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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Nine Georgetown MSFS Students and Graduates Selected for Presidential Management Fellows Program

Nine Georgetown University students and graduates have been selected as finalists for a selective training and development program for the United States federal government civil service.

The finalists, who were selected from a pool of over 6,280 applicants, are all current students or graduates of Georgetown’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program. They will participate in the Presidential Management Fellows Program, a two-year, fully funded program administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that aims to develop a small group of future government leaders, according to the program website. 

MCCOURT SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY | Nine Georgetown University MSFS students and graduates are finalists for the U.S. federal government civil service development program.

Georgetown currently has 40 students and graduates in the PMF program — the most of any college or university in the U.S. 

The number of Georgetown students accepted into the PMF program represents the value of public service at the university, according to Joel Hellman, Dean of the School of Foreign Service.

“It is a great source of pride for us to see so many of our students choose to apply and get accepted into the Presidential Management Fellows Program because it says we are doing what we were created to do,” Hellman said in a Zoom interview with The Hoya. “We were created a hundred years ago to encourage the next generation of leaders to pursue public service at the highest levels, and the Presidential Management Fellows Program is exactly that. It is a mechanism for choosing the best and the brightest to commit to careers in public service.”

Finalists in the program are appointed to various U.S. government agencies under the title of Presidential Management Fellows. After completing the program, fellows are eligible for full-time government positions. 

Ava Tavrazich (MSFS ’21), who is a PMF finalist this year, is excited to use her knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct diplomacy in the Western Hemisphere and help improve political and economic relations between the U.S. and its regional partners.

The Georgetown community and the university’s close relationship with politics led Tavrazich to apply for the fellowship, she said. 

“Being here in Washington and having the opportunity to do internships and be connected with other students who have lived in D.C. and worked for the government really inspired me to continue to do public service,” Tavrazich said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “Georgetown and my MSFS program positioned students to pursue a career of public service and be in the right place to apply to fellowships with a good chance of success.”

The application process involves the submission of a resume and short essay answers, as well as an online assessment, a four-part exam that tests applicants on situational judgment, life experience, problem-solving and writing. 

The School of Foreign Service Graduate Career Center helps guide students through the PMF application process, according to Moira Todd, career coach at the GCC.

“Primarily in the fall, the SFS GCC amplifies the information about the PMF program that is provided by the Government and encourages students to apply,” Todd wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We communicate the requirements of the program, timelines, share their resources, and advertise information sessions hosted by the government representatives.” 

However, mentorship does not end with the application process, according to Professor Nicole Sedaca, deputy director of the MSFS. Georgetown faculty and staff members are dedicated to helping students during the entire duration of their time in the PMF program, Sedaca said.

“Our Graduate Career Center does a great deal to familiarize our students with the process, to help them prepare for what they will have to do in the interviews or to write their essays. Once the students have been selected into the program, that is not the end of the process,” Sedaca said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “Once you are in the program, you then have the challenge of finding a position in government, and there are quite a few people, myself included, who then will meet with students and mentor them to help them craft a strategy for finding the place they will land in government.”

Georgetown will likely continue performing well at competitions that value students’ recognition of public service, according to Hellman.

“The students who come to Georgetown are motivated, in the first place, by the ethos and mission of the university. For SFS in particular, a school that has ‘service’ in the very name, it is fundamental to our mission to encourage students to think about serving in the public sector and the private sector, so I think we attract the kind of students that are interested in this career path,” Hellman said.

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