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Heinz College Policy Student Selected as Finalist for Prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship

By Jennifer Monahan

Adelyne Bejjani’s passion for Pittsburgh led her to consider a career in public service. That career goal inspired her decision to apply for the highly selective Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program; she was named a finalist in February.

A 2020 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Bejjani entered the Coro Fellowship program after earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science. Bejjani said she fell in love with the city of Pittsburgh during her undergraduate years but was also aware of its flaws.

Why Heinz College?

Serving as a Coro Fellow allowed her to get to know Pittsburgh in a new way as she cycled through five public affairs and policy placements over a nine-month period. The experience solidified her interest in both public service and graduate school. Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy has a strategic partnership with Coro; that connection along with the opportunity to stay in a city she loves influenced Bejjani’s decision to study Public Policy and Management at CMU.

Heinz College has a presence in the Pittsburgh community. I wanted to be part of the people doing good work and making the city better. Adelyne Bejjani

“Heinz College has a presence in the Pittsburgh community,” Bejjani said. “I wanted to be part of the people doing good work and making the city better.”

Studying at Heinz exposed Bejjani to careers she’d never heard of within the federal government; Heinz is also where she first learned about PMF.

Created in 1977 and housed within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, PMF matches outstanding graduate students with career opportunities in government. In recent years, less than ten percent of applicants have been accepted. After successfully navigating a rigorous application process, Bejjani is among the 825 applicants to be selected as a finalist in 2024.

Creating Change from the Inside

Bejjani said the program appealed to her because she wants to create positive change in the world from within the government.

“Government service is a direct way to help people,” Bejjani explained. “It can and should be done in a way that improves the quality of people’s lives.”

Besides offering access to select job opportunities within federal agencies, the PMF program provides formal mentorship, professional development, and networking opportunities. Designed to be a training ground for future government leaders, PMF creates a pathway for talented, highly educated individuals to gain a foothold in public service.

Bejjani said that Heinz College prepared her well for this next phase of her journey.

A self-proclaimed policy nerd, Bejjani enjoys research. She concentrated heavily on policy evaluation and analysis courses during her two years at Heinz.

“Those classes and the practices I learned have reshaped the way I think about policy and approach problems,” Bejjani said. “Tiaona Cade [assistant director at the Reidy Career Center] helped me so much with interviewing skills, and Heinz College taught me to think critically and to put my policy analysis skills into practice.”

Bejjani also credits her fellow students with influencing her success. As a member of the Radical Alliance for Gender Equity (RAGE) student organization, she was engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus throughout the last two years.

“I’ve made really great friends at Heinz, and we have challenged each other to be better people,” Bejjani said. “I’m grateful for the people I’ve met here. They’ve influenced who I am and who I want to be.”

Fueled by a commitment to improve lives and communities—and enabled with the skills she’s honed at Heinz —Bejjani is poised to make her mark in government service.