This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Pathways Internship Program – Student Trainee (Inspection)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Food Safety and Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:FSIS-MCE-2013-0081

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$27,990.00 to $36,384.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, June 25, 2013 to Sunday, June 30, 2013




Temporary - Pathways Internship Program appointment not to exceed September 20, 2013




1 vacancy - Waterloo, IAView Map


Pathways Internship Program Eligible's


Come Join a Great FSIS Team!

This in an Excepted Service Appointment. The purpose of the Pathways Internship Program is to provide the intern with exposure to public service, enhance educational experience, and provide financial support to encourage and support educational goals.

MISSION STATEMENT: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

NOTE: Students applying to this announcement will be selected to work in the Program listed below. Carefully review the description of the Program and the desired majors and/or skills the Program is looking for in a Student. If you wish to be considered for a position in this Program, please follow the instructions in the "How to Apply" section of this announcement. 

The Office of Field Operations (OFO), Field Operations manages inspection and enforcement activities nationwide, ensuring that domestically produced meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, secure, wholesome and properly labeled. For more information please visit:

Desired majors: All Science majors to include Animal Science and Food Science.


  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment eligibility.
  • There is an education requirement for this position.
  • A background investigation including fingerprints will be required
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.


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This announcement will be used to fill Student Intern (Inspector) positions in USDA, FSIS, OFO, Des Moines District. Below are some of the duties you may be asked to perform.

  • Conduct Ante-Mortem inspection under the supervision of the Inspector-in-Charge (IIC).
  • Conduct Post-Mortem inspection under the supervision of the IIC.
  • Monitor operational sanitation in the plant environment to ensure sanitary handling and dressing procedures are in accordance with regulations under the supervision of the IIC.
  • Monitor slaughter activities in conformance with humane handling regulations and procedures and/or good commercial practices under the supervision of the IIC.   


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To qualify for the USDA Pathways Internship Program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Must be enrolled at least ½ time continuing studies in fall 2013 or accepted as a degree seeking student for fall 2013. Proof of enrollment or letter of acceptance into degree seeking program for fall 2013 must be provided.
  • Must submit unofficial transcript(s). Official transcript(s) will be required, if applicant is selected for a position).
  • All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. 

Qualifying education for the GS-4 is shown below:

  • Completion of 2 full academic years of post-high school study or associate's degree that includes twelve semester hours 12 semester or 18 quarter hours in the biological, mathematical, physical, or agricultural sciences..

  • Students must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Students must be enrolled or plan to enroll in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

What qualifies as an accredited educational institution?

A high school/GED whose curriculum has been approved by a state or local governing body, or a home-curriculum; and any accredited technical or vocational school, 2 or 4 year college or university, a graduate or professional, or a post secondary home school curriculum.

Applicants may refer to the U.S. Department of Education’s Institutional Accreditation System to determine whether their school/program is accredited:

  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service. Click here for more information.
  • Must complete and pass a background and security investigation.
  • Must sign a Pathways Participant Agreement
  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.
  • If you are a student veteran, complete the questionnaire and submit documentation (DD-214, SF-15 and proof of requested on the SF-15 if claiming 10-point Veterans’ preference or DD-2014 if claiming 5 point preference or VEOA eligibility (separated under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous service.
  • Students with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).


After the vacancy announcement closes, applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed into the appropriate quality group. You will be evaluated on the following competencies: interpersonal skills, oral communication, written communication, conscientiousness, flexibility, listening, and attention to detail. The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the selection managers for further consideration and possible interview. The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available. The three quality groups are as follows:

  1. Best Qualified
  2. Well Qualified
  3. Qualified 

Veterans' preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Veterans' preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are placed in the appropriate category and are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles. Veteran preference eligibles that meet minimum qualification requirements and have documentation of a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be listed in the highest quality category.

If materials are not received by the closing date your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or be considered eligible. All the information you provide may be verified by review of your application, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for lowering your rating, not hiring you, or removal after employment begins.

You will be evaluated on the basis of your level of competency (knowledge, skills, abilities)in the following areas:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication
  • Conscientiousness
  • Flexibility
  • Listening
  • Attention to detail

To preview questions please click here.


