Jordan Enos, MPP Class of 2024, writes about her summer internship as a Mayoral Fellow for the City of Chicago.

Mayoral Fellows with Brandon Johnson including Harris MPP student Jordan Enos
Jordan Enos, MPP Class of 2024, standing to the right of Mayor Brandon Johnson

During the first several weeks of my Harris experience, I had many of the same conversations—where I’m from, what I was doing before graduate school, and what policy areas I’m interested in.  I had mentioned I was interested in local government, and a second year student told me about the Mayoral Fellowship, an opportunity for graduate students to work on policy initiatives with the Mayor's Office for the City of Chicago. They advised being very attentive to the Mayoral Fellowship job posting timeline, because it is released early in the quarter. (My takeaway: be loud and proud about your interests, because your Harris network will keep them in mind and send opportunities your way!) 

During the fellowship—which took place in the summer between my first and second year—I supported several projects across the Mayor’s Office, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 

Fortunately, my first year at Harris set me up to succeed in the fellowship in a few ways. First, many professors at Harris have policy experience in Chicago, so I had been exposed to some of the processes and challenges in Chicago city government. Second, I also benefited from peers who provided further invaluable Chicago policy context from their own experiences. Additionally, I was able to apply experience I gained through extracurricular activities to the fellowship. For example, as a Harris Community Action Fellow, I partnered with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Pilsen, which has a work-study program that offsets tuition costs for students while providing an opportunity for real-world work experience. Exposure to that program gave me the idea for a Chicago Public Schools work-study program, which I had the opportunity to present to senior leadership.  

Of course, time management is always important: between balancing coursework, Harris Community Action, and my Graduate Assistant role, I felt confident identifying priorities and effectively using my time in the Mayor's Office to project manage across different teams and departments.