Are you passionate about using your design talent to make the world a better place?
Do you believe visual design can make complicated information easy to understand?
Would you like to learn more about federal education policy while sharpening your design and multimedia communication skills?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is on the lookout for talented students to be part of our inaugural ED Design Studio Internship Program.
This new program is part of the official ED Summer Volunteer Unpaid Internship Program, though the deadline for applications is extended to April 8, 2016, for this program only. Please see eligibility information here and be sure to see additional application instructions below.
Students who are members of under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Think you might be interested? Here are some answers to questions you may have.
What would I be doing, exactly?
During your internship you might –
• Use Adobe Creative Suite to design infographics for social media, blogs, and other digital platforms that will be seen by a national audience;
• Use sticky notes during a brainstorm session to come up with ideas for high-impact visuals to accompany a high-profile report;
• Use PowerPoint to help a senior staff member turn a text-heavy set of bullets into an elegant presentation for a national education conference or an internal meeting;
• Offer in-person workshops or one-on-one coaching to help staffers learn basic drawing techniques for use with easel pads while facilitating meetings;
• Advise policy officials on options for data visualization graphics and tools;
• Recruit a design expert to offer a workshop on design thinking and user-centered design;
• Attend a public event in the DC area where you see your work put into action;
• Make progress on your own idea for a project that combines your design/multimedia interests and the Department’s mission.
What is the commitment?
Minimum of eight weeks, 20 to 40 hours per week. Ideally you would be in the program full time for a few months, but since this is an unpaid opportunity we understand some candidates may have to work a part-time job too, and we are open to candidates in that situation.
Who would I work with?
The position works closely with the Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO), the Office of the Undersecretary (OUS), and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). In a typical week you would collaborate with writers and the press team, as well as policy advisors, support staff, and senior officials in multiple offices.
Who is ED looking for?
In addition to the basic eligibility requirements, we are looking for high school, undergraduate, or graduate students with proficient graphic design/multimedia skills, a passion for education, and a can-do, “yes-and!” attitude. If you’re someone who works well in a fast-paced environment, takes initiative and learns from mistakes, and stays flexible and positive as things change, you could be a great fit.
If you have a talent for snappy writing, teaching/coaching others, or facilitating groups, that would be icing on the cake.
Why the rushed timeline?
We didn’t come across many students with strong graphic design backgrounds in our usual summer internship search process. We are now doing targeted outreach to find people like you, so we are a little behind in the process. Once we select the successful candidate(s), there is a rigorous vetting process to get through, so we want that to begin as soon as possible.
I see the application instructions in the “How to Apply” section of the ED Student Volunteer Unpaid Internship Program web site. Anything else I need to do to be considered for the ED Design Studio Internship Program?
Yes! Glad you asked. Three additional things, please:
1. In your resume or cover letter please identify your software program and design/multimedia proficiencies.
2. Please share your portfolio by attaching a single file (not larger than 10MB) or including a link.
Anything else I should know?
Applications are due no later than April 8, 2016. We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so it is in your interest to submit your application as soon as possible.
Thank you for considering this opportunity!
You can learn more about the Department’s work here.