Think you have what it takes to be a Circle of Blue intern?
Back in 2009, I started off as an intern for Circle of Blue. Specifically a data intern, because of my undergraduate studies in chemistry, mathematics, and chemical engineering.
For my very first project, I was one of the beta testers for Google Fusion Tables, which meant that I got to work with Alon Halevy, the application’s chief engineer at the time. I even recorded the first ever tutorial for Fusion Tables, and the story that I wrote about the program’s ability to decipher water data continues — nearly four years later — to be one of our top stories of all time.
My second data project that summer was to create an interactive dashboard of the perceptions and realities of water in 25 countries around the world using Qlikview. Most of the data was pulled from the United Nations, World Health Organization, and others, which I then spliced with polling results from a survey we had done that summer as part of our WaterViews series. (Note: For my work on the Qlikview/WaterViews project, I was quoted about a year later for an article on Business Intelligence (BI) in ComputerWorld.)
For my third project of that first summer with Circle of Blue, I interviewed Ed Kashi — one of the best photographers on the planet, in my opinion — while he was on location in Nigeria. This interview was the launchpad for a Circle of Blue feature story that I wrote about water pollution and the oil industry in the Niger River Basin.
Since that first summer as a Circle of Blue intern, I’ve done multimedia reporting — video, audio, data, design, text, photography — on a range of topics from all over the world. I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of people around the world, and in our Traverse City-based office, who are making a difference.
Want The Inside Scoop?
Being an intern for Circle of Blue definitely has its perks. But don’t just take it from me — here are blog posts from last year’s interns, so that you can get an idea of what the day-to-day life of a Circle of Blue intern is like.
Before their junior year at Grand Valley State University, friends and classmates Amanda Northrop and Alec Aja spent Summer 2012 as Circle of Blue design interns.
- Designing Water Use and Pricing (Amanda)
- Designing and Archiving (Amanda)
- Designing Minimalist (Alec)
Aubrey Blanche — playfully referred to as ‘Aubrey #2’ — needed to do a JR, or Journalist in Residence, to finish her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism before starting her PhD program at Stanford last fall. She did a great job managing our Action Figures project last summer.
Sarah Howie, a graduate of the University of Michigan’s SNRE, helped out last summer with development, funders, and grant writing. Also from Medill, Lydia Belanger was an editorial intern who covered a lot of topic areas.
- Staying On Top of Evolving Environmental News (Lydia)
- 3 Circles: Rio+20, Action Figures, The Stream (Lydia)
From my alma mater, Varun Mangla, a junior in the University of Michigan’s Chemical Engineering Department, followed in my footsteps, working closely with Google Fusion Tables on data projects last summer:
- Defining Water Data (Varun)
Starting last fall just as everyone else was finishing up, Allison Voglesong has done some amazing infographics and videos, as well as contributing stories to water news.
About Traverse City
Circle of Blue 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. Learn more about Traverse City from the Traverse City Visitors & Convention Bureau and be sure to note the burgeoning Traverse City Film Festival, which takes place every year during the last week in July. Please not that the intern is responsible for his/her housing, expenses, and travel to and from Traverse City, Michigan. It is an unpaid internship.
Traverse City and the neighboring region have recently been named to the following ‘Best of/Top 10’ lists:
- 10 Best Small Towns: Fordors
- Best Summer 2012 Trips: National Geographic
- Top Wine Regions To Watch: Touring & Tasting
- Emerging Beer Towns: Draft Magazine
- Most Beautiful Place in America: Good Morning America
- Best Cities for a Bike Vacation: Bicycling Magazine
- Top Foodie Towns: Bon Appetit
Read more from the list here.
How To Apply
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Circle of Blue intern? With most of our writing/editorial positions filled for Summer 2013, we’re looking specifically for designers and data gurus who can create interactive infographics, online projects, and multimedia materials for influential international audiences. Interns can expect to learn and practice design, workflow, production, and development in a dynamic news and science operation that reaches an international audience.
Previous interns have created exceptional works and helped produce highly visible Circle of Blue projects that have been referenced by top organizations such as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, National Geographic, and the World Economic Forum. Other interns have won awards such as the Panavision Young Filmmakers Grant and have gone on to work for Emmy-winning directors. Our interns really go places.
Candidates should exemplify most/all of the following:
- Fluent English required (Fluent French, Spanish, Chinese and/or other languages a plus!)
- Exceptional communications skills
- Productive and creative under a deadline
- Attention to detail and accuracy
- Strong research and analytical abilities
- Passion for making complex issues understandable.
- Intense curiosity and creative approach to challenging assignments.
- Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
- Fluency in designing workflows, online media presentations, infographics (including video, audio, and multimedia editing and packaging)
- Use of Adobe CS5/6 suite and related tools
Preferred that candidates will have:
- Flash + interactive/motion graphic skills
- Knowledge of database visualization tools
- 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
Please send a resume, a cover letter, at least three work examples, and two references.
Circle of Blue – Internship
1200 West 11th Street, Suite 228
Traverse City, MI, 49684
–Aubrey Ann Parker, newsdesk editor
is a Traverse City-based assistant editor for Circle of Blue. She specializes in data visualization.
Interests: Latin America, Social Media, Science, Health, Indigenous Peoples