Focusing on the Foundation

Four key themes provide a foundation for the Schaeffer Fellows program. The themes establish a framework for reflection, networking, skill-building, and planning for the future.

These key themes were incorporated into a new Schaeffer Fellows Weekly Bulletin and referenced throughout the Schaeffer Fellows Summit. The themes help the Fellows contextualize professional development topics and apply them in practice.

Examples of how these themes are woven into the fellowship experience are shared throughout this report.


Key Themes

Reflecting on Core Values

Schaeffer Fellows receive a tailored Resource Guide before the start of their internship. The Guide offers tools for reflecting on personal values and how they affect motivation. During the Schaeffer Fellows Summit, Fellows had an opportunity to discuss these values as a basis for goal-setting and consider how they may influence their career ambitions.

Collaborating & Networking

The program emphasizes a cohort experience with fifty Fellows from five universities. Fellows were assigned to an interest-based small group – their Schaeffer Fellows Pod. At the Summit, Fellows had the opportunity for individual and group conversations about their professional interests. In addition to their internship supervisors, Fellows were also connected with a university alumni mentor and Schaeffer Fellow alumni ambassador to expand their professional network.

Exploring Leadership Lessons

Fellows form connections with public service leaders through their internships and during program events. At the Summit, Fellows heard from a panel of public service professionals about their career path and the lessons in leadership they had along the way. They were also provided with resources on how to make the most of the relationship with their internship supervisor and alumni mentor.

Developing Transferable Skills

Schaeffer Fellow alumni go on to pursue many different academic and professional career paths. The Schaeffer Fellows program focuses on the importance of gaining a variety of transferable professional and interpersonal skills, and a first-hand understanding of government operations. This summer, Fellows received information about career exploration through a weekly bulletin and a new Summit session focused on career development.