Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Strategies for Starting Your Career as a USDA Student Intern

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Starting Your Career as a USDA Student Intern"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Starting Your Career as a USDA Student Intern
Presented by Carol Scott USDA Pathways Programs Officer & Student Intern Development Program Manager Virtual University US Department of Agriculture July 30, 2012 Thank you for participating in the Strategies for Starting Your Career as a USDA Student Intern webinar this morning. My name is Carol Scott. I am the USDA Pathways Programs Officer and the Student Intern Development Program Manager. I work under the direction of Dr. Karlease Kelly and Dr. Zina Sutch in the Virtual University, OHRM. Today, we will discuss various topics about USDA, including USDA careers, the USDA Pathways Programs, how to apply for student jobs, USDA initiatives and much more.

2 Welcome to USDA Please accept a warm welcome on behalf of the Virtual University. I am aware that you could have chosen another federal or private firm to complete your internship. Thank you for choosing USDA. We strive to be the top employer of choice among students. As you can see in this slide, students are visiting a USDA site with Secretary Tom Vilsack. Please know that we value your input on USDA issues and the work that you do for USDA. Please know that your effort and hard work matters.

3 Mission Statement We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Our mission statement at USDA supports our goals and objectives. We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

4 USDA Vision We want to be recognized as a dynamic organization that is able to efficiently provide the integrated program delivery needed to lead a rapidly evolving food and agriculture system. The USDA vision is also aligned with our goals and objectives. We want to be recognized as a dynamic organization that is able to efficiently provide the integrated program delivery needed to lead a rapidly evolving food and agriculture system.

5 USDA Initiatives USDA is currently hosting a number of initiatives. The Know Your Farmer Know Your Food initiative is pretty popular. Some of the interns on the call may actually be working on this initiative. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) is helping communities scale up local and regional food systems and strengthen their economies. Not every community will need the same assistance; and navigating USDA's offerings is no small task. We want to simplify the process and help communities put USDA programs to work for them, so we're playing matchmaker. This page lists over two dozen programs at USDA that can help build local and regional food systems. This list is not the entirety of USDA's offerings, but it is a great starting place.

6 USDA Initiatives The Choose My Plate Initiative is also a popular initiative. USDA has teamed up with NIH and the White House to ensure that Americans are eating properly. As a USDA employee, please know that your work touches the lives of every American in ways to impact society as a whole. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. To learn more about building a healthy plate, select a food group below.

7 USDA Pathways Programs
The USDA Internship Program The USDA Recent Graduates Program The USDA Presidential Management Fellows Program The Internship Program is for students (replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)). It allows students to be exposed to the work of the Government through Federal internships while pursuing their degree. To learn more, please visit: The Recent Graduates Program is for individuals who have completed a qualifying educational program within the preceding 2 years (with exceptions for certain veterans and individuals graduating after December 27, 2010). It provides developmental opportunities for recent graduates. To learn more, please visit: Established in 1977, the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for individuals who are currently completing an advanced degree program (e.g., graduate or professional degree), or who completed the educational requirements for an advanced degree within the preceding 2 years. To learn more, please visit:

8 Pathways Programs Eligibility Requirements
Enrolled in an accredited educational institution Must be at least 16 years old US and Non-US Citizens with the appropriate documentation Meaningful Work Experiences 640 hours of work experience Internship Program positions are open to current students enrolled at least half-time in high school/GED, vocational, technical, undergraduate, graduate or professional programs. Recent Graduates Program positions are open to individuals who completed a qualifying educational program within the preceding 2 years. There are 2 exceptions: Certain veterans precluded from applying within the timeframe due to a military service obligation have up to 6 years from completing their education to apply; and Applicants who completed their educational program requirements after December 27, 2010 will have a full 2 years of eligibility beginning on the date the final regulations are effective July 10, 2012. Presidential Management Fellows Program opportunities are announced annually through USAJOBS in late-summer/early-fall. PMF opportunities are currently available only to the Class of 2012 PMF Finalists. For eligibility information and application instructions, please visit PMF positions are open to individuals who either: Obtained an advanced degree (e.g., graduate or professional degree) within the preceding 2 years; or Are attending a qualifying educational institution and expect to complete a qualifying advanced degree by August 31 of the academic year in which the competition is held.

