Series: Admissions

Virtual Spring Preview: Graduate Career Services

April 3, 2020 1:03:56
Kaltura Video

A webinar introduction to our strategic, well-connected GCS team. Staff will describe our approach to career development and current students will share their experiences with the various GCS programs and services.


Hi everybody, it is so great to be presenting with you. We have a group of students that are here to share their perspectives as we talk about some of the services, programs and opportunities that we set up that we think are really important to you in your job search. I should introduce myself. Hi, I'm Jennifer Niggemeier, I'm the Director of Graduate Career Services and Alumni Relations and I'm co-leading the new leadership initiative that you heard Paula Lantz talk a little bit about this morning. To get started, I think what I wanna do is have everybody introduce themselves. I'm gonna call out folks as I see them on my screen and I would also love... You guys have probably done this already, but if you can, in the chat, tell us your name and where you're from, and then put any questions that you have in the Q&A, and we're gonna get to that later on today and we'll be able to address those. Claire? Claire, do you wanna introduce yourself? 

Happy to, thanks Jennifer. I'm Claire Davidson and I serve as a Student Engagement Coordinator at Graduate Career Services and I'm looking forward to sharing a little bit more about my role as we move throughout the presentation.

Okay, and Kasey? 


I can't hear you. Kasey, we can't hear you, but Kasey's our Employer Relations Coordinator. And hopefully we'll get her audio adjusted as we get to the point where she's gonna talk about some of the services around connecting with employers. We have with us four students and I'm gonna ask you guys, introduce yourselves, tell us your year and program, and if you've done an internship, where you did that. And I'm gonna start with Callie, our second year.

Cool. Hey guys, I'm Callie from [0:02:26] ____, I'm a second year MPP. I'm originally from Massachusetts but took a number of different paths before coming to graduate school. I lived in Texas, North Carolina, and DC directly before school. And then my policy area of interest is Financial Regulation and Consumer Protection. And last summer, I was at OMB in their Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs working on reviewing regulations for Department of Education, Treasury, and working on some of the reviews for our independent financial regulators. And I'm a second year and I am soon to be employed. I'm gonna be working at the Bureau of Fiscal Service starting this summer.

Okay Chad, how about you? 

Hi, good afternoon everybody. My name is Chad Dowding, I'm a first year MPP student. I have yet to do my internship but am in the processes of finalizing mine. At the moment, it's looking like I'll be with the US Department of Treasury working with their office of International Affairs Accountability, looking at multilateral banks and how they make decisions about whether or not the US will vote yes or no on multilateral bank projects.

Awesome. Balthazar? Oh, we're having troubled there. Okay, Nida, how about you, while he connects? 

Hi, my name is Nida Sayed, I'm from Buffalo, New York originally. My policy interests are local, state consulting opportunities and higher ed policies. I'm transitioning from pre-medicine into policy and the Ford School has been super helpful during this journey. And in terms of my summer internship, there's been a lot up in the air due to COVID-19, but we're looking at exploring an opportunity with the current office I work at at the University of Michigan, so fingers crossed that things work out on that front.

Okay, Balthazar, can we hear you now maybe? 

Hi everybody, this is Balthazar. I'm a first year Master of Public Policy student. I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Since graduating from Arizona State University, I've worked for a non-profit in Phoenix doing workforce development with youth through an AmeriCorp program. I also spent some time studying in Russia and then I also spent some time in DC at the Congressional Research Service doing research at the Foreign Affairs Defense and Trade Division there. My policy interests are broadly in migration, international policy, US politics. And this summer I'll be interning with Ben [0:05:15] ____ in Washington, DC.

Awesome, alright, well thanks so much. The person who did not make it on that was supposed to be facilitating this panel is Peter Vasher. Some of you may have seen him on the earlier webinar we did last week, but he is the Associate Director in Graduate Career Services and hopefully he will jump on. Oh, he's coming on and can take over, momentarily. When we think about our office and the services that we provide, we think about it in the context of we provide career information, we provide connections, we provide strategy, and we provide support. And so to get to know us a little bit better, we're gonna have different staff members grab on to one of those areas and unpack a little bit about what that is. And then ask students to talk about how they experience the office in the areas that we're talking about. And then I'm gonna pass moderation right back to Peter.

Hi. Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and I made it. I was listening as a participant, and now I'm glad I can see you all and be here with you this afternoon. Chris, if you're running the slides, if we could get those going, that would be excellent. We're definitely looking forward to joining. As Jennifer said, we're gonna break down our service delivery here in terms of information, connections, strategy, and support. But I want you all to get to know us a little bit better, so if we could go to the next slide.

We know that you've been on this call for a couple hours, which we very much appreciate. Being that we're right in the afternoon siesta zone, we want you to take a moment to stretch wherever you are. I know you can see some of us. So, we're doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And to help inspire you on this Friday afternoon that is very sunny in Ann Arbor, we have pets of GCS that you will see on your slide up there. Chris, can we go to the next slide? We will continue on with the presentation, as we've introduced ourselves. Chris, could you go to the next slide? And our lovely students have introduced themselves as well. To kick it off, we're gonna talk about information, and Claire, if you wanna take it away.

