Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 PMF In-Person Assessment: Open Thread

[Also posted here]

Now that the 2011 Presidential Management Fellows semifinalists have been chosen and the PMF Program Office has posted the list, it's time to think about the next hurdle, the in-person assessment. 1530 people (congratulations to you!) will convoke in four cities around the country between mid-January and late-February for a day-long assessment that includes an individual presentation, a group exercise, and a proctored writing exercise.

This post, and the comment thread, can be used to share assessment preparation tips as well as general tips on navigating the cities in question, so hotel recommendations, flight options, eateries, and in-city transit means are up for discussion. If you would kindly indicate at the beginning of any city-specific information comments which city you are talking about, that would be helpful for people scanning through the comments.

A note on assessment tips: Let's do our best to preserve the integrity of the assessment process, at least during the assessment window. If, after the assessment window closes, you wish to share your experience in more detail for future applicants, I heartily invite you to do so. Remember that while this assessment window is open, you are effectively competing with one another; plan your strategy accordingly, especially if people start sharing detailed experiences. This, in fact, is the one major drawback I see to conducting this style of assessment: information provided by early testers may have an impact on the results of later testers. Note that this thread can also serve as a place to discuss the merits and drawbacks of an in-person assessment.

Please share with us your plans for the assessment: time and location you've selected, preparation tips or guides you think might be helpful, and thoughts on the process so far.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 PMF Semifinalists

Word is that some of the nominees have begun receiving notifications of results indicating they made it to the semifinalist round. At the time of this posting, the list has not been provided, but given the volume of notices (both positive and negative), the notifications could take a while. Stay tuned.

Update 3:48 PM GMT via the PMF Program Office's Facebook page:

The PMF Program Office started sending the notice of results for all nominees in the PMF Class of 2011 on whether or not selected as semi-finalists on Monday, December 20, 2010. Due to large volume of notifications, it may take a couple days before they are delivered. Once the official list of semi-finalists is ready, a copy will be posted to the PMF website. Thank you!

So if you haven't heard anything yet, positive or negative, hang in there!

Update #2 7:38 PM GMT

The PMF Program Office has released the official list of 2011 PMF semifinalists. As usual, I will back this file up to analyze later. Anyway, congratulations to the 1530 nominees who made it through. The online assessment was the most selective of the hurdles, discarding about 80% of the nominees. The next steps will be far less selective, though potentially no less challenging. Take a breath and get ready for the next sprint.

For those that didn't make it, there's probably not much I can offer in the way of consolation. I realize the assessment seems arbitrary, and in a way it probably is. But there are other ways into federal service, so if you are passionate about serving, don't give up!

[Also on GovLoop here.]

Friday, December 17, 2010

New PMF Site

[Cross-posted to GovLoop here].

After months of waiting, the new PMF site has been released. Thematically, it's an improvement over the old site, but I haven't yet had a chance to dig into it to see if the information is better organized.

What do you all think of it? Can you find things you're looking for easier?

2011 PMF Semi-Finalists and In-Person Assessment: Open Thread

[Cross-posted to GovLoop here]

No, the semi-finalist list is not out (to my knowledge). Once it does come out, I'm sure most of you will know before I do. (Nor, as an aside, has the PMF site finally cleared what I assume is legal review for publishing). This post can serve as an open thread for anyone who wants to share the good or bad news, once it arrives.

In the mean time, however, we can discuss the in-person assessment a bit. A commenter in a previous thread pointed me to a document proposed to (but not, apparently, published by) the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council regarding the administration of the in-person assessment (warning: PDF). Based on other information I have seen, the document appears to cover the breakdown of the in-person assessments, anticipating the number of semi-finalists that are expected at each of the assessment centers. Of particular note is the anticipated number of semi-finalists: 1500. Of the over 9100 applicants and 7400 ultimately nominated, the PMF Program Office intends to invite around 1500 semi-finalists to the in-person assessments. For those interested in graphing this, that's: 82% of applicants become nominees; and 20% of nominees (or 16% of applicants) will be chosen as semi-finalists. Further, the PMF Program Office indicates that about 750-800 semi-finalists will advance to finalist status (as a percentage of applicants, that's 8.2-8.7%; as a percentage of nominees, that's 10-10.7%; and as a percentage of semi-finalists, that's 50-53%). Historically, agencies have been able to absorb maybe half of the finalists, depending on demand. It's a useful approximation here, but given the state of the economy and the political climate toward federal employees right now, it's anyone's guess as to how this will play out in 2011. If we take the historical rate, then, an applicant has about a 1-in-25 shot at landing a position; a nominee improves to 1-in-20; and a semi-finalist improves to 1-in-4. Put another way, the program selects only about 4-5% of its applicants, which is pretty competitive (but you knew this, right?)

Now back to the in-person assessment. The locations (which were apparently polled preferentially) are:
  • Washington, DC
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Atlanta, GA

(According to the document) The assessment is a one-day, day-long assessment before a three member panel (comprised of an OPM official, an official from another agency, and a current or former PMF), and it will require semi-finalists to prepare and deliver an individual presentation, participate in a group exercise, and deliver a proctored writing assessment. The assessments will be spread out over approximately three weeks, so you will have a time window in which to schedule the assessment.

What do you think of this format? The assessment locations? When/where would you plan (or are you planning) to take the in-person assessment? And finally, is this process something in which you would expect to participate next year (or thereafter), should you become a finalist and find an appointment?