Class of 2013 | College of Agriculture, Natural and Human Sciences | Agriculture-business
Leslie Hughes will have a very busy spring semester at Tennessee State University.
Not only is the senior agriculture-business major taking 18 credit hours, but she is also an intern at the State Capitol, where she will be working for two State Representatives.
If that wasn’t enough to keep the 20-year old busy for the next five months, she has added one more activity…serving as a U.S. Forest Service Student Ambassador for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Hughes is one of 10 students selected from across the nation specifically by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and the U.S. Forest Service for a unique job recruitment effort with the Forest Service. The Forest Service is looking to Hughes to help promote a wide-range of occupations including forestry technicians, law enforcement officers, engineers, program analysts, biological science technicians and more.
Despite the array of opportunities, the Forest Service and other federal agencies have trouble attracting students because of a lack of knowledge about job opportunities and how to apply for them.
“I’m extremely happy about this opportunity to help my fellow students,” said Hughes. “I have been blessed the entire time I’ve been at the University and see this as a way for me to give back.”
A unique recruiting tool for federal agencies, the Ambassadors program enlists students to promote job and internship opportunities to their fellow classmates on campuses nationwide. The Partnership created the Ambassadors program in response to research that found the best messengers to reach students about federal employment opportunities are their peers.
Hughes has seen her friends struggle to find jobs and knows that through this opportunity, she will be able to help navigate the sometimes-confusing process of landing a job with the U.S. government.
“It can be a very cumbersome process,” said Hughes, who hails from Guthrie, Okla. “Many of the students here don’t know about the process or get frustrated with it since there is so much to do. I see myself as a helpful source to those beginning the search and application process, and to help them land a job.”
As a Forest Service Student Ambassador, Hughes serves as an on-campus resource for Forest Service job and internship information, providing “insider” tips on where to find and how to land positions within the agency. Hughes is already hard at work, conducting presentations and workshops at Tennessee State University and collaborating with career services representatives and faculty members.
Hughes already knows about how to land a job with a government agency. A recipient of a scholarship through the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program, she will graduate this spring after only three years and has a job lined up with the USDA in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., or Kentucky.
“I’m excited about my future and the opportunities that I have been given,” added Hughes. “I am paying it forward and helping others do the same.”
The Forest Service Student Ambassadors program is part of the Partnership for Public Service’s Federal Student Ambassadors program. Through the Partnership’s Call to Serve initiative, the organization partners with more than 750 campuses and 75 federal agencies to inspire a new generation to serve.
In addition to the Forest Service, the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development and Interior, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office participate in the Ambassadors program.