This Summer With The Partnership for Public Service

Katelynn Henics, COL ’25, Bullard, TX

This summer I had the opportunity to intern for the Partnership for Public Service on the Federal Executive Networks team (FEN). Firstly, the Partnership for Public Service is meant to help the federal government recruit and retain federal talent especially in the younger generation. Their main goal is to build a stronger government for a better democracy and through that to increase the public’s trust in the federal government. Working at this organization made me realize just how important public service is to this country and I have also learned many of the important aspects that make this goal even remotely achievable.

Through working on the Federal Executive Networks team, my portfolio included the Strategic Advisors to Government Executive (SAGE), General Counsel Exchange (GCX) and Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Management (ASAM). The Federal Executive Networks team in general does interact with multiple departments within the Partnership so I also had good exposure to teams like Federal Workforce, Center for Presidential Transition and Government Affairs whether through all staff meetings, FEN meetings or just collaboration to achieve common goals.

I took extensive notes for each meeting held by each group and sent them to all the people on my team to distribute the information talked about.. For both the GCX and ASAM there were bi-monthly convening meetings that discussed different topics relevant to events in the federal government. For example, a few of these meetings covered topics such as the space utilization issue as there is guidance being sent out from the White House and OMB about return to work or other topics such as the Supreme Court Cases that have implications across all the federal agencies like the SFFA vs. Harvard and UNC affirmative action case. Through all of the meetings held by these groups I learned about what was happening within each agency and how they were working together to solve this problem.

SAGE is probably where most of my work was centered. I helped with the 20th SAGE anniversary that had about 60 people present and occupied much of my time before it occurred. I worked on creating an extensive Word document with all the people attending and their current and former roles as well as a headshot to ensure that Partnership knew who would be in attendance. For this event I also worked on name tags, day of preparation things, and decision making on layout and programs as well as drafted panel questions for the speakers that covered the new Inflation Reduction Act. For SAGE I also wrote a weekly blurb that allowed me to understand what these retired federal leaders are doing after their time in government. For a large part of my internship I was assigned to go and update the SAGE database on Excel which also helped me strengthen a foundation for excel and explore creative ways to insert and understand data. The overview of the SAGE 20th Anniversary Event can be found here.

Overall, the Partnership and the FEN team exposed me to more aspects of the federal government and helped me further develop skills such as stronger, more concise writing, communication on a team in a professional setting, working on different projects and groups all with their own individual tasks, and of course how to build connections with people that want to help me become one of the next generation of young people in public service!

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services