Career Services

Career Services

The Office of Career & Alumni Services aspires to create a supportive environment that facilitates professional growth by providing job search strategies, individualized guidance, and career programming geared towards students securing successful futures through intentional choices.

Resources

HireMizzouTigers  powered by Handshake is a career management system that allows students and alumni to:

  • View job postings
  • Find and register for events
  • Search Employers and Contacts

The Public Policy Handbook lists internships and fellowships outside of Missouri.

For more resources, see the "Job & Internship Search Resources" tab below.

Services by Appointment

  • Email tippettmosbyl@missouri.edu to set up one-on-one consultations for:
    • Resume/cover letter reviews
    • Mock interviews
    • Career or job search plan
    • Connections/introductions to professionals in specific fields

MPA Travel Awards

The Truman School of Public Affairs offers current MPA students travel funding of up to $250 per year, contingent on available funding. These awards provide travel funds for graduate students, in good standing, who are attending professional conferences.  For more information on how to apply, please see the box below.

Olivia Piontek (left) and Chaley Kirkpatrick (right) in Washington, D.C. Olivia interned at the Urban Institute and Chaley at the Center for American Progress.

Most Truman School graduate students are required to complete an internship.  Internship experiences facilitate self-directed learning, and can become an invaluable first step toward a public service career. Students without significant public sector or nonprofit work experience must complete an internship. Mid-career and online students are exempt.  The goals of the internship are to use the competencies and skills taught in the Truman School, such as:

  • Research and analysis
  • Planning
  • Organizing programs or events
  • Data analysis
  • Strategic planning
  • The application of specific skills such as the preparation of statistical reports, written analyses and oral presentations

Intern supervisors serve as mentors, meet regularly with the intern, provide feedback and present an evaluation of performance to the internship coordinators at the end of the internship.

Requirements

Students must complete 360 hours, which typically takes about 12 weeks.

  • Full-time students usually complete an internship during the summer semester, although part-time placements during the academic year are allowed with approval by the internship program administrator.
  • Students can accept a paid or non-paid internships, and these details should be discussed directly between the host organization and the intern.
  • Students enroll in Public Affairs 8280 (3 credit hours) during the semester they will complete their internship. 
  • At the end of their internships, students complete a report and present a poster about their experience.

Finding an Internship

A good internship helps broaden your experiences and allows for personal growth.  To find an internship that is right for you:

  • Talk to second-year students.  They have a wealth of experience, which can help you identify and land a good internship. Attend the Poster Presentations of last year’s interns to learn more about their experiences.
  • Utilize the Office of Career & Alumni Services. The office can assist you with contact information for organizations that you find interesting. The Public Policy Handbook also lists many internship opportunities.
  • Start looking early.  Narrow your search by the winter break and begin applying in January. If you’re looking at internships outside Missouri, in Washington, D.C. or overseas, start around October. Most students accept their internship between late February and early April.

Internship Locations

From 2016 through 2018, Truman School students have secured internships in the following organizations:

City of Cedar Rapids

City of Centrailia

Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM)

Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Center for Children and Families Across Cultures/Center for Family Policy & Research

Cherng Leadership Academy

Columbia Land Trust, City of Columbia

Columbia Second Chance

Downtown Community Improvement District

First Chance for Children

Heart of Missouri United Way

Institute of Public Policy

Institute of Public Policy

Missouri Society of Respiratory Care

Mizzou Advancement

Mizzou Spirit/Campus Activities

MU Office of Service Learning/Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Office of Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (Columbia)

Truman School of Public Affairs (RAMS & Mizzou Alternative Breaks)

Truman Youth Leadership Academy

University of Missouri Council for Advancement and Support of Education

US Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development

US Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development

Urban Leaders

Urban Leaders – Denver

Let America Vote

University of California Irvine – School of Education

GPS Impact

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Missouri Department of Social Services

Missouri Department of Social Services – Children’s Division

Missouri Department of Social Services – Children’s Division

Missouri Future Farmers of America Association

Missouri KIDS COUNT

Missouri Office of the Public Counsel

Missouri State Employees Retirement System

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Quinton Lucas for KC

US Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Benefit Center

Sprint

Clackamas County, Business and Community Services Department

Sseko Designs

Wonderland Camp

Missouri Botanical Garden

US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Effective Leadership Academy

American Scholastic

Association of American Universities

Center For American Progress

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Urban Institute

Capstone Projects

In the capstone course (PUB_AF 8211), students complete an applied research project that builds upon the knowledge and skills developed throughout the MPA program.

