The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Regional Office (ARO) recently hosted a virtual career advice panel for the agency’s summer interns focusing on tips and strategies for landing a job at the SEC. The event featured ARO Regional Director Nekia Hackworth Jones, Division of Corporation Finance Associate Director Cicely LaMothe, Division of Enforcement Staff Attorney Joshua Hess, and Division of Examinations Assistant Director for Operations Sue Budd.
The panelists gave advice to SEC interns on how to navigate the competitive federal job process. They recommended keeping USAJobs and LinkedIn profiles up to date and signing up for job alerts on the SEC website. The panelists also emphasized that the SEC seeks applicants for a variety of roles, not just lawyers and accountants. However, it is vital that applicants study a job posting carefully and consider if their skills align with those required in a job description. Ultimately, recruiters are looking for applicants who are adaptable and have transferrable skills such as strong critical thinking and good communication.
The panel discussion then shifted to the SEC interview process, which is structured to see how applicants respond to workplace scenarios. Because this may be different from interview styles that interns previously encountered, the panelists encouraged them to practice mock interviews, prepare by thinking of major achievements, challenging times, and useful skills, and bring questions to ask interviewers at the end.
The panelists concluded the session by sharing general advice to interns, encouraging them to apply for government jobs early and often, and do not get discouraged. Applicants who are not selected for a position can always contact human resources and ask for constructive feedback. Applicants should use the feedback to develop more skills and improve chances of employment in the future. Finally, interns starting their careers should take risks and explore new opportunities whenever possible.
An audio recording of the event is available.
Modified: Aug. 15, 2022