By Trinace JohnsonAugust 16, 2010
FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 12, 2010) -- Both a college student and a federal employee, 22-year-old Ryan Blair Greer is a good example of what can be accomplished with persistence, hard work and a positive attitude.
Greer works in the G-8 Budget Division at Fort Lee's Sustainment Center of Excellence. How she landed the job is rather unconventional. She was one of three applicants chosen out of a pool of 80 candidates this year to participate in the Army Student Career Experience Program, or SCEP for short. The program is meant to "attract diverse and talented students with skills that will be critical to the future workforce needs of the federal government," according to a description found on the Internet.
"I was on the USA JOBS Web site and saw it listed, so I applied," said Greer. "Five months later, I got the call. I was thrilled and felt very fortunate to be selected."
Also a participant of the 2010 student summer hire program here, Greer said she was ecstatic about the opportunity to become a full-fledged member of the Team Lee workforce. Her contributions to the community these days include the processing of interdepartmental purchase requests, helping Army Logistics University students with travel pay, and general accounting tasks.
"The ladies I work with are the absolute best!" she said. "My supervisor and the budget team have provided me so much guidance. These ladies have allowed me to benefit from their experiences and help guide me as I continue to develop and grow in the budget career field."
Under the SCEP program, employees are awarded a promotion for every 320 hours of quality service they contribute. Greer has already made the jump from GS3 to GS4, and she has the potential of working her way up to GS11, the top pay grade that can be achieved through SCEP.
Another perk of the SCEP program is the financial assistance it provides for college studies. Greer is completing the full load of graduate coursework for accounting online through Liberty University. She said she'll be finished by December 2011.
"It is stressful at times trying to juggle work and college," said Greer. "In addition to that, I am getting married in September so I have been working diligently on the wedding plans and buying a home. I strongly feel that juggling work and school is worth the stress though. I can go through a few years of hardship for a rewarding career for the rest of my life."
Greer's "can-do" spirit also gives her the energy to provide part-time dance instruction, a by-product of her 20 years as a student of the art. Nonetheless, the vivacious Colonial Heights resident said she wouldn't change one aspect of her hundred-mile-an-hour lifestyle, particularly the opportunity to work at Fort Lee.
"Of all the jobs I have done, this is by far the best one," she said. "And the best part of this SCEP program is that I can convert to a full time position upon graduation without having to compete for a position.
"I feel far more (secure) than I would probably be if I had opted for an internship with the private sector," Greer concluded. "I am confident that my education, coupled with my work experience, will allow me to better serve the Army and contribute to the budgeting future of Fort Lee for decades to come."
Anyone who would like to learn more about the Army SCEP program can visit www.opm.gov/employ/students/QSAS.asp#eligibility for more information. Other student opportunities can be found at www.usaeop.com.