.”

Need more incentive?

A $100 award will be given to the overall top entry!

In addition, one participant in each media category (art, video, essay, website, or photo) may receive*:

- Publication of their accomplishment.
- Job Shadow with a local federal executive.
- Tour of a federal facility, such as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessel.

Be recognized at the Executive Leadership Council meeting of the Seattle Federal Executive Board. This meeting brings together leaders from 25 of the largest federal agencies in the Puget Sound area. It is a great learning opportunity with senior executives.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to share your volunteer experience, receive recognition for your accomplishments, and network with executives in the federal community!!

Deadline approaching fast! [October 16, 2009]; Learn more by visiting the link below and/or on Facebook by searching “Serve America Challenge”

Pop Quiz


What do these 5 institutions have in common?



Each competed [and won!] nationally for a grant from the Partnership for Public Service, focusing on raising the profile of federal employment for undergraduates, graduate students and alumni.

Why is this important?

Well, the U.S. Federal Government IS hiring and needs new talent. UW will host a variety of federal-career-related events and workshops throughout the year - don't miss out! Explore this blog for resources, links, announcements and REASONS why you should seriously consider pursuing a federal career.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Presidential Management Fellowship Information Session

Grad Students -

Are you interested in a great job after finishing graduate school? One that comes with a salary of $48,000 to $69,000, possible student loan repayment of up to $60,000, extensive training, a great network of mentors, and excellent health and retirement benefits?

Then consider applying for the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) - a special, paid, 2-year fellowship program in the federal government, which is exclusively for students finishing a graduate program between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010.

The Career Center, Graduate School, Evans School, & Jackson School are co-sponsoring an information session about this amazing opportunity. Come learn about the required application materials, assessments, deadlines, opportunities, and the short-term and long-term benefits associated with being a Presidential Management Fellow. Also, hear from agencies who hire fellows and from individuals who recently completed their PMF tenure.

Thursday, October 1st, 4:30-6:00, Thomson 125

No registration required.

Learn more about PMF at -

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

“Define Your Own Road In Life”: Roadtrip Nation & Federal Careers

What is Roadtrip Nation? Watch this short clip to find out:

Below are several short video clips and links to help you explore the paths of individuals who have worked for the U.S. federal government. Stay tuned to this blog for opportunities @ UW to connect in-person with federal recruiters and federal employees. You can build a great career working for the U.S. Government. You alone can define what that path, or paths, entails. The time is now. Go for it.

Former Clinton Advisor Clyde Williams about his career:

Frederick Gregory, former deputy administrator at NASA and Astronaut, offers his advice about life/careers:

My Harrison, Section Chief at the FBI, offers her advice about life/careers:

Click here to hear Wanda Sykes talk about studying marketing in college … then having a successful career with the National Security Agency for about 10 years … then taking a big risk and jumping into her now world of comedy.

Click here to hear Andrew Steele talk about his life as a microbiologist @ NASA.

Be sure to explore the Roadtrip Nation government page.  Connect with Roadtrip Nation in Nov. '09 @ UW!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Students - Have You Worked for the Feds?

The UW is currently looking for students who have completed internships or jobs with federal government agencies to help with our new UW Making the Difference: Careers in Federal Government campaign. There are lots of ways to get involved:

1. Serve as a student ambassador. Attend a one-day training and commit to 2-4 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months. You'll be helping other students get excited about federal opportunities by assisting with events, marketing, etc.

2. Serve as a panelist during the Federal Internship Panel Discussion on October 21st from 5:00-6:00 in Parrington Hall.

3. Write a blog post about your federal experience, which will be posted on the this blog!

If you are interested in helping as an ambassador, panelist, or blogger, please contact Barry Wall at barry77 [at] u . washington . edu

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to Ride the Federal Hiring Wave

Lily Whiteman has the insider view on federal hiring.

Read her informative article here.

Act on her advice.

Go for it!

U.S. Gov't Info Searchin' via Google

Our friends at Google just made searching for gov't info that much easier.

Check out Google [unclesam] Search.

Not sure what to search for? Think of your academic interests. What are your career goals? What issues really get under-your-skin? Think of challenges our country is facing. Think of global themes. Examples...

government accountability; K-12 education; President Obama; civil rights; federal internships; health care reform; green energy; human rights; foreign policy & diplomacy; LGBT advocacy; poverty; Supreme Court cases; DADT & DOMA; federal pay & benefits; homelessness; trade & microfinance; jobs in Oregon; veteran's affairs

Get your keyword search on & bookmark webpages you want to revisit. Thanks Google!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do I Have To Live & Work in D.C.?

