Aditya’s CfA Summer

(Over the summer of 2011, over a dozen students interned with Code for America. They brought great energy, passion, and skills to bear on our projects and our mission to make government more open and efficient. Over the next week, we’ll be posting their summaries of their work and learnings, in addition to an overview of the summer — so stay tuned!)

Interning at Code for America was a no-brainier. CfA unites my passions — politics and tech — in a cause I believe in and a movement that can make a difference. I wanted to to be a part of that. So this summer, I partnered with Tim Yoon to execute two main projects: fellowship recruitment and the “Civic Innovation” series. Tim has written about our work on civic innovation, and in this post I’ll recap recruitment.

Our fellowship recruitment strategy had three components: outreach, advertising, and public relations. The goal? 500 applications for the 2012 Fellowship. Clearly, we had a lot of work to do.

First, we drafted an email template describing the fellowship — who we’re looking for, what they’ll do, and why they should apply — and blasted those out to universities. Our targets were career services centers, Computer Science departments, and entrepreneurship clubs. In sum, we reached over 100 colleges at almost 300 points of contact across the country.

We then went after job boards and listserves. After identifying 30-40 online places where designers, developers, and other potential fellows live, we created a budget of about $4000 and ran ads like this that ran most of the summer.

And finally, we pursued targeted media placements and partnerships — like this Github spotlight – with and other places geared toward developers and designers, like Inkd, Dribble, Logo Tournament, Kaggle. We also coordinated “Tweets and Stripes,” with some (read: a lot) of help from Fellow Tyler Stadler. After two months and a lot of help from CfA staff and fellows, we received 550 fellowship applications — a 50% increase from last year.

Overall, this summer at CfA was awesome, largely because of our laid-back and fun-loving culture. I can proudly say that I survived the panda vs. badger wars — and more. I learned a lot about politics, gained important skills for the web, and met great people trying to make government work better. In other words, I had a great time at CfA. I promise to forever be a Gov 2.0 nerd, and more importantly, a panda.

Original post

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply