Presidential Managment Fellowship for STEM graduates
October 2, 2012 4:20 PM Subscribe
What does the Presidential Management Fellowship entail?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I’m a PhD student looking forward to finishing my degree in Biology (Organismal Bio, also called Ecology, Evolution and Behavior). I also have a Masters degree in the same field. I’m a US citizen and all my education has been in the USA. I’m increasingly disillusioned with the academic lifestyle. Also, while I’m good at my work, it’s largely quite abstract and several degrees from real application to real lives. I believe in basic science on an intellectual and moral level, but I find myself craving more direct service.
I’ve been looking into work for Biologists in the Federal government, and have noticed a number of positions which my education at least nominally qualifies me for (usually GS 09 or GS 11 – the first seems to be, roughly, “undergrad + experience, or Masters degree” and the second is roughly “masters degree + experience, or PhD”.)
And one option I’ve noticed is the Presidential Management Fellowship. Most people entering seem to be more Political Science/MBA types, but there’s a definite minority of STEM graduates, especially biologists. It looks like the BLM, FDA, DOI, DOA, and USGS, as well as the more obvious NIH, NSF, CDC, and others all employ biologists in one way or another, and not necessarily in a research capacity.
I understand that the Presidential Management Fellowship program involves rotations, and some additional training in government leadership, but I’ve been having a hard time figuring out exactly what else it’s about, or why I should be applying for it instead of applying directly for jobs in government service. The website is full of PR fluff , but there’s lots of the kind of “you’d know what this meant if you already knew what it meant” type stuff.
I bring: exceptionally deep and broad knowledge of biology. Good brains, facility with math, some corporate experience prior to my Masters, degrees from prestigious institutions. Some teaching experience. 4.0 GPA in my PhD. Stunning GREs if anyone still gives a fig. A certain stubbornness. Personal maturity (read: I’m not 25.)
I lack: a policy/government background, specific training in conservation biology (though I have formal population genetics and population biology), strong resources in researching alternative careers (where “alternative” means “not a professor at an R1 institution.”) Bright eyed, bushy tailed youth.
So what is it? Why should I give it a shot? Have you gone through it, or known someone who has? What was the experience like?
And, heck, what are your most discouraging observations? What kind of a person is most likely to fail?
Thanks! Anon because I haven’t told my advisor yet that I don’t want to continue in academic research.