D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship: A Career Group For the Serious Hopeful

Are You Serious About Following Your Dreams? Are You Tired of Feeling Lost? Are You Ready To Drop the Aimless Online Applications, Countless Cover Letters, and Awkward Job Fairs To Start Doing What ACTUALLY Works?

I urge you to apply to D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship. The blogs and emails you may be receiving from me will likely help but if you are really ready to jump start your career then you need to focus and surround yourself with people going through the same journey. Our small group of 5 has grown to 29 in less than a year and the results have been amazing.

Kasey Lovett Staff Assistant, Congressman Stephen Fincher at U.S. House of Representatives

“From experience, I can say that starting a career in D.C. is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences, and it is incredibly helpful to know that you are not in it alone. Through D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship I am able to meet people that I could relate to on several different levels, being from the same place and striving toward the same dream, so on those days where I felt like I was alone in D.C. and questioned my sanity for embarking on this journey, I had a support system to run to. Other than support, the modules (in D.C. Boot Camp) have offered me important advice on how to really “make it” in D.C. From improving our own resumes and helping others improve theirs, to understanding the importance of proper networking, this was the perfect “crash course” on how to “do D.C.”-Kasey Lovett

What is D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship?
D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship is a private community that goes well beyond the basic website you are on now. D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship is the community I have always dreamed of creating. We have juniors in college looking for internships, seniors about to graduate, people in D.C. at their first or second job looking to grow their career, and post grads stuck in the middle of the country. The group is housed in a private facebook group so we can share tips, advice, and bounce ideas off each other on a nearly daily basis. Members have access to the internal resume bank where they borrow best practices from one another while getting edits/feedback on their own resume.

Each month we host a social event as a chance for local (D.C.) members to meet face to face. We also hold monthly support groups in person and by phone for our out of town members. Support groups are a simple time where members vent and share with their group their biggest professional roadblock. Then as a group we make suggestions, give advice, and act as sounding boards. It is amazing how much better it can feel to just vent to people who are likely struggling with similar issues BUT each member must then articulate their plan of action moving forward back to the group.

Recently we have begun monthly workshops where members gather under my guidance and we practice live to improve our skills. We run resume tests on each other, practice networking, and develop monthly career plans.

We also have a group ‘contact sheet.’ Each member shares to a master list all the organizations they have worked/interned themselves or have a close contact that works/interns at that organization. The result is each member has insider knowledge and access to over 100 D.C. based organizations on day 1. This is something I have not accomplished in 9 years of aggressive networking on my own. This is the power of community!

I also welcome various D.C. professionals into the group to host webinars, Q&As, and mentor members. These amazing people bring fresh insights and ideas based off their own career experiences.

The Perks of D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship Membership
As our members will tell you the greatest perk of being a member is the community itself!
A few months ago I sent an anonymous survey to members of our group and asked the simple question….

“What is the one thing you enjoy the most about the D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship and/or the one thing that keeps you coming back each month?” Here is what just a few said

“Community of people with similar interest and struggles”

-“The conversations and networking opportunities with peers who are in the same place as I am.”

-“I enjoy the resources provided by the community, the ability to have my resumes and other documents reviews by peers is invaluable.”

-“I really enjoy meeting new people who are in the same situation. The 1 things that keeps me coming back is all the cool articles, webinars and fb postings. I enjoy being apart of a group where you get two way feedback”

-“Networking with people my age, who are going through the same struggles as myself. I think because everyone in the group is in relatively the same position or has at least gone through what others are going through, that we can better connect with one another and are also more willing to help each other, because we know the pain of those hurdles first hand.”

-“The fact there are like-minded individuals in this group all wanting to get to the same place.”

-“I enjoy the group calls featuring experienced guests!”

-“I get feedback that pushes me to be better at networking, resume building, etc, every time I work with DC Hopefuls. Even when I’m struggling with networking, I have a great support group in the fellowship that keeps pushing me forward.”

-“Knowing that I’m not alone.”

-“I like the constant support. Moving so far away from home is not easy, and the support and advice the group offers makes it just less scary enough to make the jump. Shows me that it’s possible, I’m not the only one doing it”

-“Tommy’s guidance and the sense of community.”

-“The personal experiences from other members.”

-“I personally enjoy and appreciate the developing community. Having a support group is very advantageous, especially for when I have a life choice to make.”

