PMF Finalists Announced: Open Thread

PMF Finalists Announced: Open Thread

OPM announced the PMF Finalists yesterday. 609 Finalists were announced (518 PMF finalists, 91 PMF STEM finalists) out of 7,000 that applied.

Congrats to the Finalists. Now is the time to find a job placement:
-Make sure to read the PMF Guide job placement section for tips on this area (download again at home page, excerpts also on job placement page)
-This year is both an in-person career fair and virtual events being held. Our most recent guide mainly covers the virtual aspect so I encourage you to check out our Class of 2013 guide as well which covers past in-person fairs

-Ask any questions on the thread below.

Didn’t make it as a finalist? Don’t fear, there are lots of other exciting ways to get into government. Make sure to:
-Download our “Getting into Government for High Achievers” which lists lots of other fellowship programs and provides tips on navigating USAJOBS
-Make sure to check the entry level jobs posting on jobs.govloop.com (sign up for alerts)

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  • randomname

    steve how did you find out about a virtual fair the e-mail I got only speaks about an in person fair on April 28th

  • Jay

    Hi all! Any advice about how to really hit the ground running in seeking out an appointment would be greatly appreciated!

  • Steve

    Jay – Make sure to download the two guides I referenced (this years and last) – has a lot of tips on seeking out appointments.

    My biggest tips I’d have
    -Use your alumni network and any personal network in addition to formal channels
    -Be open to “not as cool” agencies – everyone wants to work for State Dept (and a couple “it” agencies). Lots of the openings are in other agencies where you can make a huge impact and there’s slots (HUD has hired tons of PMF lately). Be open to those agencies.

    • Sandra

      Hi Steve,

      Do you have recommendations in terms of agencies that Stem applicants might want to try? I have my favorite agencies, but I find myself wondering about the many opportunities that may be available on smaller projects…

      • David

        NIH, DHHS, & Department of Energy

        • Sandra

          Thanks David.

      • Steve

        Also take a look at the national labs (Energy, DHS, etc). I think places like DARPA, HSARPA are cool as well (don’t know if they are hiring or not)

        • Sandra

          Thanks Steve

  • Kate

    I hope it really is just a “few days” before we get the final details on the job fair…not much time to make travel plans!

    • Laurie

      Me too! How far are you coming from?

      • Kate

        About a 5 hour drive for me!

  • Marc

    Is there a virtual job fair, an in-person job fair, or both? If both, would the in-person fair be more advantageous?

    • Laurie

      No virtual fair, just an virtual meeting to discuss the fair which is in person on April 28th.

      • CW

        which was the exact opposite of what we were told during the in-person assessments…I can understand the confusion there.

  • Ryan Sims

    So the list of agency coordinators still has not been posted. Any ideas of when that would come out? I have been trying to open opportunities but keep getting stuck in explaining what the PMF is in the first place. Any help?

  • Buster

    As a STEM PMF Finalist with a rather niche field I wonder how advantageous it would be to travel to D.C. for the job fair, logistical concerns aside. I’m debating on just trying to contact the agencies I’m interested in. It seems like an in person job fair is more geared towards generalists. What do you all think?

  • Sandra

    I likely will not be able to attend the in-person fair, so I am worried about networking with agencies. Are there recommendations on how to approach agency coordinators regarding opportunities? I get the feeling that they would be swamped with applicants appealing to them for open positions.

    • Keith

      They do get swamped. You have to stand out from the pack.

  • Ellie

    Does anyone know if attending the job fair is also for people looking for positions outside of DC? Or is the job fair to recruit for DC/surrounding area (Maryland,etc.)?

    • David

      2013 PMF here. When I attended the in-person job fair in March, agencies were hiring for jobs all over the country. While most jobs were based in D.C. I noticed several positions in places like Denver, Miami, and San Francisco. Best of luck!

