Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 PMF Survey: How did you do?

If you are a 2011 PMF finalist, please take the time to fill out this survey. I am collecting this information to get an idea of how effective the job fair was, and some information about the placement rates and geographic distribution of finalist appointments. If your information changes, go ahead and submit a new form. I will perform all the data cleanup this time next year or thereabout, once you all have had a chance to secure an appointment. Pass this link around to all of the 2011 PMFs you know or meet over the next year. If you want access to the information, email me at pmfellow@gmail.com and tell me your name, your school, and your degree so I can make sure you are who you say you are.

681 comments:

  1. I think requiring first and last name will discourage participation and only increase your work time. I appreciate the attempt to somewhat validate the data, but anyone can go to the finalists' list and select random names to enter into the posted form unless you're also checking IP addresses, too. Feel free to delete this message.

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  2. I made it optional. It may take me a good deal of time to clean up the data if I have no ready way to validate it.

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  3. You should also ask for area of study. You will then get to see all the law students who got nothing, even though they were the majority of the finalists.

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  4. You're right, I should. My thinking when I created the form was to require first and last name, then cross-check that with my records to make the match. Since I changed the form to make first and last name optional, I will have to add the area of study. Thanks.

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  5. I'm sure everyone has a wish for the list, but perhaps you might also want to include whether respective grad degrees are at the Masters or PhD level. Obviously, predominately the former, but it might be interesting to note associations.

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  6. Heh, seems like I should have conducted a survey on what should be on the survey :D

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  7. JD here. 9 interviews and 0 on the spot job offers (though I'm not a vet). The only people who I talked to at the fair who got offers were vets.

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  8. the survey's neat categories don't seem to capture my experience completely.

    JD + MPA + vet.

    1 interview before the fair. 2 job fair interviews, 2 interviews declined (see below). 1 interview scheduled for tomm (as a result of the job fair).

    after job fair interview one agency emailed me saying they "very, very, really, really" interested in having me. it's my dream job at dream agency. they said they have to clear some HR hurdles before they can make an offer. this statistic is not technically a job offer, but it sounds like an informal one until they can get all the paperwork straight.

    the reason i declined 2 interviews is bc after meeting with Dream Agency, I didn't want to waste my time and Less Preferred Agency's time going through the motions. Also, geography was a factor in declining 1 interview.

    I still plan to go to this other interview tomorrow because if Dream Agency falls through, I'd be happy with Other Agency.

    The point: I declined 2 interviews (not a survey field), I got an "informal" offer (not a survey field), and I have an interview after the fair, but which was the result of a contact made at the fair (not a survey field).

    Instead of adding additonal fields, perhaps there could be a free-writing field to include info that doesn't fit neatly.

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  9. I added a notes/comments field to capture anything else you all want to say.

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  10. I'm confused as to what "interviews before fair" and "interviews after fair" means?

    First, do you mean how many interviews we scheduled or how many we actually participated in?

    Second, what about DURING the fair? The before/after dichotomy makes no sense.

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  11. I was under the impression that BEFORE means prior to arriving at the job fair and AFTER means during the fair.

    Since the survey was posted DURING the fair, I think that's the only logical way to interpret it. That said, I could be completely wrong, haha.

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  12. Well, if "after the fair" refers to after arriving at the fair, then it should probably read: "after arriving at the fair." Maybe I'm just weird...

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  13. Who was offering jobs on the spot? All the places I interviewed with said they were going to convene the higher ups in 1-2 weeks to make hiring decisions.

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  14. @ 5:01 that was my experience too, but apparently most vets got on the spot offers.

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  15. @the last to Anonymous positions-- I think if you're a vet and are qualified, they basically have to hire you, since Vets get preference in these positions. So, even if someone was slightly more qualified, Vet preference is fairly high and it's difficult for a higher-up to refuse them, but they could do that with other candidates. Plus, the agencies are probably fairly specific with their approach to hiring-- aka, some probably give offers if they have 12 positions and if there is only one position, they may wait longer.

    Everyone-- did you only apply for specific areas, or did you try out different agencies that MAY apply, just to get a feel at different places?

    I did a mixture and had lots of "on-the-spot interviews"-- two interviewers told me that my resume was not accessible, but they were glad I stopped at the booth with my resume-- me, too. I guess I should have called OPM to double check that it was there.

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  16. I only applied to agencies that matched my experience. I didn't even gun for any of the international stuff that a lot of people did b/c I figured it would be super competitive and I have never live outside of the country.

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  17. There are ways agencies can work around vet preference. For instance, the job offer might have a very limited hiring package, which the veteran either flatly rejects or attempts to negotiate, at which point the agency has complied with federal law and can opt to offer the job to another candidate. At least this has been my experience.

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  18. @6:27 - I felt that I had to try out different agencies because there were so few in my field that attended the job fair that this whole thing would've been a complete waste of time if I didn't. End result was that an agency for which I matched up very little with gave me two interviews the next day. I feel confident that I'm going to get an offer.

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  19. I tried out different agencies because to me, this seems to be more about building skill sets. If you are interested in public service, most of it interrelates in some way. So, if you are interested in economic development but have no experience in transportation, for example, transportation could still be a good option for you. I think understanding systems broadly is what makes most of us good matches for this program. Why would we not do the same with our job searches?

    I had a lot of successful interviews and arrived home to an email saying if my references check out, I'll be offered the job! It is one I am particularly excited about, so this is great!

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  20. In what I hope is my last change to the survey, I have re-required a name (just use a pseudonym, mkay?) because if you come back later and submit the form again with a blank name you'll screw up my results. Also there is now a column for inputting the number of interviews you had during the job fair. All good now? kthxbai :P

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  21. Pmfellow,

    Is the accelerated promotions available to PMFs something you need to negotiate for upfront? Do you have any info on how this works or if it's used often?

