College students seeking government jobs networked with more than 40 hiring employers, from the FBI and Secret Service to the IRS and Peace Corps, at the Government Career Fair hosted at Johnson & Wales University. For Kristen Gray '11, a Management major, it was a rare opportunity to make personal contact with government agencies.
“I know I want to work with the VA,” says Kristen, whose dad worked in government. “But you hear ‘Go to the website’ a lot.” At the fair, Kristen got to meet representatives from Boston and Rhode Island’s Veterans Affairs offices in person. “I was looking through the list of employers this morning, and I thought, There’s lots of opportunities here,” she says. “And, it’s right here at school.”Competitive Edge in the Government Job Search “There are lots of government jobs out there,” says Akanksha Aga, JWU’s assistant director of Employer Relations. “But the economy is still challenging, so the number of candidates apply for each job is huge. Student’s don’t always know what is involved.” The FBI, for example, recruits from its own internship pool. At the fair, FBI special agents advised students to apply for their internship program as a way to get an edge on the competition. “Our goal at JWU is to have students come to these events early, and learn what it takes to apply, so that they are more competitive by senior year,” Aga explains.
Apparently, it’s working. “This was incredibly helpful,” says Ally Thueson '13, a Criminal Justice major. “I’ve learned a lot.” Students also got to take part in a Federal Job Search Workshop. Kimberly Ainsworth, executive director of the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board, showed students how to apply for competitive government jobs online. Uncle Sam is Hiring “There are jobs for students from all backgrounds,” Aga adds. “Business, accounting, technology and networking, human resources; Uncle Sam is hiring.”
Indeed, over 500 students from JWU, Brown University, Bryant University, New England Institute of Technology, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University and University of Rhode Island attended the fair. Adrian Smith, also a JWU Management major, says the opportunities in government are exactly what he wants. “I’m looking for a good job that’s stable, that lets me work with people and helps me pay off my student loans,” he says. “If I can help my country while doing it, great!”