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All students hired under the USDA Pathways Internship Program are entitled to benefits such as:

  • Commuter Transit Subsidy
  • Telework and/or Flexible work schedule (upon supervisor approval)

Students hired under the USDA Pathways Internship Program on a temporary appointment are generally not entitled to benefits. Temporary employees are not eligible for coverage under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program.


  • More positions may be filled using this announcement.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.

Applicants please be advised that false answers or omissions of information on any application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed. All information is subject to verification.

If not previously completed, a background security investigation will be required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. In addition, if selected, a background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.

Students are encouraged to: 1) browse jobs that meet your qualifications, grade, and geographic location; 2) update your profile; 3) upload your resume; and 4) set up an account to have job openings emailed to you when a position of interest opens.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. This Agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the Agency prior to the closing date. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

Additional helpful hints can be found regarding information on


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Please read the instructions carefully! First print or review each "tab" within this job announcement (overview, duties, qualifications and evaluations, how to apply, benefits and other information).  

STEP 1 – SUBMIT RESUME: You may build a resume in USAJOBS or attach one from your files. Your resume must show relevant experience and education. Please include the number of hours that you worked per week, the start date (MM/YY) and end date (MM/YY) of the position(s) you held, job title,name of employer and a description of the duties that you performed.

STEP 2 – PERSONAL INFORMATION: fill out all information required in the vacancy announcement. Answer all Core questions and submit all applicable supplemental documents.  Please list, in preference order, the Program area(s) of Interest.

STEP 3 – REVIEW: review your application for spelling and grammatical errors. 

STEP 4 –SUBMIT APPLICATION: after reviewing your application, submit it.

NOTE: ONLY electronic submissions will be accepted, none by fax or email.  


  • Cover letter (one-page maximum).
  • Unofficial transcripts are accepted, but if you are offered a position, official transcripts must be submitted.
  • Résumé
  • If you are a veteran, submit documentation (DD-214, SF-15 and proof of requested on the SF-15 if claiming 10-point Veterans’ preference or DD-2014 if claiming 5 point preference or VEOA eligibility (separated under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous service. For more information please vist the Feds hire vets website.
  • Students with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Uploading/Faxing Supporting Documentation:

The next step of the application process is to upload or fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the online portion of the application process.

Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly uploaded/faxed and received. All required documents must be received by 11:59 Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only submit documents needed to complete your application package. For example, the Schedule A Certification document must only be submitted by individuals applying based on eligibility for appointment due to a disability. The SF-50 is a form current and former Federal employees submit to document their Federal employment status.

TO UPLOAD DOCUMENTS, FOLLOW THIS LINK:Upload Information. If you are unable to upload your documents, you may still fax your documents.

Fax Instructions:

  1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)
  2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.
  3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop-up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the cover sheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.
  4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process.
  5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes.
  6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.)
  7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document is processed correctly.
  8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e-mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission.
  9. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by


Brian Fleming
Phone: 612-659-8563
Fax: 612-370-2062
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
Human Resources Field Office
Butler Square West, Suite 420C
100 North 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: 612-370-2062


  1. Federal jobs are filled using a competitive process, understanding the timing of the process will better prepare you for the wait after you submit your application.  During this time period, the Human Resources Specialists will begin reviewing the applications received to determine if the applicants meet the qualification requirements outlined.  You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you report relative to this position which show the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in this announcement. Those candidates who do meet the minimum education and work experience qualifications will then be reviewed by a number of flexibilities that are available to select candidates. Your application will be rated using Category Rating Procedures.  You will be placed in one of three categories based on your resume, education, experience and  any answers to ranking questions and other factors.
  2.  The process can take a few days depending on the number of applications received. Once the various qualified list of candidates are identified, a “certificate of eligibles” is prepared and sent to the supervisor (or selecting official) for the position.  The supervisor will then review the applications and determine who among the “best qualified” will be interviewed.  Interviews may be scheduled and conducted, reference and background checks are completed, and a final selection is made. Do not be deterred or discouraged by this hiring timeframe.  It is ok to ask questions and keep in touch with the point of contact during this time of the application process.
  3. As a reminder, you should always print and keep a copy of this announcement.  The announcement will have the contact information for the position, which you can use to check further on the status of your application.   
  4. Should you be selected for an interview, you will be evaluated based upon your responses to questions provided during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions, you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain what you did, and the outcome.

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