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New Urban Mechanics summer fellowship

A unique opportunity for creative, curious, and entrepreneurial folks. We need people passionate about civic issues to work with communities and try something new.

The 2020 summer fellowship application is now open. The deadline is January 14, 2020:

Apply online

Our summer fellowship is a highly-selective, eight-week program. Fellows work as a team, creating and putting in place thoughtful new policies to benefit Boston. Fellows also take part in many professional development sessions to get a broad view of careers in City government.

About the fellowship

Fellowship projects are as diverse as the fellows we have had. We’ve worked with traffic engineers, public health students, business and policy masters candidates, and sociology PhDs. If you have an interest in making Boston a healthy, thriving, innovative 21st-century City, this could be the place for you.

New Urban Mechanics alumni

We created the Summer Fellowship Program to attract the next generation of leaders to careers in public service. Several members of the current Urban Mechanics team were summer fellows. Our alumni can also be found in:

Common questions

Common questions
  1. You may be invited to a phone screen with our staff in February 2020.
  2. If you pass that phase, you may be invited to an in-person group interview day in late February / early March 2020 with other candidates.
  3. Sometimes, we ask for one to two follow-up phone conversations.
  4. We announce selections in late March 2020 / early April 2021.

Typically eight weeks. Some years, we have some fellows who stay for 10 weeks.

The 2020 summer fellowship will most likely start on June 8, 2020.

While you are going through our application process, we are going through a project scoping process at City Hall. We work to match each fellow with a project that will make use of their skillsets. We want to give you projects that are both interesting and challenging. We announce fellow and project matches during the first day of onboarding.

If you’re selected, we’ll share broad materials about the City in the lead-up to your start date. But, we can’t share specific project details until you arrive.

Successful fellows have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, drawing on diverse and creative skillsets. We’ve worked with teachers and architects, public health students and public policy masters candidates, economics undergrads, and sociology PhDs.

If you have an interest in making Boston a healthy, thriving, innovative, 21st-century City, this fellowship could be for you.

We organize informal Chief Chats for our fellows. You can ask questions to — and learn from — various Cabinet Chiefs around the administration. We encourage fellows to have coffee chats with our staff, as well as other City Hall staff. We want you to learn about what it’s like to work in City Hall full-time, as well as learn about other efforts happening at the City. 

We also organize a number of site visits for fellows to see City work in action. Reach out to a one of our staff members if you have a specific area or skillset you’d like to grow during the summer.

We are usually able to accommodate six fellows paid for by the City.

Last year’s total wages for a Summer Fellow were $5,880. Summer Fellows will be on the City’s pay cycle. You will receive paychecks every other Friday.

Generally, you’ll be expected at work from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may sometimes need to attend morning or evening meetings for your project work.

Also, you may just want to attend morning or evening meetings that are interesting to you, albeit unrelated to your work. This is optional, but you are certainly welcome to do so.

In the past, the Mayor has come to hear from fellows at a weekly fellows’ meeting. The Mayor may also be out in the City at events that you may be attending. Say hi!

Some Past Projects

Some Past Projects
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Boston Saves

During his 2015 State of the City address, Mayor Walsh launched Boston’s Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program. This “building-block of opportunity” aims to help close the opportunity gap for Boston’s children. That summer, a fellow took on the challenge of helping the Office of Workforce Development create and launch this program. Five Boston Public Schools are now participants in the three-year pilot program.

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Coffee Cart

Mayor Walsh wanted to use the inside of City Hall to increase public engagement. A summer 2014 fellow worked with stakeholders to brainstorm ideas for how to enliven City Hall. The goal was to provide an amenity to both staff and visitors. We learned that creating an attraction in public spaces — in this case, a coffee cart — made people more likely to use that space. The success of the temporary cart also provided evidence to invest in a permanent one.

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Redesigned City Hall Plaza

In 2015, a summer fellow led the process to find a third-party operator to reimagine Boston’s City Hall Plaza. The summer project included leading stakeholder meetings and drafting a Request for Proposal, which was released in Fall 2015. A partner was announced in 2016. An ice skating rink and vendor stalls were placed on the plaza by the end of 2016.