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  22. so if we previously submitted data, should we resubmit?

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  23. has anyone received an offer from State?

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  24. If people get jobs-- can you write it here-- just so those of us waiting can find out! (No need to say your name or anything)

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  25. I had three second-round interviews that seemed to go well and CAA sent out an e-mail today saying they were in the process, but no offers. Anyone heard from DHS or OPM?

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  26. I got two offers, both before the job fair, and didn't go to the job fair because I accepted the one that I wanted.So I think the "interviews before" is an important field. I'm a PhD, Environmental Studies.

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  27. I got an offer from Small Business and declined it. I accepted an offer from the Space and Missile Systems Center. I got both offers on Thursday (interviewed on Wed.).

    There wasn't anything to negotiate with my offers, they had form offer letters that they just wrote my name on -- basically, it said that you come in as a GS-9, GS-11 after year 1, then GS-12. They pay relocation.

    No vet pref. JD.

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  28. @8:52 AM - no, you don't need to negotiate for accelerated promotions up front; in fact, i know that in some instances you won't be able to. (sorry, i can't remember exactly what the rules are) at my agency, it's something they consider only after having a chance to evaluate your job performance. you should probably, however, find out whether your agency does grant accelerated promotions to PMFs, and how often. it is definitely used, though.

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  29. It is completely agency or even program dependent. Some will have flexibility, others will require any PMF to start at GS-9. I will be starting at a GS-11 and moving to GS-12 after a year, but I am completing a PhD and have a previous masters along with several years of work experience. I am technically eligible for GS-12, but that is hard to come by in the PMF program. I should be able to move to GS-13 upon completion of my two years.

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  30. what is GS-9 in D.C.?

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  31. Here are the tables for various locations, including DC:

    http://www.opm.gov/oca/11tables/indexGS.asp

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  32. 10 interviews, some great, some less than great. 1 set up ahead of time. Every agency said 1 week to 1 month on final decisions. Me = JD with work experience, no vet. Overall, thought job fair was a great opportunity if you are able to do a good elevator pitch. Good luck to all.

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  33. What does the GS table proscribe for a JD, without prior govt. work? The Justice Dept. website says GS-11, but I'm seeing elsewhere its GS-9. The career center director at my law school seems to remember PMFs starting at GS-11 in years past.

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  34. As stated above, it really depends on the agency and even programs within agencies. Technically with a JD you are generally eligible for GS-11, but that does not mean that an agency will automatically start you there as a PMF.

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  35. It just depends on the Agency. All State PMFs start at G-9. No exceptions.

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  36. Overall, I was extremely disappointed in the job fair. Maybe that's partly a result of setting my expectations too high. My background is a little unusual, though, and there just wasn't much on offer that would be a good fit. I currently work in public diplomacy, and State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs had a grand total of one position on offer. At least I interviewed for that, and I think I'll make it to the next round. I also have experience and education in resource management and sustainability. I had hoped the National Park Service would have some opportunities, but the woman I spoke with said they didn't have any positions. She did take my resume to pass on, but why were they there if they had no positions? I interviewed for a Forest Service position, but it was offered to someone else. I'm actually okay with that; didn't want to move anyway. I suppose that not having a JD or MBA or background in public policy, I should have known my options would be limited. The biggest turnout was from agencies I'm just not qualified for and not interested in. DOE, HUD, VA, HHS, Labor - it's all important work, but I'm not a good fit, it wouldn't further my career goals, and even with all the benefits of being a PMF, I'd rather keep doing what I'm already doing in public diplomacy.

    That said, I'm definitely happy for all those that found a good fit. Congratulations! At least I'm still in the running for State Department, and of course we have another 11 months to find something. I'm not giving up yet! Good luck to everyone waiting for an offer.

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  37. I got a follow-up email and a request for a writing sample for my top agency, and then on Friday another office from that agency requested a phone interview. It looks good for this one.

    I also got two interviews for two offices in another agency...it looks as though our resumes and names travel through the agencies, so even if you don't get the first position, there is a chance you might get another one within that agency.

    I'll update later on my (hopeful) success!

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  38. I totally agree with @6:35 that the job fair was a total bust. Five of the bureaus at State that I wanted to speak with did not attend. DOD, with it's half-trillion dollar budget, could only muster a handful of agencies. One agency at DHS said that they weren't going to make decisions on who to interview until June! All told, half the agencies I spoke with weren't hiring, and those that were only had the ubiquitous budget analyst positions available. (I should add that I am a vet with several years of civilian work experience, and I most certainly did not receive any special treatment or any of the automatic, on-the-spot job offers that everyone seems to mention on this board.)

    I feel like we have been sold a bill of goods about how great the PMF is. Some agencies mentioned that positions will become available once the budget is finalized, but I am dubious. Keep in mind that the idiots in Congress worked 6 months into the fiscal year to get the 2011 budget done. What makes anyone think that the 2012 budget will be complete before our PMF terms expire?

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  39. This job fair was really what you made of it. I had ZERO job interviews lined up before the fair, so I just walked up to almost every booth and had a conversation with who was there. Most people just collected a resume, but I also got several interviews, one of which led to a on-the-spot job offer. Keep your head up! There are jobs out there for all of us!

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  40. @11:42am - Congrats on the on-the-spot job offer!

    I had 1 interview the day before the fair, 10 interviews during the fair, and 1 interview set up for next week. Two of the interviews during the fair were callbacks. I received an informal offer on Friday for a place that's a great fit.

