100 percent of our Fellows said they would refer the TechnoServe Fellows Program to friends and colleagues.
TechnoServe Fellows, formerly known as Volunteer Consultants, are critical members of the TechnoServe team, working with our full-time staff to further our mission and increase our impact around the world.
Megan MoyermanSenior Manager, Fellows Program
About the Program
Since 1996, TechnoServe has engaged over 1,200 Fellows on three to twelve-month projects throughout Africa, India, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The TechnoServe Fellows Program, formerly known as the Volunteer Consultant Program, is a highly competitive fellowship where business professionals have the unique opportunity to contribute their skills to help change the lives of those living in poverty. They experience the field of international development firsthand while building new skills and challenging themselves in a cross-cultural and entrepreneurial environment.
TechnoServe Fellows form a global alumni community representing top-tier consulting, industry, and nonprofit organizations and graduate schools.
While a salary is not offered, TechnoServe typically covers Fellows’ costs to travel to and live in-country for the duration of their projects. These costs may include international airfare, in-country accommodation and transportation, per diem expenses, visas, and other travel-related costs.
I learned a great deal about the market systems approach and how to make social endeavors truly impactful and sustainable. I am very impressed with the work Technoserve is doing and I am proud and grateful for the opportunity to work toward the development of those who need it the most. I feel inspired and energized to embark in my new professional and personal journey.”
– Bruno Waked, Mozambique, 2019
While no two projects are exactly alike, typical Fellow roles often involve:
- Assessing and identifying opportunities for markets, value chains, and industries
- Crafting business and funding strategies in partnership with TechnoServe clients
- Strengthening the operations and/or organizational capacity of TechnoServe clients
- Designing innovative TechnoServe projects and proposals
- Evaluating program impact
Other, less frequent projects include researching and writing communications materials, developing training curricula, and designing strategic research for our clients and partners.
Review our detailed sample project descriptions to understand the skills and capabilities most often required, and view a list of TechnoServe’s current and past partners to learn more about the organizations that support our programs. View our Fellows FAQ page for more information.
Check out our Facebook page for pictures and information on past and ongoing Fellows projects. Be sure to “like” the page and share with your friends and colleagues.
Meet Our Fellows
Fellows are proven professionals who contribute valuable business acumen and experience to our teams and partners on the ground. Skills needed in the field often include industry analysis, business plan development, financial modeling, operations, organizational development, marketing strategy, and stakeholder management.
Fellows have a minimum of two years’ full-time work experience, often – though not exclusively – in management consulting, financial services, or corporate strategy. They demonstrate a high degree of enthusiasm, flexibility, and strong communication skills, and can work comfortably in unfamiliar, sometimes challenging environments.
Our Fellows represent diverse nationalities, with more than half of our Fellows coming from outside of the United States.
Click through to learn more about some of our current and past Fellows below.
I see that TechnoServe’s headquarters is in the U.S. Is the Fellows Program open to international applicants?
TechnoServe welcomes applicants of all backgrounds and nationalities. In any given year, more than half of the Fellows placed may be from countries outside the United States.
I’m interested in learning more about typical Fellow roles. What are the most common projects?
Typical projects consist of: assessing value chains, industries and markets, and identifying opportunities to improve local economies; crafting business and funding strategies in partnership with one or more TechnoServe clients; strengthening the operations and/or organizational capacity of TechnoServe clients; researching and writing communication materials such as programmatic lessons learned; and designing innovative TechnoServe projects and proposals. Other, less frequent projects include but are not limited to: exploring the use of new information and communication technology in our programs; evaluating long-term program impact and sustainability; designing and executing strategic research; and assessing financial and/or risk management for our clients and partners. Please view the “Sample Fellow Projects” page on our website to review these project descriptions in more detail.
I would like to see the list of project openings. Where can I review the specific opportunities available in my timeframe?
The Fellows Program does not post specific project openings on our website. Roles are limited in number, and placements are highly competitive. The Fellows Program team matches candidate skill sets closely with project requirements. Candidates are alerted if/when a potential match between skills and interests has been identified. At this point, a candidate will be sent additional information on the match or matches identified. When you apply to the Fellows Program, you will have the chance to tell us about your experience, skills, and interests, and to share with us what you hope to gain – both professionally and personally – through the Fellows experience. Your skills, interests and goals will be seriously considered as we explore whether a strong fit exists for you within our program.
I would like to better understand the skills and capabilities required. Is there a typical Fellow profile?
Fellows have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience and have proven business skills applicable to our programs. Successful candidates typically: have experience working in client services at management consulting companies, investment firms, and industry leaders; demonstrate interest in living and working in emerging markets; and bring stellar academic credentials. Key skills include – but can also exceed – proven strategic thinking, problem solving, communication and analytical capabilities. Fellows are resourceful, creative and passionate. They are equipped to handle ambiguity and navigate new cultures with enthusiasm.
