2017 PMF Open Thread

The 2016-17 Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) application season is almost here! You can use this site and thread as a go-to resource for helpful information during the application process.

The basics can be found at pmf.gov. We will update this thread with critical information and dates as they are released.

In addition to OPM’s official PMF resources, here on Pathtopmf.com you’ll find a range of additional insights on the PMF Program.

For instance:

And use this open thread as a resource for the 2015-16 process and a place to:

  • Ask questions
  • Share your experience
  • Or maybe just to vent :)

Good luck and let us know how we can help you submit a strong application!

P.S. This site, guide, and resources are brought to you by the Robertson Foundation for Government and GovLoop.  Thanks to RFFG for their financial support to help offer these great resources and keep them free for all applicants.

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  • Iowa Hawkeye

    Is there any way to study for the SJT? I’ve read over Getting Into Government, Guide to Managing the PMF App, Guide to Internships, Making Global Impact, Pathways Handbook, 2012-2016 PMF Assessment Guide, Manual of Job-Related Thinking…, FBI Logical Reasoning…, and taken both American and British Psychometric tests.

    • Steve

      Only other thing you might want to do is read path open threads on this website

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

    Impatiently waiting for this application to open

    • Steve

      +1

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

    I have two STEM degrees, but am really unclear whether to apply for the general PMF or the STEM track. It seems like there aren’t as many job placement opportunities for STEM track finalists. Can anyone provide some insight?

    • MelJoy

      I have the same concern. From what I have been able to gather, the appointment availability depends on agency need and can change from year to year. Also they’ve restricted the application process so if you apply for the STEM track (and become a finalist) you can only apply for STEM track eligible jobs. If you don’t necessarily want to use your STEM training, I suppose it wouldn’t matter? However I am not sure. My hope is that these areas will be cleared up when they release the new guide. Good Luck!

  • Leah Anderson

    Hi all,

    Pasting a recent update here from the PMF Facebook account:

    “We are presently working on the upcoming application and assessment for the PMF Class of 2017. The 2017 PMF application will NOT launch earlier than November 2016. Additional information will be posted to the PMF website as it becomes available. Thank you!”

  • Nat Graham

    The FAQ was updated, there isn’t an in person assessment anymore? https://www.pmf.gov/become-a-pmf/faqs.aspx#q18

    • Jose Rodriguez

      The “on-line assessment” will be the last section applicants can do. This time there are three parts to it: Situational Judgement, Life Experiences and Critical Thinking. Any idea how this will look like?

  • Leah Anderson

    Hi folks, looks like we have a new official announcement from the PMF website. Applications for the 2017 cohort are open on Friday, November 18 through midnight on December 1.

    https://www.pmf.gov/news-events/pmf-class-of-2017-application-dates.aspx

    https://www.pmf.gov/become-a-pmf/overview.aspx

  • KRB

    Does anyone know how the PMF will be affected by the hiring freeze, which will be imposed in January?

  • Rachel Carter

    Does anyone have suggestions beyond the Assessment Preparation Guide for preparing for the Critical Thinking section

    • Jose Rodriguez

      I know that one is pretty horrible. I heard that practicing LSAT type questions under “reasoning questions”, maybe that’s a good technique to get in the right mindset. Other than that, i have no idea.

  • Rachel M

    Anyone else not getting a job posting when you search “Presidential Management Fellows” on USAjobs? It’s supposed to go live today, but I haven’t seen anything yet.

  • Sandy_Candy

    YAY! It’s open! Can’t wait to apply this weekend! Good luck, everyone!

  • doug

    Anyone know the essay question?

  • M

    The online assessment is timed, however, we are allowed to stop and return at a later time. Will this cut into allotted time? And has anyone seen the essay question? A first-timer here and curious about the whole process! Thank you so much.

    • Christina

      That I’m a little curious myself on; it looks like you can’t see the essay question until your assessment has been completed? I haven’t wanted to click on the assessment link on the off-chance it starts me on the questions when I’m not ready….

