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How Core Values Contribute to My Outreachy Internship with Public Lab

Community, Determination, and Learning...

Congratulations, you've been selected as an intern for the December 2021 to March 2022 Outreachy internship round. You'll be interning with Public Lab on the project " Rebuilding Spectral Workbench capture and analysis interface"

This is part of the message I received in an email after going through the Outreachy Application process. It was the second time I was applying for the Outreachy Internship. This blog post will talk about the outreachy application process especially the contributing phase, and how some of my core values helped me succeed in it.

I am Jane, a Civil Engineer, and a Full-Stack Developer. I heard about Outreachy from one of my coding partners in Nigeria, Ud. I remember him saying "Hey Jane, checkout this internship program, I think you would be a great fit for it." I guess he was right!

What is Outreachy?

Outreachy provides internships in open source to people subject to systemic bias and impacted by underrepresentation in the technology industry where they are living. Outreachy interns work with experienced mentors from open source communities and projects may include programming, user experience, documentation, graphical design, data science, marketing, user advocacy, or community event planning. Outreachy is a diversity initiative of Software Freedom Conservancy. Its goal is to increase diversity in open source. 92% of past interns have been women. So anyone who faces under-representation, and systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply. It is a 3 months internship where interns work remotely and are paid a $7,000 USD total internship stipend.

The application process consists of two steps:

1.) Initial application

here, applicants are asked to provide some basic details, confirm their time commitment, and answer 4 essay questions. Results of this are announced after a few weeks and the selected applicants move into the contribution period.

2.) Contribution period & Final application

during this period, applicants select an organization, project, and make contributions to it. Applicants get to meet community members and mentors, work on first-timer only issues if they are new to the community, and familiarize themselves with the project they are applying for. Applicants are also required to make a project proposal containing the project implementation details and a project execution timeline for the 3 months. More details can be found on the outreachy official site. In addition to this, there are lots of articles out there from Outreachy Alumni on tips to succeed in the application process. You can find these articles on the Alumni page.

The first time I applied, I was so overwhelmed with the contribution phase and did not make it till the end. I was terrified because I saw a lot of talented people making meaningful contributions. But I challenged myself to improve my skills, learn about open source contributions and apply for the next round which I did successfully. Here is a link to my project proposal


Community, Determination, and Learning

These are my top 3 core values when it comes to Open Source Contribution.

I value community. Community means having opportunities to give of yourself and to establish a feeling of belonging and identity. Interacting, sharing opinions, and communicating are the things that build up the community value for me. Being a member of a community also includes having the opportunity to be employed, be truly involved in the routines of the community, and make a difference in the lives of others. Every conversation, call, e-mail, and even message sets a tone and creates a feeling. If one gets this part right of interacting with other people, then the rest falls in place which leads me to my second core value, determination.

Self-determination for me is having the power to make decisions and truly be in control of one's own life. This means that you have the right to choose what you will do with your life and with whom you will do it. I choose to make meaningful contributions through open source in order to positively impact the world one code at a time.

Learning continues throughout our lives and it is essential to personal growth and development. I try to use every opportunity I have as a learning experience and it is very important to me. Working with Public Lab is another wonderful opportunity for me to learn and be part of an incredible community.

I would be sharing my experience with the amazing Public Lab community during this internship period in other articles. Thanks for reading!

Hope this article encourages you to apply. Good Luck!

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Comments (1)

Tilda Udufo's photo

Wonderful article Jane🎉. I especially love this line

If one gets this part right of interacting with other people, then the rest falls in place