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City Services

Mayor's Office Fellowship Program

2014 Summer Program:  Monday, June 16, 2014 to Friday, August 29, 2014

Program Background

The City of Chicago is strongly committed to improving public services for its citizens.
Attaining this goal requires the hard work and dedication of qualified public service professionals. Recruiting highly qualified graduate level students, from universities across the country, has proven to be one of the best ways to attain this goal.   

The Mayor’s Office Fellowship Program attracts bright, highly motivated individuals, gives them a broad overview of municipal government and provides a unique, “hands-on” experience. Fellows participate in budgetary, legislative, and programmatic areas of city government and work directly with Mayor’s Office staff.  Mayoral Fellows are afforded an unparalleled opportunity to learn about public service and policy-making by directly contributing to the executive office of the City of Chicago.

Objectives

Through the Mayor’s Office Fellowship Program, you may accomplish the following:

  • Develop new initiatives that keep Chicago green;
  • Research ways to keep Chicago affordable;
  • Work on workforce development initiatives targeting specific industries;
  • Outline best practices in public safety programs and youth engagement; 
  • Research and compare housing-related policies in U.S. cities;
  • Create innovative solutions to traffic and infrastructure challenges;
  • Recommend ways to better integrate technology with City functions; 
  • Analyze information on regional issues and Great Lakes policies;
  • Create new programs that connect City residents with the great cultural resources of Chicago.

Nature of the Program

The City of Chicago Mayor’s Office Fellowship Program offers fellowships to students interested in learning about City government and public policy. The program provides an in-depth view of how City government operates. Fellows will have the opportunity to:

  • Work directly with the Mayor’s senior staff;
  • Research policies and evaluate their potential benefit to Chicago;
  • Draft memoranda on upcoming issues and new initiatives;
  • Interact with and attend meetings with Commissioners, Aldermen, senior-level staff from various City departments, and experts in a variety of policy fields;
  • Learn about the work and mission of the City’s departments through weekly presentations by department commissioners and senior level staff, and through guided tours of City facilities. 
  • Attend press conferences, City Council hearings, senior staff meetings, and strategic planning sessions.
  • Develop “New Ideas” for policies and initiatives.

Eligibility Criteria

The Mayor’s Office encourages graduate students from all disciplines to apply. While there are no preferences to specific graduate fields or majors, the program seeks candidates who are enthusiastic to learn about city government and have demonstrated a substantial commitment to excellence as evidenced by academic honors, leadership ability, extracurricular activities, and involvement in community or public service.  You must be a currently enrolled student at the time of employment in order to be eligible.

International students must have an F-1 Student Visa and must be a full-time student.  International students are required to have a social security number/card which states “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” The college or university can assist international students with obtaining authorization. 

Students who are Deferred Action Recipients are eligible to apply.  You must provide your Employment Authorization Document at the time of hire.  In addition, if you are selected for a Fellowship Position, you must also have a social security card.  If you do not have a social security card, you can obtain one by following the instructions on this link:  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/deferred_action.pdf.”  

(DHS = Department of Homeland Security).

Selection Process

PLEASE NOTE THE SUMMER 2014 FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION IS A TWO-STEP PROCESS

Prospective Fellows must complete a two-step application process. 

STEP 1:  Prospective Fellows must complete an initial application screening through the City of Chicago’s Department of Human Resources CAREERS website.  Applicants will be asked to provide general information as well as an OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT and LETTER OF ENROLLMENT from the school that they are currently attending. For graduate students in their first year of study who have not yet received grades, an official dated letter of acceptance to your current school OR a current class schedule will be accepted in place of an official transcript. Step 1 of the application process will close at 11:59:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, 2013.  NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.Start Application here.

Applications will be screened for eligibility and qualifications. Applicants will be selected for interviews.  ONLY the applicants who are selected for interviews will move on to STEP 2 of the application process. 

STEP 2:   Applicants selected for the interview process will be required to submit required supplemental documents directly to the Mayor’s Office POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, December 6, 2013.  The required documents are:

  • TWO Letters of Recommendation
  • Essay 1/Personal Statement: Why are you interested in a fellowship in municipal government? What qualities or attributes will you bring to the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office Fellowship Program? What do you hope to gain from this program? 
  • Essay 2/Policy Problem:  Please state a current public policy problem that you feel has an impact on the City of Chicago.  State the issue clearly and factually, along with any proposed policies, programs or initiatives that will address the problem.  Please be sure to state your opinion of the issue as well as supporting arguments.

ONLY APPLICANTS SELECTED FOR THE INTERVIEW PROCESS MUST SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS. 

APPLICANTS SELECTED FOR THE INTERVIEW PROCESS WHO FAIL TO SUBMIT ALL OF THESE DOCUMENTS FOR WHATEVER REASON, WILL DISQUALIFY THEMSELVES FROM THE FELLOWSHIP SELECTION PROCESS. 

Documents should be sent to:

Kathryn O’Connell
Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
121 North LaSalle Street, Room 406
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Start Application here.