I am a professional with many years of business experience. Should I apply?
Yes. We have had Fellows with over 30 years of experience and who held senior-level management positions before joining the Fellows Program. We would welcome your application.
I need a certain amount of notice from TechnoServe. How far in advance would you recommend I apply?
We staff most projects between one and four months in advance of the agreed upon start dates. However, many successful candidates apply as many as six months ahead of their anticipated dates of availability. This is especially true if a candidate must first secure an employer’s approval for a leave of absence. In the application, you will indicate the dates that you are available to serve as a Fellow with TechnoServe. You will also have the chance to indicate whether these dates are flexible or fixed, and if you require a certain amount of notice from TechnoServe.
I’m very interested in volunteering as a Fellow with TechnoServe but am available for less than 10 weeks. Should I still apply?
Most TechnoServe projects require at least a three-month commitment on the ground. In the summer months, we sometimes have 10-week positions available for MBA and graduate students. If you are available for less than 10 weeks, you may still apply, but please understand that the available opportunities will be limited. In some cases, shorter-term projects that are identified require financial contributions from the Fellow to cover some, if not all, of his or her travel and in-country expenses.
I have a specific geographic or project preference. How do I let you know about my preference(s)?
In the application, you will see a section called “Project Matching.” Here we invite you to indicate specific preferences, if any, for the geographic region or country where you would like to volunteer as a Fellow. We also ask you to designate which one or two project types you feel best suited to. In the essay section you explain how your skills and capabilities align with those projects. Individual preferences on location and project type are taken into account. Please understand, however, that offers to join TechnoServe are ultimately subject to specific project needs.
My significant other and I would like to become Fellows together. Would this be possible?
Joint placements are possible, but they are infrequent and cannot be guaranteed. If you are interested in applying with your significant other, please create two separate accounts and submit your individual applications. Please note your desire to be in the same location in the “Additional Information” section of the Personal Information page.
Are there any language requirements?
With the exception of positions in Latin America and parts of Africa, most Fellow projects require a minimum of business-level proficiency in English. Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the exception of Brazil, require a minimum of business-level proficiency in Spanish. Projects in some countries in West Africa require business-level French and those in Mozambique and Brazil require business-level Portuguese. If you would not be able to effectively conduct business in Spanish, French, or Purtuguese in one of these countries, we would encourage you to consider applying for roles in other regions of Africa or in India.
A former Fellow suggested I apply. Can I share their name with the Fellows Program?
Yes, please do. In the application, we ask how you came to learn about the Fellows Program. Please note the source and list the specific name(s). We are always interested to hear about your connection to TechnoServe.
I have already had the chance to send my resume to someone at TechnoServe. Do I need to apply formally?
Yes. Please indicate in the application that you have been in touch with a member of the TechnoServe staff.
What do I need to submit in my application?
You will be prompted to upload two documents. The first document is an up-to-date copy of your resume or CV. The second is a PDF or Word document with brief answers (up to 400 words) to the two required essay questions. These questions are detailed in the application.
Are there expected start dates for projects?
We accept applications on a rolling basis. We also receive Fellow projects from our program and country teams on a rolling basis, therefore, we have new projects at any given time throughout the year. We encourage you to apply, no matter when your ideal start date may be.
I have submitted my application and materials. When will someone review my application?
When you submit your application, you should receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive this email, please send an inquiry to email@example.com, indicating the date and time you submitted the form. Please rest assured that we review all incoming applications in their entirety. We look forward to learning more about you, and if we establish your profile is a strong fit for a Fellow role with TechnoServe, we will contact you.
I am excited to get started. How long does the selection process take from beginning to end?
The timing will depend on a number of factors, including your availability, the projects we have available, and preparatory steps such as obtaining a partner or client’s input. In some cases, the process – from initial project match to confirmed offer – may take just a few weeks. In other cases, placement may take a few months. The Fellows Program team will keep you updated along the way. Please understand that submitting your application does not guarantee a place in the program. The Fellows Program is highly competitive.
My availability or deadline has changed since I applied. How do I update this information in the database?
Please share your updated information via an email to the Fellows Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am curious about the selection process. How does TechnoServe match candidates with projects?
Projects emerge on a rolling basis. If the Fellows Program staff identifies a project that aligns with your skills, interests and availability, a member of the team will email you to share an overview of the project. From there you would interview one or more times with the corresponding program team manager or country director. The interview, like the application, is an essential part of the selection process. The program team, in partnership with the Fellows Program staff, will determine if an offer is appropriate.