      • Katie Renwick

        I tried clicking on it early- it won’t let you until you have completed the prior sections.

  • Lesa Sexton

    I’ve tried logging on several times but whenever I click “Continue to Agency Site” I keep getting an error message that the “page could not be found”. Is that happening to anyone else? Any ideas who I should contact about a technical error?

    • Heidi Zabik

      Yes, it is happening to me as well. I’ve tried for two days now, and it happens every time. I’ve cleared my browsing history, cache, checked my cookies, ensured Java is enabled, am using Google Chrome (as recommended). So I just submitted a technical helpdesk ticket via their instructions. If you wish to do the same, the online help screen is https://pmfhelpdesk.golearnportal.org/.

      • Lesa Sexton

        Thank you! I just submitted a ticket and hopefully they’ll be able to figure it out!

  • M

    I’m a newcomer as a PMF candidate – do we apply to a specific agency in our applications? or do we specify later on in the process? thank you!

    • Jose Rodriguez

      In your application you do not specify an agency. If you are chosen as a Finalist you apply to appointments later on, just like applying to a job.

      • M

        Thank you!

  • KRB

    Has anyone been able to get the application to work on a Mac? I can’t download Internet Explorer, and I keep getting an error in Chrome?

    • Katie Renwick

      I’m using Chrome on a Mac and haven’t had any issues.

    • Venny73

      I completed the application in its entirety on a mac. If you’ve got pop-up blockers, try disabling those or decreasing the privacy settings on your browser.

  • Mark

    Hello all,

    Pretty quiet thread.

    I noticed today as I was pasting mine in that the essay is not used in determining rankings / who gets to be a finalist. I presume the resume is, but can anyone confirm that? Or have any idea how it might be weighted relative to the assessment?

    • MelJoy

      I would like to know this as well.

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

      it says its used by the hiring agencies. i believe your assessment score is what is used to determine finalists. i have no idea of the weighting though

  • stem_PMF

    Hello PMF. I finally completed by application today. Just found about this programs, a couple of day ago.I really hope I make it. It is encouraging to see there were less applicants this year. That could increase the odds pending on application scores. Does someone know about disciplines that get picked the most , what topples the scales in the semi- finalist stage ?

    • DisneyObsessed

      Where did you find that there were less applicants this year?

      Good luck to all PMF hopefuls out there!

      • OMP_17

        Its stated at the application page, when you ready to apply.
        There were 4,200 applicants on 11/28.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

        6500 as of 6pm yesterday

    • DisneyObsessed

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like there’s no longer a semi-finalist stage?

      • OMP_17

        Well, there is no in person assessment , so semi- finalist are picked up by the assessment scores.

        • DisneyObsessed

          I had the impression that finalists are chosen based on assessment scores.

          • OMP_17

            yes, in essence, we are finalist but not fellows until we secure an appointment .Becoming a fellow is where tough commences. So, essentially two huge differences this year: no in person assessment., and no stem tracks.. We still bide to the rigorous demands of the program until we are fellows.

          • DisneyObsessed

            I’m more worried about getting on the finialist list since it looks like only about 10% of applicants make it on there. Kinda scary cus there’s no way to guage if you’ll make it or not, esp with the first 2 portions of the assessment.

  • MelJoy

    I am interested in seeing how PMF will be affected with the possibility of an hiring freeze. Hopefully this isn’t a repeat of what happened during the 2013/2014 cycle

    • Katie Renwick

      I’ve be wondering about that as well. What happened in 2013/2014?

      • MelJoy

        Government shut down, hiring freezes, many PMFs didnt find appointments in time

  • Katie Renwick

    Does anyone know if it is possible to take one of the 3 assessment tests, then come back to it later? I don’t think I have a 3-hr chunk of time to take all 3 tests at once.

    • Dennis Skultety

      Yes, it is possible. I completed the first two and then logged back in and completed the third a few hours later.

      • Katie Renwick

        Awesome- thanks!

