Summer Fellowship

We are currently only accepting applications for the 2017 Summer Fellowship in Chicago. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay tuned for future Summer Fellowship application dates and other updates.

The New Sector Summer Fellowship is an intensive 11-week program for current and recent undergraduates, and for graduate students:

  • Summer Fellows – Undergraduate (mostly rising juniors and seniors) and recent college graduates
  • Senior Summer Fellows – Master’s students with 2+ years of post-college work experience and at least 1 year of graduate study completed; in addition to participating in all program elements described here, Senior Fellows also lead Learning Teams of Summer Fellows and lead selected training activities

Typically, each summer cohort includes 20 Summer Fellows and 5 Senior Fellows.


“This summer was a great experience! It definitely helped me attain a stronger focus towards my future goals. I was able to grow personally and professionally through training sessions, networking with alumni, and with the help of the CEO at my host site.”
- Zeba Hashimi, Summer Fellow 2014, San Francisco

The Summer Fellowship includes the following elements, which you can read more about in our Fellowships Overview page:

  • TrainingFellows meet regularly throughout their terms for training on topics ranging from project management to nonprofit finance, communication to interviewing skills, and more.  Trainers include social sector leaders, consultants, career coaches, and others.
  • Host site placements*By serving full-time with a nonprofit organization (‘host site’), Fellows gain experience and apply their learning; at the same time, Fellows make a meaningful and lasting impact at their host site.
  • MentorshipThrough 1:1 relationships between Fellows and professionals who volunteer to serve as Mentors, Fellows gain individual support for their host site projects, their career planning, or other areas aligned with their individual goals.
  • CoachingStructured and as-needed coaching opportunities offer Fellows support for host site projects and career development, as well as additional learning.  Coaching is supported by Learning Teams (peer groups) as well as individual meetings with Fellows and Staff.


*Candidates who have already secured an internship for the summer may still participate, but will not receive a stipend from New Sector. As part of the application process, candidates must submit this form to indicate their acceptance into an internship. Qualifying internships must be with a social impact organization and contain a project component that creates, expands, or improves services for that organization. These internships can be paid or unpaid.

Summer Fellows participate in over 60 hours of training, drawing from our curriculum spanning five dimensions of professional development. The structured training schedule includes:

  • A two-day kickoff
  • Five full-day workshops including sessions on: communication & leadership skills, functional skills development (e.g. finance, fundraising, marketing), and career development & management.
  • Senior Fellows participate  in selected sessions with the full cohort and engage in additional skills application work separately. By leading a Learning Team and facilitating a training session for Summer Fellows, Senior Fellows gain experience mentoring others, offering feedback, and providing professional development to early career professionals.

“This summer was a great experience! It definitely helped me attain a stronger focus towards my future goals. I was able to grow personally and professionally through training sessions, networking with alumni, and with the help of the CEO at my host site.”
- Zeba Hashimi, Summer Fellow 2014, San Francisco

Projects at host sties create, improve, or expand services offered by these social impact organizations. Summer Fellows are expected to support or lead specific parts of ongoing strategic or management-driven projects*. Projects for Senior Fellows are designed for graduate-level experience and often include engagement with senior management or boards of directors.

Here are some examples of projects our Fellows worked on:

Performance Measurement
Dan Kitson helped UP Education Network in Boston achieve its impact measurement goals by supporting the implementation of its new performance evaluation system.

Program Outreach & Community Awareness
Tenzin Kunsal helped Pollen in the Twin Cities enhance their outreach and awareness capacity by creating a process for partnership development and building a system for Pollen’s research and editorial work.

Volunteer Engagement
Joelle Hughley helped YMCA in the Twin Cities build their volunteer engagement strategy by understanding how to optimize volunteer impact through data collection assessment, process improvement analysis, and producing volunteer recruitment materials.

Technology Effectiveness
Ben Vincent helped Boston based Thrive in 5 improve their technology effectiveness by enhancing their membership card system, creating more engage opportunities between community partners and vulnerable families in need of youth educational success support.

Program Management & Operations

Phoebe Marcus helped Year Up in Chicago improve program operations by planning and implementing strategic initiatives related to site efficiency and staff engagement, enabling Year Up Chicago to successfully expand its programs and services.

Program Development & Delivery
Casey Anderson helped SamaUSA in San Francisco strengthen program development by building out their e-training curriculum and leveraging technology to increase the effectiveness of curriculum delivery.

Community Assessment
Grace Peter helped Green Light Fund in San Francisco build capacity for community assessment by conducting in-depth research on a small portfolio of potential organizations, and providing recommendations for selection.


