Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, February 6, 2012

Two students make finalist stage of Presidential Management Fellows Program

Two graduating public affairs students reached the finalist stage of the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Program that places recent graduates with federal agencies for two-year assignments. It accepts applicants who are committed to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.

Katherine Sydor, a student in the Master of Public Affairs degree program, is considering which agencies she will target as she continues the PMF process. "Given my interest in tax policy, the Treasury Department is an obvious choice," Sydor says. "It's important for me to find a position that matches my policy interests, but I am also concerned that I end up in a good working environment that will provide both mentoring and substantive work experience. I am attempting to reach out to my network now to get advice on different offices to check out within federal agencies."

Andrew Peppard, a student in the Master of International Public Affairs degree program, is also networking to consider his options as a PMF. "Given my seven years of military service, the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security are interesting possibilities," Peppard says. He wants to stay in the local area while his wife finishes her nursing degree, which he knew would be a constraint if he was finalist. "My first preference is to stay in the Madison or Milwaukee area for the next few years, but I thought I would apply and see what happens," Peppard says. "You never know what opportunities may arise."

"The La Follette School is delighted with this outcome," says associate director Donald Moynihan. "This year saw more applicants than ever, with fewer available slots. This was a real achievement, and a testament to Katherine and Andrew."