Fellow FAQs

CUP Fellow Program Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

CUP is looking for professionals who have the following characteristics:

  • Commitment to public service or civic engagement in their communities. The ideal candidate will possess a varied work record, including volunteer experience in public service. In addition to his/her prior public service work, the ideal candidate will be able to convey a clear vision for a long-term engagement with public service.
  • Capacity for leadership. The ideal candidate will have exercised leadership on some public service activity in his/her personal or professional community and be recognized by their employer and/or peers as having the potential for continued leadership. In assembling the CUP Fellows, we are looking to construct a cohort that demonstrates diversity and reflects the broad range of constituents in the public and private arenas that comprise CUP’s aspirational membership.

What is the cost of the CUP Fellows Program?

AmexThrough the generosity of American Express and the Kellogg Foundation there is no program cost to the participants.


If I am not currently working full-time for either a private or public service organization, can I still apply?

You must be working full-time in a paid private or public service position in the New York tri-state area to apply for the CUP Fellows Program and must seek to retain this status throughout the program. Unfortunately, internships and part-time work do not qualify. The CUP Fellows Program is designed for professionals who are seeking to leverage and expand their professional networks as part of their leadership strategy.

What kind of work do CUP Fellows perform at their places of employment?

CUP strongly encourages professionals in a public service position to apply. This includes people working for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, offices of elected officials, philanthropic foundations and programs, think tanks, and private corporations focused on public service work (such as corporate social responsibility programs or in partnership programs with government). We also encourage those who are in the private sector to apply. Indeed, the resulting substantive relationships between individuals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors who are all committed to being leaders for the public good are hallmarks of the success of the program. In the past, CUP Fellows have come from a range of backgrounds and interests including: education, health, public policy, social justice, international affairs, financial and legal services. The program provides tools for successful leaders seeking to be civic and community leaders. Sessions are not field-specific and are intended to equip all with skills and knowledge fundamental to being leaders in the civic sphere.

Who should write my recommendation and how long should it be? What do you look for in a recommendation letter?

Either your current manager, supervisor or client must write your recommendation. Recommendation letters should not exceed one page. We look for examples of your commitment to and enthusiasm for your work, as well as the letter writer’s recognition that you will be involved in a prestigious fellowship that will benefit ether your organization or community. It’s also helpful if the letter shares insight or examples that demonstrate the likelihood that you will commit to the program fully.

I cannot attend all of the training sessions. Can I still apply for the program?

Unfortunately, no. The Orientation and monthly trainings are mandatory for all CUP Fellows. If you cannot attend the all of the training sessions, we encourage you to apply next year.

What is expected of Fellows during the program?

Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend all events including a mandatory Orientation on Saturday, February 21, 2015 and monthly sessions. Fellows must be able to arrive at the Saturday sessions by 9:30am.
  • Meet all deadlines and complete all assignments (approximately two hours per month in addition to the sessions)
  • Share thoughts, experiences and contacts with other Fellows and alumni. Participants will be asked to sign a statement of commitment at the beginning of the program for the full duration of the CUP Fellows Program, which runs from February 2015 through November 2015.

If I still have a question about the program after reviewing the website, how should I contact CUP?

If you have reviewed the website and still have a question, please email Avital Tamir Temchin at atemchin@cupusa.org.