  • Jay

    I applied to agencies via the TAS, but I haven’t really hurt anything from agencies. Any hope at landing interviews while being at the career fair?

    • David

      I attended the job fair and interviewed for 7 different positions; I received 3 offers. I can’t stress how important it is to attend the job fair! I tried applying for positions through TAS for 10 months to no avail. Take advantage of the job fair. This is where you are most likely to receive an offer.

      • Jay

        Did you have interviews scheduled prior to the fair or get them at the fair? So far, I’ve got nothing.

        • Keith

          Jay – I am going to the fair, I have 3 different interviews set up at various agencies.

          • Jay

            Uh oh, hopefully I hear something tomorrow or I will be going in with a blank slate to the fair.

          • Teala

            Don’t worry too much. I’m in the same boat.

          • Jay

            I actually ended up with several interviews, so I will see what will happen.

        • David

          I did not have any interviews scheduled prior to the job fair. My advice would be to narrow the list of agencies that would be a good fit. Go in there and target those agencies first. Do a little research. It goes a long way. While I was waiting for my interviewers to meet me in the interview room I was alone for about 15 minutes. I took that time to quickly research and get a sense of what that particular office/program does and who is in charge. It paid off big time when they inevitably asked, “what do you know about our agency/office?” Turn up the charm and flex that brain. You made it this far for a reason. At this point it is just about getting them to like you and convincing them that you would not be a bummer to work with.

  • Buster

    What does onboarding as a PMF mean? The OPM office told me I needed to finish degree requirements before onboarding as a PMF. Can I start work but just not start special PMF programs?

    • Ellie

      I believe that you need to first graduate and present your transcript before starting work.

  • Ben

    Does anyone know if a lot of agencies are able to work with you on your start date? Also, some agencies may give you a short time to decide if you do get an offer. Is there any protocol for managing offers or if an agency gives you an offer later after you already accepted one?

    • Buster

      Start date seemed hiring manager specific to me, one guy said I could show up in October and another wanted me there immediately. I spoke to 6 different managers within the same agency. One person gave me less than a day to decide. It seems as if there is a lot of pressure in the beginning as the PMF Finalists compete for jobs and the managers compete for people. I know at least with the agency I spoke to, that they have a hiring sheet and all managers can see when you’re extended an informal offer and if you accept and when you’re given a formal offer. I’m not sure this is within the agency I looked at or program wide. I know you can’t attend the job fair if you’ve accepted an offer. It sounds like a formal commitment, but I don’t know for sure.

      • Keith

        Buster, are saying each agency has a sheet with individuals on it who have received offers and/or accepted offers?

        • Buster

          Not sure if it’s for any manager trying to hire a PMF or just the agency I looked at.

  • Keith

    Anyone turn down any offers yet?

    • Ellie

      Have people already heard from all the managers they have interviewed with about offers or are people still waiting?

      • Keith

        I received an offer in the days following the job fair, but due to location and pay, decided to decline. I originally interviewed with them at the job fair.

        Some that I spoke to at the job fair had received offers that day.

  • Rolando

    Currently I am a PMF-STEM finalist and have questions regarding my availability status. I received a federal job (GS-11) offer with the Department of the Navy in late February, after the PMF interviewed. I did not know the outcomes of the PMF interview and so I accepted the DON’s job offer. My start date was April 7, 2014 and on April 11th I found out about being a PMF-STEM finalist. I applied to the PMF-STEM program as a hope of being given the opportunity, but also knew that the chances may be slim. So I also applied to the job I am currently at.
    My question is does having my current position with the DON affect my eligibility in the PMF-STEM program? advice is also welcomed. Thanks in advance!

    • Buster

      I wouldn’t think your eligibility is impacted. You only have a year of eligibility in the PMF program. Are you considering quitting your job and hiring on with a STEM position. Perhaps your current DON job would consider hiring you through the program? I did the same thing as you, though, the job is just a government contract job. I have to quit tomorrow so I can take a fellowship job. Not looking forward to it! Good luck, Rolando.

