K-School Draws Top Number Of Federal Government Interns

Eighteen students at the Kennedy School of Government will be eligible for positions in the federal government upon graduation, as a result of a competition in which the K-School had more finalists than any other school in the country.

Two of the 18 will serve as alternates.

The K-School has consistently supplied large numbers of graduates to the Presidential Management Internship (PMI) competition since the Federal Office of Personnel began offering PMI fellowships in 1977.

The Program is an excellent way to get into the federal government. Judith Kugel, associate director for counseling and career services at the K-School said yesterday. She said the interns can bypass the government's usual lengthy hiring procedure, adding. "People have been calling my office all week waiting to find out who the K-School MPIs are."

Second-year public policy student Mary L. Moore agreed that winning the internship gives her "a certain security for job hunting."


Finalists usually receive offers from several federal government agencies. Once hired, they work for two years before receiving the option of a third year and the possibility for tenure in the government. Hiring for finalists is not automatic, but the majority are offered jobs, and alternates usually find government positions as well, Kugel said.

She added that government agencies have already contacted many of the K-School finalists.

Competition for the positions begins with a lengthy application. Of the 32 applicants from the K-School, selected semi-finalists went through a day-long interview process. Interviewers asked them to simulate a problem solving group dynamics situation, write a memo and prepare an oral brief under time restrictions.

"It wasn't really that hard at all," finalist Peter H. Henderson said, "Most of the questions were pretty similar throughout the interviewing-about cutting back and how to do it. We had a major project on food stamps program as first year students which taught us a lot about that."

Second year student Matthew H. Tueller said that the K-School core curriculum "seemed designed for the type of material the PMI interviewers asked for."

Most finalists said they do not know exactly what agency they would like to work for next year but hope to pursue the field of interest they studied at the K-School. "I'm interested in health policy. "Joe Cislowski, an alternate, said "I think the federal government has a large role in that area. The Reagan Administration has cut a lot of federal health Programs. The PMI would enable me to have a position that no one would otherwise be able to get.