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DSM Fellowship Developing Next Generation of DSM USA Leaders

DSM Fellowship 2018 Cohort

June 28, 2018

Ranked as the #5 Best Place for Business and Careers by Forbes, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is fast building a reputation as the go-to place for careers nationally. DSM is the fastest growing major metro in the Midwest, according to U.S. Census data, and the fastest growing demographic is 25- to 34-year-olds. Part of DSM’s lure for skilled talent is not only the low cost of living but also the high standard of living the region offers. Now there is one more element to attract some of the nation’s top young talent — the DSM Fellowship program.

Key to DSM’s continued development is the ability to continue to attract skilled workers to the region. From cradle through career, the region already offers world-class educational opportunities. Building upon that reputation, the Greater Des Moines Partnership has launched the DSM Fellowship Program — a preeminent professional development initiative that attracts, develops and retains a diverse community of top-tier graduates. 

What is the DSM Fellowship?

The DSM Fellowship is a two-year enhanced experience for college graduates or employees new to their careers at host companies. It’s an opportunity to nurture the future leadership of DSM with an intentional focus on recruiting diversity to the program. The first cohort has just been accepted as part of a pilot program offering Fellows with vast opportunities to grow their life and career in DSM while businesses will be able to shape organizational success through the Fellows.

Throughout the program, Fellows will complete a customized advanced professional development curriculum, receive mentoring from executives in their company and across the region, have access to community engagement opportunities, work on a capstone project and form lasting bonds with Fellows from other companies. The Program centers on a four-pronged approach, designed to capitalize on beneficial areas for both parties: career development, community engagement, curriculum and social connection.

Once the program is fine-tuned during the pilot, the plan is to build a talent pool that partnering companies can select candidates from to not only hire but also place within the Fellowship program. 

As we welcome our 2018 pilot Fellowship cohort, we look forward to learning together and refining the program ahead of a 2020 launch.

The DSM Fellowship program is the preeminent professional development initiative attracting, developing and retaining a diverse community of top-tier graduates to Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Mary Bontrager

Mary Bontrager serves as executive vice president of talent development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, where she leads efforts to recruit and retain talent to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region. Bontrager currently serves on Grand View University Board of Trustees, Girl Scouts of Iowa Board, South Central Iowa STEM Advisory Council and several advisory committees for Future Ready Iowa.