The Pepperdine School of Public Policy is dedicated to supporting students and alumni as they develop career strategies and prepare for their careers.
Several times each semester, panels of alumni return to campus to facilitate informal conversations students about internship and career experiences and offer job search tips. Alumni mentors working in similar areas of interest can be matched with students to provide advice and create future networking opportunities. In addition, alumni mixers are held each year in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to bring a broad cross-section of alumni together with current students.
Students may take one of several personality and attitude assessments, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These tools often help a student enhance his or her understanding of personal motivators, natural strengths, and potential areas for growth. It also helps one understand characteristics unique to each personality type, while providing insight on how these characteristics influence an individual's way of communicating and interacting with others. The assessments are used for a variety of purposes including career exploration.
Career Services helps facilitate individual and group summer internships around the city, nation, and throughout the world that enable students to apply their classroom work to actual public policy. For support, a large computer lab and library, the Career Resources Center, has been dedicated to student exploration and staff is on hand to assist. In addition, Career Services maintains a search database of student and alumni requests and conducts weekly in-depth web and networking searches to match requests to employer needs. Job alerts are sent as emails and are posted on the students' private School of Public Policy Web site.
These information sessions brought to campus by management recruiters give students the opportunity to ask questions about the "real" nature of work and discover details about an organization’s application process. In the past year, organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the RAND Corporation, and the California State Auditor, among others, actively recruited on campus.
Student Services provides financial aid entrance and exit counseling and a comprehensive series of financial management workshops, including debt management, loan consolidation, and long-term financial planning.
Private sessions can be scheduled with the manager of career services to review résumés and cover letters to tailor submissions to specific internships and jobs. Follow-up coaching is also available to help students grapple with stress interviews, salary negotiations, and the first few weeks on the job. These services continue after graduation to support alumni in their future job transitions.
An annual interviewing workshop introduces the key skills necessary to make a great first impression, including preparation, attire, appearance, best answers to tough questions, and how to follow-up. For more detailed guidance, students may make individual appointments for videotaped practice interviews.
This annual series provides guidance on job search strategies and tactics, including personal skills assessment, crafting a professional resume, and attention-getting cover letters and drafting masterful writing samples. Expert guest speakers lecture on business networking and current trends in the job market.
The Presidential Management Intern program, established by Executive Order in 1977, is designed to attract to the Federal service outstanding individuals from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Eligible individuals are graduate students who are completing or expect to complete a master’s or doctoral-level degree and have a commitment to a career in public policy. Finalists receive an initial two-year appointment and are eligible for a permanent government position and accelerated promotional opportunities. Many School of Public Policy graduates have received these prestigious internships and it is a part of the program to pair prospective Presidential Management fellows with PMI alums in an intensive preparation course. In 2006, the seminar was extended to help students applying for the local government equivalents.
A three-part series is offered early in the first semester. Designed to help incoming students manage their time more effectively, it has been a boon to students struggling with the more rigorous demands of graduate school.
A weekly electronic newsletter keeps students informed of important dates, student services' events, newly available internship and job postings, and more.
Various other workshops useful to a student’s career and internship search are held throughout the year, including the "Communication Skills in the Workplace," "Business Etiquette," and the "Careers in Public Policy" workshops.