Alright, can everybody hear me? We're good to go? Awesome, okay. Thanks, Peter. As Peter shared, I'm gonna be talking a little bit about information and how our office provides that to students. We know that an important part of your career planning is knowing your options, being able to answer, "What can I do with a policy degree?" Our office, one of our main objectives is to provide a variety of information about career choices available with this policy degree and your particular area of focus. Our programs span a variety of delivery, basically. We do appointments, we host employer info sessions, we host workshops about career development, and we have a number of print and web resources.

One of note would be our internship reports, which are summaries of previous students' internship experiences, and that is used mostly to inform incoming students and students on their search about opportunities of interest and relevance. So, those are a number of the ways that we provide information to you as you're seeking. And we do know, like the things I just mentioned, that there's always a lot going on in our office, and sometimes keeping track of that all can be challenging and overwhelming. So, we try and do what we can to consolidate that information, and we do so by compiling a weekly newsletter that gets sent out to students Monday morning or Monday midday. And that's intended to keep you informed about what's going on at the Ford School, what's going on with our offerings, and what's going on of relevance across the campus, because it's difficult to always know what opportunities there are for you, especially across the other schools and colleges.

We believe that one of the most important things that you can do as a student is to be checking that email every week. We know that the students who do check the newsletter, which is titled "This week in graduate career services", as you can see, we know the students who do check it with regularity are those who stay on top of opportunities of interest, they're most informed. They also then are quick to sign up to things of interest and can make quick adjustments if an exciting opportunity becomes available. We know that there's a lot going on and so this is our way to basically get that information to you in a digestible way, in that weekly email.

Beyond providing information around career development, employer information, and having career-oriented conversations one-on-one with students, we also desire to help students learn more about themselves as a component of this information objective. We have a few different ways that we encourage students to self-develop as they are on their career and leadership development journeys. One way that we've been doing that is through some strengths-based coaching. I'm in the process of becoming a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, utilizing an assessment called Clifton Strengths, which might be familiar to some of you. I host one-on-one conversations with students to talk about strengths and do strengths coaching, in addition to some strengths development workshops. So, those are some ways. We've also been fortunate enough to host Google's Search Inside Yourself, which is a leadership and mindfulness workshop that Jennifer helped bring to campus. So, there's some ways that we partner self-development and self-knowledge with the career search.

That's a snapshot information that we share with students. Now I wanna ask one of our students to talk a little bit more about their experience with these things. So, Nida, could you tell a little bit about the value of the newsletter across your first year and how you've utilized workshops strategically? 

Hi, thank you for the question. The newsletter's been very valuable throughout my time here as a first year master student. Coming from a pre-medicine background, having done a little bit of work with the city of Buffalo through the AmeriCorps program and participating in the Fulbright program in Malaysia abroad, I was still early on in terms of my discovery, in terms of what I was looking for, in terms of a career goal out of the Ford School. And so, the Ford School's newsletter, every week on Monday we get this email all about different employer sessions, alumni who are coming to visit both physically or virtually, we have information about potential job opportunities, internship opportunities, opportunities to meet employers here on campus. And they've really brought in my viewpoint in terms of where I see myself going after the Ford School, and even areas where maybe I don't have a direct interest in that policy area, or maybe I thought I knew about what its policy area was gonna be all about, or the different opportunities available.

I realize every session has informed me in so many different ways and it's really been helpful to both support myself and also let other folks in the Ford School who are my fellow colleagues or students know what resources are available through GCS. And so, I think the awareness has been key through the newsletter, and also, even though I may not be looking at jobs right now, given that I'm only a first year, it's been useful to identify different organizations looking ahead in my planning, so that when I am in my second year, I already have organizations I'm interested in doing informational interviews with, or following up with based on the session I attended during the year. And so, that has been the value of the newsletter for me personally.

Great, thank you, Nida. Next I'm gonna pass it off to Peter to talk a little bit about support.

Absolutely. Thank you. So the next... Chris, if you could move that on. Perfect. We are invested in you at the Ford School and you're hearing from a couple members of our team that are very much invested in getting to know you as individuals. So, in our office, we will be reaching out to you ahead of you stepping foot on campus in the fall, because we wanna get to know you, we want to get to know your story, celebrate the highs, and also help you navigate what it is that you're trying to do here. What policy area are you trying to explore? Help you answer those questions of, "What am I doing here and where do I want to go from here?"

That's something we very much want to be a support and want to have those conversations with you. So we do reach out in the summer to help you begin that process. We know many of you have already begun that, are considering different policy options, considering different schools, but we very much want to be here and intentionally support you on that path as you make different decisions that will lead to internships, that will lead to full time roles in your time after Ford, and as you become a member of our community and a member of our alumni community being with us. And there are a lot of different ways that we do support you on your career journey. We offer one-on-one counseling from Jennifer and myself, Kasey, Claire. We're here to help you. We can talk through resumes, we talk through cover letters. Anything that's a part of internship and career search, we will navigate one-on-one. We talk about decision making. We talk about strategy, which Jennifer will get into a little bit later on as well, but we're a part of your conversations, we're a part of, again, finding that pathway.

