Learn how the Ford School’s Graduate Career Services team accelerates the career development of our students and learn more about our Leadership Initiative.
00:03 Rebecca Cohen: Good afternoon everybody. My name's Rebecca Cohen, I'm senior communication and outreach strategist at the Ford School of Public Policy. As a Ford School alum myself, I wanna first congratulate you on your admissions. We're so excited that you're considering to join us here at the Ford School.
00:20 RC: As you've probably heard by now, the Ford School will be doing a virtual Spring preview on April 3rd, and we're expanding our online virtual options for you to get to know us a little bit better. That includes four to five webinars next week with our research centers, as well as finishing out this week's webinars. We're adding details daily to the Futures Fordies website, so please check back, RSVP, register, and we hope to see you on those.
00:53 RC: Yesterday, we had a phenomenal turnout with more than 100 admitted students attending our first webinar with our student academic services. And today we have nearly that number on today's webinar. We're so excited to talk to you a little bit with our graduate career services team as well as one of our alums. All of our webinars are being recorded and also posted on the Future Fordies website. So if you have additional questions or you wanna go back and refer to them, please check that out.
01:29 RC: Today, we have three important people here who will talk to you about career support offered at the Ford School and what it means to join our very well-connected alumni network. We'll leave a good chunk of time for questions after a brief presentation from our panelists. Please don't hesitate to ask questions on the right-hand side of your screen, there's a Q&A box, and we'll be sure to pass those on to our panel.
01:56 RC: So with that, I wanna first introduce Jennifer Niggemeier, Director of Graduate Career Services and Alumni Relations, and Co-Lead on the Ford School's new leadership initiative. We also have Peter Vasher, Associate Director of Career Services, and Naomi Goldberg who is on our alumni board and is also Director of Policy and Research at the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBT think tank designed to understand and increase the capacity of the LGBT movement.
02:25 RC: Well, let's get started. Let's start out with Peter. Peter, can you just talk to our admitted students about what they should expect with graduate career services at the Ford School and how your office is involved with the students day-to-day?
02:41 Peter Vasher: Absolutely. And good afternoon, good morning, good evening, wherever you may be joining us from. I'm really excited that you've been intentional about joining us and to learn a little bit about our services at the Ford School. One thing about our office is we are very intentional overall about your journey and about your career strategy. We are also very invested in mindfulness, and so we invite you to join us in one of our micro-practices that, this is just gonna be very brief, three breaths and something we incorporate into some of our programming.
03:18 PV: So I invite you to take your first breath. Pay full attention to your breathing. Second breath, relax your body. In your third breath ask what's important right now. Thank you.
03:44 PV: So, in graduate career services we have a powerful team of six that is there for you every day, both in person and remotely, to connect with you, to empower you, and to support you on your journey in graduate school. So we approach career services using four overarching themes. Information, connection, strategy, and support.
04:11 PV: A couple of different ways that we support you is through one-on-one counseling. So we have a number of individuals in our office that can connect with you. We reach out ahead of classes, even beginning in the Fall, to make a connection, to get a sense of your career interests and aspirations. We also have a variety of different programs that we offer throughout the school year. So between September 1st and April 20th in a given year, we're offering 80 to 90 career-related and professional development-related workshops that are typically small group, or just a couple of students up to much larger numbers, so there's a lot of different ways to connect with us.
04:56 PV: One of these programs that we offer each year is internship and job search, mindfulness, and accountability groups, which we'll talk about a little bit later on. In addition to focusing on strengths and any of the career-related programs and things that you can talk about with us one-on-one, such as resumes, cover letter and being intentional in terms of offers and decision making as it relates to internships or full-time offers. We also make connections both with our alumni and employers.
05:31 PV: Employers will come to Ann Arbor from around the United States. We also will connect with employers around the world through virtual information sessions. We host interviews with employers as well. We also connect with alumni through one-on-one office hours, through career talks, alumni and residents, through a different variety of programming. Some of our key larger scale programs is we have a Detroit trip every Fall, where we bring 25 students to the city and spend a day on different career-related topics. And then we also have a DC trip every Spring in February, engaging with our alums in Greater Washington DC. We had 55 students participate this February and close to 160 alums that engaged with us throughout those two days.