Above all else D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship is a community of people serious and focus about obtaining the career of their dreams in Washington, D.C. This was the most difficult and lonely journey of my life. This community is exactly what I use to dream about when I was struggling to find my way. Our members come from all across the country, different beliefs, and different dreams but they all are focused on living anything but an ordinary life. Our members have completed or are in the process of completing D.C. Hopefuls Boot Camp so they have the knowledge and guidance to build their long term career. Within the community we do various things to help build internal and external connections.

D.C. Boot Camp
D.C. Boot camp is an online course currently consisting of 16 modules totaling over 7 hours of video time. Members take the journey with me as I walk you through the all the steps you must take to launch your career. There will be various exercises, handouts, templates, and challenges I pose to you along the way. After putting in the necessary time you will walk away with a great resume, the skillset to make a great resume, a great network, the skills to build a great network and the ability to practice proper self-management.  The end goal is the ability to have the career of your dreams WITHOUT online applications, cover letters, or awkward job fairs. Graduates learn how to go out and do what has been working in Washington, D.C. for decades in a way that works for our generation.

Usually D.C. Boot Camp is sold separately but for $10 per course/$160 total BUT I am giving it away totally FREE to anyone who signs up for D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship until we reach capacity. Here are just some of the things you will learn:

  • You will discover the true importance of a resume
  • You’ll learn how to use a resume the right way
  • You’ll learn that resume writing is a skill and how to master that skill rather than pay someone $550 every time it needs an update
  • You’ll learn how to create a good resume and then a great resume
  • You’ll learn how to use a master, standard, and specific resume…
  • You’ll learn the difference between cheerleaders, feedback friends, career investors,  references and contacts
  • You’ll learn how to create contacts by starting with the people you love…
  • You’ll learn how to stay on a new contact’s radar and convert them into a career investor…
  • You’ll learn how to create a system of self management that keeps you on point, motivated, and happy
  • You’ll learn how to identify your goals by working them backwards each step of the way…
    Wouldn’t it feel amazing to finally have tangible goals and a set plan for your career?
  • You’ll learn to ditch the elevator pitch and get people to make their story ‘our story’
  • I’ll show you why USAjobs is a waste of time and how to circumvent it
  • You’ll also receive additional papers, guides, and templates to help you along the way…

There is a LOT more…

Including my favorite lesson…

The power of the contact snowball! How you can build and deepen your professional network simultaneously by creating new contacts you will be converting previous contacts into career investors…

If You Are Willing to Put in the Work Then Without Fail You Will Develop a Professional Network that is Heavily Invested in Your Personal Success By Making You Aware of Opportunities That Are Not on Any Job Boards

Why is it Private/Requires Application? 
D.C. Hopefuls is an open site to anyone who seeks the information. To truly develop the mindset and skills necessary to make it in Washington, D.C. you will need far more than a few blogs. Through my extensive experiences I know the overwhelming majority of people are NOT willing to put in the work or humble themselves in the matter necessary to succeed. Therefore, I found it vital to keep the group private for serious job seekers willing to learn and share. I am capping the group at 60 members so I encourage all who are interested to not drag your feet!

Who is the group for? 
This community is NOT for people looking for a quick fix or for someone else to do the work for them!  If you are willing to humble yourself and put in the work then this group is for you. It does NOT matter what your GPA was, where you went to school, or who your parents are all that matters is your willingness to learn and try!

Why is There a Monthly Fee?
Over the last 2-3 years I have attempted to help 50-60 job seekers. I would spend my lunch break or free evening time to speak with them at great lengths about their career. For many I would spend several hours reviewing their resumes, cover letters, and applications. I took the very bold step of connecting them with my own professional contacts and sadly 90% of the time I was badly burned. I began to feel used and grew incredibly frustrated. Yet every time I had totally given up on helping anymore people and had resided to the notion it was only my job to help myself, I would meet an amazing young person whose excitement, drive, and desire would move me. D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship is my attempt to put all of these unbelievable young people into a group and do my best to help them. The monthly fee is their skin in the game. It lets me know the person is serious and literally invested in making their own career a success. It also helps cover the costs of advertisement and the technology associated with making quality video lesson?

How Do I Apply?
Don’t worry there is no essay, no cover letter, or tests. In fact I won’t even ask to see your resume. Applications consist of you CLICKING HERE to apply. From there you will be asked to put up $1 to give you full access to D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship and D.C. Boot Camp for the first week. You will be automatically emailed a welcome email with all the information and a link to schedule an interview with me sometime in your first week. Following the interview I will make a determination within 24 hours on whether or not you will be accepted.

