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Ferris to Host Department of State Informational Session

pictureFerris State University students with an interest in working for the red, white and blue can hear firsthand information from William “Dale” Downer, a retired Foreign Service Officer, who has more than 26 years of government service.

The university will host a Department of State Employer Informational Session on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in Room 102 of the Granger Center for Construction and HVACR at 6 p.m. During the session, Downer will discuss federal government work opportunities. His presentation is open to students of all academic levels and majors. Students in Facility Management, HVACR and Construction Management are encouraged to attend.

“You can read a lot of how-to information, but when it comes to impressing employers it is great for students to hear it from an actual employer,” said Angie Roman, coordinator of Career Services at Ferris. “There is not a better expert.”

According to Partner Research, the federal government will be hiring more than 50,000 people during the next year, Roman pointed out. She believes federal job opportunities are a viable employment option for Ferris students and emphasized that there will be more than 60,000 national and international internships available to students.

“Recently, due to the expiration of stimulus monies and changes in policies on who can be hired for what positions, General Services Administration has asked about hosting interns as that route will better match with the new requirements for entry-level hires,” said Joe Samson, an Architectural Technology and Facilities Management professor at Ferris.

Downer is expected to discuss student career paths that include international positions. Roman believes Downer’s presentation will have educational value for Ferris students as they consider career opportunities.

“There are a lot of misconceptions regarding working for the federal government,” Roman said. “Hearing from an experienced employer may clear those misconceptions up and even influence students to consider a new career path.”

According to Samson, there are many top-level men and women working for the federal government who are close to retirement.

“A lot of large organizations and government agencies will soon face a shortage of seasoned facility management staff,” he said. “This is especially true in government agencies.”

Downer’s presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Anyone interested in additional information from Downer can pursue individual discussion time on Thursday, Feb. 24. Downer will be available to meet with individuals from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Rankin Student Center Room 135.