06:00 PV: And overall, we're here, we're a support for you, we're excited to meet you, we're excited to connect with you, and we do talk strategy. What works for you, you're an individual with your own ideas, your own aspirations, and that's what we focus on here at the Ford School.
06:00 RC: That's great, thanks so much Peter. I wanna turn next to Jennifer, because yesterday we had some questions about the leadership initiative, and I'd love if you could maybe share a little bit more with our admitted students about what that's all about and the plans for next year.
06:53 Jennifer Niggemeier: Hi everybody. Again, congratulations on your admission. We know that... We believe you are someone who can succeed at the Ford School, and happy to have this time to really give you the opportunity for you to help figure out, "Is this the right place for you?" And so part of that is wanting to share with you all of the excitement around our new leadership initiative. The way I would describe it is, the Ford School has long been a leader in policy analysis. We hear from employers all the time, "Our students are great... Our graduates are great writers", they have an amazing quantitative policy tool kit. What we wanna do with the Leadership Initiative is mirror that excellence with how people are showing up at work, leading themselves, leading teams, leading institutions.
07:46 JN: It's not that our alums aren't already doing that, but we wanna be recognized as one of the leaders in that. And so the new leadership initiative really has several different dimensions to it. And it's integrated, not only across the Ford School through curricular and non-curricular, or extracurricular activities, but also integrated throughout the university, and leveraging some of the leadership resources that are available there. So things that you might expect, a focus on leadership coursework, a focus on workshops that are gonna help you lead self, lead others, lead teams, lead communities and institutions.
08:28 JN: A piece that I'm super excited about is individual leadership coaching. We piloted this last summer with students on internship where a handful of students worked with a leadership coach during the time that they were on internship. And based on the success of that we are starting to scale that and hope to see that four or five times the number of students have a leadership coach this summer. We also are investing in assessments, whether it's the DiSC or the Gallup strengths or the leadership practices inventory, and our goal is that before folks graduate from the Ford School you will have the opportunity to take at least one leadership assessment to better understand what you're bringing to the table, how you're showing up as a leader, and where your learning edges are.
09:22 JN: Let's see, what other dimensions? I guess that's the core of it, and then surrounding that is what's already been happening at the Ford School around some of our policy talks and some of the leaders and speakers that come to the Ford School to talk about policy issues were often then leveraging their presence here to do small group talks with students around leadership. So, this past year, Hillary Clinton was here doing a talk for campus and she actually offered to do a talk for the Ford School on leadership, and so we had a Ford School closed-session with her, which was amazing. We had Condoleezza Rice here, we've had Samantha Power here, and all of those are just giving a lens into leaders that model the way, leaders that challenge processes, leaders that enable others to act and kind of setting that before you so that it's modeling it for you, and hopefully developing that as a really important tool kit and component of your Ford School experience.
10:33 RC: Great, thank you so much, Jennifer. I know we've had some great feedback from alums who have just been thrilled with the new leadership offerings here at the Ford School. And finally, I'd love if, Naomi, I know we can't see her lovely face today but we are still on, can you speak a little bit about the alumni base here at the Ford School and how involved you are as an alum?
11:03 Naomi Goldberg: Hi, everyone, it's nice to be with you today, especially as I know we're all adjusting to seeing fewer people. You can't see me, but I'm really excited to be on a call. As Rebecca mentioned, I'm Naomi and I graduated with an MPE in 2008, and I work for an LGBT think tank. I also serve on the Alumni Board for the Ford School. I think one of the things that really makes the Ford school unique and the University of Michigan generally such an amazing place to study and receive a degree is the engaged, supportive, and vast alumni network. Nearly every week on a coalition call or in a work meeting somehow we get around to talking about how there's a Michigan connection, and you hear "Go blue." We really are everywhere. I would challenge you to wear a Michigan block M hat or t shirt on vacation, and I guarantee you'll hear at least one "Go blue" from some random person walking around.
11:53 NG: I thought I would share a little bit about how you as a incoming, hopefully, Ford School student can engage with the alumni at the Ford School. I think we as alumni are uniquely committed to Ford School students. Because we're a small program, we know one another, and the staff at graduate career services know us. So if you're interested in food policy, Jennifer and Peter and I and the other staff can connect you with any number of alumni who are doing that work, for an informational interview or to host you for an internship, or to review your resume or connect a mock interview, or introduce you to colleagues. If you really wanna work in Indonesia doing tsunami relief, we've got an alum who can help you get there.