  • Mark

    Well folks, with a little less than 24 hours to go the site is saying 6500 applicants have started but only 2600 have actually completed all the steps. I’m sure that number will go up but still, wow.

    Could be a reverse bumper year. Great news for us applicants, of course.

    Trump effect?

    • MelJoy

      More like procrastination effect. With 11hrs to go, there are now 7300 applicants and 3600 have completed all the steps.

      Any predictions on when the website will crash tonight?

      • Christina

        We’re up to 5600 now (well, as of 10:30), so that’s been a huge chunk of folks who have run through it in the last few hours! *knock on wood* I didn’t have any access issues like there seem to have been over the last few years (via the forums, at least).

        • DisneyObsessed

          Lol I just completed the final part of the assessment. Had to run through the study guide really quick. Can’t imagine doing well without at least reading the study guide. The wording can be tricky!

        • OMP_17

          5600, who have completed all steps?

      • OMP_17

        What do you mean by completed all steps ?

        • DisneyObsessed

          She meant steps 1-7.

    • OMP_17

      where can you check the finally number of applicants ?

  • TN

    That’s a wrap! Have a great 4-6 weeks everyone!
    Hopefully, some will come back with some good news 🙂

  • DisneyObsessed

    Emailed them and asked if assessment scores were the main factor to making it on the finalist list and was told that there are many factors including transcripts. I wonder if our majors will make a difference? I need to forget about it till Jan Lol!

    • Jose Rodriguez

      I can’t forget about until January. I’m here, now, reading this thread. ugh

      • DisneyObsessed

        I’m not very positive about making it on the list lol so if I don’t make it, I won’t be completely crushed. I wonder how many finished applicatons they ended up receiving…

        • Jose Rodriguez

          I’m right there with you. Hope for the best but really expect the worst.

  • Catdog

    It has now been 4 weeks since the application closed.

    • Stephen Glaus

      The wait is agonizing!

  • Catdog

    I wonder when we will hear back since it’s now officially been 4 weeks…

    • CommThinker

      With the holidays and all, I’m sure the followup will occur closer to the 6-week mark of their timeline. I got excited when I saw that there were new posts, I was hoping it was someone saying they got an email. My fingers are crossed.

      • TN

        I thought people were posting they got in too! Ahh, any time in the next 2 weeks…

  • PMF2017herewecome

    Hi all,
    just found this thread after the application went in. Waiting and biting my nails with everyone else!

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

    anyone heard anything yet? Happy New Year!

    • TN

      Happy 2017! And no word yet…
      Instead of finishing my paper, I stumbled upon the super old alumni website for the first time. It sometimes refers to the program as PMI so you know it’s really old! That and one of their advice bullet points was to “Get a hold of your own organizational phone book (it may also be available on the intranet, internet, or CD-ROM ).” Haha.
      It has some great advice though for those who will make it the the Finalist stage. If you’re looking for a distraction today this site is pretty good 🙂 http://www.pmag.org/pmf_resources_gen_guidance.htm

      • PMFHopeful

        Is it crazy that I’m too afraid of reading too much info/investing too much time looking into the program and not get selected in the end? Haha. I had a dream that I got selected, I woke up and was devastated!

        • Stephen Glaus

          You’re not the only one – both my wife and I had the same dream the same night…Needless to say this would be a life changing moment.

        • TN

          I know…I think I am way past the point of no return. Ugh. I just keep following that little part of me that says “You totally got this in the bag! Any day now!”
          Of course, when I think of the numbers, over 6000 applicants (2016 had 6050) and that they usually take 400-600 Finalists (2016 had 552), that usually sobers me up real quick :/

          • PMFHopeful

            I was hoping there would be less applicants this year, but the majority applied/finished their applications on the last day (including myself). 10%.. that’s like trying to get into an Ivy League :/

    • Laura Marie Davis

      Should we be expecting there to be an update on the application status in USAJobs? Mine has always just said “Unavailable”…

      • TN

        You can check your application status by logging into the PMF’s TMS online application:
        https://apply.pmf.gov/index.aspx

        You can update your contact info but that’s all.