    I would love to hear more from people about how to handle an offer. How do you ask for time to decide? What is the maximum amount of time it is appropriate to ask for? What sort of things is it appropriate to negotiate? Can you ask for the rotation options to be in writing? What about the target position? I've never negotiated an offer before and am scared they will withdraw if I ask for anything ... but I also realize that once I accept they certainly won't negotiate.

    Also, once you have an offer in writing, is it appropriate to follow up with another agency you're really interested to let them know and give them the opportunity to make an offer? If so, what's the most appropriate way to do this?

    Regarding places that have made offers: is it appropriate to ask the current PMFs candid questions (like about whether they got accelerated promotions, and how they're bosses treat them)? Such questions are normally quite tacky, but it's information that would be very useful in making my decision.

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  41. You just need to be straightforward with your questions. They are not going to withdraw an offer just because you ask some reasonable questions. Answers will vary between agencies/programs. You can certainly ask them when they would like a response.

    With PMF program and government in general there really isn't all that much to negotiate. If you have experience or a doctorate you can ask about starting at a GS-11. Regardless, you can ask about the promotion plan for the position. Rotation issues will vary depending on the agency and program and they should have an idea of what they allow or prefer.

    You can certainly follow up with other agencies and mention that you have an offer, but you are really interested in their position and see what kind of response you get.

    You certainly should feel free to ask the current PMF candid questions. They are the one's who are going to have the best understanding of the position and/or working for that program.

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  42. Current PMFs in the agencies have been incredibly helpful in answering questions about pay, rotations, promotion plans, etc.

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  43. Just know that things can differ between programs within the same agency.

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  44. Who should we be negotiating with on appointment grade and career ladder?

    Has anyone accepted a GS-11 or 12 with full realization at 13 or beyond?

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  45. Did anyone else pick up the State PMF program brochure? It looks like student loan repayment is something that we have to apply for directly from the agency, rather than negotiate with our respective office. Does anyone know if this is correct?

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  46. You have to ask whoever is officially hiring you. I am guessing that most agencies/programs have a policy in place with regard to the starting grade and promotions. You just have to ask. Some may make allowances based on prior experience or your degree, while others may simply start all PMFs at GS-9.

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  47. Student loan repayment is agency specific. They either offer it or they do not. There is no negotiating that issue.

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  48. @ 2:59
    I think you misunderstood my question. State, as an agency, offers student loan repayment, so that is not my question. I was under the impression that student loan repayment was something that you negotiated after receiving an offer, if the offering agency participates in the program. However, State’s PMF program brochure made it seem as though it was not something that was negotiated for between the PMF and their hiring office, rather it was something the PMF had to apply for through State’s student loan repayment program. So, my question is, can we negotiate for student loan repayment directly from the office within State which extends the job offer?

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  49. I would assume that you have to speak with the appropriate office in State once you are hired. Not the office that is hiring you.

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  50. I had 7-8 decent interviews but no offers to date. Overall the job fair was a bit of a let down. Met a few unimpressive federal managers who were complaining about circumstances at their agencies vs. managers who came across the way I suspect their leadership would want them to. I'm thinking taking my time to find the right placement isn't a bad thing to do. I still have faith it's out there somewhere.

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  51. Under Finalists --> sort by agency, I'd like to know which of those are new, and which are 2010 finalists. I've searched for the 2010 finalist list and can't find it. PMF Fellow, and chance you know where I could find this information?

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  52. Probably dumb question, but developmental assignment "provides managerial or technical responsibilities to prepare the Fellow for his or her targeted position." ... what does "technical responsibility" mean? Could you give me an example?

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  53. I believe that most of them are from last year, with just a few of this year's starting to appear. I know I have accepted an offer, but I do not appear on there yet.

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  54. Technical responsibility would involved you actually being responsible for the job you are performing on your assignment. As in you having a high level freedom to perform the job and the expectation that you perform that job with little oversight.

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  55. Actually, appointment grade is decided by HR not the person hiring you. And make sure you read the fine print of student loan repayment. Not all loans are eligible and while some agencies might support it agency-wide, the department you're hired into might not.

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  56. When do you do your IDP? Before accepting the offer? Immediately thereafter? After starting position?

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  57. That is not exactly how it works. There are specific requirements for all agencies with regard to appointment grade, which factors in experience and/or education. While HR in a specific agency would have to approve the final appointment to ensure a candidate is qualified for the specified grade, it is the hiring official/program that can make the decision. One position I interviewed for prior to the fair said they were hiring at a GS-9 no matter what, several others in the same agency did not bring it up in the interview, and the program in the same agency that offered me a position placed me at GS-11. Again, this is often going to be agency specific, which some being more proscriptive and other allowing more freedom within the agency.

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  58. The IDP is put in to place once you begin working.

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  59. I noticed some people wrote about how they did not like the job fair-- I guess it really does depend on your background. I have a finance and public policy background, so I loved getting to hear about different agencies and see where I'd be a better fit-- since I'm not agency-specific. I went with 6 interviews and finished with 21. I loved so many positions that I wasn't even aware of before I came out to DC. No on the spot offers yet, but I loved so many agencies. I felt that not going to the job fair would be a severe disadvantage for someone in my position, b/c a phone interview is much more difficult that seeing people in-person, including hiring managers. I also got to go and see 4 agencies on Tuesday and Friday, which really helped me see their culture.

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  60. I think the main criticism of the fair, which with I agree, is that many of the agencies seemed only to be engaging in resume collection and holding interviews at a later date. This was especially frustrating for those of us who traveled a long distance and spent a fair amount of money to do so. I can email my resume from my home, I did not need to travel 2000 miles to do so in person.

    However, from reading this blog and speaking to former PMFs it seems as though this year's fair was unusual in that respect. My hypothesis is that many agencies are still awaiting their final budgets and were unsure of the positions they would be able to offer. I completely understand this difficulty, it is just incredibly frustrating.

