Being a Service Year Fellow.jpg

By Graduate Fellow, Matt Wilhelm

Ten years ago this month, I took my first full-time job after college as an AmeriCorps member serving with City Year. Not only was I given a structured opportunity to put my idealism to work as a tutor and mentor in a middle school and have a positive, measured impact on the students we served, but I also learned a lot about leadership.

What I lacked in a paycheck ($250 weekly stipend) was compensated by a clear sense of purpose, project and people management experience, access to leaders across all sectors, a great mentor, and a community of colleagues that would become lifelong friends. It was the best professional decision I ever made.

Following my two terms as an AmeriCorps member, I had the opportunity to join the founding teams of two organizations – and Calling All Crows – both aimed at creating more opportunities for young Americans to serve.

Working on the startup team of a new social venture is an amazing experience, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

It requires long hours, an unwavering commitment to the mission of the new organization as well as to your co-workers, and the ability to juggle multiple projects – especially those for which you feel totally unqualified to lead.

It’s exhilarating. It’s exhausting. It’s humbling. But, ultimately, when you see vision become reality – it becomes totally worth it.

So if committing to a year of national service and joining the startup team of a new social venture doesn’t scare you, but rather sounds like the challenge for which you’ve been desperately searching, then look no further…

College for Social Innovation is looking to hire two Service Year Fellows to start full-time work on or before Oct. 1, 2015 and to work in the fellowship role for nine months with an option to renew for up to two years.

Service Year Fellows will report directly to the Managing Director or another senior staff member; work closely with Eric Schwarz, co-founder and CEO of College for Social Innovation; and play an integral role in the organization’s startup operations.

Service Year Fellows will help College for Social Innovation build capacity in the following areas:

  • Develop comprehensive marketing plan to reach multiples audiences utilizing varied media;

  • Support development/fundraising plan including foundation, corporate, and individual giving;

  • Build new organizational systems (i.e. human resources, technical support, training, evaluation, etc.);

  • Develop partnerships with colleges and universities, including recruitment, selection, and training; and

  • Develop partnerships with social sector organizations, including recruitment, selection, and training.

To apply to become a Service Year Fellow with College for Social Innovation, please click here.

For more information on the opportunity, please email me ( I’d be excited to talk with you about what it’s like to work startup on College for Social Innovation and/or what it’s like to do a service year. The two together, in my opinion, are the perfect combination!