12:34 NG: The graduate Career Services in the Ford School have created multiple pathways for alumni-student connections. First of all, alumni are really eager to support your growth as a student and as you begin your careers through internships and navigating job searches. Personally, I have hired two Ford School students as interns and I recently hired a PhD from the University of Michigan to join me on my organization. Alumni are regularly invited back to campus for an in-residence program where you get to meet with us. People love the opportunity to return to Ann Arbor. For example, last year the director... A director at the GAO who serves on the alumni board met with small students in groups, shared her career path, gave advice and conducted mock interviews. Just this past month, alumni conducted more than 41 mock interviews in person and via the web for current students.
13:27 NG: As Peter mentioned, there's a DC trip and there's a Detroit trip, which is a great opportunity, not only to learn about career opportunities there but to make face-to-face connections with alumni in those cities. And I'll note that we have engaged alumni in cities, large and small, across the country and the world. So if you move somewhere or are interested in a particular city or a location, chances are we can find an alum there for you. In addition to providing a vast network of policy professionals who want you to succeed, the alumni are also engaged in supporting you through financial support.
14:01 NG: Each year, the alumni board ourselves fund student internships, and the broader alumni support for our school helps with things in terms of student aid and so forth. Now that you're admitted, we alumni are committed to you and want you to thrive. The other piece I would add is that sometime soon you should be receiving phone calls from Ford School alumni. There are more than 100 of us who have volunteered to call and congratulate you on your acceptance, welcome you to our community. You can ask us questions about our careers, our classes at the Ford School, life in Ann Arbor, anything else. So I'll stop there for the sake of time, but I hope that you can get a virtual sense of the strong community, both at the Ford School and beyond. Our small intimate program in our small city provides amazing opportunities for networking around the world, for career growth, and support. And I would be happy to answer any questions on this webinar and I can also make myself available individually, via email or by phone.
15:01 RC: Great. Thank you so much. Thank you so much Naomi. I just wanna echo, as an alum myself, the commitment to the alumni network at the Ford School is just incredibly powerful and is all across the globe. So I just wanna note that we have almost 60 people on the webinar currently, if you keep those questions coming, I know there's several who are using the chat, the Q&A box to ask them, but keep them coming. And we're gonna transition right now over to some of those questions. I think one of the questions that is probably most often asked is about where Ford School graduates go immediately after graduation and then maybe even five years out. Sort of the breadth of where that... Where Ford School students go. Peter, do you wanna take a shot at that one?
15:57 PV: Yes, I'm definitely happy to address that. And I think the nice thing, as Naomi alluded to, is that we really do have a global network. So our students are coming from all different locations to Ann Arbor and then heading out on both internships and first destinations for where they will be after they get their MPA, or their MPP degree. And we do have a visual that we will show momentarily that kind of outlines the first destination, we pulled the last five years to show a visual representation of where our grads go. But in terms of the top six destinations by percentages... So, we have Michigan in the lead with 24% for our six-year average, DC at 19%, and then number three is international at 17%. Then followed by California, Illinois, and New York. And there are many, many different states represented both in the South, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Midwest, and numerous countries as well with students going abroad. In terms of policy sector, for full time and also for internships, we kind of see it broken down on average to about a third will go into government in some capacity, whether that's federal, state, or local. A third will go to the non-profit sector, and a third will go into the private sector, or consulting.
17:36 RC: Great, thank you. We actually had a specific question about the private sector, if the location would be a hindrance. I think the location being Ann Arbor, [chuckle] be a hindrance for students looking to... Looking at private sector employers in finance or consulting. Do Jenifer and Peter...
18:00 NG: Yeah Peter go ahead.
18:03 PV: Yeah. No, I'm not sure what location that this individual might be interested in, but we have alums that are going all around the United States for consulting or working in finance. I think I'd have... Whoever this individual might be, if you were working with me, I'd have some follow-up questions so we can really get at the root of that interest, but we absolutely have people going to the West Coast, going to New York, going abroad, that are working in consulting and finance, and we do have large scale firms that are coming to Ann Arbor to recruit or they're recruiting virtually as well. I don't know if you wanna add anything, Jennifer.
18:44 JN: Yeah. What I would add is the current situation we're in is going to make these location-bound jobs almost a thing of the past, as we all navigate what it's like to work remotely and work from all over the world, we're all learning how to be remote workers, so that certainly has an impact as well, potentially, on where... How people think about jobs. If the question is, "Should I go to a New York-based school if I wanna be in New York because I wanna work on Wall Street?" That's a choice that you need to make. I think the question is, how much of your... How much are you investing into academics during the year? Where you're gonna be in class anyway, you're gonna be invested in the life of... The student life experience, and so being in that city isn't necessarily so much of a value add. You've got your internship time if you're an MPE student, you have the internship experience to use that to re-locate and test out a different area.
19:25 RC: Thank you, I would just add that literally next door is the Ross Business School, which is one of the top business schools in the country, and there's so many opportunities, both at the Ford School and with Ross, to get connected to the financial industry or consulting companies that are coming onto campus every week and interacting with students. Okay, I'd like to maybe toss the next one over to Naomi. If you could maybe talk a little bit about the skills that you learned at the Ford School that have helped you during your career, if you can point to any specifically that you just feel like really prepared you for your career.
20:49 NG: Yeah, I think what I appreciate most about my Ford School graduate education is really this toolbox that Jennifer mentioned, of the ability to synthesize complex information quickly and thoughtfully. And that information could be quantitative data, it could be a new piece of litigation or a policy or even outside analysis that's conducted, and be able to synthesize that and critique it and understand it. And then, most importantly, to be able to effectively communicate what it means for the communities that I advocate for in ways that are engaging, accessible, and compelling. And so I think the Ford School, while many of us think about kind of being quant jocks and really having this really strong quantitative background, I think what I really took away from my education and my classes was also the importance of being able to communicate well about what we're learning and to understand how the quantitative pieces fit into broader contexts.
21:44 NG: So I find that this toolbox is really powerful to be able to do impact analysis and to be able to use those hard skills for positive social change. And I think when you think about the leadership initiative that Jennifer mentioned and the community at the Ford School, I think it really provides a really well rounded skill set in terms of leadership, communication, impact, quantitative analysis. And I think that the faculty really support that and you can look at the diversity of faculty research that happens at the Ford School and so you can see the ways in which this skill set can be used in so many different issue areas.
22:23 RC: Great, thank you. There's another question. I think it's related, about how highly do employers regard an MPP, or I think an MPA degree, from the Ford School?
22:39 JN: Oh, very highly. So, for instance, Deloitte has been recruiting here. Last year I think they hired, what, 16 people between our undergraduate program and our Master's program. So we're top of mind for the certainly traditional policy employers and folks working in public sector consulting.
23:08 RC: And then, just in terms of this...
23:10 PV: And actually...
23:11 RC: Go ahead Peter.
23:12 PV: Oh, I was saying, yeah, I think we're definitely top of mind across sectors. And Naomi, as she referenced earlier too, she has hired herself as an employer too, and that's certainly the case of alums and non-alums being very interested in our students.
23:31 RC: Great, thank you. We have several questions about international opportunities. So I'm gonna ask a couple, they're sort of related questions about what additional career support is available to international students in the context of work visas. The question about placement for international students, internship or job placement for international students. So I think that what this means is we might have a couple international students on the line today, which is great.
24:08 JN: Peter, you wanna start?
24:10 PV: Sure, I'll start. Yes, we absolutely are intentional about helping our international students who, typically it's around 20% or so of the incoming class, that is international students specifically within the Ford School. It's a collaborative effort but we are intentional in our office, we work jointly with the International Center. So, on the Ann Arbor campus, the International Center is going to be the go to for specifics of OPT, CPT and any visa-related paperwork or just working directly with students. But that is something that we collaborate with them. We are support for our international students. And it really varies, which I know is not a great answer, but in terms of the destinations for our international students.
25:00 PV: So we've worked with them in terms of internships, if they are seeking to stay in the United States or if they're seeking to return to their home country or seeking a third country, whether that's internships or full-time. So we have a wide spread of where our international students are going for internships and for a full-time. And we've worked with the International Center on specifically the Visa-related information, and we do work with employers as well about being intentional to support international student hiring. But on some things though too, when it comes to full-time hiring, that decision does fall with the employer when you get to the H-1B if you're on a specific Visa as well. I don't know if you wanna add anything, Jennifer.
25:51 JN: No, I think that was a good answer. I guess the one thing I would add is one of the ways in which we provide that kind of support is through our job search groups. I don't think we talked a lot about those yet. So those are job and internship search groups. Those are small group of... There's usually four or five week commitments where a small group of students, maybe eight or 10, commit to supporting each other in the career exploration and the job search process. And those have often been fairly utilized by our international students and finding that support and that accountability from week to week, right? We're asking people to set a commitment of, "Between now and the next time we meet, I wanna accomplish this." Whether that's find another internship of interest to me, whether it's reach out and do an informational interview with an employer or an alum of interest. And those types of strategies are really universal. They help all students in exploring careers and in just moving forward in those next steps.
27:06 PV: A couple of recent international student example destinations would be the World Bank in DC, World Bank, working for IFC down in Peru. Deloitte. And then also working at Acumen in DC, in addition to finding a research position at a higher ed institution. Those are just a couple of recent examples.
27:32 RC: That's great, Thanks, I wanna just take a second to note that we are almost at our... At the half-hour point, which is our advertised end point, but I believe that our panelists will stay on for about 10-15 more minutes to finish answering some questions. So just wanted to give everyone a chance. If they need to drop off, please do so, we're gonna continue to answer some questions and this webinar will be recorded.
28:02 JN: Please, please stay on if you have questions. It's really hard to not see you all, alright? 'Cause as an extrovert, I draw energy from all of you, and I can't even see the chat box, the way we have it configured, so please send... Put your questions in so they can get relayed to us, 'cause we're happy to be a resource for you in this window, right? This is your time.
28:27 RC: That's great. Okay, thank you both. Thanks to all three of you. So maybe, Peter, can you talk a little bit more detail about the typical recruiting process for internships? And maybe... The question is specific about how the public sector, government, and private sector internship recruiting processes is maybe similar or different.
28:54 PV: Sure. Happy to do that. And that is something that we do engage with the students that decide to come to Ann Arbor and come to the Ford School. You'll be hearing from us in July. So you start that career being intentional about your career before you step foot on campus. So we'll be reaching out to your... Or, you can already be thinking about it as you make your decision for grad school. But it does vary a little bit by sector, so the private sector does recruit, in some instances, a little bit earlier, and we're in communication with our students about that. So you're looking at in the Fall being prepared for some consulting opportunities, especially if you're looking at bigger firms, like a McKinsey or an AT Kearney or something in that capacity. And we're communicating that to our students.
29:45 PV: If you're thinking about public sector consulting, like a Deloitte or a Guidehouse, both who recruit directly with the Ford School, they're gonna be at a Fall recruitment, but later Fall and then into the Winter term. If we're thinking about our non-profit and government, even though government is really a large and varied area, that's gonna be a little bit more on demand and thinking a little bit more of Winter term. In some instances, earlier than that.
30:15 PV: For example, the State Department with the US government or Millennium Challenge Corporation, they're usually putting out their internships very early. Same thing, if you're thinking about the FBI or the CIA, they're gonna have an earlier recruitment timeline. So it really does vary, and I will say, last Summer we had 90 students completing their MPP internships at 88 different organizations. So Jennifer, myself, our whole team, is... We have to be generalists and well-versed in the different policy sectors in working with you to figure out really where that internship area of interest is. And so these timelines are really quite variable, but we'll work with you certainly on that. And I do wanna throw out to you that we have intentional partnerships. One, another value of the Ford School is to support the opportunity to pursue an MPP internship that is of interest to you. And so we have specific partnerships with employers across sectors to create opportunities specifically for Ford School students. And then we also have funding to support our students that are seeking... Maybe the best internship for you is an unpaid one, that we have some resources to help offset that cost.
31:34 RC: Great. Jennifer, did you have anything to add to that? I think there's a specific question also around recruiting for international organizations like UNICEF, or the World Bank or the UN.
31:48 JN: Yeah, those tend not to be organizations that do large-scale recruitment, they hire more what we would call "just in time" recruiting, when they have an opening. With the caveat that World Bank does have a Young Professionals Program, and in fact a colleague of mine was just hired by them to redesign their Leadership Development Program for the World Bank Young Professionals Program. And she's actually modeling some of what she's offering them through some of the work that we've been doing on the Ford School and we're gonna pull from some of the stuff that he comes up with for the World Bank. So... That there's a collaboration there, but most of those organizations are not...
