Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service Program Description
The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service is the premier cross-sector leadership development program for early-career public service professionals in New York City.
Through the fellowship, a diverse group of approximately 30 emerging leaders each year gain valuable experience and exposure to a range of career exploration activities that will help them define their public service path. Monthly activities consist of two evening or weekend sessions, as well as social events and community service activities organized by Fellows.
The FELPS framework guides its fellows through their career development process by asking these four questions:
- Why public service? FELPS aims to reenergize the fellows' initial choice to enter public service while encouraging them to examine their short, medium, and long-term commitment to the sector while balancing other life goals.
- What's in my leadership toolbox? FELPS assists fellows in obtaining a clearer assessment of their assets, knowledge base, and skill sets. With this assessment of their personal "tools" fellows have a greater ability to identify opportunities to deepen these competencies at work and in their lives.
- Who's in my network? Beginning with their peers, Fellows develop a wider network of relationships and a greater ability to tap those relationships to further their work and career goals.
- What's my career map? Semi-monthly fellows meetings and guidance from Career Guides (established professionals in various public service professions) help the fellows gain a more robust understanding of the multifaceted and complex terrain of public service.
What Fellows Have Said about the Program
"The fellowship experience exposed me to people who were just assuming leadership roles within public services as well as those that had impressive legacies of reforming institutions and building organizations from the ground up. It was inspiring to see people who had sustained their commitment throughout their careers and to learn what kept them committed to such a challenging and initially difficult-to-navigate field."
"The fellowship not only provided me with the means to think about my career, but it also connected me to people who shared my passion for policy and social justice. It's great to be able to come to a place and connect to people on many different levels."
"FELPS gave me the much needed space to be thoughtful about what I want out of life. It was a gift and a powerful experience. I hope that this self-reflection and the perspective it yields will remain a part of my practice for years to come."
"Participating in the fellowship not only gave me the chance to explore opportunities in public service, but also allowed me to meet like-minded young professionals who helped to reaffirm my commitment to serving others. In FELPS, the question everyone asks is not, 'Should I serve?' but rather, 'How can I serve most effectively?'"
The fellowship offers a variety of structured leadership and professional development opportunities, including speaker sessions with top public service leaders.
Fellows hear from senior executives across the spectrum of public service organizations. Speakers offer insights into their own career trajectories, guidance on practical strategies for succeeding in public service, and analysis of timely issues and trends. While the speaker series is primarily hosted at NYU Wagner, some sessions take place at the speakers' places of employment, providing Fellows with exposure to a variety of public service environments.
Previous speakers include:
- Dennis Walcott, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
- Ana Oliveira, President and CEO, The New York Women's Foundation
- Iain Levine, Director of Programs, Human Rights Watch
- Khary Lazarre-White, Co-founder and Executive Director, Brotherhood/Sister Sol
- Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
- Ellen Schall, Dean, NYU Wagner
- Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
- Sigmund Ginsburg, Founder, New York City Urban Fellows
Fellows engage in monthly workshops that help them explore their strengths, interests and goals and develop a personalized career plan. Session topics include:
- Conducting informational interviews
- Building on your individual strengths and telling your unique story
- Creating and using networks
- Effectively communicating and delegating in management
- Finding a graduate school that fits your career objectives
In addition, the Fellowship curriculum includes an ongoing series of readings and journal reflections, self evaluation activities, facilitated small group discussions to foster peer learning, and informational interviews.
Mentorship and a Network of Support
Mentorship is a key element of the fellowship. Career Guides who serve as mentors throughout the course of the program are senior directors at a variety of public service organizations. They meet with Fellows on an ongoing basis both in groups and one-on-one. In addition, Alumni Guides who have completed the program offer guidance and support.
In addition, one of the most valuable resources and sources of support for Fellows as they move through their public service careers is the other extraordinary Fellows. From the very beginning of the fellowship, participants have the opportunity to get to know each other through various activities and events, including a day-long Orientation.
An essential part of the fellowship is ongoing peer learning in cohort groups. Fellows meet regularly with members of their small groups for in-depth conversation and collective reflection, and in the process, build lasting connections with group members and their Career and Alumni Guides.
Upon completion of the program, fellows become part of a thriving professional alumni network of more than 200 people.