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  61. Your hypothesis is a fact. I was told by several hiring managers at the job fair that their agencies did not have more positions available due to the lack of a finalized budget.

    @8:55 - With all the budget analyst positions available this year, I really felt that those with MBA's, finance and economics backgrounds were the ones in demand. It doesn't surprise me at all that you were able to get 21 interviews. My B.A. is in economics, and agencies were solely interested in my quantitative background rather than my international studies in grad school. My masters degree was almost irrelevant at this job fair

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  62. @8:11AM. I will agree that there were a lot of finance and quantitative jobs; However about half of my interviews were with quantitative and about 5 were with international and 5 with policy or strategy.

    I do think this year may have been different; more than one agency said they just heard about the job fair on Tuesday or the previous Thursday, which is why a lot of departments couldn't get people to come on such short notice; let along figure out the exact positions needed.

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  63. Has anyone had good news today? I was hoping for some call-backs or emails, but so far nothing here.

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  64. I agree with @8:11- my graduate degree was almost irrelevant at this job fair. As one of the JDs, I was pretty disappointed in the lack of interest in my skills rather than my background. I felt as though a lot of agencies were looking for "pick and play" individuals they could slot into a position without further education or training. Given the number of JDs chosen as finalists, I expected my analytical skills and problem solving to be more of a discussion point, rather than my work experience.

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  65. It has been indicated on a number of different occasions that some agencies in general have grown tired of the number of JDs that do not pan out well in their PMF positions. There may now be some push back against JDs and more of a focus on other backgrounds and experiences.

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  66. I received a call from a local field office for one of my positions this morning. They briefly wanted to "ask some questions" so I guess that could be considered a second interview. I think I did alright but not as good as I did at the fair because I just woke up and wasn't expecting it. No offer but they indicated that they would contact me soon.

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  67. Good news here, got a couple of offers this morning. All specific, related to a policy degree (and based on my previous work experience). I agree with @9:58... they're definitely looking for me to be able to hit the ground running.

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  68. Warning: total rant ahead.

    So there is a sentiment that the fair was less impressive than many of us imagined. To me it seems that almost every field of employment (public or private)is essentially the same in this aspect. Have we as a generation been sold a lousy bill of goods?

    While we have all done well in undergrad, now grad school, and fought through a competitive "prestigious" fellowship process, we find that there may not necessarily be much at the end of the rainbow. I am generally an optimistic person, but I cant help but comment that our generation in general will likely find there are fewer jobs, fewer benefits, higher taxes, and more competition in general throughout our entire lives. We will be working harder, and gaining less, than our parents. Meanwhile we will be supporting the baby boomers for decades to come. Perhaps this is obvious, but nonetheless still quite significant when looking at the beginning of a long road of employment.

    Undoubtedly many of us will be successful financially or otherwise by the end of our careers, but the road will be a bit longer, steeper, and more will fall off of it than ever before.

    What does this have to do with PMF? Only that one of the last places to have a meaningful career, make an ok salary, and have a bit of job security, seems to have taken a hit along with the rest of the job market. Changes to federal employment are beginning and will continue, and it wont be in the direction we want them to go. The feeling might be summed up best by the speaker during Tuesday's orientation who said that, in effect, our neighbors wont like us because we are federal employees. While the statement was ridiculous in the context of an orientation for future leaders, this is from someone who can read the tea leaves. I for one, am a bit apprehensive about program and our generation's future in general.

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  69. @12:04 Congrats! How long were you given to make a decision?

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  70. Rant indeed. Take a step back from the ledge, relax and have a beer this evening. Things are not as bad as they may seem.

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  71. Hi Everyone-- I was just wondering, do you all think we will hear if we are not selected for a position? Any rejections yet? I had 10 initial interviews, 2 second interviews and haven't heard either way for any position. I'm particularly interested in health positions-- CDC, USAID, SAMSHA, etc. Just sort of curious as how many options might still be in play. Best of luck to you all-- I hope everyone finds a great match.

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  72. It is reasonable to expect at least an e-mail thanking you for applying and letting you know that you were not selected, but unfortunately not everyone has the common courtesy to do so.

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  73. I'm not sure that 12:21 is wrong, though. What if we do look at this in a generational context? For all of us, this is as much a numbers game as anything else. What is partially keeping opportunities away from you all at the moment is economic inertia coupled with a very large generation sitting at the top and middle rungs of the progression you are trying to squeeze into. That is, Baby Boomers, who comprise a hefty percentage of the federal workforce, haven't started retiring in the numbers that were predicted even as late as three years ago. That they may do so in droves next year does you absolutely no good this year as you're trying to find a mid-level job in the government.

    So again, two factors: 1) bad economy keeps mid-level and senior level Baby Boomers in place (not retiring), and 2) the federal government has a higher share of Baby Boomers than most other employers (teaching is another of these, but for different reasons).

    Unfortunately the story doesn't end there. With the various pay/hiring freeze measures on the table right now, even when the dam breaks and the Baby Boomers start retiring in the numbers we've expected (and accelerating initially to catch up), not all of these vacant positions will be filled. That's not always a bad thing, but it means that the upward force of the retirement wave may benefit those on the inside first, entry level second, and those on the outside coming in last. Like PMFs. It could be rough sailing for a while, so I say take what you can get.

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  74. In the current economic climate people should take what they can get. While it would be nice be be able to be selective, not everyone will have that option. The situation is what it is.

