What is DVRPC's Fellowship Program?
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Fellowship provides a unique experience in regional planning to serve in various departments at the Commission over the course of a year. The selected fellow will participate in the daily activities of a Metropolitan Planning Organization, complete special projects, and experience firsthand how regional and local plans are made. The fellow's specific department and project assignments will be determined based on a combination of the selected candidate’s specific skills and interests, and DVRPC project needs.
The program is also intended to help support the development of a pipeline of talented individuals from historically underrepresented communities into the urban and regional planning fields, though applicants from any background are welcome. The DVRPC Fellowship, which is a paid, year-long, full-time, training program, is open to a recent college graduate, and is designed to promote and support that individual to gain the skills, contacts, and experience to help them excel in their career. There will be one fellow each year.
DVRPC's vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves our natural resources while creating healthy communities; and fosters greater opportunities for all.
DVRPC's mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making. We are engaged across the region, and strive to be leaders and innovators, exploring new ideas and creating best practices.
We provide services to member governments and others through planning analysis, data collection, and mapping services. Aerial photographs, maps, and a variety of publications are available to the public and private sector.
DVRPC serves a diverse nine county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer in New Jersey.
For more information, visit DVRPC at http://www.dvrpc.org/
DVRPC’s Fellowship Program is a one-year program that offers on-the-job experience in multiple organizational, technical, administrative, and communications functions, designed to build a strong foundation and knowledge of regional planning and organization operations.
Individual assignments will be coupled with an agency orientation to introduce you to all aspects of DVRPC’s work, and developmental opportunities will be tailored to ensure a meaningful learning experience.
The selected Fellow will:
- Gain real-world experience while learning DVRPC’s methods for effective research, analysis, and consensus building.
- Work in collaboration with government organizations and invested stakeholders on issues that affect the Philadelphia region.
- Be part of DVRPC’s methods for bringing community members directly into the process, learning valuable skills for facilitating conversations and incorporating feedback in meaningful ways.
- Experience valuable professional development and mentoring opportunities with DVRPC staff.
- Gain a broad range of marketable professional skills and get hands-on project experience.
- Work with an amazing staff of professionals and contribute to the growth and development of an exciting and effective organization.
- After successful completion of the program, DVRPC fellows may be considered for full-time positions at DVRPC (if positions are available). The Fellowship will also prepare you well to attend graduate school, or begin a successful career.
The Fellow will work on a broad range of DVRPC projects. There will be some opportunities for creating original work, but the bulk of the role will involve providing support on existing projects.
The Fellow will work 37.5-hours a week during the one-year Fellowship period.
The Fellow's specific department and project assignments will be determined based on a combination of the selected candidate's specific skills and interests, and DVRPC project needs, and the Fellow will also be expected to be flexible in providing general administrative and organizational support as needed.
DVRPC's Fellowship Program is open to college graduates who have received their bachelor's degree in either the summer/fall of 2017 or the spring of 2018. While any such graduate may apply, special consideration is given to applicants who have graduated from a school in the nine-county Philadelphia region. Fellows are required to have their bachelor’s degree by program start date.
The ideal candidate will:
- Have a background or possess a record of academic achievement in the areas of public administration, public policy, urban studies, economics, political science, engineering, environmental studies, or a related discipline. However, we recognize that individuals with potential to become a great regional or urban planner may come from a broader range of experiences. Many of us do!
- Demonstrate excellent problem solving, analytical, quantitative, written and oral communication, and interpersonal skills with a strong customer service orientation and political interest.
- Be proficient with Microsoft Office and Google Suite.
- Have an interest or aptitude in managing, analyzing, and communicating data.
- Be friendly, self-directed, detail-oriented, and able to work in a collaborative environment with a broad range of partners.
- Be flexible and enthusiastic about experiencing all the facets that DVRPC has to offer, including areas that are not necessarily aligned with their professional backgrounds.
- Have some work experience and/or internships in public service, transportation, government, or related fields, is preferred.
- Have a specialized technical skill, such as an interest in databases, GIS, survey research, and/or programming languages.
All applications are due by noon on Monday, April 16, 2018.
Complete applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, who will evaluate applicants based on the criteria above. The most qualified candidates will then be selected to interview with the committee at DVRPC's offices in Philadelphia.
After the interviews, the selection committee forwards its recommendations to the Executive Director based on the applicant's academic achievement, analytical and communication skills, and work experience, references, quality of writing sample or exercise materials, and overall interest in regional and urban planning. The Executive Director then makes the final selection. Recipient of the Fellowship will be notified as soon as possible following the Executive Director's decision.
The Fellowship will take place from July 2018 through June 2019.
The Fellow will be part of the selection committee to select the 2019 Fellow next Spring.
Salary & Benefits
DVRPC Fellows receive a stipend of $40,000 (paid biweekly) plus full fringe benefits (including health, dental, life insurance, vacation, holidays, and retirement contributions) during the Fellowship year. The year of service corresponds with DVRPC's fiscal year, July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Housing is the responsibility of the Fellow.
The Fellowship will also provide two sets of mentorship opportunities. The first is mentorship from the DVRPC staff in the methods and processes we use to achieve our mission. The second will be through a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions with each of five Associate Directors who represent a broad range of DVRPC's planning and analysis work. This is an opportunity to learn more about the field, gain access to experts in the planning field, and ask questions that help you in your own career development.
The following items are needed to apply:
- A cover letter, in which you address why you are interested in the Fellowship, what you hope to get out of it, and what your goals are for your career
- Current official college transcript
- A current resume
- A writing sample (preferably 3-5 pages) that reflects your writing style and incorporates some quantitative analysis and/or original charts, drawings, or other graphics.
- A list of 3 professional references, with contact information.
To apply, please send all materials in one email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or mailed in on packet to:
- DVRPC Felloship Program
- c/o DVRPC's Human Resources Office
- 190 N. Independence Mall West
- 8th Floor
- Philadelphia, PA 19106
To be eligible for consideration, applications must be received by April 16, 2018. Again, all application material must be mailed or emailed together to avoid loss of documentation. Material sent separately will not be accepted. Please note that we will NOT review applications that do not provide all requested materials.
This solicitation is not a guarantee of employment.
DVRPC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Full consideration will be given to all eligible, qualified applicants without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic or sexual violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition (including pregnancy), national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation; or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law. Minority, female, and disabled applicants are encouraged to apply.