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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Q&A;: Daniel Ference

Ginny Polin / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Daniel Ference, a management information systems senior, business management  and  entrepreneurship.   Ference  was named a Federal Service Student Ambassador and now helps students get jobs in the federal government .
Ginny Polin
Ginny Polin / Arizona Daily Wildcat Daniel Ference, a management information systems senior, business management and entrepreneurship. Ference was named a Federal Service Student Ambassador and now helps students get jobs in the federal government .

Senior Daniel Ference is the first Federal Service Student Ambassador at the UA. He applied for the program after completing internships with the Arizona Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. State Department. The 47 student ambassadors around the country promote jobs and internships in the federal government on their campuses. Ference, who is studying management information systems, business management and entrepreneurship, will finish the year-long ambassadorship in May.

Daily Wildcat: You’ve been an ambassador for more than a semester. What kind of change do you think you’ve made on campus so far?

Daniel Ference: I think I’ve brought an awareness about all the opportunities available. I’ve focused a bit on Eller. A lot of the recruiters at Eller are from Fortune 500 companies, private companies. I’m trying to bring a sense of opportunities available in the federal government. A lot of students don’t know they’re available.

What kinds of opportunities are there for students in the federal government?

What a lot of students don’t know are there are opportunities for students in every major. I feel like a lot of students think government work is only for poli sci (political science) majors or econ or international relations majors. In reality, there are opportunities in a variety of disciplines, whether it’s business, arts or history … Another myth is also the pay. A lot of people … feel like the federal government doesn’t pay its employees well, but in reality they’re very competitive with some of the private industries. Again, people who work in the federal government may get a sense that they’re giving back to a cause greater than themselves.

What were your internship experiences with the federal government?

This past summer I interned with the U.S. State Department and more specifically in their law enforcement arm, which is the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. I worked primarily with the Diplomatic Security Service. Their primary mission is to oversee security at U.S. embassies throughout the world, and they also provide security protection for visiting foreign dignitaries, so anyone below the Heads of State. I worked primarily with special agents in the Protective Liaison Division. They coordinate with foreign embassies in Washington D.C.

Which foreign dignitaries came to the U.S. during your internship?

The Defense Minister of Israel came while I was there, so I got to see how that worked. I also saw how Hillary Clinton’s detail worked, so that was really interesting. I also got the chance to meet the ambassador to the U.N. It was a great experience. I got to see the inner workings of the federal government, which a lot of people don’t get to see very often.

What did you gain from your internships that you were able to bring back as a person and also as a student ambassador?

I think what I gained from that internship was sort of a bigger picture of what our country goes through on a daily basis. I gained an appreciation for the work that the federal government does. My experience has allowed me to teach other students about what great opportunities are available. I think when students hear from other students about their experiences, they’re more prone to go after it. I think if there’s someone a lot older from a specific department talking about it, it’s taken a little differently.

Do you encounter a lot of students looking to go into the federal government?

I think some of the students are surprised about all of the opportunities available. There are others who know about them but don’t know how to pursue them. I’m here to kind of push them along a little more and teach them how to find those opportunities.

What would you like to accomplish in your remaining few months?

I’d like to continue to give presentations to the larger classes. I know there are a lot of students graduating in May. Hopefully someone will see the type of work I’ve done this semester, find an internship and want to take over the ambassadorship when I graduate in May. I want to leave sort of a legacy so some other students can take the reins and continue what I’ve started.

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