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  75. @12:21, you are right on the money; we have been sold a bill of goods. The reason my expectations were so high was because some of my school's PMF alums told us that we were going to be beating hiring managers off with a stick at the job fair. One of last year's job fair attendees stated that the VA and HHS were literally grabbing random people out of the aisles to interview, regardless of qualifications. While that may have been the case in the previous years of profligate government spending, nothing could have been further from the truth this year. I'm resigned to the fact that my dream job is not going to suddenly materialize in this new era of budget cuts and doing more with less. The best option is to take the first decent opportunity you get and don't look back.

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  76. Your dream job was never likely to just materialize regardless of the situation.

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  77. Question for @8:55pm yesterday and others: How would you describe the culture of the various agencies? Some of you referenced this and I am just curious as to your observations.

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  78. I don't know about everyone else but I got an extremely weird vibe from OPM. I had a few interviews with them and in one the interviewer got up and left randomly. Another OPM interview had some truly bizarre scripted questions that I had no idea why anyone would want to ask.

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  79. Unless you have specific education or experience related to the position you are applying for, you have to expect somewhat less than focused interviews.

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  80. @3:55

    Me, too. They asked about my shoe size, whether or not I was a natural blond, and my favorite postcoital brand of cigarettes.

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  81. That was a trick question to weed out any smokers.

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  82. To be honest, I loved OPM. I did not get any weird questions-- mine all seemed really relevant. I actually had so strange questions from other agencies-- one agency only ask 1 question- What do you know about us and any q's?

    That was strange. I am still waiting for any offers, but I hope I'll get some. To the person who received a few, could you mention the agencies? (Maybe even post as separate posts if you don't want them to know.)

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  83. @ PMFFellow can you please delete the comment made at 3:55 (and this one too, I made both). Thanks.

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  84. Why do you want the comment deleted? Did you receive an offer from OPM and don't want them to find out what you said about the interview? :)

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  85. Hey JD's don't give up hope yet. The VA just posted new jobs on PPS looking for you guys. A VA contract specialist sounds like a dream job for someone who just spent 100k on law school!

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  86. @9:28 PM - This kind of request puts me in an awkward position. On the one hand, I would like to be able to give you tools to moderate yourselves, in case you say something unintentionally on here that can be traced back to you by inference. But on the other hand, I don't really have enough information to grant me a high enough level of assurance that you are who you say you are, and deleting the comment you claim as yours sets a precedent that makes me uncomfortable. I hope you understand the predicament.

    Actually this and some of the earlier comment nonsense suggests to me that I ought to put together a more comprehensive comments policy. Since it's the only way we have to interact with one another on this blog (I'm the only one who can post new topics; all you can do is comment), I think it's probably wise to take what we've learned so far and wrap it up in a bow.

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  87. Why would I have any reason to lie? Not allowing people to delete their own posts is wrong.

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  88. Maybe you should just be more careful what you post.

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  89. Or don't post at all. Simple solution.

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  90. It's not that I disagree, but I don't really have any control over some of these settings. If you want more control over the posts, consider registering for a Google account and not commenting anonymously. Then you will be able to delete your own comments.

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  91. @7:36 - Law school = being sold a bill of goods.

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  92. Yes but you do have the ability to delete posts. If you don't believe me, check the IPs. I'm not going to register a google account because it is too late for that, the damage is already done.

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  93. The "damage" was done by YOU. Maybe you should have thought before posting something you wouldn't want someone else to see. Though do you honestly think someone is going to be able to trace any comment made here back to an individual?

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  94. I honestly don't know, but this is the federal government we are talking about here. I am just going to close and block this website and forget that this ever happened. This process is stressful enough as it is.

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  95. Conspiracy theorists unite!

    It definitely appears as though this process has been quite stressful for you.

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  96. Just for the record: I have absolutely no way to determine anyone's identity here. I use Google Analytics to get an idea of how many visitors the site gets and where they come from, stuff like that. But neither Google Analytics nor Blogger provides any tools to check IP addresses, and if you don't register an account, I simply don't know who you are. Also, I don't really care who you are. Part of the reason for having this policy is so that I can maintain as much deniability as possible. Because I can't, by virtue of the tools at my disposal, know who you are, that should mean nobody would be able to know who you are short of a court order or warrant, neither of which would be mine to satisfy. The only way anyone could identify you is if, in your comments, you left specific enough information that someone could infer your identity. Somehow I doubt anyone you interviewed with at OPM is browsing the comments section of these blog posts looking for suspicious comments. Probably because they have better things to do.

    So I guess I'm saying chill out, take a deep breath.

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  97. PREACH. And has anyone heard from State yet? My ulcer is bubbling.

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  98. An update to the PATRIOT Act gave OPM permission to use all available means to identify PMF finalists who are speaking poorly of OPM.

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  99. Received my first rejection email today. :(

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  100. For what agency?? I'm soo anxious.

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  101. I know I'm setting myself up for trolls here, but has anyone received an offer from NIH? That's my dream agency and I'm really hoping to hear soon.

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  102. Which position at NIH did you apply for? I know my friend found out last Tuesday, the day they interviewed for the position.

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  103. NCI and at-large. Did your friend receive a positive response? They mentioned contacting people in ranked order, but apparently not everyone accepts.

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  104. Yes, he did, but it wasn't from either NCI or at large, though he interviewed for at large. I don't know if he heard back about at large. He accepted the position he was offered.

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  105. Okay. On Friday, the agency told me I would hear "the beginning of the week." But it is Tuesday at 3:11 PM EST.

    Also, I hate myself for thinking I would hear on time.

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  106. Sometimes it all depends on who has to approve the final decision, which can add unexpected time to the process.

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  107. Has anyone heard from HR Solutions?

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  108. Along those lines-- has anyone heard about the Meyer or Hauser positions with the international trade?

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  109. @10:17am - After following up with State, one bureau told me that they are in the process of finalizing their short list. Another State bureau said that all candidates whom they interviewed are still under consideration.

