Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 2017 Institutional Representative Update

Check out the latest happenings in the APPAM June 2017 Institutional Representative Update

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CA Regional Student Conference Session: Monday Policy Career Paths Workshop

The session started with an overview from each of the speakers. They discussed how they got to where they are today and how they entered public service. There was a similar theme to all the speaker’s remarks: be open for opportunities as you never know where you might wind up.

Jill Cannon, a Policy Researcher from RAND Corporation, stressed the importance of learning "as you go". She spent time at RAND, then went to the Public Policy Institute of CA and went back to RAND. RAND is a little broader than the Public Policy Institute of CA and it suited Jill. The process at RAND is to synthesize the research, tell policymakers and lobbyists about the research and advocate for it.  
 
Jake Campbell wanted to be a lawyer. He interned with a lawyer and found out quickly it was not for him. He then went into the service, got an MPA degree and is now getting a PhD. He completed the Federal Pathways program at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and realized he really liked public service. He advised the attendees to “try a lot of different things to find your fit”. He is working on veterans’ services at Claremont, which is a great fit for him.  His best advice? Do your homework. There are a lot of different options (federal government service, state government service, private sector, etc.) and they all offer different opportunities.  
 
Celeste Cantu was always intrigued by water and has spent a lot of her career working on water issues. She’s passionate about the subject and advised students to find their passion.  Her advice to students is that you need passion to sustain you. Celeste continued to say to make sure to focus on what makes your heart happy, don’t always think with your head. 
Greg Devereux’s advice was simple: Be open to the evolution of where you interests might take you. That is how he found himself as the CEO of San Bernadino County. He attended law school and was fortunate enough to have three job offers immediately following his graduation. Each of those offers came from networking and contacts. Greg stressed the importance of networking and taking the time to build a network of contacts for the future. He spoke at length about local government and recommended it as a unique way for students to get to see the impact of their work.
 
The panel then each gave quick advice for the 50+ students in the room. There were a lot of great tips, including: 
  • Do what you love. Being passionate will sustain you through the drudgery of the everyday. 
  • You need different resumes for different jobs. Don’t just blast our your resume for every single job - tailor your approach. 
  • Public sector employees should be able to translate data for a wide audience and present it as actionable. 
  • Prove you have common sense, get to a conclusion that proves you can solve problems. 
  • Don’t provide a laundry list of things on your resume that you don’t have. If you say you have SAAS experience, it should be considerable.   
  • Never write a generic cover letter, tailor it to the position you’re applying for. Have someone review it. 
  • For research positions, employers want to see you have experience developing an idea that’s your own.
  • A resume is your marketing tool. Treat it as such and fashion your resume in a way that gets attention.
  • Always do your research about the organization - what is the work they are doing – and prove you are interested in what they do. 
  • You need to get through Human Resources first so use care with resume keywords and your positioning of your degrees.
  • Always review the minimum qualifications and the preferred qualifications and stay within that framework. 
 

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