Students:

  • Focus on a real problem facing a public or nonprofit policymaker or manager
  • Formulate a conceptual framework for analyzing the problem
  • Collect and analyze relevant data
  • Demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge gained through research to develop alternative solutions to a problem, evaluate their effectiveness, and make recommendations to decision makers.

Past projects have included

  • Study on the Barriers to Safe and Affordable Housing for the City of Columbia
    • This capstone team surveyed low-income residents to identify the most significant barriers to safe and affordable housing in our community. The results of this survey will be used by the city to prioritize use of Housing and Urban Development funds.
  • Board of Directors Development Plan for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Missouri
    • The capstone team analyzed the recruitment, development and engagement of the board of directors to recommend strategies to invigorate the board and increase involvement of its members.
  • Missouri Department of Corrections Study on the Effectiveness of Vocational Training Program
    • Using Department of Corrections data on the employment status of recently released inmates, this team conducted an evaluation of the vocational training program. Their objective was to determine whether or not inmate completion of a Department of Corrections sponsored vocational training program led to higher rates of employment compared to prisoners who did not complete vocational training.

The capstone experience in the MPA program, PA 8211, is not required for students enrolled in the Global Management or Mid-Career options.

In addition to the Public Policy Handbook for internships and the general job posting boards (Monster, Indeed, etc.) there are several good resources for exploring internship and job opportunities more focused on the public service arena.  Though by no means an exhaustive list of resources, here are a few ideas to get you started on your internship/job search. 

Federal government jobs

If you are interested in working for the federal government, make sure to create a profile on USAJOBS where you can make your résumé visible to recruiters.  You can save jobs, save and automate job searches, and manage your application documents.  You should not use your standard one or two-page résumé to apply for federal jobs.  USAJOBS has tips for completing a federal résumé at https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/faq/application/documents/resume/what-to-include/ or you can contact the Career Services office for assistance.

The Partnership for Public Service also has information about applying for federal jobs at https://gogovernment.org/

State government jobs

Most states have a job application portal accessible from their main website (which is the two letter state abbreviation-dot-gov, e.g., mo.gov).  From here, you will likely find an application portal for state government jobs.  Each state website is structured differently, so you may have to do some digging.  Keep in mind, these state sites may host jobs only for a state’s executive branch agencies.  Separately elected officials, independent agencies, universities, the judicial and legislative branches, and other state-level agencies may host their own job sites.

The official U.S. Government website usa.gov also has a wealth of information about states and territories.

Local government jobs

In addition to accessing the website of a particular city to search for jobs, most states have a state municipal league.  These websites for these organizations often host a job-posting service for their members.  The National League of Cities has a directory of state municipal leagues with hotlinks to each league’s website.

International

GoinGlobal  helps job and internship seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. The site includes professional organizations, links to job posting sites and cultural norms/expectations concerning the job search and the working environment. Going Global also features profiles/guides on many U.S. cities.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) focuses on administering civilian foreign aid and ending extreme global poverty. 

Nonprofits

Idealist is one of the most popular resources for finding opportunities in the nonprofit sector – internships, jobs and volunteer.   

If you are interested in the Kansas City area, Nonprofit Connect is a regional association serving more than 5,000 professional members from over 700 organizations representing local, regional and national nonprofits of all sizes as well as community-minded businesses and foundations.  They host a regional nonprofit job board. 

If you are interested in nonprofits in the St. Louis area, the new Rome Group non-profit career board allows for the creation of custom email job alert messages.  You can create alerts based on your personal job preferences and search criteria.  You can manage and add alerts to your account at any time.

