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Spring Fellowships

This Spring, SIG will be piloting a program in which Stanford students are matched with local governmental organizations for a part-time internship. These internships will give student participants substantive experience in a local agency during the school year, much as SIG fellowships do for all levels of government during the summer.

SIG will place one intern at each of the following offices:

  • San Francisco Mayor’s Office
  • State Senator Jerry Hill (San Mateo)
  • San Jose Auditor’s Office

Applications are open until Monday, March 3 at 11:59 p.m. Please email resume, cover letter, and transcript to sigspringfellowships@gmail.com, specifying the office you are applying to in the subject line. (You may apply to multiple offices, but please send a separate email for each one and specify your order of preference.)

SIG will reimburse selected applicants for transportation costs accrued over the course of their internships.

San Francisco Mayor’s Office

Overview

The Mayor’s Internship Program is designed to immerse collegiate and professional interns in city government by matching interns to their fields of interest inside the public service sector. In the spirit of diversity and progressivism that characterizes San Francisco, the Mayor’s Office welcomes intern candidates of various backgrounds who wish to bring innovative ideas from their communities to City Hall and from City Hall to their communities. While you are here, you will not only be involved in the operations of the city, but be exposed to many community service opportunities as well.

Applicants should specify which office they are interested in. Two offices are currently available: Mayor’s Office of Communications, and Mayor’s Office of Education.

Official Website: http://www.sfmayor.org/index.aspx?page=18

Potential Projects and Desired Qualifications

The Mayor’s Office of Communications carries the voice of the Mayor to the media, to community leaders, and to the general public, through various media and communications outlets.

Intern duties include:

  • Initiating contact with and respond to inquiries from print, radio and television journalists.
  • Writing news releases, background pieces, advisories, fact sheets and other news-related information, as well as flyers and other written materials.
  • Assisting Communications staff with logistics during press events.
  • Preparing daily news clips for the Mayor and staff.
  • Internet-based research and word processing.
  • Answering phones, taking detailed messages.

Qualifications/Skills:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated superior writing skills including experience writing Op-Eds, press releases, fact sheets and other media related materials.
  • Strong inter-personal skills.

The Mayor’s Office of Education is under direct supervision of the Mayor’s Education Advisor, who serves as the liaison to the San Francisco Unified School District. The primary responsibility of the Office of Education is to serve as a bridge between the city and the school district and work primarily to provide support in action, funding, and services. The Mayor’s Education Advisor provides opportunities for the Mayor to be engaged in education initiatives such as mandarin immersion, TechConnect, green schoolyards, and teacher support, among other things.

The intern will be responsible for:

  • research projects
  • accompanying the Mayor’s Education Advisor on weekly school visits
  • event preparation
  • overview notes
  • administrative support

Individual must be able to work independently. Education or classroom experience is requested, but it is not required.

Senator Jerry Hill

Overview

Senator Hill represents the 13th District in the California State Senate, which encompasses parts of San Mateo County and Santa Clara County and includes Stanford, Palo Alto, and East Palo Alto.

Potential Projects:

The intern will assist staff with:

  • conducting research
  • letter and memo drafting
  • community engagement
  • event organization
  • database management
  • data entry

Interns are asked to commit to at least three (3) hours a week during the weekday, as well as a two to three hour shift every other weekend to help with community events.

Desired Qualifications

Ideal applicants would be students at any grade level with an expressed interest in learning about our community, government and/or politics and who have demonstrated timeliness, attention to detail, and able writing skills.

San Jose Auditor’s Office

Overview

The mission of the Office of the City Auditor is to independently assess and report on San Jose’s city government operations and services. To fulfill this mission, our office’s 13 auditors conduct performance audits that identify ways to strengthen public accountability, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City government, and provide independent, reliable, accurate, and timely information to the City Council, the general public, and other stakeholders.

Our audits cover the full spectrum of City activities, including but not limited to police and fire operations, libraries, parks, housing and urban development, retirement administration, performance management, financial management, and utility services.

Our office is at San Jose’s City Hall, which is accessible by CalTrain and VTA bus. Questions may be directed to Ali McInnis ’12, alison.mcinnis@sanjoseca.gov or Minh Dan Vuong ’11, minh.vuong@sanjoseca.gov.

Official Website: www.sanjoseca.gov/auditor/

Potential Projects

As intern, you will gain exposure to the breadth of local government work, while helping the City Auditor achieve its critically important mission.

The intern will work with auditors and assist them by conducting specific audit tests and providing support for complex audit procedures. The intern should be prepared to work at least 10 hours per week. While the exact work schedule can be negotiated at the beginning of Spring Quarter, we strongly prefer a regular schedule and the intern’s presence at our office. Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am through 5 pm.

Performance audits vary in both size and scope and may include: determining whether a City department or program is operating in the most economical and efficient manner possible; assessing whether the program is meeting its stated goals and objectives; and testing for compliance with laws and regulations. During our audits, we generally:

  • Analyze complex operations, financial and organizational issues; evaluate alternatives and reach sound, logical, fact-based conclusions and recommendations.
  • Collect, evaluate and interpret myriad data, either in statistical or narrative form.
  • Assess risk and evaluate internal controls designed to mitigate those risks.
  • Research, understand, interpret and apply federal, state and local laws, regulations and court decisions.

As intern, you will contribute to our office’s audit recommendations on how the City can improve its operations, save money, and deliver better services to the residents of San José.

For example, previous SIG summer fellows evaluated alternative staffing models for the police department, analyzed the airport’s public safety performance in the wake of staffing cuts, and assessed library hours and programs.

Desired Qualifications

If you have a desire to make an impact in our City and see the results of your work, have a natural curiosity and strong analytical and communication skills, you are the type of candidate we are interested in. We are looking for:

  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment; professionalism and maturity for formal and informal situations
  • Clear, concise and convincing writing; ability to summarize complex ideas and data, and prepare presentations including appropriate graphic displays
  • Ability to interview City staff and industry experts to gather information
  • Comfort working in a variety of settings and with new and often complex government operations
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Excel
  • Previous work experience in a professional/office environment
  • Preference for rising juniors and seniors and for those with a career interest in government service

Students of all majors are encouraged to apply, but main disciplines include public policy, economics, political science, management science and engineering, and related fields.