The Fellowship Experience 

El Pomar’s Fellowship experience develops high-achieving, service-minded, recent college graduates and early career professionals into dynamic community leaders primed to make an impact across multiple sectors. Fellows obtain valuable learning opportunities through direct exposure to Colorado’s philanthropic and nonprofit arenas, targeted professional development, peer management, program oversight and connection with an engaged network of nearly 300 alumni.


The First Year

The first year of the Fellowship is fast paced. Fellows focus their time building practical project and program management skills while at the same time exploring various frameworks of leadership as a cohort. The supportive environment of the Foundation combined with guidance from 2nd Year Fellows and staff creates an accelerated and impactful learning experience. Opportunities to grow their professional network, interact with community leaders from all sectors and collaborate with Regional Council members and Trustees serving El Pomar’s eleven regions are some of the highlights of an El Pomar Fellow’s first year at the Foundation. Some of the competencies that Fellows will get to practice in their first year include:

Self-Awareness - use reflection and feedback to gain insight into individual strengths and areas of focus to address developmental needs

Communication - the ability to establish shared understanding with others by speaking, writing, listening clearly and consistently

Influence - the power to persuade others to gain their cooperation and commitment

Learning Agility -the capacity to seek out diverse experiences and apply lessons to new challenges; quickly absorb information and process it

Professional Conduct - sets a personal example of poise, professionalism and presence

Difference, Diversity and Inclusion - recognize and respond positively to individual and group differences in the workplace and beyond

Professional Skills

  • Project management 
  • Public speaking
  • Business writing
  • Time management
  • Grant writing
  • Special events organization and management

The Second Year

In their second year, Fellows apply their skills and self-understanding to advanced opportunities such as serving as directors of the Foundation’s regional activities and various programs. Additionally, 2nd Year Fellows have increased responsibility supervising and delegating work to incoming 1st Years and develop their ability to coach and mentor others. Professional development sessions, career transition services and mentoring from a broad alumni network are key aspects of the second year experience. Many Fellows secure an externship in their last quarter which serves to provide them a springboard into future career paths and jobs. In addition to becoming proficient in the first year competencies, 2nd Years will develop the following:

Coaching and Developing - provide guidance and support to help others learn and grow

Problem Solving - bring fresh solutions to difficult problems

Delegation - tap others' talent and energy to get things done

Giving and Receiving Feedback - provide individuals with objective information they can use for maintaining and improving their effectiveness

Influence - the power to persuade others to gain their cooperation and commitment

Conflict Resolution - produce positive outcomes by addressing conflict quickly and fairly

Tolerating Ambiguity - thrives in unclear situations

Difference, Diversity and Inclusion - recognize and respond positively to individual and group differences in the workplace and beyond

Career Development

  • Career development sessions
  • 360-degree Feedback and Personality Assessments
  • Externship placement
  • Compensated time to explore post-Fellowship career opportunities 

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Cycle of Development during the Fellowship