  • Emily Payne

    Hi everyone!
    I emailed the PMF team asking if they could provide a specific date of when applicants would be notified of their status. They responded this morning with “We will be notifying all 2017 applicants of their status in a few days. Stay tuned!”

    Although that doesn’t provide a whole lot more guidance, at least it sounds like we should definitely know by the 6 week mark! Good luck everyone!

    • Dianne Reyes

      Thanks, Emily! The wait is almost over. I think I’ve exhausted all of my research on PMF articles, forums & FAQs. At this point, I just need to know! Good luck!

  • R.A

    Does anybody know whether you get any points for fed gov internships? I can’t seem to find anything on their points system and how they grade the assessments…also it seems that there will be no more in-person assesments. Either way…I can’t wait to find out if I made it to the next round! Good luck

    • TN

      Yup, they took the in-person interview out. Just one assessment cycle! I was kind of excited about possibly doing it but now I’m glad they took it out. From past forums here it sounds like people had many issues with the hasty timing of it, cost of flights/hotels, time off work, etc. It was no doubt a logistical nightmare to plan on OPM’s side. If I made it I would have done it of course, but it would’ve required trying to get someone to cover for me at work and hundreds of $ in flights and hotel bookings. And as a current grad (making a grad stipend) most of that would’ve gone straight onto my credit card 🙁

    • PMFHopeful

      Nope, any current or past federal employment has no bearing on whether you get selected as a finalist. There’s also no way to know how they grade their assessments… it seems like the critical thinking portion is the only part of the application you CAN control since it’s objective… the rest is subjective. I think it’s scary to a lot of people because there’s no set parameters to gauge where you stand.

  • John

    Has anyone gotten a notification of eligibility? I noticed on the PMF page today while checking the timeline that ‘applicants notified of eligibility’ is supposed to take place ‘within 4-6 weeks’ of December 1. I can’t see why I would be ineligible but I can’t remember receiving anything. Does this go out at the same time as finalist notifications?

  • CB

    Hello everyone, I sent an email (I see Emily asked already) asking when they would announce the finalist. They said they would let us to in “approximately two weeks”. Strange, since they told her in few days…I don’t know what to expect now.

    • Catdog

      That is so frustrating! I think last year they notified on the last day possible so that should be this coming Thursday but I guess the only thing we can do is wait 🙁

      • CB

        I was thinking that this week was the last week too. I mentioned it in the email to see if I could know the possible day for us. But no…the timeline increased. Unless they mean the finalist will know this week and everyone else will know in two weeks 🙁

        • Chelsea

          They’re not announcing until two weeks from now? What did your email say exactly?

          • CB

            We’ll announce the finalists in approximately two weeks. Like my post says above. I received that email today. Did you receive an email today that says otherwise? It is possible that finalists might find out this week while the general population finds out in two weeks…

          • Chelsea

            No, I don’t have any additional information. I’m tempted to send them a message myself, but I don’t want to flood them with e-mails. I’m just wondering why they would say two weeks yet there is no update on their website or social media. Their deadline was also very specific – 4-6 weeks after the closing announcement.

          • sophiar

            “approximately” 4-6 weeks after closing.

          • PMFHopeful

            lol it makes no sense to notify those that got selected and those that didn’t on different dates… I figured they would just upload a list of the finalist and that would be it. Interesting… but patience is virtue. Would be cool to know now but at least school & work is keeping me occupied lol

          • CB

            If you know something we don’t then share the wealth 😉

      • TN

        Nooo! It is stated “4-6 weeks after the announcement closes” which is this Thursday! I mean, I know they might be backed up… people get behind. Ugh, you know it’s so weird when I think about it. The OPM staff do this every year, there’s always a new crop of people so it’s kind of just business as usual. But for each PMF applicant of each cohort, our futures hang in the balance! This year decides a lot for me. Having this or not having this could set my career in vastly different trajectories! The anticipation is maddening!

