Building Your Work Plan

Prior to interviewing and hiring a fellow, be sure you have developed a work plan. Most finalists will review work plans prior to interviews to better prepare.

The purpose of the work plan is to ensure an enriching professional learning experience for the fellow. They include a job description, along with details on fellowship goals, mentor assignments, fellowship structure, etc. Work plans, should be prepared and submitted before a host community begins interviewing candidates.

Fellowship Structures

Specialized

The fellow spends the entire year in a particular department, e.g. the City Manager's Office, Office of Emergency Management. If you go this route, it's still important to ensure the fellow has exposure to all facets of the organization and its goals/mission.

Rotational

In the course of a year, the fellow rotates through specific departments. Typically, the fellow goes through four, three-month rotations within the city/county, with one of the four rotations being in the city/county manager's office.

Rotational

(loosely

organized)

The fellow is assigned to general areas and also assigned to projects as needed. For example, the fellow may be assigned to the manager's office part-time and a department that needs management assistance part-time. Or, the fellow may be assigned to rotate through functional areas such as general city/county administration, growth management and the environment, health and human services, and strategic organizational improvement yet still be assigned projects outside of these areas.

Project-based

Fellows are assigned projects and move around as needed. Projects can be identified during the interview process.  

 
Components of a Successful Fellowship
  • Initial interviews should include the manager (if possible).

  • Goals that both the fellow and employer hope to accomplish should be discussed (preferably before the fellow arrives) during the first week.

  • Fellows and the purpose of their fellowships should be introduced to department heads, elected officials, staff, and community leaders. This includes a deliberate and conscious distinction and discussion about the duties of a fellow versus the duties of an intern.

  • Fellows should receive continuous mentoring with follow-up by one individual (preferably the County/City Manager or another prominent manager such as the assistant manager or an experienced department head), at least once a month, if not more.

  • Fellows should be allowed to attend some senior management meetings, advances/retreats, etc.

  • Fellows should be allowed to attend council/commissioner meetings, citizen groups, etc. to gain exposure to elected officials and citizens.

  • Fellows should be encouraged to take advantage of professional development opportunities (conferences, training, networking, etc.).

  • Assignments should be practical, management-level projects that give fellows insight into what it means to be a manager.

 

View Samples 

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