The Presidential Management Fellows Program referred to as PMF, is a flagship leadership development program with the Federal Government geared to advanced degree candidates. PMF is a two-year rotational program that allows the Fellow to rotate within a government organization or agency every four to six months.  Widely considered the best way to jump-start your career with the federal government, participants receive over 80 hours of training and high-level experience.

Originally created three decades ago by Executive Order, the program continues to change and adapt to fit the needs of the government. This year, the government has made  major changes to streamline the cumbersome application program.  Check out their website at

The application period to apply for the program for 2013 will be from November 5 – 19, 2012.  I highly recommend not waiting until the last week.  They are expecting a large amount of students to apply and believe that the last week of the application deadline the system could become bogged down with usage.

One of the major changes implemented this year is opening the Fellows Program to 2011 and 2012 grads, as well as those who will be graduating in 2013. Here are a few other important changes:

  • The Nomination Process has been abolished.  This is good news for students and eliminates a step!
  • Applicants apply through a link on the site and not through USAjobs.  Basically the program has created a simpler process and has its own site for implementing that process – also good news!
  • Students will upload their resumes into the system.  It is not required to use the government resume template previously recommended.  Remember that resumes for the federal government can be more than one page; be very detailed.  Linda Lorenz is happy to assist you with creating a government resume.
  • The Application Process takes about 3 hours on-line and requires that your computer have certain capabilities.  It is highly recommended to go to the PMF website and review what the technical requirements are.
  • During the application process, the applicant completes an on-line assessment and three essays.  The essays are approximately 200 words each (a paragraph).  The on-line assessment is untimed and consists of two parts (a situational judgment test and a personality test). There is a guide on the PMF website that will give tips and more information about the process and the assessments.
  • Once an applicant passes this part of the process, they become a Semi-Finalist.  As a semi-finalist, applicants are invited to an In-Person Assessment. Normally there is one held in Chicago.   During the assessment process, the applicant will be evaluated on the following:  Problem solving, interpersonal skills, oral communication, written communication, public service motivation, personal accountability, and adaptability.  The In-Person Assessment is a day event and includes an interview with a panel using competence-based questions, a group exercise, an individual exercise, and a proctored written exercise.
  • If the applicant is selected after the In-Person Assessment, they will become a Finalist.  Finalists can then begin applying to specific agencies and will be invited to a job fair in Washington, DC.  Finalists have one year to secure a placement.

If interested in this program, Linda Lorenz in the Career Development Office, would be happy to talk with you about the PMF.