Daily Dose: OPM Chief tours colleges encouraging graduates to consider a career in public service

It’s a daunting task getting into the federal workforce. Luckily the Office of Personnel Management Pathways Program can help recent graduates get there. OPM Chief John Berry spoke at the University of Maryland, College Park’s graduation ceremony this past Sunday about his career in the federal workforce, hoping to inspire some graduating seniors to look towards federal employment.

Personnel Chief tells U-Md. graduates to ‘heal the nation’

As the highest-ranking gay political appointee, Berry also commented how his career being possible is a testament to the utility of truth. In his speech, Berry proclaimed that “minds do change. That is the value of truth.” He continued, “It lays a bedrock of certainty that the sand of half-truths cannot rival.” He largely attributed his successful career to Frank Kameny, a gay rights activist who died last year and pioneered a movement in the 1950’s to stop gay federal employees from being dismissed from public service on grounds of their sexuality.

Berry will continue touring the US to speak at five other colleges commencement ceremonies.

Will Berry’s commencement ceremony tour be successful in turning on recent graduates to a career in public service?


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Samuel Lovett

It’s going to be easier to entice new graduates into public service when public sector benefit reforms are finished. I know that most people don’t go into government work for the benefits, as can be seen in this recent blog discussion, but the bad press and uncertainty is enough to tip some grads’ interests toward a different future.

Also, does anyone know which specific area of the public sector jobs is actively hiring, besides cybersecurity?

Michael Stevens

That’s the problem. How can a recent graduate with little to no professional experience or preference points make a CERT list applying through USA Jobs? Very rare. The Pathways program is here for students and recent graduates, but it is going to take a good while before agencies embrace and use it. Graduates will also need the economy to pick up, agency hiring freezes lifted and restraints loosened. Just bad timing.

However, I heard Director Berry speak at Cal State Fullerton last month and man was he good! I was motivated to find a second job in government! I guarantee the 300+ students in attendance ran back to their dorm rooms, got on USA Jobs and found openings to apply to. Good luck making it to an interview…