*Candidates who have already secured an internship for the summer may still participate, but will not receive a stipend from New Sector. As part of the application process, candidates must submit this form to indicate their acceptance into an internship. Qualifying internships must be with a social impact organization and contain a project component that creates, expands, or improves services for that organization. These internships can be paid or unpaid.

In addition to training, mentorship, and coaching, Fellows also receive:

  • $2,000 stipend for Summer Fellows(paid as Trainees, and not taxed).  Fellows who secure their own placement and apply for professional development only will not receive any stipend from New Sector. For more information, please contact the Program Manager of the site you are interested in.
  • $6,000 stipend for Senior Fellows (paid as employees, and taxed)

Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Interview Questions

  • What do you look for in candidates?
    • We look for candidates with a diverse range of academic, internship/work, and life experiences, to build well­-matched and mutually­ supportive cohorts. Each of the early career professionals in our programs demonstrates commitment, focus, interest in professional development, interpersonal skill, professional achievement, leadership experience, and career goals aligned with our social impact focus. Our participants have backgrounds in everything from business to political science, biology to psychology, and beyond.
  • Can I apply for more than one site?
    • New Sector runs fellowship programs in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities. When you apply to the program, you will be asked to select one city in which to serve as a Fellow. If you are open to other cities, you may indicate this on the application. New Sector staff will consider that information in conjunction with your full application and host site projects when deciding the status of your application. Do NOT complete multiple applications for multiple cities ­­as it will slow down the processing and reviewing of your application.
  • Can I still apply if it is past the deadline?
    • Yes, we review applications until all cohorts are full.
  • Are interviews case-­based as they are at many consulting firms?
    • No. New Sector interviews ask candidates to thoughtfully reflect on their skills, interests, and past experiences. We also ask candidates to consider opportunities and challenges they have encountered and to clearly describe these in an organized, coherent manner.
  • What is asked of the references I listed in my application?
    • References receive an electronic form asking for general feedback on the applicant. They are asked to rate skill areas such as communication and professionalism.
  • My references have not been contacted, is everything ok?
    • References are contacted the same time that applicants are offered  second round (staff) interview.
  • Is there a waitlist?
    • Yes. Candidates placed on the waitlist can expect to be alerted within one month about the status of their applications.

Training, Mentorship, Learning Team, and Support Questions

  • What do we learn in the training sessions?
    • ​Fellows participate in New Sector’s Social Impact Leadership Curriculum, which is designed to 1) increase their ability to provide quality service, 2) provide professional and community development knowledge and skills, 3) create a dynamic “esprit de corps” by providing insight into the communities they serve, and 4) inspire commitment to a lifetime of service through exposure to role models, theories of change, and concepts of leadership. You can find more information in the training tab here.
  • Who are Mentors and what do they do?
    • ​Each Fellow is matched with a Mentor who provides support throughout the program. Mentors are typically consulting, business, and nonprofit professionals. Mentors are a great resource for feedback on deliverables, thought partnership on finalizing a work plan, instruction in technical skills such as Excel or PowerPoint, or general career advice and professional development. Discussions typically take place in -person or via phone or email.
  • ​Can I choose my Mentor?
    • ​Program staff make each Mentor­-Fellow match based on survey answers about goals and desired characteristics.
  • ​What are Learning Teams?
    • ​New Sector believes the strength of our programs rests in our Fellows. Cohorts are designed to build upon one another’s skills and experiences, and colleagues support and challenge one another throughout the program. To enable the cohort model to flourish, Fellows participate in Learning Teams ­ bi­weekly meetings of small groups of 4­5 Fellows and a staff member. These meetings provide a support network and a more intimate forum for sharing knowledge, ideas, successes, and challenges.
  • ​What is New Sector’s commitment to diversity?
    • ​Our cohorts reflect diversity of identity and experience in order to (1) facilitate meaningful learning, (2) reflect the needs and populations of our local communities and host sites, and (3) support the development of a diverse social sector talent pipeline.

Host Site and Project Questions

  • What type of host sites does New Sector work with?
    • New Sector partners with organizations that focus on a variety of issues, including: the environment, youth development and education, health, community and economic development, and military and veterans services. Please visit our current Fellows’ profiles for more information on current host sites and projects.
  • What are some typical Fellow project placements?
    • We place Fellows in fundraising, communications, direct service/programming, volunteer management and development, and data/performance measurement roles. Roles will be dependent on the needs of our partner organizations.
  • ​I really want to work in education; can I get placement in my interest area?
    • ​While we encourage commitment to specific fields and will work to have placement match Fellows’ interest areas, we cannot guarantee a match with a host site in any one field in advance. We have had many successful participants work in a field new to them, and either deepen their original commitment through building their skills or extend their commitment to the new field.
  • Can I find my own host site?
    • ​If you know of an organization that might be a good fit for New Sector, we encourage you to connect them with New Sector! However, it is rare that Fellows identify their own match those this process.

