Today’s post comes from the career coach for the U.S. public sector. From the Admissions perspective, we know that many students start off with a vision of themselves in the most prominent agencies involved in international affairs (primarily Department of State). Let’s hear how the career coach guides students to consider opportunities beyond the obvious.
Careers within the U.S. federal government continue to be an area where Fletcher graduates show particular strength. Often when students arrive at Fletcher, they know they would like to work within the U.S. Foreign Service, intelligence community, or one of the federal agencies (Commerce, Energy, Treasury, USAID, etc.). However, students quickly realize they need to focus further, as the roles and job opportunities within these agencies are as diverse as the academic interests of the Fletcher student body itself.
Our role in the Office of Career Services is to help students navigate these options with confidence and success. We work closely with employers such as the CIA, Government Accountability Office, and Office of Management and Budget to understand each agency’s employment needs and then we coach students on how to be the best possible candidate for the job. Most students meet with career coaches several times during their academic career – early in the fall to brainstorm possible best fits, and later in the spring to prepare for interviews that may lead to an internship or full-time position. In the meantime, we work collaboratively on translating classroom knowledge into employer-relatable skills and achievements, with the aim of securing the job.
At Fletcher, strategic career coaching is augmented by deep career exploration through nearly 40 on-campus employer information sessions and the annual career trips to New York and Washington, DC. A well-established OCS activity, the career trips offer students the benefit of attending some 30-plus career events in New York and over 60 events in D.C. For first-year students, these events are great opportunities to hear from seasoned Fletcher graduates working at public sector employers such as the National Nuclear Security Administration, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, or New York Police Department Intelligence, as well as other organizations that connect to their interests, such as the Council on Foreign Relations. During both trips, many of the employers have active recruiting components, and every year students secure internships and full-time jobs as a result.
The Fletcher School is a great choice for career-minded students who are also looking for a rigorous academic experience. Equipped with the expertise and support of OCS staff, graduates aiming for jobs in the public sector can look forward to fruitful and engaging careers in every part of government.