Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

Get Ready to Be Surprised: NLT 2019 Scholarship Winners Talk about Their Experience in Washington

Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

Get Ready to Be Surprised: NLT 2019 Scholarship Winners Talk about Their Experience in Washington

Article excerpt

Ten undergraduate scholarship winners joined AGA for the National Leadership Training (NLT) 2019 in Washington, D.C. Each was paired with an AGA mentor who accompanied them to sessions, helped them network, and shared career advice about working in government. The students' take away: government jobs offer far more variety and opportunity than they ever expected.

"During one of the presentations, I realized the government is positioned right now to revolutionize its systems and become more trustworthy," said Nicole Dowding of Seattle University. "The brainpower around the room at NLT and realizing everyone there is open to change and innovation - it's impressive."

Recipients were selected from a pool of applicants on the strength of teacher recommendations, transcripts and personal essays. Throughout NLT, as speakers offered insights into leadership, change management, innovation and public trust, the students' initial idea of boring government work and dead-end careers began to evaporate, leaving them curious and excited about service to the American public. "I thought of government as antiquated," admitted Savoy King of Cameron University in Oklahoma.

"I was surprised by how innovative it is - I mean, blockchain, bots. They are really trying to move forward and embrace technology. I didn't realize it before."

Other students were struck by the possibility of meaningful work. …

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