Winter Term: Changemakers Internship
2018 OBERLIN WINTER TERM
Changemakers' Internship: Fostering Diverse Sustainability Leadership
Application Deadline: Monday, October 30
Application linked below.
More and more college students are seeking support services for mental health concerns, while administrators’ rank students’ mental health as the greatest challenge facing their campuses. But what are the root causes? What can be done? Lead Foresight Design Initiative’s experienced innovation team to identify transformative strategies for addressing this complex problem, at Oberlin, and more broadly. Become a more effective change-maker as you learn Foresight’s multidisciplinary systems analysis method, understanding an issue’s root causes and the most impactful interventions. Develop and utilize essential skills for thriving in a collaborative office setting, and strengthen your professional network through facilitated introductions to professionals and organizations in Foresight’s network.
Students with specific communications skills (writing, audiovisual, graphic design, etc.), as well as low-income, students of color, and other historically and currently marginalized groups especially encouraged to apply.
Participants will be considered for potential (paid) positions as Residential/Teaching Assistants in Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College, Foresight’s summer leadership development program for high school students passionate about social equity and the environment.
What You Do
The project will have three core focuses: Project Execution, Professional Development and Foresight Prep.
Working closely with Foresight staff, participants will undertake a systems analysis project to better understand student mental health challenges on college campuses, at Oberlin, and more broadly, including the problems’ root causes, and the most viable and impactful leverage points for creating change. They will be responsible for the creation of a polished proposal to potentially publish for external stakeholders, and lay the groundwork for student-led innovation teams at Oberlin and elsewhere.
Throughout the Term, Foresight will support participants in their pursuit of meaningful and fulfilling careers and social and environmental change-makers:
- Identify your strengths;
- Gain perspective on what makes a valuable employee;
- Practice critical technical and interpersonal skills to work successfully in any office environment;
- Learn to network with integrity, including techniques for informational interviews;
- In Friday guest lectures, interact with professionals from Foresight's Chicago network of peer institutions;
- Hone your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Participants will administer Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College’s annual alumni survey, to evaluate the program’s ongoing impact, and assess students’ needs. Chicago: In addition to these three focuses, Foresight will help organize opportunities for interns to take advantage of the many social and educational experiences Chicago offers—from noteworthy sustainability initiatives, to cultural offerings.
The project will require students be fully committed in order to be successful. They should expect to be present in the office, and for their time to be occupied by internship activities, 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. A portion of each day will likely be spent in group sessions. Participants will be expected to stay healthy, stay in Chicago (including weekends), participate fully, and communicate any issues that arise, in order to ensure the best group experience and outcomes for all. Students should have their own learning goals, and hold themselves accountable for achieving them to the fullest extent possible. Those who choose/are chosen to participate will be asked to sign a mutual commitment form.
Sophomores and juniors are preferred, but others will be considered. Participants will have priority consideration for second semester/summer positions with Foresight Design Initiative and the Foresight Prep program. Prior knowledge of, or experience with, social innovation, systems analysis, communications, or sustainability issues is not required, just a sincere interest. Participants will be expected to be fully engaged and collaborative in order to accomplish an ambitious program in a short timeframe, as well as to ensure an inspiring and fulfilling experience.
Participants are required to secure their own lodging. Foresight will assist with referrals to places that have hosted students in the past. These range from host families, to a local housing and dining Co-op to a residential hotel. (The co-op is very reasonable and their price includes food. They do, however, have an application and interview process they require all potential residents to complete). The Oberlin Career Center is also happy to provide contact lists for alumni who have indicated willingness to host Winter Term students. Accepted students concerned about housing should contact Foresight ASAP, so that this does not become a deterrent to their participation.
Students will be responsible for their own travel to and from Chicago. Foresight is happy to provide assistance with identifying cost-effective options. Many past Oberlin interns have used Megabus, Amtrak, or Shuttlehome for transport between Chicago and Cleveland/Oberlin.
- Applications Due: Monday, Oct. 30
- Applicant Interviews: Wednesday Nov. 1-Friday, Nov. 3
- Decisions Made (including potential wait list): Monday, Nov. 6
- Mutual Commitment Form Deadline: Friday, Nov. 10
- Oberlin College Winter Term Registration Deadline: Friday, Dec. 1
- Winter Term Begins: Wednesday, Jan. 3
- Winter Term Ends: Tuesday, Jan 30, with final group presentation
- Student Reports Due to Faculty Sponsors: Friday, Feb. 2
Students will be supervised by Foresight Design Initiative staff, including Peter Nicholson (OC '91), who has 20 years of experience as a sustainability-oriented designer, educator and innovator and Foresight Prep Program Director Tim Jones-Yelvington, who has worked for eight years in the fields of Youth Development, Philanthropy and Community Organizing.
Read more about the Foresight staff here.
Contact Tim Jones-Yelvington: