Graduate career services

An overview of services

As a professional school, we offer a variety of programs, services, and resources to help students grow and develop in their careers. 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 careers.

We assist Ford School students in securing internships and full-time positions. Our specifically designed programs help students clarify their interests and values, explore career options, make connections to potential employers, secure funding, and be strategic in their job planning and search in ways that supplement career development. 

See our alumni's impact on people and communities across the world.

 Providing information

We provide customized career development programs and workshops 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, information on fellowship programs, preparation for case- and behavioral-based interviews, salary negotiations, 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. We also help facilitate mock interviews, some with our GCS staff and others with experienced professionals from among our alumni base.  

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.


MPP students reflect on their experiences and success working with Internship Search Groups.

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The Internship Search Group

The balance between peer feedback and advice from career services made the experience especially valuable. I felt more accountable on the job hunt, and reassured that I was not alone in the nebulous process of job searching."

Alex Maranville (MPP '20) on the value of job search groups

Making connections

We actively engage our alumni and other employers in the U.S. and abroad to build professional connections with the Ford School. As a result, we have an extensive network of agencies and organizations eager to recruit Ford School graduates to full-time positions.

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.

We partner with a wide range of employers to develop and enhance recruiting relationships with organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Employer outreach efforts are conducted with peer institutions in the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) as well as specifically for the Ford School.

Alumni connections

Ford School alumni are one of the best resources for assistance with “real-world” career information, leads to internships and jobs, and mentoring advice. In addition to virtual and on-campus meetings with alumni, students have the opportunity to network and learn from alumni during the annual career exploration trips to Detroit, MI and to Washington, D.C. 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). 

On-campus and remote recruiting

Throughout the year, organizations interested in Ford School students visit campus or set up online sessions to present information sessions and conduct interviews for both full-time and internship positions. These sessions 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.

FordCareers

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 applying for internship or professional development funding, and accessing policy-relevant career resources.

Developing strategy

The Graduate Career Services staff is available to work with each student to develop career plans and job search strategies. We provide individual career counseling to help students clarify student goals, explore available career options, and map out a plan of action for identifying and securing internships and jobs. We also assist in evaluating and negotiating job offers.


GCS Student Engagement Coordinator Claire Davidson sits down to talk through a handful of ways students can make the most of the summer internships between their first and second years of the MPP program.

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Internship Advice

Ongoing support

Graduate Career Services offers facilities and funding support for students. 

Facilities
  • Students may reserve rooms in the Career Services office 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. Below are just some of the resources that can be found to assist you in career exploration and decision-making:
    • policy area and location-specific directories
    • employer recruiting literature
    • internship reports to learn about previous students' internship experiences
    • general job search and interviewing guides
    • application materials for fellowships and post-graduate internship programs such as the Presidential Management Fellows Program
    • access to a computer, printer, telephone and fax machine for job or internship search activities
Funding
  • Internship Partnerships: Provides funding for an internship in a leading policy organization that would otherwise be unpaid. These partnerships are initially announced in January with additional opportunities shared throughout the winter semester 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: Assists 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: Assists MPP/MPA students with support for professional development skill-building activities that supplement curricular and co-curricular opportunities at the Ford School.

Student internship testimonials

Aprisal Masale

"I had no specific career goals when I started my studies at the Ford School. But through this internship, I can see that it is shifting toward a career that focuses on international humanitarian activity and economic development agenda."

Aprisal Masale (MPP '20) interned with Direct Relief in Indonesia
Picture of Ali Jawad

"During my time, I helped with the Global Talent Accelerator and Global Entrepreneur in Residence projects, as well as conducted research, wrote policy briefs, and developed strategic plans."

Ali Jawad (MPP '19) interned with Global Detroit, a local economic development agency that aims to create an inclusive and welcoming economy in Southeast Michigan.
Kristin Prestel (MPP '20)

"Working in state government this summer allowed me to experience what it is like to work in the public sector and to see how different departments and divisions work both independently and collaboratively."

Kristin Prestel (MPP '20) interned with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in Lansing, Michigan.
Akin Olumoroti

"The coolest experience was spending time with farmers in central Iowa seeing these conservation practices at work. I also interacted with foundation grantees, thinking about new ways of intervening with stakeholders and addressing problems.”

Akin Olumoroti (MPP/SEAS '20) interned in Washington, D.C. with the Walton Family Foundation on their Mississippi River Initiative.

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