March 30, 2018

The Podcast Fellowship (a summer program)

[If you know a full-time student in need of a worthy summer project, please share with them…]

Summer internships are a problem. Too often, you’re working for free, doing very little of value and learning less. Two out of three might be okay, but that’s a lousy combination.

Too often, careers are shaped based on too little input from a busy office. And far too often, privilege and existing relationships play a role in who gets to do something productive.

In real life, after college, you’re less likely than ever to have a real job in a real office. You’re also hoping to be doing a job you actually like, where people aren’t telling you what to do all day. Why train for the worst outcome all summer in a dead-end internship?

Alex DiPalma and I are pleased to invite you to consider an experiment, open to a hand-picked group of students this summer. A virtual program, available wherever there’s a laptop and an internet connection. Alex is a successful podcast producer, who has worked on Akimbo, with Minnesota Public Radio, with Cal Fussman, with Food4Thot, among other shows. She knows what’s up.

The idea: You should build a podcast. A thirty-episode series, a podcast that captures insights and experiences in an area you care about.

Are you hoping for a career in urban planning? Make your podcast about that. Over the course of the thirty episodes, you can interview leaders in your field. You can capture your thoughts on the big (and small) issues of the day. You can lead and you can teach. And no one can stop you.

It doesn’t matter how many people listen to it. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have a sponsor. It matters that you made it.

By the end of the summer, you’ll have published your work to anyone who cares to subscribe. You’ll have developed assertions, made connections and most of all, shared with generosity. You won’t be a technical wizard, you’ll have something better than that–the confidence that comes from having built and shipped generous work.

The program itself works like this: We’ll accept applications until April 10th, 2018 at 5 pm. Alex will go through the applications and invite a cohort to join the program. It will run every weekday from June 28 to August 15th, using an online community platform we’re customizing just for you. You can live anywhere in the world. You can already have a summer gig. All you need is the desire and a commitment to put in the time.

[We’re accepting applications from non-students, but students get priority.]

Throughout the program, we’ll be teaching you useful techniques, challenging you to invent new ones, and most of all, connecting you with other students who are going where you’re going. This online mastermind group will take a real commitment, a few hours a day at minimum. But if you put in the time, you’ll earn the body of work you’ll end up creating.

The program costs $10 a day, because we want people to have skin in the game. Financial aid is available. The application is here, and we hope you’ll consider it.