I’d like to do well in my interview(s) with TechnoServe. Do you have advice on how I can best prepare?
The interview process helps us to get to know you, your talents, your goals and your personality. Our aim is to find a role for you in which you will grow and excel. Each interviewer has his or her own style. In all cases, however, you will want to prepare for a mixture of open-ended, behavioral, situational and/or case questions. If a scope of work has been shared in advance, you will want to review the expected deliverables and think through how you would approach your work. The interview is also your opportunity to ask questions about the work, the team, the culture and the country in which you would be volunteering.
The role I interviewed for didn’t work out. Can I be considered for other Fellow opportunities?
You will work with the Fellows Program team to determine what projects, if any, align best with your skills and interests. From there, the team will be on the lookout for new potential matches.
I am reviewing my budget. What costs will TechnoServe cover? What do I need to cover?
Most projects cover one round-trip international flight in economy class; in-country accommodation; per diem expenses to cover meals and incidentals; required travel visas; and vaccinations. All Fellows working outside of their own countries are also given emergency evacuation insurance coverage with International SOS. Fellows are responsible for maintaining independent health insurance for the duration of their project. Please note that while TechnoServe covers the majority of these expenses for most projects, we do have some projects for which the budget cannot cover all such expenses. Indicating the expenses, if any, you would be willing to cover may open up additional TechnoServe project matches.
Will I work independently and/or have a team? Will there be other Fellows in the same country with me?
Typically, Fellows work with either one manager or within a team of full-time TechnoServe staff in the field. Although Fellows do not manage others, they often play a leadership role in the execution of their project, while working with their direct manager/team.
I am a business or graduate school student looking for a summer internship. Do you have a formal program?
TechnoServe does not have a separate internship program for advanced degree candidates. However, many graduate students, especially MBA and MPP/MPA candidates, have spent their summers as Fellows. Please apply to the Fellows Program. If you are looking for a U.S.-based internship, please view the TechnoServe jobs page where specific openings would be listed.
Are projects field-based or remote-based?
Nearly all of our projects require some field travel. From time to time, however, remote projects – for example, projects that you would carry out from your home – do emerge. These projects depend on the needs of our teams in the field. Additionally, some projects allow remote work before or after the field-travel portion.
I am a graduate student seeking a client for a capstone or other school project. Can I work with TechnoServe?
While we are sorry to miss the opportunity and thank you for your interest, TechnoServe is not currently accepting applications to partner with graduate student teams.
I’d like to speak with the Fellows Program team. Is it possible to arrange an informational interview?
We understand that you may wish to speak with a member of the team. However, due to the high volume of candidates and inquiries, we are not able to offer informational interviews. If you would like to be considered for an opportunity with the Fellows Program or to learn more about specific project opportunities, please apply. We also encourage you to reach out to friends and colleagues who are program alumni. You may wish to do a search on LinkedIn to identify a connection.
I have a question about the TechnoServe Fellows Program beyond those included here. How can I contact TechnoServe?
If we have not answered your question through the information on our website or in these FAQs, please send an email to email@example.com. We will do our best to respond to you as soon as possible.
How to Apply
We welcome applications on a rolling basis. The TechnoServe Fellows Program aligns candidate skills and interests with project requirements, and applicants are interviewed as new opportunities emerge. While individual preferences are taken into account, offers to join TechnoServe are subject to project needs at the time of application. Please note that some positions require proficiency in French or Spanish and that the process for becoming a TechnoServe Fellow is highly selective. We encourage you to read our frequently asked questions and sample project descriptions before submitting your application.
100 percent of our Fellows said they would refer the TechnoServe Fellows Program to friends and colleagues.
If you were previously a Fellow (formerly known as a Volunteer Consultant) and are interested in serving again or would like to contact the program team, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Progress Chisenga is a former TechnoServe Fellow who worked in Mozambique in late 2019 through early 2020, where she worked on a project supporting rice and vegetable farmers in Mozambique. In this Q&A, Progress shares her thoughts about the experience and the future.
Ariana Day Yuen is a former TechnoServe Fellow who served in Ethiopia in 2015. After her time as a Fellow, she stayed on with the TechnoServe Ethiopia team for nearly three years. Today, she is the founder of an agroforestry enterprise that partners with smallholder farmers – starting in Ethiopia – to sustainably grow, process,…
Robin Merl worked as a TechnoServe Fellow in Zambia in 2019. His work centered around strategies for decreasing malnutrition and stunting in the most affected areas of Zambia. Before joining TechnoServe, Robin worked with McKinsey & Company in Hamburg, Germany. Currently, he is working for the Freetown City Council and mayor’s office in Sierra Leone.