For those of us that love the Northwest / Seattle / Puget Sound / Portland, the idea of moving outside the area to start or build a career, just isn't that appealing.

If you want federal work, do you have to move to the D.C. area?

Why not work for the feds & live in Seattle?

What about California?

Click here to learn more about federal jobs locations.

Federal Career Catalyst

For undergraduate & graduate students & recent graduates, the key is ... drumroll ... federal internships.

We encourage you to investigate the menu of federal internship programs & unique opportunities found within the vast array of federal agencies.

Stay tuned to this blog for lots during the 09-10 year regarding federal internships & fellowships.

Videos: Federal Careers YouTube Channel

Check out this short video!

Click here for the Government Heroes YouTube Channel!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Consider a Career with the U.S. Federal Government?

Do you want a rewarding career where you can make a difference in your nation and the world?

How about a career with the nation's largest employer, which employs 1.8 million people—and an employer that will never go out of business?

One where you can advance quickly, because half of the current employees are eligible to retire in the next 5 years?

Where you can double your salary in just 3 years?

Where you can get a job in any part of the country or the world (only 15% of federal jobs are in DC, and 50,000 federal employees work internationally)?

A career that can fit any interest: where you can help people through social service; protect our environment; conduct research; improve our nation’s international relations; provide security to the nation; improve education, and much more?

How about a job that may pay back up to $10,000 for every year of your student loans?

A job where workplace diversity and work-life balance is valued?

A job with fantastic benefits?

If you're hoping to learn more about what government jobs are like and why so many students are considering public service through government, you've come to the right place.


In 2009, the Partnership for Public Service named the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington as one of five Call to Serve grants recipients nationwide to help launch the nation-wide Making the Difference campaign on the University of Washington campus.

The Making the Difference campaign is the culmination of two years of research the Partnership gleaned during the Call to Serve Recruitment Initiative – a Congressionally-funded project with the Office of Personnel Management to identify cost-effective and sustainable ways to promote federal service on campuses.

The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.

This blog will serve as a venue for sharing information & announcing events & programs & workshops related to federal employment and recruiting @ the UW.

UW students, alumni, recent grads - of all majors & interest areas - can benefit from exploring this blog and links & programs we encourage you to check out. Staff, advisers, counselors and students from our huge UW campus community will add to this blog.


Monday, May 4, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 9)

As the week went by I was quite hurried as I still had to finish my informational interview which I did Thursday morning in Virginia before heading up to New York at noon. I interview a Foreign Commercial Service Officer doing their domestic tour at the Northern Virginia U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC). This interview was very informative in further clarifying the role of a Foreign Service Officer in the commercial service. Related to USEAC; I will be interning this summer at the Seattle USEAC. With this coming internship I hope to get a better picture of the Seattle export environment and build my network of contacts in the Seattle area.

Finally on Monday we went to the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York. This was great as I spent the weekend in New York and saw many sites. The meeting was very relaxed with the president of NCUSCR having us ask him questions directly to start out with. This format was different but I think it allowed a more in depth conversation.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 8)

During my time in Washington D.C. at The Washington Center for the US-China Bilateral Trade Internship Program I have been exposed to many new facets of the US-China relationship, trade issues, and future career and learning objectives. Interning at the Department of Commerce has been a rewarding experience not only from what I have learned by answering exporters’ questions but also from the staff in my office. Through this I have come to understand the exporting and trade process in a concrete and practical sense rather than the abstract, theoretical, and vague sense I had from coursework at university. The trade and exporting process involves multiple steps and requires patience and diligence on part of the importer and exporter; this trading process is not clear cut but the practicality of this internship has given me issues to consider in an ordered process rather than just a floating mess of terms and processes that I had from university coursework. Beyond working with practical aspects of exporting I have also worked on various projects with the China Business Information Center (China BIC). These include website maintenance such as subtitling Chinese market brief videos so that they are compliant with federal regulations and creating a sitemap for the China BIC so that pages on the site are easier to find in lists results on search engines. In addition to this I have also made export volume data for China and India that was included in a presentation at a trade expo in Oklahoma City, OK. Furthermore, a fellow intern and I wrote and researched an article that will be published in an online trade journal for the infrastructure industry on China’s stimulus package and business opportunities that exist.