    Has anyone heard else heard anything more concrete from State?

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  110. Thanks @1:49. I also heard from the CDC over lunch, who said I am still being considered and that we were supposed to find out yesterday but HR is a cluster. So I think it's safe to assume this might be happening in many agencies.

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  111. I am curious as to whether people are contacting the agency contacts, or following up with the contacts listed for specific conditions. The CDC for instance is going to depend on the different positions. By saying that you heard from CDC, did you hear from the agency contact or a specific position contact?

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  112. Does anyone know where there is a copy of the orientation slides from OPM? I need the one that equates educational attainment to grade level eligibility.

    I think things agencies took a long weekend. I heard from three of them today, 1 offer, two requests for follow-up interviews

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  113. A doctorate qualifies you for GS-11. However, agencies do not have to follow the OPM guidelines. One position I interviewed for was hiring at the GS-9 level regardless of education or experience.

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  114. @1:43 Nothing on Hauser from me, and I have a fair collection of contacts at ITA. Did you do a 2nd interview? They said they would do them on Thurs/Friday, but never showed up the fair. My guess is that they are deliberating?

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  115. A doctorate qualifies you for GS-11 in administrative positions and a GS-11 or 12 in research positions depending on your skill-set.

    But per @2:17, agencies don't have to follow the OPM guidelines.

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  116. @ 2:26 I did a second interview for the Meyer, but nothing yet on Hauser.

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  117. I did a 2nd interview for Hauser on Thursday and they told me it would be 7-10 days until they convene to make hiring decisions.

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  118. @2:07 - Thank you for sharing your status with CDC! The fact that your contact person told you that HR is the only hang-up is hopefully that office's way of telling you that they want you for the position.

    I have heard from NIOSH that they have extended an offer to someone for the position in their DC office. No concrete news from PRADO, ICU, or Cancer Prevention though.

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  119. @2:07-- could you share which CDC position you heard from? I also expected to hear yesterday from CDC but nothing (GAP office)

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  120. Has anyone heard from USAID either way? If so, which offices/postions? thanks!

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  121. For those who haven't found a position yet - how do you feel about your odds of finding one in the next year?

    I have a dilemma: I could likely land a permanent job at the place I'm interning now starting in June. I love the work, and it's directly in my career field. However, I'd hate to not take advantage of being a PMF. My bosses know I'm a finalist and said they would hope whoever they hire would be staying. I'd be uncomfortable taking a position and then bailing if a PMF spot came around. That's just not me, and I hate burning bridges. But...sometimes you have to do what's best for you, right?

    Anyone else facing a similar situation? Congrats to those who had a good experience at the fair, but this blog has clearly shown a fair amount of people were let down. Is that indicative of the opportunities for our PMF class? Should I take what's in front of me (low paying non-profit job, but I love the work and it's the start to a career I want) and forget the PMF? Or take what's in front of me AND shoot for a PMF if a good opportunity presents itself (which isn't very nice to my employer)? Or find a new, temporary job for the rest of the year (easier said than done) and focus hard on finding a PMF? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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  122. If the current position sets you up for a career you want, then stick with it.

    And in the meanwhile, keep an eye open for PMF positions that really interest you and pursue them.

    Currently, you're working on assumptions and uncertainty. Get employment. Get a PMF offer. And then weigh the pros/cons.

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  123. No one can really tell you what to do. If you have a chance at a full time job doing what you want in a career then it is hard to pass that up for the uncertainty of finding a PMF position. One option you could consider if there are no current PMF positions of interest or you do not receive any offers would be to take the opportunity you have and see how that goes while then looking at open PMF positions next spring before the March 31 cutoff date for 2011 PMFs. You certainly want to avoid taking the full time position where you are now and then turning around and leaving for a PMF position after just a short period of time.

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  124. Re: GS grade level hiring.

    To re-emphasize a point that has been mentioned on this board - the grade in which you are hired depends SOLELY on the position.

    Again, State does not hire ANYONE beyond GS-9, to include JDs, or PhDs. So an extra masters or that Phd won't help.

    On the other hand, for other Agencies and positions, if you can demonstrate that your work-experience was equivalent to a GS-9 for 52 weeks, then HR may agree to a GS-11. Note: it is important to have the number of hours per week you spent in a position, so they can determine whether you qualify for the next highest rating. A PMF from my law school said OSHA didn't giver her GS-11 out of the box last year b/c she didn't have the hours on her resume (and they wouldn't let her update it), although her experience would have qualified her - she got offered GS-11 at a diff agency.

    Again, it depends.

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  125. @4:03

    Tough spot. I'm not in a similar position, but go for the PMF. For me, I can't imagine another position that would give me immediate access to an extensive professional network and opportunities to do rotations around the country, indeed the world. Easy choice.

    And then there's the prestige factor. It makes you stand out and puts you on a different career trajectory. That's usually the way to go, at least in my book.

    Good luck.

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  126. Tough decision. I'm not convinced that there are going to be many (or any) great PMF positions available in the next year, so my decision would be to stick with the current gig that I enjoy.

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  127. If you believe that job will help get you where you want to be in your career, then you would be hard pressed to pass it up.

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  128. I have a dilemma too. I have 2 offers and am hoping for a 3rd this week. One offer is a GS-9 and one is a GS-11. I am working out the details of the GS-11 offer and might not accept. In the meantime, I need to reply to the GS-9 offer my midnight. So, should I take the GS-9 offer just to be safe and then rescind later if need be? Does anyone know if rescinding is highly frowned upon?

