Considering a career in public service?

Historic City News learned Friday that Governor Charlie Crist has re-launched the Gubernatorial Fellows Web site and has invited college and university students to apply for the 2010-11 Gubernatorial Fellows program.

If you are a college or university student in Florida, considering a career in public service, this program can offer you firsthand, high-level experience and insight into how government operates.

The Gubernatorial Fellows program has been around for five years now and gives participants a unique opportunity to work alongside state government’s top staff for two semesters.

Locally, Flagler College offers undergraduates a Bachelor of Public Administration degree; excellent preparation for your postgraduate study.

If you are enrolled at a Florida college or university as an upperclassman (junior or senior) or a graduate student, you are eligible to apply for a Gubernatorial Fellowship. According to information received by Historic City News from Governor Crist’s office, “applicants should exhibit strong leadership, written and oral communication skills, community activism and a desire to serve the people of Florida”. Approximately 12 students from around the state will be selected based on a competitive application process.

The Gubernatorial Fellows program provides students who are interested in public service with a unique opportunity to gain experience and exposure by working in key areas of government.

Gubernatorial Fellows are assigned to the Executive Office of the Governor and the Governor’s agencies, based on their major or area of concentration. Fellows work a minimum of 20 hours per week and are paid for their time on the job.

Unlike other opportunities available to public administration students, Fellows participate in a weekly lecture series, where they meet face-to-face with prominent leaders; including Governor Crist, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Cabinet officers, agency heads and other top government officials.

“No work is more rewarding than public service, and I applaud the 59 Fellows during the past five years who have learned more about how government works,” said Governor Crist when announcing the 2010-11 programs. “I invite college students throughout the Sunshine State to explore the opportunities available through the Gubernatorial Fellows program.”

Fellows also participate in policy study trips throughout Florida and in Washington, D.C. These additional commitments are designed to broaden the Fellows’ exposure to state government and enhance the experience of all participants.

The Fellows Web site – www.FloridaFellows.com – includes information about the expectations and requirements of the program, as well as testimonials from Fellows alumni. Interested students must apply online, and the site includes complete information about the recruitment process.

“What I learned about state government and how it works as a Gubernatorial Fellow opened the doors for many unforeseen opportunities,” said Torey Alston, Class III Fellow and executive director of the Office of Supplier Diversity within the Florida Department of Management Services since 2007. “The real-world experience and professional development gained in this program is second to none.”

“The program provided extraordinary opportunities to participate in real governance, to sit at the table with current and future state leaders,” said Tyler Cathey, Class III Fellow and associate with Holland and Knight.

Applications are due by March 12, 2010. The Fellowship will follow the university calendar starting in August 2010 and ending in May 2011. The Governor’s screening and selection committee will announce the program participants during the first week of June 2010.

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