When US government is in the house

As the “Career and Private Development Center“ of St. Edward’s University hosted the “Careers with the Federal Government“ event on campus, several students came to see what federal agencies have to offer. Many grasped the opportunity to ask questions and get connected.

Around 40 students filled in the seats of John Brooks William Science Center at St. Edwards University on Sept. 29 in order to get further information on the nation’s largest employer with over two million employees. “This is a good size audience,“ Andrew Harper, 36, said, who works as a manager for the Employer Relations and Career Professional Development Office.Why he organized the event? “The federal government can be a complex process, so we want to make sure that students have the ressources and information to navigate that succesfully and have direct connections with some represantives from federal agencies.“

These targets were in line with students’ hopes and expectations of the event. “I just want to familiarze myself with multiple jobs and opportunities that are held within the government,“ said Juan-Pablo Castillo, 19, who is a Psychology Major. Victoria Garcia, 19, studies Criminal Justice and is interested in either working for the FBI or a Public Relation company one day. “I like the idea of getting a better understanding about the federal government from actual persons.“ Elisabeth Benevida Samacuma, 18, a Justice Major, wants to start building her résumé anytime soon. “I think it’s never to early to look for internships and jobs.“

Represantatives of four federal agencies made an appearance at the event; including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Peace Corps, U.S. Border and Customs Patrol and the U.S. Department of State, some of them being former St. Edward’s alumnis. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) representative could not attend due to a short-dated family emergency.

As the event started at around one p.m., Mr. Harper from the “Career and Private Development Center“ held a brief introduction to welcome all participants and give further information about the agenda. After that, the Federal Agency Panel started: Each agency gave a quick overview on what their work is about, applicitants’ requirements, and available career opportunities. Border and Customs Patrol agent Ibies Minieles said that the agency would plan on hiring 5000 agents within the next couple years. “I graduated from St. Edward’s in 2001, so I am especially interested in recruiting students from here to apply and reap the benefits for working for the federal government, especially the U.S. Border Patrol.“ Brendan Chavanagh, 41, worked several years for the Peace Corps in Côte D’Ivoire and talked about how to be the ideal candidate: “We are looking for people who are willing to live simply in countries overseas, experience the culture there and share their experience as an American with the communities abroad.“

The last hour students used to visit Breakout Information Sessions, small units in seperate rooms. Here, they got the chance to get filled in with more details and to aks further questions on a personal level. Within these sessions, representatives like Clara from the CIA tried to dispel students’ worries by looking with them through the application process and the requirements: “If you struggle with learning the consituational law, the CIA will help you with it.“ Her advice for appliciants: “Do research. Go to our website and find as much as you can about our mission.“ Afterwards, students could take information sheets, ballpens or event flyer, who were provided by the agencies, or stay for a little chat.

Bailey Legro, 20, a Religious Study Major, was convinced by a friend to join the event. In the end, she said, it was totally worth it. “I knew that I was interested in the Peace Corps beforehand, so I went to their small session. There were more than three alumni from the peace corps, so we got to hear from each person’s experience. Kind of motivated me more to do it.“ The Psychology Major Mr. Castillo, who would like to work for the FBI or the Border and Customs Patrol one day, was content with the event’s outcome as well. “I was aware that one can receive many benefits from working for the government, but I didn’t know which exactly. Now I have learned a lot about the U.S. Border Patrol and got some insights in what they do on the field, which is really cool.“

The “Career and Private Development Center“ usually organizes one event per semester that is very specific to federal government agencies. But those students who missed it do not have to worry, said Mr. Harper, the manager. „Many of the federal agencies like the State Department will be back on campus later this year in a wide variety of different formats.“