9 Commonly Asked Questions
What is a qualifying educational institution? High School GED Home-school curriculum An Accredited Technical or Vocational School A 2- or 4-year college or university Graduate or Professional school Post-Secondary home-school curriculum. Qualifying educational institutions/programs include: a high school/GED whose curriculum has been approved by a state or local governing body, or a home-school curriculum; and any accredited technical or vocational school, 2- or 4-year college or university, a graduate or professional school, or a post-secondary home-school curriculum. Applicants may refer to the U.S. Department of Education’s Institutional Accreditation System to determine whether their school/program is accredited: A post-secondary certificate program must have been completed at a qualifying educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum. Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. If you received a degree abroad, contact the agency to which you are applying for guidance regarding having your degree reviewed by a U.S.-based credential evaluation service.

10 Commonly Asked Questions
Do Pathways jobs lead to permanent employment? Employment in a Pathways Program may lead to conversion to a permanent, competitive service position contingent upon meeting program requirements and the needs of the agency. Employment in a Pathways Program may lead to conversion to a permanent, competitive service position contingent upon meeting program requirements and the needs of the agency.

11 Commonly Asked Questions
When will current SCEP’s and STEP’s be transitioned to the USDA Pathways Programs? Agencies have until January 6, 2013 to transition SCEP’s and STEP’s to the Pathways Programs. Agencies have 6-months to transition current Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Presidential Management Fellows appointees into the Pathways Programs. Contact your Human Resource Office/Department for further guidance.

12 Commonly Asked Questions
Am I eligible for employee benefits under the Pathways Programs? Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows are generally eligible for retirement benefits; flexible spending accounts; health, life, dental, vision, and long-term care insurance. Interns hired on a short-term basis (e.g., summer hire) may not be eligible for the aforementioned benefits. Pathways participants that will work at least 90-days accrue vacation and sick-leave once they begin their Program. Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows are generally eligible for retirement benefits; flexible spending accounts; health, life, dental, vision, and long-term care insurance. Interns hired on a short-term basis (e.g., summer hire) may not be eligible for the aforementioned benefits. Pathways participants that will work at least 90-days accrue vacation and sick-leave once they begin their Program.

13 Commonly Asked Questions
Does veterans preference apply to the Pathways Programs jobs? Yes, veterans’ preference applies to all Pathways Programs job opportunities. If you qualify for veterans’ preference, be sure to upload your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and, if applicable, SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference: Veterans’ preference applies to all Pathways Programs job opportunities. If you qualify for veterans’ preference, be sure to upload your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and, if applicable, SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference: or attach your DD-214 and, if applicable, SF 15 to any resume you distribute at a Pathways vacancy.

14 Transition To Pathways for STEP’s
Your appointment will be analyzed to determine your eligibility for conversion to the Internship Program. If you are eligible for the program, an action will be processed to convert you to the Pathways Programs by January 6, 2013. If converted, you are required to: Complete a Pathways Participation Agreement Outlines the program requirements for conversion, if applicable Required GPA, training requirements, work schedules, NTE date, duties, performance assessment requirements, and much more Your appointment will be analyzed to determine your eligibility for conversion to the Internship Program. If you are eligible for the program, an action will be processed to convert you to the Pathways Programs by January 6, If converted, you are required to complete a Pathways Participation Agreement. The Pathways Agreement will outline the program requirements for conversion, if applicable, and indicate the required GPA, training requirements, work schedules, NTE date, duties, performance assessment requirements, and much more.

15 Dress For Success Tips • Stock your closet with basic black, brown, and grey dress outfits, if you are able to afford this tip. • Dress Appropriate for your title: Field employees versus office employee • Look the part --Dress for the part, making sure you choose appropriate articles of clothing for your role. Start with the versatile basics, such as a pair of black pants, a dark pant suit, some button-down collared shirts and a classic pair of dark shoes. Once you have the staples, you can continue to build your wardrobe to give you plenty of professional options. Field interns may be required to wear casual clothing and other interns may be required to wear dress clothes. Be sure to confirm the dress code with your supervisor early.

16 Interviewing Tips 1. Dress appropriately.
2. Shake hands with confidence. 3. Finish in Style Dress appropriately for the interview and be sure to relax and shake hands with confidence. There are a few common sense tips for shaking hands, though. For instance, don't try to squeeze hard to prove how strong you are. Also, if you're worried about having sweaty palms, you can keep a lightly-powdered tissue in your pocked and squeeze it right before the handshakes begin. It's okay to hold out your own hand when you enter a room if nobody else does it first. Always thank the interviewers for their time and it would now hurt to offer the interviewer a writing sample.