32:34 JN: They don't have very active recruitment programs where they come to campus and they know they're gonna hire 10 or 20 people and that's their recruitment target. So that's more where... We're really working with you around "What is your strategy for the organizations that you want?" One size does not fit all, every student's internship interest is different, every student's ultimate career interest is different, whether it's different location, different policy area. And so, crafting that individually with you is one of the strengths that we offer through our program. Would you agree with that Rebecca and Naomi, if you're still there?
33:18 NG: Yeah, I would say I think that's the benefit of coming to a school like the Ford School where it's a fairly small cohort, is both that you know everyone in your class and there's a really strong sense of commitment on the part of the staff to fostering all of the good things, both as a student and when you go out into the world. And so I think it's not a one-size-fits-all model at the Ford School. And part of our size allows for so much customization and so much unique and individual attention, both from faculty and from the staff and graduate career services and student services, and so forth. So I think it's a real strength, as is being some place, Jennifer I think as you mentioned, some place like Ann Arbor where you're not living in a city of 3 million people. Most people come to Ann Arbor to come to school and you then create these really strong social bonds within your cohort and then among the broader graduate school community. And so I think it really does strengthen in the alumni network when you leave, the connections that we feel. And the fondness that we feel toward Ann Arbor.
34:25 RC: Yeah, I would just echo that sentiment. And just also mention, either we have some questions about specifically about the connections to policy think tanks and different types of private sector consulting firms and I would just say that the alumni network really helps with a lot of these recruiting processes, both for internships and for jobs after graduation, and the connections are vast and they're very strong. And in all sectors. So, really broad question we have, "What can students do from the start to maximize their chances of landing a job soon after graduation?" Question probably on many of your minds.
35:10 JN: Love that question. Love the intentionality of someone thinking about that now, right? So, start your exploration, right? So we're gonna think about... It goes back to our model of career information, connection, strategy, support. So, what is the information? What do you know about the world of work and the different policy organizations, policy areas, that are of interest to you? I would say maybe it's not a 50/50 split, but many students come to the Ford School with a relatively clear perspective on, "I wanna do social policy" or "I wanna do environmental policy". And then another, maybe half of students, are more focused on the toolkit and the skill set and the problem solving, and the exact issue is less important to them. So thinking about where you are on that dimension, like what is drawing... Sorry, my Roomba is now speaking to me.
36:11 JN: [chuckle] Sorry about that. Thinking about where you are on that dimension... My Roomba wants help, I'm sorry. Where you are on sort of that, "I know I wanna do environmental, I wanna do human trafficking work" or "I'm more about I want the toolkit, I want the quantitative skills and I wanna solve different problems." That's a conversation that we will absolutely have with you, but I think thinking through some of that now, in the sense of "What is drawing you to think about policy school?" And then within that, which programs that you may have been admitted to are going to allow you the flexibility to do both of those things. And I think for Michigan, the fact that you can take very easily the low boundaries across the top schools and colleges, whether it's the law school or the business school or the school of environment, or the Public Health School, School of Information, we have students that are taking courses in all of those. Both for the toolkit but also for the substantive knowledge in specific fields.
37:27 JN: And so that's one thing to do. And then to start taking the time to talk to people in those jobs, or in jobs that are of interest to you and get from them what drew them to the field. What are the big issues in the field? What skills are needed for folks in the field? What do they see as the trends and the hot issues in the next three to five years for that field? The more you have those preliminary conversations the more it's gonna help you to kind of assess what's your North Star moving forward. That was a lot, Peter, anything to add to that?
38:09 PV: No, I think you hit it.
38:13 RC: That's great, and I just wanna acknowledge the fact that Roomba's going off. This is all part of this, we're figuring out the new normal of remote work and remote learning and social distancing. So, just appreciate everyone logging in and participating in the webinar today. So, I think, Jennifer, those are great examples of how your office can help students think about and narrow and define some of those opportunities and what students wanna do, even if they don't have a very clear idea of what they wanna do when they come up on campus. Are there any career resources that you wish more students had taken advantage of? Or resources... Maybe it's not at Ford School, maybe it's broader resources in general, that you wish every student who walks through these doors should take advantage of?
39:17 JN: That's a great question and I should give a little bit more thought to that, but off the top of my head I think one of the most important things is... And this really ties into the Leadership Initiative, is about self-awareness for yourself. So, what...