As Claire had mentioned, we also offer different workshops that will focus on anything from networking, how to engage in the community, how to prepare best for an upcoming interview that you have. We do mock interviews. So, there's a lot of different options, both one-on-one, and we also value the community here at Ford, so we do want you to learn from your peers. You are joining a community. You're bringing a wealth of experience to grad school and we definitely want to tap into that as well and help you learn from one another. And a way that we do that too, is by hosting and running different accountability search groups. We will come together in a group of 8-10 students and then one of us in the office, as an accountability group to help you on your internship search, or to help you on your job search.

We run these groups in the fall and then again in the winter, and for our graduating students, we will run one right after they graduate in May, too. So it's a really good opportunity to engage with your classmates and find accountability goals that will help you in your internship search and in your job search, and discuss common themes as you work in your career and professional development and strengthen that as well. We also have peer advisors in the office that are there. They're a part of your community. They're a part of our team to help you engage, too. And we find different ways, we learn from our students, ways to support, certainly as well. But I'm gonna pause it there and let our students join in and share. So Callie, I wonder if you could kick it off? Maybe talk a little bit about your experience in the search group, or how you've utilized counseling in our office so far.

Yeah, for sure, all of those things. My top three reasons for going to grad school were one, to pivot in my career. I started off in financial services. I worked at a bank before grad school and I wanted to work on financial regulation for the federal government after. So it's pretty clear I needed some help going from one to the other. The other piece that I was looking at was the curriculum, and then the very close third was community. And I remember being in your shoes two years ago and being at the GCS panel and that's where everything clicked for me. So I hope for some of you it clicks for you, too. But here's what really struck me about Ford, and what I've experienced. One, our GCS team is wonderful. They do so much to help foster the community. Ford does an awesome job of creating community between the students, the students and staff, the students and faculty, but also as we're looking for jobs, that could be a competitive place, depending on what program you go to. And through Internship Search Group, I remember being a little bit hesitant. "Are people gonna be open and honest about what they're looking for or what they want to do, holding each other accountable in a nice, supportive way?" And it was so wonderful.

Coming together once a week with your peers, to talk about, you're all going through the internship search process or the job search process and it's stressful. And voicing some of those stressors, but also thinking about strategies for moving forward, guided by our GCS team was so, so wonderful and helpful. And even this year, I was selected as part of the PMF program in the fall, end of the fall, and the six of us PMFs came together and created our own job search group together, because we felt it was so valuable to share those learnings and opportunities together. And it's not just group support, but one-on-one counseling as well. I think my first week of school I signed up for a counseling appointment to think about, "Okay, I want to make this pretty big pivot. What are some of the steps I need to go through? Who should I talk to?" And Jennifer set me up with a ton of alums to learn about what they do every day and the skills that they use in their jobs and what I can focus on in the next two years to really set me up to be at the place I wanted when I graduated. It's been pretty wonderful. Happy to talk more about that in the Q and A later as well.

And Nida, do you wanna add anything in terms of search group or mock interviews or appointments, the ways that you've engaged with the office? 

Yes. As a first year, I've been able to participate in the internship search group. And that was super helpful to help me, to be honest, overcome some impostor syndrome that I had when I first got to Ford and also continued to navigate during my first year here. The one-on-one individual attention I was able to get from almost every single staff member at GCS has been truly amazing, even the peer advisors. I remember last minute, it'd be like 4:59 I'd come into the office, just when it's about to close and I'm like, "Something's happening, I need someone to walk me through something." Folks were always there and receptive to engage and even after hours would be emailing me, so that was super helpful. Mock interviews are also really great. I've been able to work with many GCS staff to get a feel for what kind of questions might come out of a job interview depending on the job description, depending on the sector you're going in.

Also how to navigate support for the different types of interviews we might have, everything from phone interviews, to video, to in-person interviews, and it's been super helpful to navigate that process through the GCS staff support. I would also say the community, I would totally resonate with that comment, that community has truly been there both at GCS [0:22:07] ____ and also the students that create this opportunity as well. Although the internship search group ended, I know many folks from our group still remain in touch every week to see how folks were doing in terms of accountability for the work, or just to support one another and be there for each other through these different COVID-19 developments as well. So that's been incredibly useful during my time here. And I think I could echo everything that Callie said in so many ways, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Great. Thank you. Alright, Kasey. If you could pop in and talk about connections and Chris, if we could advance the slide.

