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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Obama administration revamps internship program

By Lisa Rein

This OPM video documents the orientation program for Presidential Management Fellows.

The newest class of Presidential Management Fellows to join the federal government trudged through rain and snow on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa., to draw leadership lessons from the Civil War's pivotal conflict.

For the first time, their orientation was held not in a conference center but in a place that offered a hands-on experience of history.

The interns were tasked with reading the "The Killer Angels," the historical novel about the Battle of Gettysburg. Then they stood on the battlefield and considered the decisions made by Union Col. Joshua Chamberlain during his defense of a hill named Little Round Top and by Confederate Gen. James Longstreet when he sent his troops on a controversial countermarch. And they dissected Abraham Lincoln's famous address after the battle.

Their instructors hope the presidential fellows will return to their two-year internships in 31 government agencies with a new perspective on leadership. It is the latest effort by the Obama administration to reinvigorate a 30-year-old program that many thought had gone stale.

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By Lisa Rein  | January 14, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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