39:37 JN: Where are your learning edges? Where are your strengths? And being mindful and intentional in thinking about those for yourself, but also gathering feedback from those around you. So if every student came to the Ford School and had talked with their past supervisors or their past faculty about, "What do you see as my strengths? Where do you see as the areas that I need to grow to move to the next level of in my leadership development?" And have those, as just aspects that you know you wanna grow on... I think it sets you up to go into your graduate experience being able to hit the ground running and saying, "These are things that I'm seeking", and then when you see the emails come through, through our weekly newsletter, which we think is an amazing tool to keep you in the loop on all that's going on, when you see those things coming through it's catching your attention because it's already front of mind. "Oh, I know I wanna work on my negotiation skills", or "I know I wanna work on my interpersonal skills or my conflict management skills". And so you see the workshop and it's like, "Yep, I'm gonna take advantage of that." So that would be my first, off the top of my head. It's around self-awareness. Who you are, who you wanna be, how do you wanna show up in the workplace.
41:12 RC: That's great, thanks. Peter, anything to add?
41:15 PV: I would just add that there is... Even though we are located in Ann Arbor, there is so much opportunity to connect. And so a part of what Jennifer just described too is posing some of these questions to leaders in their policy field. So we have opportunities for one-on-one conversations with some of these leaders to sit down, and if you're unsure, ask some questions. Learn from them. And there is so many opportunities at the Ford School, so you will get emails from us, you'll get emails from the fantastic communications and marketing team about events that they're putting on, and you will have a lot of choice and sometimes it's sifting through what are you gonna be intentional about, because there's too many opportunities for you. Along with attending classes and excelling in your academics, thinking about creating a individually developed project abroad. There's many, many opportunities. So, being intentional really is the way to success.
42:13 RC: Great. Alright, one final question I wanna ask the panel. And maybe it's... Any one of you can answer this one. What should our admitted students keep in mind as they make their final decisions and go through the admissions process? And considering other graduate programs in DC or California or Chicago or Boston, what should students keep in mind?"
42:41 JN: Yeah, I'm happy to start on that. So, it's what I said earlier. The Ford School has already assessed, based on what you've submitted, that we think you are a fit here, and that you would benefit from what we offer here and that you will bring and contribute to the community here in ways that we want you to be a part of the "Go Blue" Ford School team. It's now on you to assess, "What do you want?", and it goes back to that being intentional and being thoughtful about what drew you to apply in the first place.
43:20 JN: Like, you came to these applications seeking something, what were you seeking? And then assessing which of the schools are going to give you the best chance of achieving and reaching for the things that you were seeking from this. And that could be a specific area, but it could also be, "I know I want a strong community. I know I want to be in a place where there are lots of structures of support around me". We can offer that. If you say, "I thrive better in a very competitive environment, where people don't share, but it's more 'I wanna be the top, and I'm gonna chase that'". That is not necessarily the culture here. It doesn't mean there's not a place for you, but this may not be the best fit for you. And so assessing the culture and the community is really key, 'cause you're gonna spend two years here and you're gonna be building the foundation of the people that are gonna be in your network for years to come. And best friends, and life partners, and colleagues, and go-to people and so, partly, one of those is be aware... Pick a school where you're with your peeps.
44:49 RC: That's great, thank you so much, Jennifer. Peter, Naomi, do you have any final thoughts before we log off?
44:57 NG: I thought that was a great answer from Jennifer. And just to say to all of you, congratulations and we really hope that you'll join us. And I think on behalf of all of the alumni we're really excited to get to know you and to support you however we can, including in making this decision. So, when an alum calls and leaves a message please do call back. We are happy to share as much as we can about our experiences.
45:25 PV: I would echo both of them to say thank you for spending this time, this part of your day, with us.
45:33 RC: Great. Well, again, thank you panelists for participating. Thank you audience for participating and asking your great questions. We'll have one additional webinar this week on Thursday, with our great writing center, another wonderful resource here at the Ford School. All of our webinars, again, are gonna be recorded and on the Future Fordies website. We'll have several more opportunities over the next couple of weeks for you to get to know us better. Keep checking back to that page, and we'll keep you posted. And again, I just wanna say we hope to see you in Ann Arbor this Fall. Go Blue.
46:11 NG: Yeah.
46:13 PV: Go Blue.
46:13 JN: Thanks. Bye bye everyone.