Welcome to the Virginia Management Fellows program application!

Thank you for making the decision to apply. The Commonwealth of Virginia is and has long been a national leader in good management and governance. This program extends our current professional and executive talent pool through the proper training and preparation of Virginia’s next generation leaders.

About the Virginia Management Fellows (VMF) position

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Management Fellows (VMF) program seeks emerging leaders with the desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a willingness to commit to a 2-year fellowship of state-level service and learning. Applicants should demonstrate an interest in public service and volunteerism, and the capacity to work as both a leader and a participant in team efforts. Critical thinking is a sought-after skill.

Fellows participate in multiple seminars during the 2-year program, where reading of journal articles and government reports is required. Seminars focus on 4 themes: customer service; operations; legislation, regulation and compliance; and, analytics. These seminars culminate in small group presentations of knowledge and skills built. Fellows also participate in the Virginia Public Sector Leadership program of Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and complete this leadership and management professional development certificate program during the 2-year fellowship. Learning state government in “real time”, Fellows work at three state agencies for 8-month periods. Rotations are supervised by highly-motivated and trained agency mentors.

Agency rotation assignments carry specialized job descriptions where fellows develop new skills in hands-on agency roles in the provision of state services, and meaningful connection points with agency executive leadership. During each of the three rotations, Fellows are required to complete an independent research project – including a detailed report and presentation – to address agency challenges and possible solutions. Fellows are placed in the first agency rotation based on educational, volunteer, and professional experience.

Fellows provide inputs for preferences regarding the other two agency rotation placements.


The VMF program is open to U.S. citizens who are interested in public service and dedicated to Virginia’s citizens. To be eligible for the VMF Program applicants must have graduated on or after May 2019 from an accredited institution with a Bachelor’s degree or demonstrate proof of a May 2022 graduation date. Master’s or PhD degree holders who completed their studies after May of 2019 or those who are currently enrolled as students in degree-seeking graduate-level programs, are eligible. That said, the Virginia Management Fellows program is a full-time position and requires significant independent reading and research beyond work hours. Current graduate students should consider the time commitment carefully before applying.

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Please refer to the US Department of Education website at https://www.ed.gov/accreditation for a listing of accredited universities. Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

Preferred Qualifications: Interest in management, public administration, public policy, finance, accounting, human resources, public planning or program development. Prior experience in program design or operations or in customer service activities in a public service setting. Demonstrated research and analysis skills. Demonstrated team leadership or management skills Master’s degree or PhD in related fields.

Application Process

  1. Learn more about the VMF and hear from program leaders and Fellows at our online info sessions on November 11 from 6 – 7pm and November 16 from 6 -7pm. Registration links provided on this website, in this space by noon on the day of the selected Zoom-based information session. Registration is required for online security purposes.
  2. Upload the required cover letter which must include a statement of interest in the VMF program as well as a statement of interest in a career in a Commonwealth of Virginia state agency.
  3. Understand that degree confirmation and a background check are part of the application process.
  4. Note that incomplete applications are not accepted.
  5. Allow time for the panel to process applications, interview results, and letters of recommendation.
  6. Allow time for a panel of state and university leaders to schedule VMF candidates for an online interview.
  7. Resumes can be multiple pages. There is no page limit.
  8. Applicants do not have to provide letters of recommendation. (Optional: Applicants may submit references or letters of recommendation with the resume.)

Interview Process

  1. The VMF Interview process includes 3 rounds.
  2. The first round is a review for application completeness, applicant eligibility, responsiveness to application questions, and required cover letter content.
  3. Those invited for a second round will be asked to submit an answer to an essay question via an online form. This round has a “brief response time” – typically 3-5 days, after which data (personal identifiers) are “scrubbed” (assigned numbers) and responses are analyzed by a panel of managers and executives from multiple state agencies. Applicants who are successful in round two move to VMF candidate status for round 3.
  4. The final (round 3) VMF candidates will be required to submit a writing sample of the following type: policy analysis, research paper, white paper, case study analysis, dissertation prospectus, legal research paper, senior capstone paper, master’s thesis or professional paper, or literature review. VMF candidates are invited for a 5-hour, in-person interview process. These interviews occur during the Virginia college and university “winter break” period. VMF candidates should expect: panel interviews, writing exercises inclusive of basic budgeting, and oral presentations.
  5. Successful candidates will receive a verbal job offer, pending successful completion of reference checks and background checks. During this period, applicants will be asked to provide names and contact information of individual references.
  6. Successful completion of these checks is followed by a letter of Virginia Management Fellow program acceptance.
  7. A commitment letter from the participant will be due within one week of acceptance. Candidates who were not successful during round three, as well as candidates placed on the waitlist will be notified by email.
  8. Announcement of the new cohort will be published on this site and the Virginia Department of Human Resources (DHRM) website.

Questions should be emailed to the VMF program director:

Leisha LaRiviere, Associate Director of SPIA
Applied Research Campus – Richmond