National Nuclear Security Administration

Graduate Fellow Feature: Zoe Chicketti

March 27, 2019

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NNSA Graduate Fellow Zoe Chicketti
NNSA Graduate Fellow Zoe Chicketti

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 is your academic background or field of study?

I attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a dual degree in political science as well as business and organizational communication. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I attended Georgetown University. I graduated with a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management in 2018.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

The program provided me with the opportunity to broaden my academic experience working in the field. Previously, I had spent most of my life in academia. This opportunity has given me hands-on experience at the Federal level. It also has provided me with an opportunity to network and talk to people who have been working in emergency management for years. It has been a great experience and an honor to be in such a wonderful program.

What do you hope to do after the fellowship?

I want to continue to work within the Nuclear Security Enterprise. I hope to move to a field site and expand my knowledge in emergency operations. I believe having experience on the ground and working at one of the sites will allow me to grow my career in national security. 

What advice would you give prospective Fellows?

Network as much as possible to learn about career paths from other Fellows’ experiences. Many begin their career with the Nuclear Security Enterprise in this program so having someone you know and started with is beneficial. My office, NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations frequently works with other offices and knowing Fellows in other programs made it easier to collaborate on projects. Take every opportunity to meet others and expand your circle of contacts.

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