I’m Nervous About Applying…
Don’t be! I do not judge based on where you went to school, your GPA, who your parents are, your work experience, etc. What I make my decision on is your spirit and attitude. Whether you are totally lost or well on your way to success and looking for that edge it is irrelevant to me. I am looking for people eager to learn, eager to share, eager to help, and eager to grow.  There are no magic pills or quick fixes when it comes to obtaining true success in this town. It is about developing daily habits paired with strong tactics that will ultimately give you the career you dream about each day.

But I’m Not in D.C. Yet…
Doesn’t matter! I have helped several young seekers make their way to Washington, D.C.  D.C. Boot Camp teaches you all the tools to build out a professional network that will open doors for you regardless of where you live and the Fellowship will give you that instant professional network and community full of current D.C. professionals or those just like you trying to make it here themselves. There is no where else you can get this kind of access with the click of a button and 30 minute phone call.

Taking Risk
Following your dreams, doing something different, pursuing a career that means something is going to require taking risks! Remember the first week of D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship will only costs $1. If you are not willing to risk $1 to potentially put yourself in a position to start the career of your dreams then I’m not sure you were ever going to make it…

Remember a successful career in Washington, D.C. will depend on two factors:

  1. Can you manage yourself?
  2. Can you create, manage, and maintain relationships?

D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship will help you answer YES to both of those questions.

Still not sure? If you are still on the fence and want more information I urge to Click Here to watch a video explaining more about to expect!

But don’t take too long this community will be closed at 60 members and we are already half way there!

If you know you already want to apply Click Here to Apply to Join D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship Now!

I remember in undergrad going to the library to ‘study’ when in fact I was applying to jobs in D.C. I did not want people to know my dreams because I was all but sure I’d fail. I would spend hours in the basement of the library thinking if I just apply to 5, 10, 15, or 20 jobs each week eventually I’ll get one and can move to D.C. after graduation. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Once I was in D.C. I remember sitting at my desk pretending to work when in reality I was back to applying to 10-20 jobs each week. Over 120 applications later I had not landed a single interview. Over the span of 3 years I applied to over 320 jobs only landing 3 interviews. Once I developed the steadfast spirit and put it all into practice I landed 14 interviews in 12 weeks. The result I broke into my desired field (intelligence analysis) have increased my salary by $42,000 over 4 years and feel at peace over how things really work in this town.

I cannot even begin to put into words how badly I needed something like D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship!

Here Is What They Are Saying

Serena Gillian, Intern at Green and Healthy Homes Initiative

“My name is Serena Gillian and I’m a rising college sophomore. As a current public policy major I wanted to gain some experience in the non-profit sector. Within a few weeks, Tommy put me in touch with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. As an intern I’ll be gaining skills in data analysis, synthesis, and fund-raising! Thanks to D.C. Hopefuls I’ll spend this summer learning about the ins and outs of non-profit work, knowledge that I’ll be able to implement in the future when I pursue my dreams of starting my own education non-profit for at-risk youth!”-Serena Gillian

Brianna Suggs          Program Associate for American Council of Trustees and Alumni

“Last fall (2016) was the first semester of my senior year. I had been dreaming of working in D.C. for a while at that point, and I thought that having a Master’s degree would make me competitive in the D.C. market. I thought that with that extra degree, I’d have no problem finding a job in D.C. (even if I continued to study in Arkansas, or anywhere like it). I had no idea how wrong this line of thinking was until I met Tommy.

I first met Tommy when he spoke at a Pi Sigma Alpha meeting on my campus in the middle of that fall semester. He led a discussion on resume building, on the importance of networking, and how just being in D.C. can make the difference. Someone raised their hand, and asked him the question I was wondering: “Can you still get to D.C. if you decide to go to grad school, even if you stay here, in Arkansas?” This is where Tommy really had my attention. Was the only plan I had to get to D.C., for months at this point, going to be a flop? The short answer? Yes. Tommy explained that trying to put yourself into the position to be successful in D.C., will be extremely difficult if you’re not in D.C., grad school or otherwise. Grad school alone is NOT the answer. As soon as the meeting was over, I ran up to Tommy freaking out: the only plan I had that to get to D.C. wasn’t going to get me there. I felt pretty bad for Tommy at this point; I came in late from marching band practice, a sweaty mess, and I ran up to him having a freak out about my future. He was incredibly kind to me, and gave me his email address to discuss my concerns further.

