An Overview of Services
A well-resourced and strategic Graduate Career Services department, a deeply committed alumni base, and a faculty with real-world policy connections--the Ford School difference is in the emphasis we place on providing professional, personalized, and supportive career services to all of our MPP/MPA students.
Graduate Career Services offers a variety of programs, services, and resources to assist students in exploring careers and securing internships and full-time positions. Ford School graduates are actively recruited not only by employers at all levels of government, but also by financial institutions, think tanks/research institutions, international agencies, the private sector, and non-profit organizations.
Graduate Career Services helps students connect with these employers by posting job openings, arranging resume collections and on-campus interview opportunities, connecting students with alumni across fields, and actively engaging in outreach to employers in the U.S. and abroad.
Graduate Career Services staff also assists Ford School students in clarifying their interests and values, exploring career options, and developing successful job search strategies for securing internships and full-time positions.
Programs and services available through the Ford School include:
INDIVIDUAL CAREER COUNSELING
The Graduate Career Services staff is available to work with each student to develop career plans and job search strategies. We can help you clarify your goals, explore career options available with your degree, and map out a plan of action for identifying and securing internships and jobs. We also assist you in evaluating and negotiating your offers. Students are encouraged to begin working with Graduate Career Services early on to create a professional and academic plan to develop the skills and experiences needed for their future career.
Job and internship postings are forwarded to the Ford School from a wide range of national and international employers. Students and alumni can access part-time, internship, and full-time job openings via FordCareers, a web-based recruiting system. Search features enable you to view job postings that match your individual qualifications and interests. FordCareers also serves as your online portal for reading internship reports, applying for internship or professional development funding, and accessing policy-relevant career resources.
CAREER PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS
Graduate Career Services provides customized career development programs aimed at exploring careers and developing skills students can use in their internship/job search and throughout their professional careers. These include resume-writing, cover letter, interview/networking preparation, Strengths Based Interviewing workshops, luncheons with Ford School alumni, and employer information sessions to acquaint students with their organizations and to discuss career paths and job/internship opportunities.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in internship/job search groups. These small groups meet weekly for 4-5 week periods in the fall and winter terms to navigate the search process, foster peer accountability, and receive tailored support from Graduate Career Services staff members.
Throughout the year, organizations interested in Ford School students visit campus to present information sessions and conduct interviews for both full-time and internship positions. These on-campus visits allow students to connect face-to-face with employers interested in the skills of public policy students. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to connect with employers through the University's central Career Center.
Ford School alumni are one of the best resources for assistance with “real-world” career information, leads to internships and jobs, and mentoring advice. Many alumni return to Ann Arbor to share their expertise with current students through our Alumni-in-Residence programs. Others assist by funding unpaid internships, conducting mock interviews by phone/Skype, and informing the Ford School of internship and job opportunities within their organizations.
Each year, the school organizes a fall semester trip to Detroit, MI and a winter semester trip to Washington, D.C. both which include student-alumni networking receptions and presentations by Ford School alumni in their workplaces. Networking opportunities are also held across several cities in conjunction with annual Ford School Worldwide Spirit Day (scheduled in mid-July, around President Ford's birthdate).
Graduate Career Services has two rooms available by reservation on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. These rooms may be used for phone or in-person interviews with employers, conducting informational interviews, or making follow-up calls to employers.
The Career Resources Library has a wealth of information to assist students in learning about policy careers. Our print resources include policy area and location-specific directories, employer recruiting literature, and general job search and interviewing guides as well as other print resources to assist you in your career exploration and decision-making. The library also provides application materials for fellowships and post-graduate internship programs such as the Presidential Management Fellows Program. In addition to our print resources, a computer, printer, telephone and fax are available for students to contact employers and conduct their job or internship search activities.
- Internship Partnerships: The Ford School typically offers 20-25 internship partnerships funded through donor contributions. A Ford School Internship Partnership is a funded internship in a leading policy organization that would otherwise be unpaid. These partnerships are announced in January for the coming summer. Examples of recent internship partnerships include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), CARE, the Asia Foundation, the World Bank, and the State of Michigan Governor's Office.
- Internship Funding: Through the generosity of donors, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy has limited funds to assist students in defraying some of the costs of completing the ten week Ford School internship requirement in organizations offering unpaid or low-paid internships.
- Professional Development Funding: The Ford School has allocated limited funding for a program to assist MPP/MPA students with support for professional development skill-building activities that supplement curricular and co-curricular opportunities at the Ford School.