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New Urban Mechanics yearlong fellowship

Our fellowship gives those interested in civic entrepreneurship deep insight into working creatively in City government. We want to build a pipeline of talent into the public sector.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Yearlong Fellowship are now open. The deadline is January 14, 2020:

Apply online

About the fellowship

What you'll do

The fellowship is a one-year appointment. During that year, our fellow will design and deliver new initiatives to make Boston better for:

  • residents and visitors
  • researchers, and
  • businesses.

Our fellow works with the Mayor's senior staff and is supported by the entire New Urban Mechanics team. You also take part in a variety of professional development sessions to get a broad view of careers in City government.

Candidates tend to be recent graduates of masters degree programs (or folks with equivalent work experience) who have a strong interest in civic innovation. The best candidates are those who are creative, curious, and entrepreneurial.

Work of previous yearlong fellows

Over almost a decade of running our yearlong fellowship program, we have supported and amplified the work of many departments throughout City Hall. Some examples of projects previous yearlong fellows have worked on include:

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 in-person interviews with various Chiefs.
  4. We announce our selection in late April 2020.

While you are going through our application process, we are going through a project scoping process. We will scope a set of projects that we will pitch to you when you arrive. We want to make sure that you are given a range of potential projects that you feel you can immediately execute. We also plan to give you projects that will need further exploration, and one or two that will really stretch you.

We welcome your input on — or rejection of — the projects we pitch to you. We will also expect you to come up with a few prototype ideas of your own. A large part of our work is keeping an ear open for interesting ideas. We expect you to spend some time exploring and making relevant connections across the projects we’ve scoped for you to pitch a few ideas to us!

Successful yearlong fellows have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, drawing on diverse and creative skillsets. We’ve worked with urban planners 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.

When you join as our yearlong fellow, you are immediately treated as a Program Director on the team. That means you may be:

  • invited to senior-level Cabinet meetings in your first week
  • asked to fill in for our co-chairs at a speaking event, and
  • sitting in with the Press team on an interview with a reporter about a project you're getting up to speed on.

We’d love it if you wanted to blog for us on Medium, or create compelling digital stories in the medium of your choice. We will make connections for you across the organization. We encourage you to get to know staff in departments that are interesting to you. You should also spend a healthy amount of your time learning from your peers in the Mayor’s Office.

As with many highly entrepreneurial fellowship opportunities, you’ll get out of it (developmentally speaking) what you put into it. You are also welcome to join any of the City’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

Typically 12 months, generally from September - August.

It is somewhat negotiable. We prefer an early September start date and a late August end date.

Just one! Will it be you?

$75,000. You are eligible for the City’s benefits program, as well.

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.

You may also 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.

Yes! We will aim to have you present to the Mayor at least once during your time with us. It’s also likely that you will get to talk to him informally as a result of sitting in the Mayor’s Office suite. Say hello!