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Circle of Blue Internships : Design, Journalism and Interactive Media

Experience a 21st-Century Newsroom

Circle of Blue office
Kaye LaFond / Circle of Blue
Circle of Blue staff hard at work in the Traverse City offices.

Circle of Blue melds the traditional tenets of great journalism with science, data analysis, and graphic design to tell the most important story of our time: water. Our groundbreaking model was recognized in 2012 with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial Innovation Award. In 2014, we were the only news organization to earn awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists in two categories.

As an intern for Circle of Blue, you will work directly with our team of reporters, editors, analysts, and designers. You will take part in editorial meetings, manage social media campaigns, work with data analysis tools like Google Fusion Tables, and have the opportunity to produce original reporting, graphics, and multimedia packages for an international audience.

Past interns have produced eBook packages and interactive infographics; taken charge of multimedia projects like our Action Figures series; traveled to conduct on-the-ground reporting in Detroit’s neighborhoods and Wisconsin’s wild rice sloughs; and covered local events like the Traverse City Film Festival and the Oil and Water Don’t Mix rally at the Mackinac Bridge.

Live in Beautiful Traverse City, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Lake Michigan
Codi Kozacek / Circle of Blue
Overlooking Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, west of Traverse City.

Interns work out of Circle of Blue headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan. Our offices are located in the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons, where one of the largest historic preservation and adaptive-reuse redevelopments in the country is underway. Numerous shops, galleries, bakeries, and cafes are just steps away, while the greater Traverse City area offers a plethora of opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Traverse City and the neighboring region have recently been named to the following ‘Best of/Top 10′ lists:

Please note that the intern is responsible for his/her housing, expenses, and travel to and from Traverse City. It is an unpaid internship. Our staff is willing to work with you to explore options for affordable housing, school grants and credits, and other opportunities that can help facilitate your time with Circle of Blue.

Traverse City
Circle of Blue
The InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, one of the largest art galleries in the Midwest.

How to Apply

Do you think you have what it takes to work for Circle of Blue? We seek interns for three types of positions:

  • Editorial interns
  • Graphic design interns
  • Data interns

Our past interns have come from diverse backgrounds — from journalism and English to chemical and environmental engineering — and all corners of the globe: Traverse City and Chicago, China and Bulgaria. Most interns are accepted for positions during the summer months.

The priority deadline for summer 2015 internship applications is Friday, March 13. Selected applicants will be announced by April 4. Additional applications will be considered after the priority date until all positions are filled.

Lydia Sarah

We also consider applications for internships at other times of the year. Applications for these positions are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Candidates should exemplify most/all of the following:

  • Fluent English required (Fluent French, Spanish, Chinese and/or other languages are a plus)
  • Exceptional writing and communications skills
  • Keen attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong research and analytical abilities
  • Productive and creative under a deadline
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Fluency in online media production, including video, audio, and multimedia editing and packaging
  • Passion for journalism; intense curiosity and creative approach to challenging assignments

Preferred candidate skills:

  • Interactive/motion-graphic skills
  • Knowledge of database-visualization tools
  • Experience with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Capacity to explore complex international issues and connections
  • Previous success working across cultures, geography, and time zones
  • Experience with global issues, including water
  • Savvy background using Apple Mac OSX

To apply, please send a resume, a cover letter, at least three work examples, and two references to:


Circle of Blue – Internship
1200 West 11th Street, Suite 228
Traverse City, MI, 49684

A Day in the Life

Get the inside scoop on life as an intern for Circle of Blue by reading these blogs by past interns:

Interns and Externs and eBooks, Oh My!
Saturated in Blue
Designing Qatar and India
Bouncing on Circles of Blue
New Circle of Blue Crew
Three Circles: Rio+20, Action Figures, and The Stream
Action Figures: Network and Teamwork
Designing and Archiving
Designing Minimalist
Defining Water Data


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