City of Rochester Urban Fellows Program

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Message from the Mayor   

Fellowships or internships are valuable educational experiences that open doors, spark ideas and enrich the knowledge and skills of students who take part. It is an experience that one carries for a lifetime.           

My internship with New York State Assemblyman David Gantt is part of what inspired me to pursue public service and I hope that City interns will be similarly empowered and inspired, whether their interests lie in government or other areas.

It is also important to recognize that the fellows, as City Employees, have as much to offer as they have to gain. Across every department, their ideas, skills, and energy are helping lead Rochester to the brightest future.

I encourage students to explore the opportunities available in our City government and celebrate with us what Rochester is and share in a vision of what it could be.


About the Urban Fellows Program

The City of Rochester's Urban Fellows Program provides talented graduate and undergraduate students an introduction to the governance, operations, and administration of City government.  Through a combination of work experience, seminars, trainings, volunteer service, and tours, students are provided a unique opportunity to learn about City government as well as contributing to our on-going effort to make Rochester the best mid-sized City in the U.S. in which to live, raise a family, visit, and grow a business.  

The City offers a variety of fellowship experiences for students enrolled in an accredited academic program. While some City fellowships are paid,  unpaid fellowships can be used to obtain college credit through arrangements with your school and supervising professor. Explore the fellowship opportunities available listed at the bottom of this page to learn about the program from the participants themselves.

Please note that preference is given to applicants who are City residents and/or graduated from a high school in the City. Applications for Summer, Fall, and Spring fellowships are accepted only during the following time frames:

  • Summer Fellowships: January 1 through March 31
  • Fall Fellowships: April 1 through June 30
  • Spring Fellowships: September 1 through November 30

Please e-mail a cover letter detailing the type of fellowship opportunity you are seeking to the following e-mail address fellowship@cityofrochester.gov and then submit an application using the link below.

 Click here to apply for a fellowship through the City's website

 


 

Government, Politics and Public Service 

The Mayor’s Office offers paid and unpaid fellowships to both graduate and undergraduate students interested in urban affairs, government and politics. These fellowships offer unique opportunities for students to gain exposure to a professional work setting and municipal government and could include tasks related to budget management, special project support and law. Positions are limited. While the department normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply.

  •  Political Science
  •  Urban Studies
  •  Public Policy

Communications

The Communications Bureau offers paid and unpaid fellowship opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students in areas including journalism, television and radio production, graphic design, website administration, photography, media relations and special events administration. The Bureau also administers the City’s Freedom of Information (FOIL) function where interns can gain experience in government, records access and law. While Communications normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply. Please note that a writing sample will be requested, if applicable.  

  • Communications
  • Advertising
  • Journalism
  • Political Science
  • Special Event Planning

Department of Human Resource Management

The Department of Human Resource Management offers paid and unpaid fellowship opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students interested in areas of Civil Service Administration, Staffing and Recruitment, Benefits Management, Labor Relations and Training & Safety.  The fellowship is designed to provide hands-on experience in public sector human resource management.  The fellow will work with the City of Rochester's Human Resources Team to develop key initiatives and be part of meaningful projects that contribute to the success of the City of Rochester.  Responsibilities may include general administrative and/or research functions for the purpose of developing a working knowledge of a targeted area in municipal government.

  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Administration
  • Organizational Management
  • Public Administration

Information Technology

The Department of Information Technology offers paid fellowships to both graduate and undergraduate students in the areas of information systems, graphic information systems, business process re-engineering and server and client support. Responsibilities may include assisting in identifying analysis of IT workflow processes, in identifying automotive opportunities in an IT environment and in gathering, tracking, and reporting information. While IT normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply.

  • Information Technology
  • Computer Sciences
  • Computer Engineering

Environmental Services

The Department of Environmental Services offers paid fellowships to both graduate and undergraduate students in the Bureaus of Architecture & Engineering, Building Services, Environmental Quality, Fleet Services, and the Water Bureau. Responsibilities may include helping provide a safe, clean and attractive community through efficient planning and design. While DES normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply. 

  • Architecture 
  • Automotive Technology
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences/Management/Sustainability  
  • Surveying
  • Urban Forestry

Neighborhood and Business Development

The Neighborhood and Business Development department offers paid and unpaid fellowships to both graduate and undergraduate students in areas such as business and housing development and inspection and compliance services. Responsibilities may include performing research, business analysis, business mailings, and administrative and data entry tasks. Individuals should have a desire to assist in business growth and development. While NBD normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply.

  • Political Science
  • Public Policy 
  • City and Regional Planning

Rochester Police Department

The Rochester Police Department offers unpaid fellowship opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students. Note that highly motivated high school students may also be considered. Interns are assigned to specific units or officers, where they become part of a team, and may be assigned clerical work to assist the officer and/or staff. While RPD normally accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in areas listed below, any student interested in the work performed by this department is encouraged to apply. Please note that all RPD fellowships are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m workdays. Positions are limited.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Sociology
  • Political Science

Rochester Animal Services (RAS)

The RAS seeks fellows to help with the following functions:

  • Customer service, greeters, triage
  • Administrative assistant, data entry
  • Community outreach (neighborhoods)
  • Dog care
  • Cat care
  • Clinic support
  • Special events (tabling events)
  • General shelter support (laundry, dishes, windows, gardening)
     

Department of Recreation and Youth Services

The Department of Recreation and Youth Services offers a variety of unpaid fellowship possibilities and college credit opportunities for college students interested in gaining experience in the areas of recreation, recreation management, positive youth development and youth work, community planning and special events, and communications. Depending on your time and how many hours you will need to complete your internship, you will be able to be a part of an activity or a program that the Department offers with the opportunity for evening and weekend hours.  The Department of Recreation and Youth Services accepts applicants who are pursuing degrees in the areas listed below: 

  •  Recreation and Leisure Studies 
  •  Human Services 
  •  Criminal Justice 
  •  Urban Studies 
  •  Community Youth Development and/or Social Work 

Flower City AmeriCorps offers paid service opportunities for adults aged 17 and older. Full- and part-time positions are available to qualified individuals interested in alleviating the symptoms of poverty in Rochester while earning a living allowance and gaining invaluable job experience. Flower City AmeriCorps members are placed in sites within the City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services, the Rochester Public Library, select Neighborhood Service Centers, and other community agencies whose focus is on anti-poverty services in Rochester.