Tips for Fellowship Hosts

Be adaptable

Make adjustments when things are not working or when opportunities arise.

Plan ahead

  • Connect with the fellows before they arrive.
  • Create a small, high impact deliverable that can be completed in 4 weeks
  • Be ready to welcome and orient them on their first day


  • Talk through the experience with them.
  • Set clear expectations. Understand their hopes and learning goals
  • Address problems--don’t just ride it out
  • Conduct an exit interview. This is an excellent opportunity to provide useful feedback and learn from their outside perspective.

Some additional tips from past hosts:

  • “As an office, we need to decide what the fellow can help us with each day before programming.
  • “Make sure the fellow has a chance to meet with all offices in the organization and learn about the breadth of its work”
  • “Expose them to as much as you can!
  • “If you have a project for your fellow, communicate about it before he or she comes to your site. The project I gave my fellow was too simple because I didn't have a good idea about the level of his computer skills.”
  • “It helps to have a concrete project to work on together”
  • “Develop a learning plan with fellow day 1 and relate it back to their post-fellowship project. Get to know their preferred working environment prior to arrival.”
  • “It is helpful to have adequate time before a fellow starts to put together specific tasks with a beginning and an end date that can be given to them.”
  • “Ask the fellow what they want to learn from the organization for the fellowship.”
  • “Let the fellows have ownership of a project and not just act as support to a project.
  • “Have several meetings with them in advance to co-develop their scope of work and learning plan.”