Can you hear me now? Wonderful. Hi guys, I am Kasey Sullins. I'm the Employer Relations Manager here at Graduate Career Services. My role is to connect you with our vast network of employers and alumni. There are a multitude of ways in which our office does that. On the screen, you will see a handful of employers that participate in recruitment efforts at the Ford School. That can be through information sessions where an employer holds an informational session, either in person or virtually. We also have employer office hours and resume collections. And we also have two career treks that I wanna tell you guys about. Every fall, we take a trip to Detroit. That's a one-day day trip over fall break, and that day is comprised of three panels of various organizations in Detroit as well as organizations that our alums are at. And then every February, we take a two-day career trek to Washington DC. That's a two-day trip. And that is also filled with panels, Lunch-and-Learns, and a networking reception where you'll have the opportunity to connect with alumni.

I also wanted to point out that someone that is not here on this call today but is very much an important part of our team is Elizabeth Johnston. She is our Alumni Relations Associate Director and she assists in Graduate Career Services, which is a very different model from other schools. Because Elizabeth assists in Graduate Career Services, she has access to lots of alums. That's another way that you can connect with employers, is what are called Alumni in Residence where an alumni will come back and have a career conversation with students. If you could advance to the next slide, Chris. Great. You've heard some people mention internships. One thing that the Ford School offers is funded internship partnerships at organizations that are strategically placed. These opportunities are donor-funded as well Ford School-funded at a rate of $7500-$8500 per summer. So this is another way that you can engage with employers. But as Peter touched on earlier, another way that you can connect with employers is your own cohort. You will probably be coming from an organization that other students are interested in as well, so always keeping that in mind, as well as the larger U of M network. I will turn it over to our panelists. I'll start with Chad. What are some opportunities that you've had to connect with employers? 

Yeah, absolutely. I've had so many opportunities to connect with employers. Shortly after arriving at the Ford School, based on the "This Week in Graduate Career Services" email, I was able to see all of the visits of future employers, as well as panelists who were coming in to talk about internships. And then from there, I've been able to attend sessions several times a week as often as I can. And outside of that, the next step that was really helpful for me was planning for the trip to Washington DC, and we had a chance to spend two days in Washington DC. I met many, many employers. There's also an alumni reception where we had a chance to speak with over 100 alumni who had come back, one, to see each other as well as to connect with students at the Ford School.

And then, even more directly, if there's an office or an alumni that I wanna speak with, Graduate Career Services has always been available to connect us to an individual that's of interest, or if there's an organization of interest, letting them know and seeing if there's an alumni or an employer connection that we can talk to. I've been really impressed by the number of employers that target the Ford School, to seek out students either for internships or full-time positions, and the ease of access to be able to talk to them is something that I was hoping for, and I was very pleasantly surprised when I came to the Ford School to find.

Great, thank you. Balthazar, did you have anything to add? 

0:27:34 Balthazar: Yeah, I would just add on... The newsletter, as we have been talking about earlier, is one of those resources where you get to find out who's coming to campus and who can you reach out to for any sorts of job advice or career guidance. And one of those opportunities I had was when Kasey and GCS organized this virtual info session with the Alpha Fellowship. It's through the Alpha Bank in Russia, and they provide this one-year long professional development program for recent master's graduates. And so I was really interested in that program so it was a great opportunity to interact with people who manage that program. And then also in regards to the annual DC trip, I got to go on that this year. It was a great way for me to set up my own informational interviews with employers that I was interested in. So I set up a coffee meeting with some folks from the Brookings Institution, and I was really interested in working in a think tank this summer, and so it was a great way to make that connection and seek out those people for professional career guidance and advice.

So we know we're briefly touching on different aspects, the way that our office allows opportunities for you to connect, to explore, and really find your path. And now we wanna send it to Jennifer to talk about how you put this together, how you define your strategy moving forward.

Yup. We talked about you have your career information. Maybe you have some interests now that you're narrowing in on. You've made some connections, but how do you get from here to there? What's the strategy? And it really folds into two pieces. It's the career decision-making piece, but it's also then the, "How do I do that? Help me with the process and the tools." So that's, I think, really where one of the strengths of our office is. Well, they're all strengths, but this is a strength around thinking about you. This is about you, your story, your narrative, your life experiences, your identities, your significant other's needs that come into your career decision-making. Every student's experience is different. And so, the [0:30:07] ____ the bar, the one-on-one connections, is really a chance for us to unpack that with you individually to the extent that you are comfortable sharing that as that informs your career decision-making.

And then it comes down to the basics of, "Well, how do I do that? Do I have all the tools that I need in order to write a good cover letter?" To think about, "How do I reach out to an organization and gee, right now, ask about a remote internship? What does that language look like to carve that out?" And so we're here to assist you with that. When you have multiple offers, and many of you will have multiple offers, "How do I decide between offers? And think about which one. They're both good. Which one's gonna be the right fit for me right now where I am in my career?" And helping you sort through in your head, "How do I break all that down?" There actually are models of decision-making that are relevant, even now, for how you're thinking about different graduate schools. There's a process that can actually be helpful around thinking about, "Do I have all the facts? Have I thought about all the pros and cons? Have I thought about all the possibilities that this choice will open up for me?"

And then at the end of the day, after doing all of those pieces, "What is my heart telling me? What is my gut telling me? What is the impact of this decision on significant others?" And all of those steps are important, and all of us have different personality styles that make some of those steps a lot easier than others. And so thinking about the comprehensive approach to, "Am I missing the details of this, and do I need to go back to the organization and find out more information?" So that is all part of strategy, and that strategy's gonna be different for different students. Some people go right to, "Well, my gut says this," and other people get stuck in research so long that they never actually send out an application. So that's where we like to prod you to make sure you're looking at a balanced approach to your decision-making. So, I guess, with that, I'm gonna stop and ask you guys if you have anything you wanna share on that front around how the office has helped you in strategy. Chad, thoughts on that? 

I have some very recent thoughts on that. The office, in general, has been incredibly supportive of me. I've met with every member of the staff at least once. I've gotten support from Peter, most recently. I went through a test interview, practice interview with Claire, and Kasey has been phenomenal in connecting me to internship opportunities to apply for. But when we're talking specifically about strategy, the thing that's been most helpful for me is about a week and a half ago, I had two internship offers that came up at almost precisely the same time. I had an internship decision due on a Friday, and I received final word about an internship I had waiting on for about four months on that same Friday at about the same time.

Peter was very kind to be available for me to speak with him and walk through the different options. And just as Jennifer mentioned, I had walked through a pro/con list for myself. What were the benefits of this internship versus the other? Did it align with my long-term goals of what I was really in graduate school to do? Because this is, similar to Callie, a pivot in my career. And really talked through the different options. What were the challenges related to COVID-19, whether or not I'd be able to travel to this internship, or would there be alternatives to seek out? And I think the approach starting out was to apply to as many internships of interest as possible, and then from there to really narrow in on the ones that were most important to me. And between these two internships, between Peter's support, I was able to make a decision. As I mentioned earlier, I was able to select the internship that best aligned with my long-term interests, which is working for the federal government in international policy.

Awesome. Callie, anything you wanna add? 

I will echo everything that you guys have said already. But the individual support and helping think through some of these key phases of the internship and job search is so invaluable. I'm definitely a research, data-driven person who will come with like, "I've talked to these 10 people in each office that I'm looking at, but I don't know which one to go with." And sitting down with somebody at GCS has been so helpful for me to think through different ways that I might not have, or seeing different options that might not have occurred to me before, or different opportunities. Seeing these opportunities in a different way helped me when I was deciding between two internships, and then deciding between two jobs, and where do I wanna be longer term versus right now, and how to weigh comfort versus challenging myself.

And using my skills in a few different ways, both my policy skills and the experience I have from previous jobs, and how all of those things come together in your career decision-making, but also career exploration. 'Cause you have two years, which are pretty special to learn whatever you can with access to a lot of experts, both academic, but also our alums who are doing really cool things. And to echo again, our alums are wonderful, and they will answer your emails very quickly. I've reached out to a lot of Ford alums, and every single one has answered my email within 24 hours like, "Yes, I'd love to talk to you. Please." So yeah. I'm sorry, I think I might have got a little off topic.

That's okay. And that doesn't always happen. People are busy, but in general, yeah, our alums are pretty awesome.

In my experience.

No, no, that's awesome. The other piece I wanna add about strategy is, as we move into more of the leadership initiative, the other part of strategy is around, "Yes, you're gonna get your job. We're gonna help you think about that career decision." But the other piece is, "How are you gonna show up in that job? What are the leadership competencies and emotional intelligence that you're gonna bring to your workplace?" And thinking about, "Where is it that you as an individual need to grow? What's your learning edge?" Whether that's, "I do too much reacting and not responding." Or, "I'm struggling with impostor syndrome." Or, "I don't know how to get my voice heard at the table with people who are 20 years older than I am." So these are all things that fall in that EQ domain. And we're doing more and more on that, certainly into next year and we've started a lot of that this year. Nida, anything you wanna say on that? I'm putting you on the spot.

Yeah. The leadership initiative, more specifically the Search Inside Yourself program through Google, has been the most valuable and helpful thing that I've gotten out of Ford, to be honest, the entire year. Not to say that the GCS staff and everything else hasn't been great, but during spring break, we had an opportunity to participate in this Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Leadership retreat for two full days. And we tried to put our phone away and engage in a lot of different micro-practices that we could integrate in our lives, or also have dedicated time for. A lot of which I've been able to incorporate in my workplace that I currently work at the university, and also in my personal setting with my family. And given a lot of the big upsets with COVID-19 and all the amount of changes we've had to navigate, the tools and skills that I learned through that program have been super valuable to support, not only myself, but the undergraduates I work with, my fellow colleagues at the Ford School. And I truly am so excited to share more about this in the fall when you guys all come, hopefully. I cannot say enough about that program and how that shaped how I feel more comfortable in my own, and where I see myself going in the future, and how I try to take these skill sets into both current and future workplace opportunities.

