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Aim Hire: Living the Life: Rising to the Occasion


If you’re considering a career with Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS), it’s only natural you’d be curious about what life is like for the 170,000 civilian employees of the world’s most powerful Air Force and what steps they took to get to where they are today.

Your timing couldn’t be better.

In this month’s Aim Hire webinar, Living the Life: Rising to the Occasion, three AFCS employees share their tips and advice on landing a job with the Air Force. You’ll see how an AFCS internship can be a launching pad for a lifelong and rewarding career, as well as how easy it is to make the transition from the corporate world.

  • Shannon Jenkins is the Division Chief for Acquisitions with the Air Force’s Mission Partner Capabilities Office (MPCO) in Washington DC.
  • Audrey Lee is an AFCS Contract Specialist supporting engineering services at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
  • Cesar Lopez-Zelaya is a Nonlinear Optics and Lasers Researcher and PALACE Acquire (PAQ) Intern with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

You’re not going to want to miss a single minute, but if you’re pressed for time, the clips below are a must see:

At 7:33, Shannon shares how PAQ Internship Program propelled her into her current position in Program Management, offering numerous training opportunities and the advantages of non-competitive promotions.

As a current PAQ intern, at 11:12, Cesar outlines his experience with the program and details what a typical day looks like as a Nonlinear Optics and Lasers Researcher. Spoiler alert: The day of a Nonlinear Optics and Lasers Researcher is anything but typical.

At 14:46, Audrey recounts her path from Big-5 Accounting Firms to AFCS and the appeal of having true work-life balance versus the wake-work, sleep-work, repeat-routine so common in the private sector.

One of the most appealing hiring tools AFCS has in its arsenal is the ability to place qualified candidates directly into mission-critical positions through Direct Hiring Authority (DHA). At 17:58, host Bob Hall explains the benefits of landing a DHA position and how to go about doing it.

At 26:04, the three panelists go into detail on the perks of having so many exciting career fields to choose from as well as the advantage of having dedicated Air Force mentors who help you zero in on just the right occupation and who guide you through AFCS’s needed projects and processes so you can achieve your goals, both personal and professional.

Next, the three guests take turns sharing what they appreciate most about their positions, from using Air Force recreation facilities, ideal work-life balance, unlimited training opportunities, federal holidays, health insurance, and retirement benefits to playing an important role in keeping the nation secure and making the world a better place. You can see that entire discussion at 30:36.

Then, at 41:39, Cesar shares his advice on what steps you can take as an undergraduate during your college years that can lead to the real-world experience hiring managers are looking for.

And finally, at 51:19, Bob explains what the application process looks like behind the scenes and what you can expect after you submit your application as far as timing.

RESOURCE LINKS:

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. More information on COVID-19 requirements may be found at:
https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/faq/vaccinations/ .