Matching Questions

  • Can I apply to be employed by a specific host site?
    • Yes! If you are currently employed at an organization or have a relationship with an organization that would like to hire you, both you and the organization can apply simultaneously. Reach out to your program manager to discuss the specifics. If you do not have a relationship with an organization but would like a specific role, let us know! We can’t guarantee any placement or that the role would be a good match, but we can certainly try to make the connection.
  • Is there a list of confirmed host sites I can review?
    • Host site recruitment and Fellow recruitment often occur simultaneously so a complete list of host sites will not be available when candidates apply. If you have suggestions or connections at any social impact organizations, feel free to share your network with us!

We are now accepting applications on a rolling basis for the 2017 Chicago Summer Fellowship via our online application. Our application has 3 parts:

  1. Online Application
  2. Round 1 Interview with a New Sector alum
  3. Round 2 interview with staff (and reference check)

Application Deadlines

We’re now accepting summer applications on a rolling basis, and will review applications based on availability.

Online Application

Our online application asks for:

  1. Demographic Information and Program Preferences
  2. Upload of Written Materials (Resume, Cover Letter, Answers to 3 Short Essay Questions) in PDF or Word formats*
  3. Contact Information for two professional or academic references (no friends or family please)

Writing Sample

In addition to preparing a resume and cover letter, we ask you to submit answers to 3 short essay questions. Please answer the 3 following questions in 300 words per question or less (900 words total), and include all 3 answers in a single document and upload using the button on the application.

  1. Please tell us why you are committed to the social sector, and how the New Sector program would enhance that commitment.
  2. Please tell us about an accomplishment you are proud of.
  3. In addition to each Fellow learning from the New Sector experience, we know each Fellow adds to the professional development of his/her colleagues in the cohort.  Please tell us about the role you would play in supporting peer learning within the cohort.  Fellows’ impact on their peers’ learning often stems from their unique experiences, backgrounds, personalities, and perspectives.

While you can save your progress in the online application, we recommend you prepare your written materials offline before starting the application.

*Candidates who have already secured an internship for the summer must submit this form to indicate an internship has been secured. Qualifying internships must be with a social impact organization and contain a project component that creates, expands, or improves services for that organization. They may be paid or unpaid. Please answer the writing sample questions on the bottom of the form and upload both together when you are asked to upload the writing sample on the application.


Candidates who receive and accept an enrollment offer will then enter the Matching Process.  Fellows must accept enrollment in the program as a whole at this time, not enrollment based on matching at any one particular host site. New Sector offers incoming Fellows interviews with potential host sites in the weeks and months following program enrollment. After each ‘matching interview’ we will seek feedback from both the Fellow and the host site in order to identify the best possible match. It is likely that each accepted Fellow will end up at one of their preferred host sites, but we cannot guarantee that even the most qualified applicant will end up at their first choice site.

Qualifications and Eligibility

  • Summer Fellows have completed at least one year of undergraduate studies (or have graduated with their undergraduate degree); Senior Fellows must have an undergraduate degree, 2+ years of full-time post-college work experience, and be enrolled in a graduate degree program and have completed at least one year of graduate studies
  • Senior Fellows must be eligible to work as employees in the United States and for New Sector; Summer Fellows must be eligible to work as contractors for New Sector
  • Demonstrated commitment to social impact
  • High level of self-motivation and academic, extracurricular, professional, and/or personal accomplishment
  • Core leadership attributes, including: resourcefulness, responsibility, independence, patience, integrity, energy, and a strong work ethic
  • Adaptability in the face of change and resource constraints
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the capacity to understand the needs of multiple and diverse stakeholders, build strong host site relationships, and work effectively individually and as part of a team
  • Excellent project management, analytical, and/or research skills
  • Ability to approach challenges in a structured manner by setting goals, devising a plan to achieve those goals, and meeting those goals in a timely manner
  • Clear commitment to growth and focus on professional development goals

Release of Information

To facilitate Fellow selection and matching, New Sector may share candidates’ resumes and other application materials with potential host sites, mentors, and others involved in the interview and matching process. If candidates have any questions or concerns about this, please contact Please no calls.

New Sector Alliance actively seeks to build fellowship programs enrolling individuals with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, representing a diversity of race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, secular preference, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, and ancestry. Further, we encourage individuals with disabilities to apply to the program; New Sector can provide reasonable accommodations for those individuals upon request. For additional assistance please contact