Recently I attended a trade conference and exposition hosted by the US Export and Import Bank. During this conference I was able to gaining a better understanding of all the different businesses involved in this part section of the global business process. Though most businesses were specializing in financing and risk insurance, both public and private companies, also represented there were embassies from a variety of African nations and construction equipment exporters. From this I get the impression that focusing on infrastructure and investment in African will grow soon as I already know that both the US and China have been encouraging investment in Africa.

Consistently during the internship I have been attending events around Washington DC at different institutes and think tanks regarding issues dealing with trade and China. Though it was my intention to write briefs for a majority of these this did not happen as other projects to precedence. Though I did write one brief on an event I went to at Center for Strategic & International Studies on green technology implementation methods in China. I wrote this brief as it dealt directly with my internship in finding market niches in China for US companies, so it would be of interest to the China BIC. This article “Getting the Dragon to go Green” was also submitted for the US-China Bilateral Trade Program Newsletter “Mei-Hua Connection.”

While in Washington DC I have had many opportunities to gain a further understanding of American history. In the DC area there are many interesting things in the city and surrounding area relating to the Civil War. What I found interesting is the two tones of the Washington Monument as construction was halted during the Civil War but that the Capital Dome was continued during the war which required enormous amounts of metal that were needing for arms to fight the war. This continuation in construction of the dome was obviously for morale and symbolic purposes during the war than for practical reasons. Even in the city of Rockville where I am currently living there are monuments and markers for the civil war, I find this interesting as I don’t think of the war taking place this close to the Capital.

Monday, April 20, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 7)

On Friday, April 10th I went to a presentation at the Department of Commerce on negotiating with the Chinese. The discussion started out with a simulation between two American representatives on one side of the table with three Chinese and their interpreter on the other side. Though simulation was very entertaining as it was presented in a way that the American side did everything incorrectly and wasn’t prepared while the Chinese negotiators were. Some mistakes the Americans made was not bringing their own interpreter, discussing amongst themselves while the Chinese side was speaking in Chinese, and not inspecting business cards when receiving them from the Chinese side among other things. This Friday was also a colleague’s last day working with us in the TIC as he was on rotation from the NAFTA Secretariat’s office. It was nice being able to work with him as he was in the beginning of his career and had been introduced to Commerce through as internship he had done during university.

On Thursday I went to an International Trade Fair and workshops put on by the US Export-Import Bank. We were able to get into the lunch and watch an award ceremony for export companies, financiers, and brokers. After lunch we went back to the display room and greeted different export-business people. Later I went around to the different tables, got various informational materials and talked with people to get a better feel for what process in exporting they were involved in.

On Friday I submitted our final draft of our article on the Chinese stimulus package and infrastructure opportunities for American companies. It will be sent to others for a final look over before it is sent to the industry organization’s website for posting. That afternoon I went to the Brookings Institute to hear the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe given a speech on various security and economic issues. A comment I found interesting was when the PM was asked about piracy on the seas and whether it could lead to further US-China-Japan cooperation in maritime affairs the PM said that he was hopeful that this could be the case in the future given China becomes more transparent.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Monday, April 6, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 6)

Green energy has also been a theme that keeps reoccurring through the past two weeks as I attended an event at CSIS about encouraging green and smart grid technology in China through public-private partnerships at the local level. This event was refreshing as it discussed a different method of deploying these technologies that didn’t involve a large central government initiative.

A week later we went to a panel at the Washington Center on green technologies and environmental issues that gave a wider view of these issues with panelist from an NGO, a carbon trading investment group, the Department of Energy, and wind energy. Obviously many people are interested in these technologies but has there been any deployment? I was given the answer to this question when I received a tariff request at work for five different HS codes to assemble a wind power turbine tower in Mexico to be exported from the United States.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 5)

My responsibilities at my internship include researching tariff and taxes rates for various countries that exporters are send their products to and responding to these requests in a timely manner. I also answer these questions on the phone along with other information that exporters may want to know about such as sanctions and export licenses. I also work with the China Business Center in research projects and other tasks. In addition, I do research and projects for other regions.

A highlight that sticks out is going to John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies for a presentation about being in the Foreign Service. I am interested in the other agencies especially Commerce and USAID as what these two agencies do when taken in aggregate has a substantial impact on foreign relations.

The experience of being in Washington DC has been an interesting and exciting semester so far as I am always expanding my knowledge through my internship, class, and events around DC. This is also a very unique time to be in Washington DC as it has again become the focal point with the new administration and for many due to the issues that are facing the world.