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  129. It definitely does not look good to accept a position and then turn around and decline it because you got a better offer. While it may never come back to bite you, it is simply in bad form. Should we assume that you want job you are waiting on? If you are not going to accept the GS-11 and the GS-9 is something that really interests you then take it and move on. Otherwise decline the GS-9, keep discussing the GS-11, and see what happens with the third option.

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  130. @ 2:12, @ 3:07 re: CDC: I heard from the specific agency contact for the specific position I interviewed with and whom I've been speaking with over the last few weeks. The position is with the NCBDDD.

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  131. @ 6:14 I would not accept an offer "just to be safe" in this case, unless you really dislike what you would be doing at GS-11. If they are at all similar, I focus on the GS-11 position. From what I know, there's a pretty huge difference from 9 to 11.

    If the current offer can't negotiate up to GS-11 and you like the other two, I would decline the GS-9 offer.

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  132. The GS-9 offer is a "tentative offer" which requires a response by midnight tonight. The GS-11 offer is still being worked out and is far from my dream job or agency. It is really the 3rd offer that I am holding out for, but haven't heard from them yet, which means I am basing my decision on many assumptions. Since the GS-9 offer is "tentative", and a job I would actually like, do you think I should accept for now?

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  133. So they made you an offer that you have to accept by tonight that is still only tentative? I am not sure I understand that, but if it is a position you would like then you should definitely consider accepting the offer. A bird in hand.....

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  134. @ 7:16

    That is what I am thinking. The offer clearly says "tentative", so maybe I am rationalizing, but why not accept the tentative offer and if something else pans out soon I can back out.

    Does anyone else have advise?

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  135. If you like the position then I would go ahead, accept it and look forward to starting.

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  136. And if a better offer comes along??

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  137. Tough call. It would have to be considerably better for your career to back out of the offer you accepted and you should consider the how likely or unlikely the act of backing out of the offer you accepted will have on your future.

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  138. has anyone heard from any of the contract specialist positions yet?

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  139. If you try to negotiate anything in an offer, can the rescind the offer?

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  140. Mornin' interwebz. Heard from my top pick at State (rather not say which bureau) with an informal offer--said they filled out their paperwork and are eagerly awaiting HR to make a formal offer (with no indication of when that would be.) I also forgot to share that in my follow up interview, they said that b/c DOS takes the most PMFs, they have to give out their offers last--so you just have to trust them--and I'm sure that the HR holdup is why some people haven't heard anything... Reiterating what we already know, I guess--it's a process. Settle in, my pretties.

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  141. @7:16am, CONGRATULATIONS!! That's fabulous news that you received your informal offer. Have any other folks received similar good news?

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  142. Echoes @ 7:16.

    I followed up with an email to State this morning and they indicated that I would receive my formal offer as soon as HR clears the paperwork. The interviewer suggested it would be by the end of this week.

    Also, there was only the Job Fair interview and no second-round. They only interviewed a handful of folks and they decided based on that.

    It's definitely my first choice and I'd rather not share the bureau.

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  143. Anyone considered for the Hauser position(s) who did 2nd interview, are you local to DC?

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  144. There likely isn't going to be much to negotiate besides the starting GS level and most programs will already know what they plan to start you at. People are not generally going to rescind an offer simply for asking about the starting pay level, but you just have to understand that there isn't much to negotiate when taking a government job.

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  145. Do you think you could negotiate relocation or the recruiting bonus if this is your first fed job?

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  146. Not likely. Either an agency provides such benefits or they don't. The fact that this is your first job would be irrelevant. There just isn't much to negotiate with a government job.

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  147. Congrats to everyone! Ditto on the informal offers from State yesterday - both job fair positions, although another State office did reach out to me on Monday about an opening that was not advertised at the fair, so not all of the State positions have been filled for sure yet. Don't give up hope!

    @7:16 and @7:33, looking forward to being part of your PMF cohort at DOS this fall!

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  148. For those of us still anxiously awaiting a response from State, would anybody mind sharing from which bureaus the informal offers came?

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  149. Not to be a contrarian psycho, but how bout you tell us which bureaus in DOS you're waiting to hear from and we'll tell you whether or not we've heard? I'd be more comfortable with that. Also, my informal offer turned into a tentative offer when Allison Barg called this morning. Pending my clearance. Wahoo.

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  150. Waiting to hear from Near East Affairs, International Religious Freedom, and Development Finance at State. Have any of those offices given offers?

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  151. Anyone heard from the OIG office at State?

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  152. There is no "rule of thumb" about getting formal offers from more than one agency, right? I do not mean officially accepting more than one, just letting more than one agency send you a formal offer.

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  153. Unless there is some sort of communication between agencies regarding who they are offering, which is doubtful in most cases, then you could conceivably receive any number of offers from a variety of agencies.

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  154. @11:20, as of yesterday, OIG was still considering everyone who had interviewed. Has anyone heard anything else from OIG since then?

    @10:20, I am waiting to hear from ECA and EUR/ERA...

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  155. Anyone heard anything from FEMA, or know when abouts they are going to be getting back to people?

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  156. Anyone heard from A/OPE at State?

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  157. Looking at this message board all day is making everyone, including myself, way too impatient. Give em a week and I'm sure we'll all know where we stand.

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  158. update @ 7:33

    This is turning into an echo chamber.

    @ 10:20 - also got the call from Alison Barg. Tentative offer extended pending clearance.

    @ 10:31 - I don't know.

    @ 11:20 - I don't know.

    @ 12:09 - I don't know.

    @ 12:45 - I don't know.

    Thanks so much PMFFellow, this is a great service you've provided. At times, it's a bit nerve wrecking being on here, but mostly the information sharing is great.

    Good luck to everyone else!

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  159. Thank you for your responses, @1:00 pm, and congrats on your tentative offer!

