SES Development Program Q&As

AAGEN will try to answer any questions received about the SES Development Program in these Q&As so that everybody can benefit from the answers.  New questions and answers will be added as we receive them, so please check this page frequently...

  1. Is there any cost to the program?  The program is available tuition-free to the selected participant and his/her respective agency.  The participant's agency must agree to cover any travel-related costs.  Selected participants must have an active AAGEN membership for the duration of the AAGEN SES Development Program and must volunteer to be a mentor to other lower GS level equivalent candidates.

  2. Does the applicant have to be an Asian American or a Pacific Islander?  No, the program is open to all applicants.  However, one of the program selection criteria is how the applicant supports the mission to promote, expand and support Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leadership in Government.

  3. Does the applicant have to be a current GS-15?  No, federal employees currently at the GS-15 equivalent level or higher and have 1 year of supervisory experience, or GS-14 with five years of supervisory experience may apply for consideration to this year's class of 20 fellows. Non-Federal employees at an equivalent level of executive responsibility and experience as a GS-15 may apply for up to 4 class opening in the program for this year.  Candidates must obtain permission from their managers to participate.

  4. What is needed for the application?  In order to apply, you will need to answer all the questions in the online application, as well as submit your current resume, Executive Development Plan (does not need to be signed by a supervisor), Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs, see ECQ guide and samples here), and up to two optional written references. 

  5. Is supervisor approval required at the time of application submission?  No, you do not need submit evidence of management/supervisor approval at the time of application.  However, once you are selected for the program, you need to provide evidence of supervisory approval or organizational support before acceptance into the program.

  6. When is the application due?  The online applications and your package are due before midnight on January 15, 2017.  The letters of reference are optional.  Applications should be submitted to aagenreg@gmail.com

  7. What is the selection criteria?  The selection panel will review the application packages and score the applicants based on how well they meet the Executive Core Qualifications and support AAGEN's mission to promote, expand and support Asian American and Pacific Islander leadership in Government.

  8. How many participants will be selected?  There will be up to 20 government participants and 4 non-government participants selected for this program.

  9. When will selected participants be announced?  Selected participants will be notified in mid to late March 2017.

  10. How long is the program?  This is a year long program that will start in April and end in April of the following year.

  11. Where will the program be located?  We anticipate that the program training and networking sessions will be conducted in the Washington, DC area so no travel should be necessary if you are based in the DC area.

  12. What is the time commitment for the volunteer mentors?  The exact program curriculum has not been completed defined yet, but most likely the volunteer mentors will participate in the program kickoff (1 day), 4 one-on-one mentoring sessions (~ 1.5 hours each), mock interview and program/mentee assessment (1 day) and any other direct communication with the selected mentee.  In total, the volunteer mentor should set aside 20 to 30 hours for this program.

  13. What is the time commitment for the participants?  The exact program curriculum has not been completed defined yet, but most likely the program curriculum will consist of 2-3 days a quarter of class work, speakers, and networking sessions.  In addition, there will also be 4 one-on-one mentoring sessions (~ 1.5 hours each), as well as any other direct communication with the assigned mentors.  The participant will also have to spend time preparing for the mentoring sessions and doing any "homework" that may be assigned by the trainers and/or mentors.  Applicants should take this program seriously and be prepared to devote the necessary time to this program.

  14. Is a detail required as a part of the program?  No.  However, if a detail opportunity presents itself during the course of the program that is a good match for a participating candidate, the candidate will have the option of taking the detail.  The detail must be approved by the participant's supervisor/agency.

  15. What will the training topics include? The training will include such topics as Personal Branding, Taking Risks, SES ECQs, Communications, Political Mapping, Building Trust, and Mock Interviews.

  16. Will the candidate still need to compete for a SES position after they complete this program?  Yes, to be selected for a SES position, the candidate will still need to compete and have their application approved by a SES QRB (Qualification Review Board).

  17. Will the candidate be guaranteed a SES position after completing this program?  No, candidates will not be guaranteed an SES position after completing this program.  The candidate will have to apply and compete for an SES position on their own merits.  The program will help the candidate prepare their ECQs and resume, provide leadership training, mentoring and networking, and practice for SES position interviews.

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