Yeah, thank you. And I wanna say last night, Nida and I were on a Search Inside Yourself wrap-up call from the program that we did, and we talked about strategizing together on, "How can we bring more of this to the Ford School in the coming year?" So if that is something that is of interest to you and you have ideas, we would love to know that as we think about some of this stuff over the summer. Alright, Peter, I know I went way over. I'm turning it back to you.

Thank you. We're gonna open it up for questions, but I just wanted to address a couple of common questions that we have. This is kinda looking back the last five years from a geographic distribution where our grads have gone. And so this is focusing on geography. So looking back, our top six in terms of location destination being Michigan, DC, international, followed by California, Illinois and New York and many different places, both across the world and across the US, scattered in between as well. Chris, could you advance just one slide. So this is also a visual representation of that same data looking back at the last five years. Now, in terms of policy sectors, typically when we're thinking about the first destinations after the Ford School, we break it down roughly into thirds, so a third going into government in some capacity, whether that's Federal, State, Local or an international Government.

Roughly a third are going into non-profits in some capacity so that could be foundations, that could be working in research, or at a think tank or many other different leading non-profits across the US and world. And then about a couple of percentages in there international organizations, such as the World Bank. And then that last chunk that's a little less than a third being private sector or consulting opportunities. I know that was a general breakdown, but we do have stats on our website looking back across the years too for more specifics. I know we had a question about different think tanks and the answer is yes, we do have students interning at various think tanks getting full-time jobs, at different think tanks.

When we go on our DC trip, just this past year, we were at the Urban Institute, for example, we were also at TICAS, as well. So there are a lot of opportunities if you think about research and think tanks and a number of alums that have gone on to careers in that path too. Chris, could you advance just one more. So, one other... So, looking at the MPPs and that required internship, so there is a lot of internship funding support from the Ford School. The Ford School any of them are very intentional about students pursuing the path that is of greatest career intent to them. And so, a way that we do that is by having a fantastic development team at the Ford School that supports us and enables us to provide opportunities for students. So we do have a lot of different internships that are Ford funded that Kasey alluded to earlier, at the 7500 or 8500 level. We also have a Ford School unpaid low-paid fund that can support students that are accepting unpaid internships, that may be the best career choice for them but are unpaid.

And then we do have about 35% year over year that are in employer paid internships such as the GAO at different consulting firms like Deloitte, also employer paid opportunities with different EDF climate change fellowship or the California LAO. State of California Department of Finance, so on and so forth. Then there's a couple other funding sources that students have looked at over the years too. But I wanna get to your questions as well and see if we can address those.

There's actually one for the panelists about...


There's one for the panelists about how many years of professional work experience did you have before coming here? 

And we can...

Do you guys wanna chime in, Callie? 

Yeah, I had four years.

Sorry. No, me too, four. [chuckle]


0:43:54 Balthazar: I have three years.

Okay, four years Callie, Nida, you had four? 

0:44:01 S?: No, I had closer to six.

Okay. But it is not uncommon that we have folks that come straight through or have two years of experience. So, the cohort is really diverse in that way, and that adds to a lot of the fascinating conversations you will have with your classmates.

Yeah. Alright, just looking at some of our other questions.

There is a question that is specific for Nida from Sydney, are you willing to ask that one? Why I ask the question, 'cause I'm not sure I totally understand it. Just hop on or do I have to bring you on? Would you like to answer this question, [0:44:50] ____ Sydney? Maybe not. Okay, so the question is, do you find that most in the field that you are... This came up right after you did your intro. That most of the folks in the fields stay in one area or do professionals tend to relocate regions for work in that field? 

So in terms of local state work, it truly depends. I'm from Buffalo, New York so I had the opportunity, both do an internship and AmeriCorps later on a few years down the road with the city of Buffalo and I was really excited to contribute to the community in some way after living abroad for a few years. And I do see myself eventually having... After I circle a little bit more of the country coming back to Buffalo, New York, to serve the community in some way. But I think to some degree it's personal. But I think for an internship or job search opportunity, there's so many different local state opportunities that come up through Ford and that we're made aware of, and some people will try out different summer internships in other local and state localities to basically get maybe an idea for what it's like to manage a city, or a state, in a completely different context or area or develop a new skill set and maybe bring it back to the city hall or their state office where they plan to work in the future. And so, truly, it depends. And I think Peter has been able to talk a little bit about, where folks go after the Ford School. And I think for me, it's a little bit up in the air. I'm open for the next couple of years after Ford where I end up, but I do see myself at some point coming back to Buffalo, New York so.

There's a question here that is probably on everyone's mind, so let's just talk a little bit about it, of the impact of the pandemic on careers. And boy, I wish I had the crystal ball on what's gonna happen even next week. But here's what we know. I was not alive for the 1918 pandemic, so I have no pandemic experience. There's no rule book, but I have been at the Ford School through lots of challenging years for job seekers, in 2008 and 2009, after 9/11, and the question is around tips or thoughts on what's gonna happen. I just sent Claire this morning a little career tips section for our newsletter around, "Where are the jobs in a pandemic?" We all know people are losing lots of jobs. Those are largely in certain sectors right now and this is what happened in 2008, too.

