Tim Schindler PhD ’02, MBA ’95, is an employee of the federal government who was furloughed during the partial government shutdown. He has returned to work as the field office manager of the Government Accountability Office in Seattle where he is also an Assistant Director.
Tim has an MBA from the school of business and a PhD in Urban Studies. Hailing from Tacoma, WA, Schindler was an undergrad at Arizona State University. After 5 years in the military Tim wanted to go back to school before settling in to the workplace and he chose Portland State for his graduate study.
Wanting to continue the experience of attending school outside of his home state of Washington, PSU’s urban location and its new (at the time) full time MBA program appealed to him. Going to PSU was the right choice for Tim who earned Graduate Assistantships and student work at the University. After completing his MBA he went right into his PhD. He credits both the MBA and PhD program directly leading to his success at GAO. “The programs provided me with the tools I needed to move from an entry level analyst, to an AIC (analyst in charge), to finally my current position as an assistant director and field office manager,” he says.
During his time in the Urban Studies PhD program, he interned with GAO. This was extremely important, since it helped him directly link his studies to a federal agency. He used his time in the internship to help focus classwork and research. It also helped him earn a full time position at GAO, since the internship program was used as a recruiting program.
Tim Schindler finds government work extremely rewarding. “As with any large organization,the government is made up of many different people. These people bring in different views, education, and skills. While this can be challenging, it is also rewarding because you do get to work with a variety of people. Also, because government can have such a positive impact on;our citizen’s lives, and negative impact if not run properly, it is rewarding to know that you are making our county function.”
His advice for students who want to enter federal work is to stand out above the rest. Internships are important and are extremely competitive. Taking the time with your resume—spell-checking, and ensuring “no sloppy paperwork”—is extremely important. “Patience and persistence” is something else a person wanting to enter federal government work should possess and Tim also encourages you to be ready. Take breaks if you need to, if that is your path.