John Snider

Equinox Staff


As graduation approaches, hopes to find a job in the federal government might be a reality for some in the class 2012.

“The federal government is hiring,” Kim Ainsworth said. Ainsworth, who visited Keene State College on Tuesday in the Mabel Brown Room, spoke about the trends of federal hiring to students.

Ainsworth is the executive director of the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board.

She has been with the federal government for 15 years now and extends her hand to future employees.

“The world is your oyster with the federal government,” Ainsworth later said.

The state of New Hampshire has seen progress in hiring. Just from last September, 4,570 new employees have been hired by the federal government, according to government data.

Ainsworth has been traveling to colleges and public events to share the news on federal hiring.

“The outcome was great today. We estimated 40 students were present,” Mary Pleasanton said.

Pleasanton works for Keene State College’s academic advising program.

“There are positions opening up for college graduates, but it won’t come easy,” Pleasanton added.

“If you haven’t come to see us in the academic advising, take a look into us. It might be wise.”

The Academic Advising Office, which is located on the first floor of the Elliot Center, offers many resources, according to Pleasanton.

“We have a lot of resources on the federal government. So take a look and take advantage of our services,” Pleasanton said.

In New Hampshire, three major sectors of the federal government that are looking for employees are the Veteran Affairs, Army, and State Departments.

“The federal government hires all kinds of groups,” Ainsworth stated.

“I did not know there was work for journalism within the federal government,” Hannah Sundell said.

Sundell, a freshman journalism major at Keene State College, was not alone in this confusion.

“No one knew how to work for the government, but there’s not just one way,” Ainsworth said.

“Most people think you need to major in political science or public administration to work, but that’s not the case”

“You could be a graphic design major, but it would not be called graphic design in the government,” Ainsworth stated.

She also added, “I’ve never found an occupation that the government does not hire, it all depends in the private sector.”

The government currently has 2.1 million employees; it is known for being the biggest employer in the United States, excluding the military and postal service, according to government data.

In addition, 50 percent of those workers in the federal government are eligible to retire. “Data shows us most people retire within 5 years of eligibility,” Ainsworth said.

“It’s a good way to start your career,” Dr. John Mehrtens said. Dr. Mehrtens is a political science professor at Keene State College.

“It is a competition out there, you need to distinguish yourself. Some will continue their schooling through graduate school or law school,” Mehrtens added.

Some students are taking initiative early, such as senior James Taddeo.

Taddeo is one student in the graduating class of 2012 who wouldn’t mind working for the government. “You have to distinguish yourself from others,” Taddeo added.

Taddeo is a political science major. “Internships have really made a difference,” Taddeo said.

Taddeo is hoping to attend graduate school in the fall and eventually earn his Ph.D.

Other key components to separate oneself from others is internships, according to Dr. Mehrtens.

“Two big things: internships and connections.”

Ainsworth is a believer in these two variables as well. A proposed program that is running through congress is the Student Internship Program.

“If you hold a position as an intern for a minimum of 640 hours, you will be granted the Student Internship Program. This will decrease the competitiveness to get a job when out of college.”

Along with the Student Internship Program, Ainsworth also told students about proposed programs such as Schedule-A hiring and Military Spouse Appointing Authority.

Programs such as Schedule-A hiring will allow anyone, including vets, who have a physical, psychological or intellectual disability first priority with work.

Congress is also taking looks into spouses as well. In the Military Spouse Appointing Authority proposal “if you are stationed somewhere else while in the armed forces, your spouse will be able to relocate her work without competition,” Ainsworth said.

It does not end there though. “If you are returning home from the Peace Corps, you will have top priority to get a job.”

But for college students, starting early on your research is wise. If graduating with good academic standing and maintaining a qualified grade point average might even increase your starting pay, according to Ainsworth.

“The federal government also is helping out with student loan repayment. It can be between $10,000-62,000 in loan repayment.”

Ainsworth told students, “Be patient and resistant, and start researching now.” is one of the free governmental websites that allows students to search for jobs of their choosing.

Ainsworth also believes students can start another challenge early on. College students should also be aware of the pictures from social media, like Facebook photos, can hurt your chances of being hired, according to Ainsworth.

“Those pictures don’t just go away.”


John Snider can be contacted at

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