National Nuclear Security Administration

Graduate Fellow Feature: Juliette Bronchtein

February 13, 2019

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NNSA Graduate Fellow Juliette Bronchtein
NNSA Graduate Fellow Juliette Bronchtein

The NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) is a unique opportunity for recent graduates to join the Nuclear Security Enterprise. These full-time, salaried positions offer a year of specialized, on-the-job training and the chance to tackle real-world challenges in one of NNSA’s program offices. Fellows develop technical and leadership skills to launch their careers with a full immersion in one of NNSA’s core mission programs.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

To me, the NGFP program and NNSA occupy the interface of policy and technical expertise in the U.S. Government. As such, it represents an opportunity to enter an incredibly impactful workforce. More than that, I am constantly challenged and consistently learning from those around me who are experts in this field, and who are well versed in the integrated, science-based approach we take to nuclear security. I think it is a truly unique environment, and I feel very lucky to have been selected to be a part of it.

What has surprised you about the program?

The sheer scope of what NNSA does on a daily basis has been most surprising. The full range of activities that are related to nuclear security is impressive. I was also impressed by the number of people – from headquarters staff, to those working at the NNSA labs, sites, and plants, to my peers in the fellowship program – who are all so committed to that work. The people here are really passionate about what they do, and invested in making sure fellows feel welcomed and empowered as part of the workforce. With such a broad scope of work, there are many ways to contribute and I learn about at least one new NNSA project every single day.

What do you hope to do after the fellowship?

I hope to be able to continue contributing to the NNSA mission, and to begin to develop an area of deeper expertise. Working in the front office for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation has given me the opportunity to see and appreciate the amount of work being done in the nonproliferation space. I definitely could see myself as a part of this agency moving forward, because I really enjoy the unique role it occupies as a technical agency supporting nuclear policy. I look forward to continuing to support the programmatic work we are responsible for and to building relationships across the NNSA complex.

What advice would you give prospective fellows?

I think it’s great to know what you want to do, but I think you can get so much more out of this fellowship and this experience if you come in with an open mind. If you take on the attitude of wanting to be as helpful as possible, to as many people as possible, you stand the best chance of maximizing both your contributions and benefits as a fellow. This is a job where you are expected to contribute, but it is also an exceptional learning opportunity— approach it with both of those angles in mind and ask a lot of questions.

The NGFP is funded by NNSA and is administered by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Explore a career in nuclear security!