      • Rolando

        I was hired with the DON as a Career-Conditional employee. So I am able to transfer to my new STEM position. Hope everything went smooth for you Buster.

  • Nonny

    Am I the only one who has NOT gotten an offer yet? I applied to about 6 jobs, most right after the job fair, and haven’t heard back at all past the initial confirmation that they received my application. My degree is pretty specific so I can’t apply to tons of positions like some folks. My leads from the job fair are dead–a few agencies seemed really interested, but after I applied, things didn’t progress further. I keep trying to reach out again but just get canned answers and nothing specific or reassuring. I’m just starting to feel nervous after seeing numerous people with more than one offer, meanwhile I haven’t even had one interview. Anyone else want to share a tale of PMF woe?

    • Keith

      Nonny – I would not go into worry mode yet. Plenty of time left and plenty of jobs still to be posted. I believe the Dept of HUD stated in a recent email they want to hire 100 PMFs this year. I think we will see a very high placement rate this year when it is all said and done.

      • Ben

        Although I did receive 1 offer, I have been seeing radio silence. The job just wasn’t a fit, and it was not in a location that would have worked for me. I am also a bit concerned. I have an interview coming up though.

    • Sandra

      I feel your pain. I took the STEM track. I have had one interview with no response. I count myself as being one of the lucky ones, though. There aren’t many STEM positions posted. It is hard to know what everyone is experiencing, since there aren’t many PMFs using these forums to communicate. As far as I can see the budgets are still very tight and many have downsized their PMF programs considerably. I feel lucky that I at least have a private sector position, while I try to find one with an agency. I still remain optimistic. I think agencies will be more sure of their budgets as the year progresses. Best of Luck Nonny. Try to hang in there!

    • Liz

      I’ve done four interviews, 2 with HHS and 2 with OMB and haven’t heard anything back. For 2 jobs I never even got a response saying my application had been received, much less a response to my post-interview follow-ups. I have another interview next week, but it’s for a position that will be a very long commute every day. So you’re definitely not alone if you’re having trouble getting a response. For the HHS jobs, apparently the supervisors only recently got the list of certified candidates after weeks of waiting, so maybe it’s the same at some other agencies. I’m feeling pretty stressed out too, but I keep reminding myself that there are still 11 months in which to find a position.

      • Sandra

        Liz,

        Are you doing PMF Stem track? I actually heard back from the agency and I did not get the position. With so few STEM positions available (actually currently there are none) and all of the agency coordinators referring me back to the PMF website, I am also getting a bit worried. I didn’t go to the job fair, because I live so far away. I also heard that it was very crowded. However, many people who were there seemed to have gotten multiple offers… Did you happen to go to the job fair?

        • Buster

          One thing you can do, this is what I did, apply for regular PMF jobs, if you’re interested, and get them to change how they post the job.

          • Ben

            I am also back to square one with finding interviews and landing a job. I hope they have a virtual career fair this summer. Do you mean regular jobs and have them change it to PMF?

          • Buster

            No, Ben, but that might work too if you have agency contacts. I meant change non-stem jobs to stem jobs. They can remove it from TAS and change the posting to stem track and then repost it as a STEM job. They just have to advertise it for 5 days. I ended up getting a job in my stem field (natural resources) that was originally posted as a general job. The hiring managers are still learning about the STEM program. So they hadn’t even thought to initially post it as a STEM job. I suppose it depends on your discipline and ultimately what you want to end up doing.

          • Sandra

            Great idea, Buster! Thanks.

      • Cuatro

        Advice for the Class of 2014: Reset your timeline expectations. There are still people in the Class of 2013 that received offers in March of this year! Many agencies start their hiring in and around October, since the fiscal budget year starts October 1.

        http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/budget_page5.htm

        Don’t get stressed out so soon!