        • CB

          I totally understand. Well it was an approximation so hopefully it’s sooner 🙂

    • CommThinker

      Oh wow, I wonder why they don’t update the site and FB page with a revised timeline. Think of the thousands of people who can hardly stop refreshing their email inbox (yeh, talking about me). It would be cool if they released the names they know for sure didn’t make it to alleviate the anticipation for at least some of us.

    • Emily Payne

      Aw, that is disappointing and confusing. I copied and pasted exactly what they replied to me with and am really wondering what to expect now. I am surprised to hear their timeline (or at least what they are telling those who email) has changed so drastically since Friday morning. 🙁

    • Venny73

      Maybe it was a typo? Perhaps they meant “days” instead of “weeks”? It doesn’t seem as if the responses are auto-generated, so there may be a bit of human error at play here.

  • Alex

    I emailed them yesterday and exact wording was “in the very near future…stay tuned!”

    So basically still no idea.

    • Venny73

      I may be the only person with this sentiment, but this is starting to get a bit comical.

      • PMFHopeful

        Lol I’m feeling the same way actually.

  • pmf2017herewecome

    Hi all- I emailed the PMF admin two days ago and her exact response was:
    “We will announce the 2017 Finalists in approximately two weeks.”

    Ugh.

  • DC PMF

    Does anyone have updates on their application or a list of finalists? My “Application Status” says that I have not been selected as a finalist for 2017, but links to the list of last year’s finalists. Congrats to anyone who was selected!

    • Jose Rodriguez

      Well guys, good luck to the rest of you. I just looked at my Application Status and I was not selected. I hope you have better luck than me.

  • TN

    Well poop. Did not get selected. Congrats to those that did! Make those 2 years worthwhile!

    They chose 417 of 6370 applicants, 6.5%.

    • PMFHopeful

      Didn’t get selected either 🙁 Perhaps I’ll apply again at the end of the year.

      • Venny73

        Me three. Congrats to all who did, though =]

    • John

      Very competitive. Looks like lots of focus areas were significantly cut as well. Maybe this is just how the scores broke down but they do say projected agency hiring needs are taken into account in selecting finalists.

      For example:
      12 finalists majored in diplomacy last year, but only 4 this time.
      24 in Defense/Terrorism in 2016 – this year just 7.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/tootinytotickle Kingteeuhh

    email just went out finalists are up.

  • Stephen Glaus

    Congratulations to everyone who made it! #pmf2017

  • VANC1016

    Did anyone have trouble receiving email notifications for the status update today? I was selected but only found out through the website/list, no email. For those that were selected, did you receive an email with follow up information? Thanks in advance!

    • Mike

      Same here, still waiting for an email with follow up info

      • Stephen Glaus

        I reached out to them and they copied me the e-mail they had supposedly sent out. Not sure if perhaps they simply forgot to include the finalists in the distribution.

        • VANC1016

          Huh… I’ve done the same but they haven’t copied anything in their replies to me. That’s odd. Well I hope there’s no pertinent/time sensitive information on there.

          • Stephen Glaus

            There’s going to be a webinar for the finalists. They said details would be released in a separate email. Hopefully we get that one.

  • Eric

    Woah I’m a finalist, what a surprise. I have a Ph.D. in philosophy – you guys think there’s a chance in hell I can actually get hired? (My past experience applying for federal jobs is that they aren’t all that interested in my skill set.)

  • TheRealist

    Just read in the AP, an executive order is expected to be signed soon that will put an indefinite freeze on all federal government hiring. Yikes!

  • VM

    Hi – I’m confused, how can we check our Status ?

  • Eric

    Does anyone know how the hiring freeze will impact the PMF program?

  • Kris Carr

    Looking for guidance on what effect the federal hiring freeze will have on the 2017 PMF finalist class.

  • Eric

    Have any of you been appointed yet? If so, what was the turnaround time like between application and offer? And what sort of interview process did you go through?

  • Diana Twombly

    Does anyone have thoughts about the program for 2018 under the new administration with regards to hiring?