Become a Fellow

Challenge Detroit cultivates diverse, innovative, emerging and existing, community-minded leaders from the City of Detroit and across the country, fostering their talents to support local initiatives that move Detroit forward. Each year, we recruit around 30 individuals to join us. Are you ready for the challenge?

How to become a Fellow

The general application for our 2020-2021 class of Fellows is now closed. However, if you already have a job and would like to become a 2020-2021 Fellow, you still have time to apply throughout the summer of 2020. Please review our FAQs for more details on the internal track, complete the application for internal candidates here, and feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions.

Who we are looking for:

Candidates who:

  • are from the City of Detroit, surrounding areas, the State of Michigan and beyond
  • represent a diverse range of race, ethnicity, gender identity, orientation, thought, experience, perspective and ability
  • are passionate, dedicated, proactive, hard-working, innovative, adaptable and have a growth mindset 
  • will have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the start of the program in September
  • speak and write in English fluently—all programs are conducted in English (candidates with proficiency in more than one language are welcome!)
  • are authorized to work in the United States for the duration of the program*

*Challenge Detroit does not assist with employment authorization or visa sponsorship.

Your educational/professional background:

We are seeking candidates with a wide variety of education, skills, and expertise including, but not limited to:

  • Accounting/Finance/Statistics/Economics
  • Architecture/Landscape Architecture/Interior Design
  • Business/Management/Entrepreneurship/Sales
  • Construction Management
  • Communications/PR/Marketing/Advertising/Journalism
  • Community Development
  • Education/Education Administration
  • Engineering (architectural, civil, mechanical, automotive)
  • Graphic Design/Design/Creative
  • Health/Health Administration/Public Health/Counseling
  • Human Resources/Organizational Behavior
  • Information/Tech
  • Policy/Law
  • Public Administration/Nonprofits
  • Social Work/Family & Child Development
  • Urban Planning/Urban Studies
  • Video Production and more!

What you’ll experience:

  • The opportunity to live, work, play, give, and lead in Detroit*
  • Valuable career development through employment at a top area host company Monday-Thursday
  • A multi-faceted leadership development program every Friday
  • How to leverage the art of design thinking
  • Collaboration with multiple Detroit-based nonprofits supporting them in moving their missions forward through various marketing, development, design and community-focused projects
  • Connecting with and forming meaningful relationships with the broader Challenge Detroit community as well as your cohort
  • Access to cultural and professional events
  • Career development including a $38,000 annual salary plus benefits typical of host company**

*Challenge Detroit does not provide financial assistance with relocation or provide a housing stipend.

**If you already have a job, your employer will determine your salary.

How to apply if you are seeking a job:

  • When completing your application, simply select the “Standard” application type

How to apply if you already have a job:

  • When completing your application, simply select the “Internal” application type
  • Your employer must approve your application to Challenge Detroit, and be willing and able to participate in the program as a host company
  • Upon receiving your application, our staff will contact your employer to finalize engagement as a host company
  • You WILL NOT be required to interview with other host companies, but you WILL be required to attend the two-day Interview Experience in Detroit in May

As a Fellow, you’ll:

  • contribute innovative thinking and intellectual capital to philanthropic efforts in the city and region;
  • become an integral part of the Challenge Detroit community, as an active participant in initiatives, mentorship and programming;
  • collaborate with other Challenge Detroit Fellows, alumni and the community at large;
  • demonstrate professionalism, integrity, and leadership abilities;
  • commit one full year to the program (September to the end of August);
  • be willing to document experiences in a variety of formats including social media, video and blogs; and
  • work closely with multi-disciplinary teams on various challenge projects.

Still want to know more? Click here to read our FAQs.

The Application Process

  • Fellowship Application

    You will submit a basic application along with your resume*, essay response and a 60-second video. You will also be asked for an optional reference. If selected to be a Finalist, you will be invited to the Virtual Interview Experience.

    *If applicable to your industry (architecture, graphic design, etc.), you will also be asked to submit your portfolio link.

  • The Virtual Interview Experience

    If invited to be a Finalist, you will join us for a two-day Virtual Interview Experience that will occur in June, where you will interview with our host companies, hear from current and alumni Fellows, and learn more about the city and our program.

    Following the Virtual Interview Experience, Challenge Detroit leadership will work with the companies to determine final job placements. Participation in the Virtual Interview Experience is required.

Diversity and inclusion are a cornerstone of Challenge Detroit. We believe that all persons are entitled to equal opportunity. We do not discriminate against qualified applicants because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, genetic characteristic, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. We strive to create and support a culture where people can be themselves and feel included while including others. We value a diverse representation of individuals from near and far, across races and ethnicities, gender experience and orientation, skills, experience and abilities. Diversity of thought and perspective are essential to our work.