Graduate City Management Fellowship

About the Graduate City Management Fellowship

The Royal Oak Graduate City Management Fellowship Program is designed to provide talented individuals with an interest in local government management the opportunity to gain practical real-world experience in local government. Our fellows are given the opportunity to participate in high-impact projects in areas such as sustainability, strategic planning, the arts, recreation, and citizen engagement. Working under the direction of the Assistant to the City Manager and City Manager, Fellows can expect to lead projects from initial research to implementation. They will be given the opportunity to interact with department heads and attend high level meetings, exposing them to the responsibilities of each department and current local government issues. The fellow will also perform tasks and daily activities in support of the City Manager’s Office. The fellow’s interests and goals will be taken into account for projects.

Fellows in the Royal Oak Graduate City Management Fellowship program will learn about all areas of the city by:

• Working on a variety of real-world projects that affect our residents and visitors
• Using their research and writing skills to study issues and recommend solutions
• Making recommendations to the Assistant to the City Manager and the City Manager
• Drafting detailed reports, memos, and other communications
• Attending inter-departmental staff meetings
• Communicating with community organizations and businesses
• Interacting directly with the public through management of the main office phone line
• Participation in various city boards and employee teams
• Supporting City Commission Goals and Objectives
• Presenting their own recommendations and reports at city commission meetings
• Updating social media and website content

Previous interns have been involved in projects such as:

• Assisting in the development of the city's strategic goals and objectives
• Researching and developing the city's Parks and Recreation Master Plan
• Developing strategic plans for boards and committees
• Researching and implementing the city's Disney Way customer service initiatives
• Analyzing and developing policies regarding downtown busking
• Developing and crowdfunding the Eagle Plaza "smart" park
• Managing the Art Explored public art program
• Developing a plan to attract, recruit, onboard, retain and develop employee talent

About the City Manager’s Office

The city manager is appointed by the city commission and is the city's chief administrative officer. The manager is responsible for implementing city policy as determined by the city commission, providing day-to-day operations and leadership for the various city departments, and representing the city to the community and other agencies and groups.

The city manager’s office staff is an innovative and engaging team. We value personal and professional development, open communication, leadership and creativity. We foster a positive and customer-centric environment

Building a Career: Where are they now?


Since its inception in 2012, the Royal Oak Graduate City Management Internship has helped prepare over twenty interns for full-time employment in local government management and other related fields. Previous
Royal Oak Interns have used their experience to secure positions with: 
•The City of Royal Oak,
•The City of Sterling Heights,
•The City of Detroit,
•The City of Birmingham,
•The City of Berkley,
•The City of Marquette,
•The City of Novi,
•The City of Jackson Downtown Development Authority,
•The Michigan Municipal League,
•The State of Michigan Budget Office, and
•The Michigan State Police. 

Qualifications for Fellowship

  • Fellow must be enrolled in or recently graduated from a MPA or related Master’s program
  • Preferred courses of study include: economics, statistics, public finance, policy analysis, community development, business administration, and urban planning.
  • Fellow should have a demonstrable interest in a career in public service. 
  • Fellow must be willing to commit up to 25 hours per week for a one year obligation.


For questions regarding the Royal Oak Graduate City Management Fellowship please email