There are certain sectors that get hit far worse than others and then there are other jobs that emerge and are created because of the situation that you are in. And so, thinking strategically about, "What new needs have emerged and are emerging because of the situation that we are in?" Both from a health perspective and a social support system perspective, as well as the economic impact of that. There will be new jobs in those spaces. Are they created today? No, but a year from now for MPAs who might be getting out, yeah probably. And even in the next couple of months, there will be more jobs on that. One of the tips is, "Always follow the money trail." What does that mean? Read the stimulus package. Look at who is getting funding and in what areas, because those are the places that are gonna be staffing up to address those issues. So, small business administration, and the trickle effect of all of those things, that's where you'll start to see some of the new opportunities.

I'm not gonna go on into too much detail on that, but follow the money trail and think about, "What are the new needs that are gonna emerge because of the situation we currently find ourself in?" And keep in mind that with a master's in public policy, these are policy issues, and so the skills of graduates of policy programs at the local, state, federal level, are gonna be sorely in need. Our Governor's office, we were supposed to have two interns there this summer and they're like, "We will take all five that we interviewed if you can help support them." Because there is a need to address questions at the policy level that this toolkit will help position you for. That is the only crystal ball that I have based on past experience and I saw that happen in the past as well. The strategy right now is, people are still adjusting to remote work for their own organization, so hiring's gonna be a little slowed down, but it doesn't mean that hiring isn't gonna happen. It just means maybe for graduates now, you take a summer gig, you ride out a couple of months and then things are gonna start to open up. But network, network, network. Get connected to people in the places on the fields that are of interest to you. And I will get off my soapbox. Back to you, Peter.

I wanna quickly address two questions, one about the MPA program and there was a question related to the Capstone. And so that, I will say the Capstone, in terms of working and finding a project and seeking out opportunities with employers, is definitely something that Liz Gerber and P3E work very closely with our MPAs and Dean Lantz as well, to really find a capstone that fits the policy sector and interest. We've had a lot of fantastic capstones set up for the MPA cohort working with a variety of employers across the US and world. And that's something that, getting back to what we're talking about earlier, that one-on-one, it's very much dependent on the MPA's interests. I know there's also a question about, "What do we do with MPAs specifically?" And one thing that Jennifer and I have been doing is separate sessions since the beginning of the fall, but really kicked it up in the winter term, that is specific to career development for our MPA cohort. And that's something we've continued virtually as we move to remote teaching and learning more recently and had different students engaging with us in that capacity too. Just realizing that that cohort of MPAs does have a little bit more years of experience and different intentions with their career outcomes, too. I don't know if you wanna add anything, Jennifer? 

Just tell them the question about how many grad students find jobs after graduation. Oh, I wish I knew the [0:52:25] ____ here. I can give you perspectives. In years past, we are anywhere between, depending on the year, between 30 to 50 at graduation percent. And then over the course of the summer, we'll pick up another 30% so that by September, were probably close to 80%. That varies by year, it varies by what's going on, it varies by the students. In the recent years, for some reason, have had a ton of students that wanna travel the world over the summer and put their job search off until they're done with that. I do not anticipate that happening this year.

But I do think that we're working with our job search groups now and if what's been awesome is the group I worked with on Wednesday night, somebody actually got an offer for a fellowship on the hill while we were in the group and somebody else got a call about an interview. So things are still moving and we have students that have taken jobs, we know our PMFs are gonna do fine this year because government is having lots of opportunities and needs right now, but it's a really hard answer or a hard question to answer around people getting jobs at graduation because it is so different. We are not a business school, we do not run a consulting and finance recruitment machine, where there are five employers on campus every day, interviewing. That's not the model in public policy. Most positions are filled, more just in time as the positions open, they look for someone to fill the position with some exceptions around some of the public sector consulting firms that recruit here and they are more planful, they're projecting out their recruitment, they do lots of campus visits, and so those may be earlier, those are earlier in the school year, generally.

So we do have a recent question that just came up too in terms of networking and COVID-19, and I wanna echo Jennifer too that I had a 9:00 AM search group with graduating students and I had a student who shared this morning about an offer that they received on Wednesday and another student who shared about an acceptance to a PhD program. They're contemplating that versus final round interviews they had for a full-time job and kind of talking that through is something we did today as well as they worked through that decision, but in terms of quickly about international students, so we do have international students that will intern in the United States, every summer. So I would say it really depends on what visa you're on. So we, in the Ford School collaborate very well with our international center at Michigan.

