Careers & Internships
There are currently no job openings at Foresight. If you are interested in our work and want to learn more about us, feel free to say hello at email@example.com.
Foresight Design Initiative believes fostering talent produces exponential impact over time. We are committed to providing internships that offer hands-on experience on a wide variety of sustainability-related projects. Our interns are given an opportunity to play an integral part in fulfilling the organization's mission and contributing to its success. We work with interns to foster qualities that will contribute to their professional development, including:
- Cultivating new, practical skills;
- Acquiring and deepening knowledge;
- Forging connections; and
- Developing problem solving abilities.
No two internships are exactly alike. Foresight tries to structure opportunities to take advantage of existing skills and interests, as well as meet current and evolving organizational needs. Candidates are encouraged to consider what they have to offer, as well as what they are looking to receive from the experience. Most opportunities include at least two parts: a modest, ongoing "base load" that involves becoming familiar with Chicago's sustainability sector by contributing to the Foresight Forecast media hub; and at least one special project, which varies depending on intern interests, skills, and current organizational undertakings. Recent examples include conducting in-depth research on global biomimicry practitioners, contributing to the design of a new educational program, strategizing on a new media initiative, and developing sustainability metrics for a new social venture, among others. Interns participate in a mid-term review, and are solicited for their input on both the program and their growth during an exit interview.
Expectations & Commitment
Given the potential level of responsibility, expectations for professional conduct, attention to detail, and timely work are high. Interns are with the organization for a minimum of three months, contributing at least 10 hours per week during the school year and more over the summer. In order to have a truly valuable experience, schedules should allow for as many consecutive hours and days of work as possible. All candidates must have means of supporting themselves, and be prepared to defer any conflicting positions, until the end of their agreed-upon term. On occasion, interns with specialized skills (e.g., graphic design, social media, fundraising) are sought to contribute to specific projects that may require fewer hours or offsite work.
Prospective interns are closely screened to ensure they understand and can meet expectations. In addition to confirming availability, qualities sought include a genuine desire to learn, some initial skills or areas of knowledge, a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and solid communication and organization abilities, among others. The best interns tend to be self-motivated, resourceful, and able to work independently as well as with others. Supervision is offered to overcome barriers, establish priorities, provide direction and resources, and develop judgment. Undergraduates, as well as those with graduate degrees, have participated.
All internships are unpaid. Participants are compensated through the experience, skills development, knowledge acquisition, and connections made available while working. If the internship is productive and positive, Foresight will serve as a reference for future job opportunities and offer networking suggestions.
When to Apply
- Applications for Fall internships (September-December) will be considered starting in June.
- Applications for Spring internships (January-April) will be considered starting in October.
- Applications for Summer internships (May-August) will be considered starting in February.
How to Apply
Step 0.5 Review Previous Information
If you haven't already, be sure to review the information on the main page, particularly the Expectations & Commitment and When to Apply sections.
Step 1 Preliminary Email
A timely initial inquiry about availability is recommended. Send a brief email of inquiry to insure we're currently accepting applications for the given period. A little additional information, such as any special skills or experience you possess, doesn't hurt either: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2 Application
Upon receiving a reply, click here to complete and submit your application.
Step 3 Interview
After your application materials have been reviewed, a 45-60 minute interview is scheduled. If candidates are out of town or the country, this can be conducted via videoconference (e.g. Skype) or phone. All applicants will be notified of our response in a timely manner.
Step 4 Confirmation & Letter of Understanding
In order to ensure a mutually beneficial experience with clear expectations for all parties, interns are asked to sign a letter of understanding that outlines their goals and details the agreed upon time commitment. They are also asked to review and sign the organization's anti-harassment and Internet usage policies. A work plan/job description (subject to change and evolution) is also provided detailing the project(s) on with which they will be involved, including initial tasks and deadlines.