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Outreachy Internship Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Internship Time Commitment
  2. Mentor Expectations
  3. Career Development
  4. Payments
  5. Blogging
  6. Blogging FAQ
  7. Chats with interns, mentors, and alums

Internship Time Commitment

Your project should be your primary focus during your internship. Unless contrary to any laws where you are located, you should dedicate 30 hours per week to your project for at least 12 weeks of the Outreachy internship's 13 week duration.

Outreachy understands that interns may be temporarily interrupted from working on their project. You may get sick or have to deal with extreme weather. You may have a power outage or internet outage. Your computer may break down. You may want to spend time with your family on during a holiday or vacation.

As stated above, we expect interns to work 30 hours a week for at least 12 weeks of the 13 week internship. Please let your mentor know if you are not working on the project for a short period of time.

Rarely, interns work less than full-time, or cannot work for all 12 weeks. In that case, interns will need to arrange an internship extension with their mentor. Mentors recommend interns for extensions at the initial, mid-point, and final feedback dates. Outreachy organizers will confirm the extension with interns and mentors via email.

Internships can be extended for up to five weeks. Internships cannot be extended for more than 5 weeks. We cannot allow an internship to be stopped and then later restarted.

When an internship is extended, the feedback dates and payment dates will be shifted by the amount of the internship extension.

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Mentor Expectations

Outreachy mentors should provide:

If your mentor is not meeting the above expectations, please contact the Outreachy organizers.

Outreachy mentors are focused on helping interns complete their project. Some mentors provide career advice or help connecting to the larger open source community, but it is not required for mentors to do so. Please see the career development section below.

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Career Development

Outreachy is working to improve the career development services we offer interns. We currently offer a very limited set of career development opportunities:

An Outreachy internship is not a guarantee that you will find a job with an Outreachy sponsor. Some applicants pick their internship because they want to network with open source contributors who work for a particular company. However, you may end up working with open source contributors who are volunteers or work for other companies. Outreachy interns should be open to networking and working with all open source contributors, regardless of who they work for.

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Outreachy interns are paid $7,000 USD total for three months of work. The stipend is paid in two payments:

The stipend is paid after organizers receive successful feedback from the project mentor. Interns will be required to fill out tax forms (either a W8-BEN or a W-9) in order to be paid. If tax forms or payment routing information are turned in after the tax form deadline, the initial payment may be delayed.

May 2024 internships payment schedule:

May 27, 2024Internships starts
June 3, 2024Feedback #1 due
July 8, 2024 Feedback #2 due
July 8, 2024$3000 stipend will be issued to interns with successful feedback #1
July 22, 2024 Feedback #3 feedback due
Aug. 23, 2024$4000 stipend will be issued to interns with successful feedback #3
Aug. 26, 2024 Feedback #4 feedback due
Aug. 23, 2024Internships end

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Interns are required to blog every two weeks about their internship.

The Outreachy organizers will provide blog post prompts via email. Once interns receive the email, they will have two weeks to write the blog post. If an intern gets behind on blog posts, it's okay to publish the blogs up to 1 week later. Otherwise, move onto writing a blog post for the most recent blog post prompt.

Blogging schedule

The Outreachy organizers will send blog prompts on the following dates:

May 27, 2024Blog prompt: "Introduce yourself"
June 10, 2024Blog prompt: "Everybody struggles"
June 24, 2024Blog prompt: "Think about your audience"
July 8, 2024Mid-point project progress blog post
July 22, 2024Blog prompt: "Career opportunities"
Aug. 5, 2024No blog post - interns work on their resume
Aug. 19, 2024Final project progress blog post

Blog Week 1: Introduce yourself

Blog prompt

In your first internship blog post, you should:

  1. Introduce yourself.
  2. Pick 1-3 core values, and talk about why they are important to you.
  3. Tell people what motivated you to apply to Outreachy.

See the blog faq for suggested blog post length.

Core values

Core values are important personality traits. Core values motivate you when you make decisions. Here's a list of some core values.

For example, if the Outreachy organizer Sage Sharp were to talk about their core values, they would say:

"My core values are curiosity, growth, and compassion.

I value curiosity. I always want to know how something works. I'm also curious about why things are built a particular way.

Once I understand the how and why, I want to optimize and improve it. That's why I value growth. I want to be a better person. I want to help the world be a better place.

I also value compassion. I want to support and understand people. I'm always curious about other people's lived experiences."

Your values may be very different from Sage's. Maybe you're ambitious, you want to be a leader, and you want to influence others. Or maybe you value security, loyalty, and stability. That's great! You should write about the core values that resonate with you.

Pick 1 to 3 core values. Talk about why they are important to you.

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Blogging FAQ

Where should I create a blog?

Outreachy organizers recommend creating a blog that runs on free software. Our recommendations is to use Wordpress or Dreamwidth.

It can be tempting to use static site generators to create your own blog. However, interns often spend too much time configuring their blog than working on their project.

Outreachy organizers do not recommend using proprietary social media blogs, such as Medium or Tumblr. If your community already has a blog on Medium and wants you to post progress reports to that blog, that's is okay. However, you will still need your own blog to publish other posts on.

Please update your profile https://www.outreachy.org/account/ with a link to both the URL for your blog, and the RSS feed for your blog. For the RSS feed, you can specify either the entire blog feed, or a specific feed you want to be aggregated. Some interns add the RSS feed for their "outreachy" tag on their blog, so they can also blog about personal things.

How long should a blog post take to write?

Blog posts don't need to be perfect! You shouldn't spend more than 1-3 hours on the post. Your mid-point and final project progress blog post may take longer than your other blog posts. Blogging shouldn't take priority over working on your internship project.

How much should I write?

A good rule of thumb is that blog posts should take about 3 to 5 minutes to read. If it takes longer than that, you may want to break up it up into multiple blog posts.

What if I don't want to use the blog post prompt?

That's fine! The blog post prompts are designed to give inspiration for interns to write. If you don't like the blog post prompt, or it doesn't apply to you, write something else. You can give a status update on your project instead. Or you could talk about something you're stuck on. Or you could introduce a new tool or skill you learned. Or you could talk about what it's like to work in your free software community.

If your mentor has a different topic in mind, you can blog about that instead of using the blog post prompts.

You're still required to blog every two weeks. The goal is to share your experiences during the internship, and your progress on your project. Even a short update (a paragraph or two) is good.

Do I have to answer all the blog post prompt questions?

The blog post prompts often include a series of questions. You don't have to answer every question in the prompt. You can pick and choose which questions are most interesting to you. The goal is to inspire you to write a blog post, not to dictate exactly what you should talk about.

How should I promote my blog?

You're welcome to post a link to your blog on Twitter. If you tag @outreachy, we'll retweet your post. It's best if you include a description of your blog post that would make sense to someone who isn't familiar with Outreachy.


Ask your mentor if there are other community forums you should post your blog entries to. Some communities aggregate member's blog posts into one page. Your blog may need to have an RSS feed to be included in the community blog aggregate page.

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Chats with interns, mentors, and alums

Every two weeks, Outreachy interns, mentors, and alums will have an informal chat on the private Outreachy Zulip chat server. The goal of these chats is to encourage the interns to connect with each other.

We encourage you to honestly share your experiences. We are all learning, and no one will judge you. We especially encourage you to participate if you're shy. You may make some new friends or find a new support group!

You may not be able to make the chat because of your timezone. If so, it's okay to read through the log and comment later.

Interns will receive an invitation to the Outreachy Zulip chat once interns are announced. The login will expire in a week. If you need us to send another invitation, email the Outreachy organizers.

Chat schedule

May 28, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCTips for remote work
June 11, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCShare something you're stuck on
June 25, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCOpen source conferences (Alums invited!)
July 9, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCAdvancing your career (Alums invited!)
July 23, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCNetworking skills and informal chats
Aug. 6, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCContinuing your open source journey
Aug. 20, 2024, 2 p.m. UTCInternship wrap up chat

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Week 1 chat: Tips for remote work

We will be talking about how to effectively work remotely! We understand many interns (and some mentors) will be new to working remotely. This is your chance to learn more.

We invite people who are new to collaborating remotely to bring your concerns and questions. We invite people who are experienced in collaborating remotely to answer questions and give tips.

Topics for this conversation may include:

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Week 5 chat: Open source conferences

We will be discussing open source conferences. Conferences and events are a big part of free software and open source culture!

If you haven't been to an open source conference before, come to our chat to learn more. If you have been to an open source conference before, come to our chat to share your experiences and tips.

Topics for this conversation may include:

Anyone who has been to an open source conference is welcome to share their tips for getting the most out of conferences. Anyone is welcome to share information about open source conferences they know about.

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Week 7 chat: Careers in Open Source

We'll be discussing all the different ways you can advance your career by participating in open source. The discussion will have two parts.

The first part of the discussion will be everyone brainstorming different career paths in the technology industry and open source. Many people have part-time or full-time jobs working in the technology industry. Some people may be self-employed contractors, paid to work on open source. People may have taken a while to find a job. They may have participated in other internship programs, volunteer opportunities, grants, or networked at conferences and events.

We encourage everyone to share their stories of how they advanced their career. What did you try that didn't work? Where did you hear about opportunities? How did you network and connect with people who helped you advance your goals?

The second part of the discussion is brainstorming additional opportunities to work on open source. We encourage both mentors and interns to provide information about paid opportunities, but information about unpaid opportunities is also welcome. Sharing information about resource groups or job posting boards is also encouraged.

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Week 9 chat: Networking and informal chats

Asking to network with another person can be intimidating. This chat will cover a low-stakes way to network with people. We call them "informal chats" or "coffee chats".

An informal chat is an conversation with another person about their career or their role as a free software contributor. An informal chat lets you get insight into what they work on, how they got their job or became a leader in free software, and who they network with. After you talk with the person, you can ask them for three other people you can talk to. This helps you expand your network!

We'll be discussing how to do an informal chat. We'll cover:

For mentors and alums, please share your experiences with informal networking. Who did you ask to talk to? What did you feel (nervous, excited, etc)? What did you gain from networking? What tips would you give for someone who wants to network and learn about career opportunities in open source?

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Week 11 chat: Continuing your open source journey

The goal for week 11 is for interns to brain storm ways they can continue to work on open source or open science.

We'll be brainstorming next steps in our open source journey that we could take. Come share your ideas, hopes, and dreams. What you do envision your open source or open science journey to look like after your Outreachy internship ends?

Ideas could include:

Outreachy mentors and alums are encouraged to share their open source journey. Think of an important moment in your life when you wanted to change your career or role in open source / open science. How did you think you would achieve it? How did you actually achieve it? What advice would you give to someone who wants to continue working or volunteering with open source and/or open science?

Outreachy mentors are also encouraged to share how they became a mentor. There are many ways to provide mentorship, and becoming a mentor can seem intimidating. How did you start helping other people out? What are simple ways your intern can help other people?

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