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The Presidential Management Fellows Application Opens Soon!

The open application period for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program for 2022 is fast approaching! The link to the application will be available on USAJOBS beginning at 12 noon (ET) on September 28 and will close at 12 noon (ET) on October 12. You do not need a USAJOBS account to apply to the PMF Program.

If you’re interested in working for a federal agency, the PMF program is an excellent and prestigious opportunity for you to gain industry-specific experience in your preferred field.

What Is the Presidential Management Fellows Program?

The Presidential Management Fellows program is the federal government’s premier leadership development program at the entry level. It is open to graduate- and professional-level (such as a J.D. or Ph.D.) students and recent graduates in all academic disciplines.

Each year, thousands of applicants compete for this two-year, full-time, paid fellowship program – and it’s easy to see why. The fellowship includes:

  • 160 hours of formal interactive training
  • At least one developmental assignment of four to six months
  • Rigorous leadership development and an individual development plan
  • Assignment of a senior-level mentor
  • Optional rotational opportunities at other federal agencies
  • Potential benefits upon appointment, such as public transportation subsidies or telework
  • An opportunity to non-competitively convert to a term or permanent federal position upon the successful completion of program requirements

As you might imagine, this extraordinary opportunity receives far more applications than it has slots to fill. For the PMF Class of 2021 program, 6,818 people applied to the program, but only 551 Finalists were selected – a rate of only 8%! We are proud to say that four of those Finalists were AMU and APU graduate students and alumni.

How to Prepare for the 2022 PMF Program

Becoming a Presidential Management Fellow is a two-stage process. Applicants must first compete to be chosen as a Finalist. Once Finalists have been selected, they have one year to find and secure a PMF appointment with a federal agency, at which time they will be considered a Fellow.

While the application process is not complicated, it takes several hours. It also requires documents that could take some time to gather and prepare, so it’s a good idea to start getting ready now.

The only special hiring authority to be used during the Finalist selection process is Veterans’ Preference. Not all veterans qualify for preference, though, so it’s important to find out ahead of time if you do so you can have your documentation ready when you apply. Visit the FedsHireVets’ page on veterans’ preference for more information. For those who qualify, the PMF program has more details on how veterans’ preference is used to make Finalist determinations.

You can visit the PMF website to learn more about the program, including full eligibility requirements, how candidates are selected and what documents are needed to apply. You can also receive updated news and resources as they become available.

In addition, the Presidential Management Fellows website has the PMF Applicant Handbook, which is designed to provide a general overview of the program, the application process and the assessment process. This handbook will be a valuable tool in your preparation.

Within the handbook, you will find important dates, FAQs, application tips and my favorite, The Assessment Preparation Guide. This guide provides important details on the assessment, as well as some sample questions so you can get an idea of what each section of the assessment might entail.

Presidential Management Fellow Webinars in September

The PMF program will host several informational webinars throughout the month of September, so there will be many opportunities to hear from program personnel and ask questions. It’s important to note that although many of the webinars will focus on a particular topic, each webinar is open to students and alumni of all disciplines.

You can register for one of the following webinars in advance:

  • September 2 from 2-3 pm (ET)
  • September 7 from 4-5 pm (ET): emphasis on STEM
  • September 14 from 3-4 pm (ET): emphasis on Public Health and Finance
  • September 16 from 4-5 pm (ET): focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • September 21 from 2-3 pm (ET): focus on Cybersecurity
  • September 23 from 3-4 pm (ET)
  • September 27 from 2-4 pm (ET): open forum for questions

I will also be hosting an informational webinar for our students and graduates on September 7 at 1 pm (ET). Register in advance to attend.

For over 40 years, the PMF program has helped students and alumni just like you to launch and develop their career. With enough preparation and some luck, you too could someday be a Presidential Management Fellow!

If you would like help with your resume or have further questions, please reach out to Career Services at

Rachel Dhaliwal is a Senior Career Coach and serves as the point of contact for those interested in applying for the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) program. In addition to supporting students and alumni throughout their career journeys, she trains and mentors coaching staff. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Troy University, as well as the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), Certified Career Services Professional (CCSP) and the EQ-i 2.0/EQ 360 Certification credentials.

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