  • circumventing the law is bad

    I definitely think some agencies are doing some shady stuff. Notice OMB is appointing all these non veterans from elite schools but no OMB appointment opportunities have every been posted on TAS. I check TAS everyday they don’t post the job so they don’t get a bunch of veterans applying from trash schools that they have to give preference to and just give it to some finalist from an elite school because they are prestige whores over at the executive office of the president. shady shady shady this happened last year too ivy league alumni bureaucrat hiring managers hate vet preference, it makes them consider university of pheonix veterans over kennedy school grads.

    Anyone seen any OMB jobs posted? is it just me? who have they appointed? Harvard, Princeton, Berkley, Georgetown all non vets. Just a coincidence? I guess I’m suppose to believe they all got their appointment offers via job fair? Look at the 39 appointments so far looks to me like state is following the law and OMB is not or at least not the spirit of veterans preference.

    Anyone from an elite school getting called by agencies they didn’t even apply for?

    It would be interesting to look at the numbers from years past. How many kennedy school finalist get appointments vs other schools.

    Steve do you have any insight on this I know you saw it last year?

    https://apply.pmf.gov/pmf/pmfreports/sortByAgency.hms?_ref=b0rmcxbnpt0&filterIndex=4

    • Buster

      Are you a vet?

      • yup

        OP here, yes I am a vet.

        • Sonia

          Well for the agencies that do post to the TAS the only people you will be competing with are other PMF vets. You’re in a much better situation than us non-vets. I’m sorry you feel like you’re not getting a chance at the OMB agencies.

  • Dave

    I’m starting to think it is going to be an uphill battle for me to get a placement. Other than 1 interview coming up, I have no other bites. Originally, they were supposed to also have a virtual career fair at the end of May, but that never happened. I would love to start work by the fall, but for now that is not looking realistic. Anyone else in the same boat?

    • Kate

      Same here, I really wanted to start working in the Fall, but it looks like I will have to wait. It’s frustrating to apply to so many of the positions and never hear back.
      I’m not sure, but I think some agencies are only just now getting the non-veteran applications from HR. Maybe the hiring process is just really long for those positions.

      I’ve been applying to “normal” jobs as well and had 2 interviews last week. I would greatly prefer a PMF position but it would be hard to turn down a job if I am offered one of those, so I hope something gets moving in the next couple of weeks.

      • Dave

        Glad to know I am not the only one! Are you sure about the non-veteran thing?

        • Kate

          Don’t quote me on it, I just heard from someone who works in one of the agencies that it might be the case.

      • Sandra

        Are you talking about our resumes or your applications for specific positions? This process seems so confusing. Some jobs have been very specific while with others, it isn’t clear what you’d be doing and how it pertains to your degree.

        I haven’t had much luck either in finding a fit. I did not attend the job fair. It would be nice to have some more specific information about agencies and to discuss the types of positions for STEM applicants. Any STEM Finalists out there with better insight into how to get a STEM position? Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Cuatro

      Some people in the Class of 2013 still haven’t started. Most agencies hire some people from the spring job fair, but others wait until October. Don’t get stressed out so soon!

  • NOT SURE WHAT TO DO

    Has anyone accepted a position yet, only to have another position offered that you want more? If so, did you take it?

    • Dave

      Once you take a position, stick with it unless it’s a short amount of time. These agencies pay money to bring you on. It costs money for the process. Also, a lot of us want jobs. Do the right thing.

      • NOT SURE WHAT TO DO

        These agencies pay money “once” I start, they pay nothing if I only accept the position.
        As far as do the right thing…I don’t think backing out of an accepted offer is the wrong thing if you think it is right for your future.
        But, back to the original question….anyone come across this scenerio yet?

