CSUS Spring Government Mixer

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionI attended the third annual CSUS Spring Government Mixer on May 3. This was a useful networking event to attend, like all of the events that the California State University Sacramento Career Center puts on.

The mixer included a panel discussion, table discussions related to government hiring and individual networking with government and non-profit agencies at tables. 15 organizations attended, of which two were non-profits, six were federal agencies and seven were state agencies.

The panel consisted of representatives from the California State Auditor, the California Board of Equalization, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Peace Corps; it was a good mix of agencies and perspectives. After introducing themselves and giving an overview of their agencies, the panelists discussed careers opportunities in their agencies, from entry level to more advanced careers. All noted that there were many opportunities in their agencies, particularly for advancement. Many managers will be retiring soon, so a new generation of public servants is needed to serve California and America’s people. Another question addressed was how were reduced budget affecting the agencies, was answered with positivity. These agencies perform critical functions and while there have been budget impacts, they are still hiring. The California State Auditor and the Board of Equalization are waiting on the budget before committing to plans to hire 20 or more employees each. The final question was to describe an ideal candidate. While the answers varied based on the job class, all of the panelists wanted adaptable employees who worked well as part of a team, had strong analytical abilities and who displayed initiative.

There were five table discussion topics, including resumes, interviews and how to build experience. I sat at one of the two tables on resumes. The CALPERS, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Think Together, EDD and the U.S. Geological Survey representatives explained what they sought in job applications and welcomed input from the students and me. SPN’s resume review and interview training fits what the employers seek. Although many of the suggestions on how to gain experience were aimed at students, we also learn job skills through volunteer work. So don’t forget your value as a volunteer! Securing government employment is a little different from securing private employment but the techniques we use in SPN are valuable in securing any job.

After the table discussions, I talked to most of the attending agencies. I received some good advice on what exams to take, some clarification of job duties and education about organizational missions. This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about government careers. I will continue networking personally and on behalf of SPN with the CSUS Career Center so that their government jobs expertise helps us fulfill the SPN mission of connecting professionals with the right employers.

With the help of Julia Acuna, I’ll be presenting on networking with government agencies and reading state exam and vacancy announcements at our next Government Workshop on May 23. If you are interested, please RSVP with her.

Andrew Franklin is an expert researcher, specializing in environmental policy. He is seeking opportunities where his research and people skills can yield better public policy.