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Join Our 2024 Cohort

We created a summer fellowship for aspiring visual storytellers to author a project on The Pudding

The 2024 Cohort is a summer fellowship geared towards current college or graduate-level students or recently-graduated applicants (roughly within the last year, December 2022 and onward), where you will have 10 weeks (June 18, 2024 to September 1, 2024) to author a project on The Pudding.

  • Come in with a project idea (see also what makes a good project?). Leave with it near-publishable or completed.
  • You’ll get 1-on-1 mentorship and support to produce your project.
  • Part-time (20 hours/week working on your project), remote-friendly (you control your own schedule), and available to international applicants. There will be dedicated team-wide and cohort-wide events during EST hours, and applicants should be available for these sessions.
  • Up to 3 people will take part in the cohort.
  • Projects are evaluated, accepted, and declined on an on-going basis, beginning January 25th, 2024. There is no formal cut-off deadline for applications.
  • Participants will receive $7,200 as a stipend for the 2024 cohort.

Our next round of application reviews will be on February 28, 2024.

Program details

Our goal is to help you complete a data storytelling project over the course of 10 weeks. We think working on a project that you care about is the best way to learn. In addition to working on your project, you’ll be participating in the following:

Lunch n’ learn talks

You’ll hear from folks in the data viz industry and get a chance to ask them questions. This includes talks, lectures, and lessons from practitioners in data visualization, visual/graphics journalists in newsrooms, and staff at The Pudding. We’ll tailor the guests to make sure they align with the Cohort’s skills and goals.

1-on-1 mentorship

Each cohort member will be paired with a mentor (from the Pudding) who will provide them with guidance and feedback throughout the program. We will assign these pairings based on the participant’s and the project’s needs. We want to teach you how to learn, not do it for you. Mentors will help guide the project, giving feedback and pointing you towards resources when you’re stuck.

Cohort time

Each week, we’ll meet as a cohort and support one another on our projects.

Access to The Pudding team

You’ll get direct access to the Pudding Team over Slack and through video calls, with even the opportunity to shadow parts of our team’s process.

Evaluation of applications

  • We’ll evaluate participation in the cohort based on the strength of the applicant’s project proposal. Please refer to our pitch guidelines for more information about prospective projects. Applicants will be asked to provide at least one idea for a project (applicants may submit up to 3 additional ideas). The team will greenlight one project from these ideas.
  • We will also consider the applicant’s ability to produce the project. The applicant does not need to have all the skills needed to take the idea to completion, but we expect that they lead the research and story portion of the effort (we may assign parts of the production—design, development—to members of our team).
  • Questions? Want to chat through project ideas? Sign up for The Pudding’s office hours here.

FAQ

Is this program for you?
  • You should have a project that you want to work on.
  • You want to level up your visual-led storytelling skills. There are no specific skill prerequisites, but we expect some background that you’ll bring to producing your projects; you don’t need prior experience with data, design, or coding.
  • You don’t see any issues with our schedule and time commitment.
Who are we?
  • We operate The Pudding, a publication that explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays (learn more about us here)
  • Since 2017, we’ve supported contributors taking their project from idea to published-on-the-Internet. We don’t expect to teach you Javascript or Data Visualization better than other professional programs, but we’re confident we can help you make something, a far greater prize than gaining knowledge with no place to apply it.
Will this program fit in your schedule?
  • There will be, minimum, 2 hours per week, (over 10 weeks) dedicated to cohort and team-wide sessions for all participants to attend together. We’ll do our best to make sure it’s an ideal time for everyone, but we recognize that time zones will be the largest challenge to getting everyone together. We expect a weekday time slot of 12pm-2pm EST might be best for all participants to join.
  • For 10 weeks, plan on spending ~20 hours per week on your project. This will be around your own schedule, and it will include 1-2 sessions per week of 1-on-1 mentorship with The Pudding team. These mentorship sessions will be scheduled around your availability and time-zone.
  • The Cohort is designed to only be a part-time commitment. You may be able to juggle other outside employment or responsibilities at the same time.
Why is this a “cohort” and not a typical internship?
  • We believe there should be more experience-led opportunities to learn data visualization and visual storytelling. There’s no shortage of professional education in this space (Data Institute, Lede Program, Parsons, Metis), but programs that focus on making something are rare.
  • Learning by doing is one of the best ways to level-up. By focusing on project work, we expect participants to learn how to learn, channeled via a topic about which they’re passionate.
  • Moreover, participants will leave this program with a project for their portfolio, an important catalyst for demonstrating experience (and not just knowledge) to potential employers/clients.
  • Internships can come with implicit power dynamics, and we want to lessen those as much as possible to create a true team atmosphere. In addition to mentorship, we want you to have peers that you can lean on — we’ve found that working with collaborators produces better work than when working siloed.
What’s a good project?
  • Is about something you’re really interested in
  • Requires at least some skills that you already have in addition to ones you’re hoping to learn (that’s where we come in!)
  • Can be shaped so that it can be completed during the program duration.
  • If you want to work on something similar to what we produce at The Pudding, see our pitch guidelines for what we think makes a good idea for a visual essay.
What compensation will I receive for the program?
  • You’ll receive $7,200 USD pre-taxes, which is approximately the budget that we allocate to typical contributor projects to The Pudding.
  • Note that we are not able to offer fellows any health insurance or other benefits (this is 1099 income).
  • Cohort members are expected to work remotely, though there are some co-working options available with staff members of The Pudding (we will not provide relocation or housing reimbursement, however).
  • If you need a laptop, we can supply one!
Apply Now!