Other

LinkedIn.  More and more employers are using LinkedIn to advertise jobs and recruit.  Make sure to polish up your LinkedIn profile.  If you would like assistance or feedback on how you might improve your profile, contact the Career Services office. 

Daybook bills itself as the “leading job search resource for political, policy and non-profit professionals.”  Access to some postings is free, but full use of the site requires a subscription (currently $5/month).  You can filter by location, job focus and position type (internship, entry level, mid-level, senior level).

Professional organizations often host a job-posting service for members and also provide a number of opportunities for networking.  Three of the most prominent organizations in the public service field – NASPAA, APPAM and ASPA – sponsor PublicServiceCareers.org, a website for finding jobs, career advice and information on degrees in public service and public affairs.

Have you found a great resource you would like to share? 

Pass it along to Leanne Tippett Mosby at tippettmosbyl@missouri.edu and we can expand our list!

Award Process

Students must develop their own Application Packet.  Applications must not exceed two pages and must be received a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the event. Awards will be made on an ongoing basis until the annual budget has been expended.

Please include the following items:

  • Student name
  • Conference/event title, date and location
  • Brief description of the Conference and why you would like to attend. In what way(s) will your planned travel experience deepen your understanding of a specific interest area or assist you in your career development.
  • Include a full budget of expenses to be incurred (Funding is in the form of post-travel reimbursements so receipts must be provided to the departmental fiscal officer in compliance with university regulations.)
  • Explain how you plan to engage at the conference:
    • Oral or poster presentation
    • Network with possible collaborators/employers
    • Meet and network with stimulating thinkers
    • Network with other professors (to explore future graduate training or postdoctoral opportunities)
    • Other (please explain)

Submit completed proposals to Leanne Tippett Mosby via email at tippettmosbyl@missouri.edu. Please note we will limit student applications for a particular conference and will provide funding to an individual student only once per fiscal year.

Post Travel Requirement for Reimbursement

Prior to receiving reimbursement for your travel, you must submit a one page typed narrative or blog post (400 words) describing your conference experience.  Send the completed narrative/blog post to Leanne Tippett Mosby, Director of Career & Alumni Services, tippettmosbyl@missouri.edu. In your one page narrative/blog post, please highlight the following (as appropriate):

  • What contacts were made and how might they influence your research/policy interest, your future graduate education, and/or career opportunities?
  • In what way(s) did your recent travel experience further your interdisciplinary understanding of your area of study?
  • Describe any potential opportunities that may arise due to your attendance.
  • What new research or ideas did you learn about and how might it impact your current or career direction?
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned?

Recruiting at the Truman School

Thank you for considering students at the Truman School of Public Affairs to meet your hiring needs.  To reach targeted candidates with the skillset you seek, we offer several platforms to enhance your recruiting efforts.

Post a Job or Internship

Post your vacancy on HireMizzouTigers powered by HANDSHAKE.  This is an effective way to reach students  and alumni. The postings with the best candidate response include a robust job description, clear application instructions, and a valid website where candidates can research your organization. Log in or register for a new account at HireMizzouTigers

Attend the CAFNR/A&S Career Fair

The Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs is part of the College of Arts & Science.  The College of Arts & Science and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources hold a joint career fair in the spring and fall.  The next career fair will be on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from noon until 4pm in the Mizzou Rec Center/Historic Brewer Courts area.  The fair is well-attended by a wide variety of students representing a multitude of disciplines.  Employers and students can register for this event through Handshake.

Conduct On-Campus Interviews or Visit With Students

On-campus interviews help employers identify candidates early, access diverse applicants, meet faculty and staff, and increase visibility.  We can also set up a brown bag lunch or morning session with Truman School students to learn more about your organization.

Recruitment Policies

The Truman School adheres to the campus standards and uses the same policies as the MU Career Center. Please access the general information, professional conduct, disclaimer, job posting information, and employer access information here.