17 Training and Career Development
The USDA Intern Training Plan Individual Development Plan Competency Based Training Training Hours The Agriculture Learning (AgLearn) system is USDA's department-wide system for managing training records and activity at USDA. AgLearn is one of the USDA eGovernment strategic initiatives and directly supports the Presidential eGovernment initiative for e-Training. USDA employees and USDA partners use AgLearn to search, access, enroll in, and record all training opportunities through the web, any time, any place. Learning opportunities in AgLearn include both online resources, such as courses, webinars, videos and books, as well as registration in traditional, instructor-led training. AgLearn is the official system of record for all training for USDA employees. Users can also plan their future career development in the system with the online AgLearn IDP, and can submit external training requests via the Aglearn online SF-182. By using AgLearn, USDA employees have access to a wealth of learning resources anytime, and anyplace an Internet presence is available. The USDA Intern Training Plan is coming soon. The USDA Intern Training Plan will serve as a training guide and support career and professional development for every intern. The training is competency-based and follows a track for each distinct USDA Pathways Program.

18 Training and Development
Interns, Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs) receive on-the-job training. Recent Graduates receive at least 40 hours of formal, interactive training per year. PMFs receive at least 80 hours of formal, interactive training per year. PMFs complete at least 1 rotational or developmental assignment for 4 to 6-months, or participate in an agency-wide or Presidential initiative. PMFs and Recent Graduates are assigned a mentor. Some agencies may offer other developmental activities for their Pathways participants. Interns, Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs) receive on-the-job training. Recent Graduates receive at least 40 hours of formal, interactive training per year. PMFs receive at least 80 hours of formal, interactive training per year. PMFs complete at least 1 rotational or developmental assignment for 4 to 6-months, or participate in an agency-wide or Presidential initiative. PMFs and Recent Graduates are assigned a mentor. Some agencies may offer other developmental activities for their Pathways participants.

19 The Virtual University
Mentoring Program Supervisory Training Intern Training USDA Pathways Programs Officer USDA Presidential Management Fellows Program Officer Point of Contact: Carol Scott The Virtual University is a fairly new organization within USDA. It falls under the Office of Human Resource Management in Departmental Management. We provide and support mentoring programs, supervisory training, training for current students and recent graduates, much more. For more information about training for students and recent graduates, please contact

20 Meaningful Work Experiences
WIC Grants and Loans Disaster Assistance Food Security National Organic Program Water Resources Wildfire Prevention Research and Development Much more As an intern, you will be provided with meaningful work experiences in areas that impact almost every American.

21 USDA as the Employer of Choice for Interns
USDA seeks to be recognized as the employer of choice among interns nation-wide. USDA seeks to become the employer of choice among interns nation-wide. In this current slide, you will see Secretary Tom Vilsack with interns. Please know that USDA values your commitment to USDA issues and policies.

22 Members receive periodic updates on hiring events and USDA news.
USDA Academy USDA Academy is a social networking media site for current, former, and prospective interns. Members receive periodic updates on hiring events and USDA news. Members participate in blogs with other interns. Members receive communication messages and much more. USDA Academy is a social networking media site for current, former, and prospective interns. Members receive periodic updates on hiring events and USDA news. Members participate in blogs with other interns. Members receive communication messages and much more.

23 USDA Student Application Portal
The Student Application Portal is an employment tool used by USDA HR Professionals to recruit and hire students and recent graduates. The USDA Recent Graduates Program will be available soon. Post a resume Upload your transcript View and apply to vacancies Receive notices Add or modify your application The Student Application Portal is an employment tool used by USDA HR Professionals to recruit and hire students and recent graduates. The USDA Recent Graduates Program will be available soon. Please visit to post an application and resume. You will also be able to receive notices if your application is viewed by an HR Professional and modify your application if necessary.

24 Examples of USDA Careers
Soil Conservationist Animal Scientist Agriculture Biologist Agricultural Engineer Plant and Animal Sciences Human Resources Technician Much more USDA interns can choose between a variety of USDA careers. Example careers include the following: Soil Conservationist Animal Scientist Agriculture Biologist Agricultural Engineer Plant and Animal Sciences Human Resources Technician Much more

25 2012 USDA Internship Program Survey
In an effort to continue to improve the USDA Internship Program, we are asking that you complete the USDA Internship survey. Please visit https://www.fsisusda.com/se.ashx?s=5D6EC10B4EED78C1 In an effort to continue to improve the USDA Internship Program, we are asking that you complete the USDA Internship survey. Please visit https://www.fsisusda.com/se.ashx?s=5D6EC10B4EED78C1

26 How To Apply For A USDA Internship
You will need your transcripts and resume. You will need to upload your transcripts. Please visit to apply to USDA internships and to apply to permanent career positions.

27 Questions? Carol Scott USDA Pathways Programs Officer &
Student Intern Development Program Manager At this time, I will open the floor for questions. If you have further questions after this webinar, please feel free to contact me at or


Download ppt "Strategies for Starting Your Career as a USDA Student Intern"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google