        • Sonia

          I suppose one thing to consider is how long has it been since they’ve offered you the position. If it was recently they should still have a chance of getting their second candidate to take the position. If this were the regular job market (outside the PMF world) I would say take the one you want (if you want it significantly more). I’m not sure if PMF code should be different or not. Will you burn bridges? Are both positions in the same agency? Perhaps you could contact someone at the PMF office and see what they think.

        • Dave

          I did not mean to say choose something that’s not best for you. I meant to say something more along the line of what Sonia stated. This really isn’t a regular job market, so backing out does have consequences. The PMF code really is different after talking to several PMFs and government officials. If it has been a short time, I’m pretty sure there really aren’t any consequences to worry about. Now, if it has been 3 weeks or so this might be a problem. I know people say the federal government is big, so you won’t be burning bridges. The reality is that senior level HR people talk to each other and in many cases know each other. It does cost money for them when you “accept” the position. When a background check is started this is money being spent. Keep this in mind too. I suggest do what Sonia said and inquire with OPM.

    • Cuatro

      I think it depends on whether the offers are tentative offers or final offers. If it’s a tentative offer, then I think it’s acceptable to keep looking and interviewing. Once you accept a final offer, however, you should stick with it.

  • Kate

    A few days ago I commented here saying that I had interviews for some other, non-PMF jobs.
    Well, as I expected, I was just offered one of those.
    I’m not even at the interview stage with any PMF jobs but I still have several applications out there. A PMF appointment would be much better professionally than this other job. PMF also has higher pay. Should I keep holding out, with the chance that I may never get a PMF appointment, or just accept the other job? What would you do?

    • Dave

      I honestly would take the job and make money while you can. If the PMF opportunity comes you can take it and leave off the other job off of your resume if the gap is not that long.

    • Buster

      I started a job in January that I left this month to start a PMF position. That sucked. I felt terrible quitting after a short time. They invest a lot of money/ training into you as a new employee and I felt really bad about leaving. However, I couldn’t have known I would’ve gotten a PMF position or even become a finalist. Would you accept the job if you didn’t get into the PMF program? Are you excited about it? Just over half of last year’s class got PMF positions, right? If it were me, and I liked the position, I’d probably take it and quit if I got a PMF job. It’s not the most ethical thing to do but today’s job market is scary. Unless….you’ve been getting a lot of bites and you feel you can step into a similar job whenever you’re ready to…and you have a means to support yourself as you wait.

    • Buster

      You could also use this as an reason to contact PMF jobs and say, “Look, I really want this PMF job, but I have this other job offer..could you consider my application?”

    • S

      Kate, I think you should take the job first and then apply to pmf on the side. Once you are solid that you got the appointment then quit the job. As Dave said, it’s not very nice but we have to do what is best for our future/the long run. Unless like Buster said, you are wealthy and have a means of supporting yourself while you wait. Go for the certain one first, then once PMF becomes certain, take it.

  • Dave

    Does anyone know if regional offices of agencies such as HUD are open to a PMF doing a rotation outside of the agency in D.C.? I imagine it might be easier to do a HUD rotation in D.C. if you are coming from a HUD regional office than trying to do a rotation at the State Dept. I realize it’s all budget dependent most likely, but I’m just curious if regional offices are less likely to let you get out of that city.

    • bust

      In my agency (forest service), you can do a rotation at any level (district, forest, region or D.C.)

      • Dave

        That’s awesome! Are you able to do a rotation at another agency as well? I actually got an offer with the FS, but I couldn’t make the location I would be working at feasible.

        • bust

          yes! you can do rotations outside the agency. Yep, FS locations are often remote.

  • Steve

    Applying for the 2014-15 PMF?

    Make sure to check out the Open Thread here – http://pathtopmf.com/2015-pmf-open-thread/

    And updated PMF guide here – http://pathtopmf.com/pmf-application-process/

  • Bill

    If one, as a PMF, is lacking a specific security clearance
    but wants to work towards a position/rotation that requires a higher clearance
    how would you advise one to accomplish this task? Thanks!

  • Btwovegas