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  160. All CAA positions are finalized.

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  161. Alot of JDs have accepted positions :) Guess we will be fine after all.

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  162. Are rotations for current PMFs fair game to pursue?

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  163. I am not sure what you are asking. You are pretty much free to pursue any rotation that your supervisor/program allows you to pursue.

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  164. Very few people are listed as having accepted a position, so I am not sure how you can say at lot of anyone has accepted a position.

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  165. So far, there are only 5 people from this year's class (not including last year's holdovers) that have accepted positions.

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  166. Ehhh I doubt that. I don't think OPM has updated that thing. I know people who have accepted who are not on there.

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  167. Are finalists able to pursue rotations being advertised for Fellows? Not as a rotation, but perhaps as the actual position.

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  168. I cannot imagine that you can pursue a rotation as a position given that rotations are designed to be just that, a rotation. Not a two years position.

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  169. I've known PMFs who have gone into rotations, liked it better than their original agency/position, and then forayed that into a position for after the end of the two year PMF program, but not before.

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  170. I haven't heard anything yet from 8/9 of my interviews and I'm getting nervous. I've only heard 1 rejection...

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  171. Dude, don't be nervous. Promise. HR takes forever and how long did this whole promise take? Remember when we applied, oh, you know, in October? You're okay. Have a cyber beer. ---> Here you go.

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  172. @ 7:12 thank you! cheers =)

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  173. Has anyone heard from FTA or DOL?

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  174. I interviewed with FEMA last week at the job fair and got an offer (and accepted), but it was for a position that wasn't posted on PPS.

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  175. Do you mind saying which position at FEMA? I interviewed for a couple that were not on PPS.

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  176. Hey 8/9-- what positions are you waiting to hear back from? I just turned down three positions... they could be coming your way.

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  177. I hope you either have an offer you already plan to accept or have accepted, or are really confident that you will get another offer you want.

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  178. @6:49, I am also only hearing rejections (three so far), and I am also nervous. But I figure that no news is good news... unless the people I interviewed with are just too busy to let me know about my rejection :(

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  179. haha @8:27, yes, I took an offer.

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  180. Has anyone else receive offers from State? Could people with offers from State confirm that they have not been contacted by the State bureaus from which others are waiting to hear (A/OPE, Near East Affairs, International Religious Freedom, Development Finance, EUR/ERA, OIG, ECA)?

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  181. How are people receiving rejections? Mail? Email? Carrier pigeon? How about offers? I want to know which means of communication I should compulsively check/avoid.

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  182. All three of my rejections came via e-mail, but only after I followed up with the interviewer to ask about the status of my candidacy. No offers yet, but one agency assured me that I would be contacted via phone if I am selected. I have to admit that out of an abundance of caution, I have been on the lookout for carrier pigeons and smoke signals in addition to stalking my mailbox and wearing out the refresh button in my inbox... Not sure if this helps! :)

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  183. PMF fellow: I'm not sure if I read the information on your blog from last year correctly, but in mid-June of 2010 were approximately 50 PMF finalists still without appointments? If so, how does that reconcile with the information that most jobs come in some way from the Job Fair?

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  184. 550 PMFs - not 50 :)

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  185. I was told by a current PMF that only half of the finalist found jobs after the job fair last year. Some didn't get hired and others didn't want the jobs that they could get.

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  186. So has anyone heard from SBA?

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  187. @8:12, I have a second interview with FTA tomorrow. Sounded like they were doing second interviews for a number of positions this week.

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  188. Anyone heard from VA?

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  189. I know SBA has done second round interviews for some positions, but I think they had quite a few options. Also, while some people have gotten offers, I think it is important to note what area they are in. For example, I've gotten a few offers, but my degree is in finance and strategy-- and that is my dream career. So based on the jobs, lots of places were looking for that, so not surprised that I got offers. However for some of the policy positions or State or DoD, they had such HUGE numbers and the positions are diverse, which probably makes their decisions harder.

    Finally, I was told by two HR groups that it takes between 2-3 days for them to process the request from the department to make a formal offer; so if you are just getting them or still waiting; you very well may be the first choice! Buck up!

    Also, I was told by e-mail for 4 and phone calls for 2. But, be aware that an offer is tentative on a background check-- so even the one I accepted may not result in a position, since it requires Top Secret Clearance that could take up to 6 months to get, since I lived abroad multiple times.

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  190. SBA- don't know
    VA- yes, but a non PPS position

    Good luck lawyers!

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  191. @9:47 AM - I hope I didn't give the impression that most PMFs get their jobs from the job fair. While I think the job fair is an important component, it is not the only piece of the puzzle. As of June 2010, approximately 550 finalists were still listed with no status, meaning either that they hadn't found a job or that they had accepted one or withdrawn from the program and the fact was not reflected on the site.

    Year to year, the placement rate for finalists has hovered around 50-60%, though I don't have official lists. So of the 850 of you, you can expect 400-500 to find a job under normal circumstances. Whether this year is subject to those normal circumstances is debatable.

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  192. @ 9:16, my offer from DOS was not from any of those places. And I'm a lawyer. It's a PMF miracle.

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  193. @8:27 Is your interview for an EEO job?

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  194. Any word from USAID either way? If so, please share which position? Thanks and best of luck to all.

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  195. Also waiting for word from USAID. Maybe no news is good news?

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  196. @11:08AM - thank you and congratulations!

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  197. @8:23 VA, HHS, OPM, HUD

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  198. any word from HUD?

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  199. I was at one of the booths and can say that this year's fair did not compare to last years. Many more jobs were posted by this point last year. It's a function of the budget. Consider, most agencies didn't a budget 2 weeks before the fair, and it's not exactly an easy thing to plan for and attend on short notice.

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