I was finally contacted by the Capital Region Maryland Small Business Center. The surprising part of this was I was just inquiring about doing some volunteer work with them but they offered me an internship instead! Sadly, due to the distance of College Park the logistics of doing this would not work. I have also been attending weekly events around DC focusing on trade and China issues. Besides this I have been able to learn a lot at my internship by just talking with people in my office as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience. At this point I’m considering interviewing someone at the Foreign Commercial Service section for the informational interview. I’m also considering arranging to continue my internship at the Commercial Service office in Seattle when I go home.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Monday, March 9, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 4)

Besides doing tariff requests through email, I have begun answering calls at my internship; the majority of these calls are people asking for HS codes so I have to refer them to the census bureau to get these for their products. The other portion of calls are from exporters that have their HS codes and want to know tariff rates and taxes. At first I felt intimidated by the phones as it feels people are waiting for an answer and I wasn’t used to getting information from the databases yet but this took only a few phone calls to get down and now the process goes by smoothly. Besides answering phones I have also been working on updating export data for a China and India presentation that will be taking place in Oklahoma City. Another project I was working on was an excel file with taxes on imports for every country we trade with. An interesting project I have been assigned is finding exporters of various products for the finance minister to the president of the Congo.

The events I have attended were a lecture on the Philippines and their counterinsurgency operations. China was mentioned when they were trying to build a road in a Maoist guerrilla held area and the guerrillas demand payment but the Chinese argued that they were both Maoist so why should they pay but the guerrillas argued that the Chinese are revisionist and demanded payment anyways. Another event that I really enjoyed was a presentation at SAIS on a career in the Foreign Service. This presentation gave a real clarity to what a Foreign Service Officer and the State Department do. Recently there have been a number of events dealing with China and US-China relations among other events that I have attended throughout the last two weeks. Of note was the ‘Smart Power in US-China Relations’ report of the CSIS Commission on China that consisted in a diversity of speakers from different specialties.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Sunday, February 22, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 3)

The past two weeks have really gone by too quickly; luckily I have been keeping notes of my activities since I started my internship. The amount of information I am receiving from my internship, class, and events I attend during the week are giving me the type of solid foundation in understanding trade that I was looking for when I applied to this program.

The knowledge I have gained through my internship in just two weeks really surprises me. Recently we went to an event on business opportunities in India for hi-technology and bio-pharmaceutical companies. Through shadowing with Trade Specialist I now have a thorough understanding of the practical side of doing NAFTA certification and all the details it involves. Another subject that surprised me was the depth of EU privacy rights when compared to US privacy rights. We learned about this during a presentation about Safe Harbor Certification for US companies to be EU compliant when it came to privacy rights.

I am trying to volunteer at the Maryland Small Business Development Center. The reason I am interested in this organization is currently I am interning at the US Department of Commerce in the Trade Information Center assisting small and medium sized businesses in exporting. I would like to volunteer with this organization to get an understanding of the process business owners go through in establishing and growing their businesses in the domestic market as well. Being from a family that runs a small business I believe that what is done at this organization is not only helping people realize their aspirations but also contributing to the well being of the surrounding community, which is another reason why I would like to volunteer at the Capital Region Small Business Development Center.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Sunday, February 8, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 2)

My internship site is in the Ronald Reagan/International Trade Center which is relatively new for a federal building. Some bonuses of being at this location are a food court in the basement and a large cafeteria in the Hoover building at the Department of Commerce. The metro station is also located directly below our building so we don’t have to walk a long distance after getting off the metro. Also the Smithsonian Institution is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from our building so we can go there on our lunch breaks. People in my office get along with each other very well so the environment is very relaxed. This past week we have been doing training on looking up tariff information and using the different databases depending on whether the country is Brazil, Panama, or the products are covered under NAFTA. On Friday I did my first tariff and tax information request for a company in Missouri that was exporting to Mexico.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Sunday, February 1, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 1)

The internship placement process went very smooth as I received contact from the Department of Commerce soon after I had requested to have my information sent.  Although my contact at my internship indicated that work would include working on trade regions outside of China, which I don’t mind, I hope that I will still be able to apply general business principles learned in the academic course to these regions also, which I believe is possible with a little innovative thinking.  I believe being able to work on trade regions outside China will strengthen my trade and business knowledge.
Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce