Mentors for design internships?


I’m Sarah Sharp, an organizer for Outreachy, which is a paid, three-month remote internship program for people traditionally underrepresented in open source. We’re currently looking for open source communities to participate in our December to March internship. The application period opens September 7, and we’d love to have your open source community participate!

Outreachy internships can include work on documentation, website design, user experience, graphical design or illustration, programming, and more. We’d love to hear about your project. Feel free to contact for more information.

Sarah Sharp


Hi @sarahsharp, could you write how the internship would work?

Is that a “conventional” internship in which an intern comes to an organization and works in an office there, or a “remote”/“Task oriented” internship, in which the intern works on tasks remotely like in google’s code-in or summer of code?

Sure! (The info should be in the link, let me know if it was confusing.)

Outreachy is fully remote. Interns work on a three-month project defined by the mentor. That’s usually a series of tasks, with larger and more complex tasks at the end of the internship. The internship project needs to be worked on in public, and the project can’t be too tied to one company (e.g. working on a FOSS project coloring book would be fine, but working on a company logo and branding wouldn’t be).

Outreachy is different from Google Summer of Code because we require applicants to make contributions to open source projects before they’re accepted as an intern. Mentors define a list of first-time contributions that applicants make during the 6-week application period. This allows mentors to evaluate whether an applicant has the right skills for the internship. We encourage mentors to accept applicants who make consistent small contributions, rather than one big contribution at the end of the application period.

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Hi @sarahsharp

Thanks for sending this. I personally would love Open Source Design to participate in Outreachy, but only if we can find a mentor who can commit to see the internship through and support it appropriately.

I think these experiences can have lasting impact on trainees, so communities must truly commit to make them a success.

Anybody willing / able to take the lead and become an Outreachy mentor?

I’d be interested in becoming a mentor but would like to hear what time commitment we are expected from and what responsibilities we would have?

EDIT: Nevermind, had a read through the post you linked. 5h a week from what I see. Would interns work on Design this time as well? Also, are women mentors encouraged or are all genders for mentors encouraged to apply? Don’t get me wrong, just could imagine some students being more comfortable working with former.

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Outreachy sounds like a cool program. Unfortunately we fail the first requirement for “FOSS Community Requirements”:

They need funding to sponsor at least one intern ($6,500). FOSS communities are often sponsored by their foundation or corporate sponsors who use or contribute to their community.

All our available funds are listed at and we are quite a small organization without corporate sponsors. Thanks for introducing it to us.

Your website seems ‘new’ and lacks information about the previous editions (2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, or 2015+). Maybe you will fix that in the future at least with appropriate links, in order to understand better the program for future visitors.

As @evalica mentioned there’s funding needed to sponsor the interns. So this is actually less something for our Open Source Design collective but rather the projects (and companies) we are part of. :slight_smile: We did it in the past with Nextcloud (then still owncloud).

Hi folks. I’ve been involved with Outreachy in the past and recommend it :100:%!

That said, in my day job, we’re hoping to be sponsoring a handful of Outreachy interns later this year, and some of those may be design related. The challenge for the open source projects we’re working with, is generally a lack of design mentorship & expertise, within those projects’ communities.

If there were folks in this community that would be interested in serving as a co-mentor for these FOSS projects (most likely in the international development & humanitarian response space) I would be happy to play “matchmaker”!

Anyway, happy to continue the conversation here or privately. Cheers!


The interns can work on various project types, including design. Interns generally work on their own, although we do sometimes have one or two interns who are working on the same project. We don’t restrict mentors by demographic, and we do have a lot of male mentors.

Yes, the Outreachy website is quite new (only 2 weeks old). We’re migrating content from a wiki, and trying to reorganize it at the same time. The application instructions are the first priority to migrate over, and then the program history will come later.