One of the first things Tommy told me is that building my resume and learning how to network will take time, but if I trust him and follow his lessons-learned, I’ll be successful in my goals to get to D.C., even while still in school at Arkansas. So, I decided to trust him and joined D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship. I had no reason not to. I dropped my plans to go to grad school, started to talk with Tommy regularly, and became motivated to talk to anyone I knew who had connections to D.C, or who had similar goals. A friend of mine at the UofA has a sister who worked in D.C. I asked her if her sister would be willing to talk to me about D.C., and she put me in connection with her sister in October of last semester. Following Tommy’s advice, I maintained a relationship with my friend’s sister, Tori. I asked her questions, asked for advice, had her review my resume multiple times, and her sister was more than kind to help me. As Tori and I continued to talk over the next few months, she sent me an email with a job listing for a place she used to work. She had nothing but good things to say about it, and asked if I would be interested. This was exactly what Tommy was telling me from day one about building a network which in turn provides opportunities. I would not have seen this job listing if it weren’t for Tori, and without her mentorship over the past few months. I applied to and interviewed with the organization a few weeks ago. Tori, Tommy, and my friends in D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship were supportive and helpful the entire way.

Just shy of two weeks after my interview, I was offered a job with the organization. I was beyond excited, to say the least. Had it not been for Tommy speaking at the Pi Sigma Alpha meeting I went to the previous semester, I would not have gotten to the point of finding a job in D.C., before graduation, and from far-away Arkansas. My interviewers even told one of my references that they didn’t even need to call her, because they liked my resume so much, that they wanted to hire me right away. Everything he had told me was true, and it did take time. It took continuous reviews of my resume from friends and connections, sitting down to really study what Tommy was telling me, and sending Tommy thousands of emails/calling him frequently to ask questions and advice. At the beginning of last semester I had no idea that it would take all of this to get to D.C. successfully, and to avoid making the worst mistakes in the process. To make a long story short, what Tommy says is true, and following his advice truly pays off. I am proof that it works! “-Brianna Suggs

 

Caylin Craig Americorps/Baylor Law Student

“Hey all! Some quick background on me: Tommy helped me get a campaign position straight out of undergrad that was definitely out of my league. However, I eventually grew into it, and made some great professional connections.

After the campaign was over, I decided to apply to a few law schools. My GPA and LSAT scores were pretty average, so I didn’t expect to receive much scholarship support. Much to my surprise, I have received multiple generous offers. (Including a scholarship from “Boot Camp” Baylor Law that covers 96% of tuition.) Each of my offers have specifically mentioned either my work experience or my “glowing” letters of recommendation.

Tommy’s guidance definitely played a role in me receiving these offers. I tend to be overly independent and not reach out to my mentors for help, but Tommy pushed me to build my network– which led to me obtaining letters of recommendation from people who genuinely do believe in my abilities. Sorry about posting a novel, but I genuinely do believe in the D.C hopefuls Fellowship!”-Caylin Craig

Guy Mentel
Field Organizer HRC for President

“Just wanted to write to thank Tommy for all of the work that he has put into this amazing community. His expertise in the DC job search is unrivaled and the amount of time and thought that goes into each module is apparent. Every video is concise yet immensely impactful and informative. So glad to have come across the DC Hopefuls Fellowship and to have had the opportunity to learn from someone as knowledgable and approachable as Tommy. Looking forward to this community’s continued growth and success!”-Guy Mentel

Amanda Want
Staff Assistant, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

 

“Thank you, Tommy for initiating the D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship! So far, the modules in D.C. Boot Camp have taught me the importance of dedicating sufficient time to my resume and why I have been struggling at building a network. I didn’t even realize all of the mistakes I have been making. This is the best thing I’ve done for my career in months. I’m looking forward to continue with the fellowship, so I can become an expert at networking and find my dream job!

I urge anyone who is looking to take that next step in their career to join me in this new experience!” -Amanda Want

 

Mark Cameron
English Fellow at Heart for Change

“Hey everyone! If you haven’t already, you should look into the DC Fellowship. I can say from experience that its a huge advantage to have a community like this before and during your time in DC. When I moved to DC I knew nobody, or so I thought. After a couple of Arkansas Alumni events I realized I actually had a strong community of people ready to support me. That network, and especially the lessons that Tommy taught me, made all the difference in my ability to thrive in DC. Now that I’m living out of the country for a year (a career move that I arrived at after a lot of discussion with Tommy and networking) , this fellowship is a great way for me to stay connected, engage in discussion, and have an active network that I can lean on when I return to DC. Thanks for leading this Tommy!” -Mark Cameron