In fact, last Friday, we had one of the International Center advisors do a virtual workshop, specifically for Ford School master students, and they hopped down with me and Monica from the International Center to talk through employment, both internships and full-time in the US, so that is a thing that is possible, and it's also possible when it comes to full-time but that is very much dependent on the employer, so we just see that ebb and flow a little bit year to year, but that's something that we do actually work on in our office too, and Kasey is very active and working with employers that are willing to sponsor. The other question was COVID-19 and networking. So we are still hosting employer info sessions via Zoom. We're still actually have... We created an initiative for alumni office hours for our students to connect one-on-one, virtually with our alums, and we've had a pretty good response, we just put that out in the past week. I don't know if you wanna add to that Jennifer? 

I do. So people are concerned how am I gonna network when people are remote? But think of it this way. Are you climbing the walls being stuck in your apartment and looking for any kind of human interaction and break? So we put out a call to alum saying, "If you need a healthy break in your day and you wanna give back, this will help in so many ways, not only the student that you're talking with, but it's gonna help you too to feel like you're doing something really good in the world when you're stuck in your apartment." And within minutes we had responses. And normally people say, "Yeah, I'll do one or two." 50% of the alums that responded said, "I'll do as many of these as you need me to, until I reach my limit." So, how amazing is that? And that also says that people have a little bit of time on their hands in some cases, capitalize on that, right? People want diversions and that connecting with someone and communicating is really gonna help all of our mental health as we adjust to this new, more isolated environment.

And I know we are pretty much out of time, but I just wanna kick it back to our four students, just kind of one final lasting message that you wanna share with our prospective students to the Ford School about joining our community. So I'm gonna start with Chad, and then we'll go from there.

Yeah, so just very quickly, I think the thing that I want to reiterate or something that was important for me when I was thinking about making my decision on grad school was where would I know that I would get a lot of support thinking through career options after I was getting ready to finish my program? And after exploring seven or eight schools, the Ford School's team and the fact that there were four full-time folks dedicated to helping us find positions was something that was really appealing to me. So I would just make sure that you build that into your consideration. How much support do you think you'll get and how many people are there to be able to support you when it comes to that time? 

Thank you. And Nida.

I just like to echo the community comment that we have kept pounding in this presentation. Truly the community starts today, and now with the Ford School, even from, I think Dean Barr's letter to you all about your expenses at Ford. And I think with GCS specifically, this community will still continue to be built out from now until you arrive on campus through many different emails and engagements they'll host. And so, even, I just talked to an alum this morning actually about potential work opportunities as well and I think the community just through and through from the time you apply until you leave and beyond just continues. And so, I'd like to echo that's one of the big reasons why I ended up coming to Ford and what really resonated with me at the Spring Preview Day. But obviously, consider your finances and different opportunities too, but know there's lots of things and resources available at the Ford School for the opportunities you wish to pursue. So...

Balthazar, do you wanna chime in? 

0:59:58 Balthazar: You might want to add the support services from Graduate Career Services starts the day that you arrive to campus. When I arrived last year, I submitted my resume for review and then I scheduled an appointment with my counselor, Claire Davidson, the week after. We hit it off and I've gone to Claire for mock interview prep for several sessions now, and I think it's been really useful for me to land the opportunities that I've been able to get since I arrived at the Ford School. Yeah, that's all I got.

Callie, any final thoughts? 

I think most of it's been said, but come to Ford. If this resonates with you in any way, we certainly absolutely love our community, and are so excited to welcome you into it.

Yeah, I wanna add on to that. Look, we've already made the decision that we think you are a fit for us and you should feel great about that. We would love to have you as part of our community. But now it's your call to decide what's the right fit for you. And there are many factors that go into that. It's just like career decisions don't happen in a vacuum. But our hope is that today, through this virtual adaptation of Spring Preview, that we've given you a feel for who we are as an institution and what your experience might be like if you choose to come here and we hope to see you.

And with that, we very much thank you for joining us. Can we have a virtual applause for our student panelists for joining us this afternoon too and taking time out of your classes and networking and job searching? And with that, I want to pass it over to Beth to take us out.

Alright, thanks Peter. Thank you to the GCS team and our student panel. You guys were amazing as always, so thank you very much. This is the last session of our very long webinar today. Thank you to our admitted students who attended and stuck around to learn about us. I think you've probably picked up on the fact that we're excited about our community, we're proud to be a community dedicated to public service, we're proud to be a school named after President Ford who had a strong, strong focus on public service, and we feel like his spirit is really reflected in the work of our school. But we know that you have lots of options, you have lots of things to weigh. Like Jennifer said, we get that, we would love to have you here but we get that you have lots of things to think about.

But hopefully the message you heard here is we are more than happy to talk with you about your questions, your concerns, so please don't be hesitant to reach out to ask questions. And the faculty have all indicated they're happy to talk with you, we're happy to talk with you, so please continue the conversation with us. In that vein, this is the end of our formal webinar but if you have further questions, if you would like to chat further, we will have a short blue jeans question and answer session right after this. The link should be available to you in the chat box, so feel free to come and join us over there. Thank you for your time, have a wonderful weekend, and Go Blue.