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What is the colorwave fellowship?

The colorwave fellowship is an exciting opportunity for aspiring data scientists and analysts to gain real-world experience and mentoring while working on projects that drive social impact.

Overview of the Colorwave Fellowship

The colorwave fellowship was founded in 2018 by Colorwave Analytics, a leading social impact data science consultancy. The fellowship selects a small cohort of fellows each year and matches them with Colorwave’s network of nonprofits and social enterprises in need of pro bono data science and analytics work.

Over a 10-12 week period, fellows take on real-world projects aimed at creating social good. They receive mentorship and training in data science, analytics, presenting, storytelling, and translating analytical insights into action. Throughout the fellowship, fellows develop technical skills, grow their professional networks, and gain valuable experience to launch their careers.

The fellowship is ideal for those passionate about social impact who want to break into data science or analytics. No prior experience is required. The program is fully remote, so fellows can participate from anywhere.

Benefits of the Colorwave Fellowship

The colorwave fellowship provides numerous benefits beyond the hands-on experience fellows gain. Additional perks include:

– **Networking:** Fellows are connected with Colorwave’s extensive network of social impact organizations and data professionals. This network helps fellows develop relationships that can lead to career opportunities.

– **Mentorship:** Fellows receive close mentoring from Colorwave’s expert data scientists on technical concepts, analysis methods, presenting findings, and more.

– **Personalized growth:** The fellowship facilitates self-reflection, values alignment, strengths assessments, and goal setting to help fellows grow on a personal level.

– **Social impact focus:** All projects are selected specifically for their ability to drive social change on issues fellows care about. The program develops a sense of purpose.

– **Flexible schedule:** The fellowship allows fellows to set their own schedule, working 10-15 hours per week. This provides flexibility for those with other commitments.

– **Stipend:** Fellows receive a modest stipend which helps offset the time invested. This ensures accessibility to those from diverse backgrounds.

Project Work During the Fellowship

The core of the colorwave fellowship is the hands-on project experience fellows gain. Over the 10-12 week fellowship, fellows take on 2-3 discrete projects matched to their interests and skill levels.

Example projects have included:

– Analyzing loan data to develop a machine learning model for predicting client repayment risk for a microfinance nonprofit.

– Mining survey data to understand challenges facing homeless youth and identify unmet needs to guide an NGO’s programs.

– Scraping air quality data and modeling the health impacts of pollution in front-line communities for an environmental justice nonprofit.

– Developing a Tableau dashboard visualizing outcomes and impact for a workforce development program.

– Designing experiments and analyzing A/B testing results to improve fundraising conversion rates for a charity.

Throughout each project, fellows receive guidance and support from Colorwave mentor data scientists. However, fellows are responsible for driving the projects forward and delivering analysis to their nonprofit partners.

Eligibility Requirements

The colorwave fellowship seeks early-career data professionals with a passion for social impact. Eligibility requirements include:

– Educational background in a quantitative field like data science, analytics, computer science, statistics, math, economics, or related field.

– Basic proficiency in Python or R. Advanced skills are not required.

– Demonstrated interest in social impact through coursework, volunteering, work experience, or other activities.

– Authorization to work in the country of the fellowship. For the US fellowship, this means US work authorization.

– Availability to commit 10-15 hours per week over the 10-12 week fellowship.

The fellowship is designed for those at the beginning of their data careers with 0-2 years of experience. Both graduates and rising final year undergraduates are encouraged to apply. No prior data science work experience is required.

The Colorwave Fellows

Each cohort brings together a diverse group of aspiring data scientists and analysts. Previous fellows have included:

– Recent graduates from degree programs in data science, analytics, computer science, and more.

– PhD and Master’s candidates looking to pivot into data-driven social impact work.

– Nonprofit and social enterprise professionals seeking to expand their data skillsets.

– Career-changers with backgrounds in teaching, consulting, finance, and other fields.

While fellows enter with varying levels of experience, they uniformly share a passion for social impact. Past cohorts have represented 10+ countries and diverse educational institutions.

Below is a sample profile of a previous colorwave fellow:

Name Background Motivation Fellowship Role
Leila Mahmoud Recent computer science graduate from University of California, Berkeley Wants to use her technical skills to improve education accessibility Fellow working on data science projects in the education space

This diversity of perspectives and experiences creates a rich collaborative learning environment during the fellowship.

The Fellowship Curriculum

In addition to hands-on projects, fellows participate in training sessions during the fellowship to expand their skillsets. These sessions are held 1-2 times per week and last 60-90 minutes each.

Sample curriculum topics have included:

Curriculum Category Sample Topics
Technical Skills Intro to Machine Learning, Data Visualization Best Practices, Web Scraping, Advanced SQL, A/B Testing
Soft Skills Storytelling with Data, Presenting for Impact, Translating Analysis into Insights
Professional Development Networking and Informational Interviews, Building Your Personal Brand, Career Planning
Social Impact Data Ethics, Responsible AI, Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Tech

These sessions expose fellows to new concepts while allowing them to strengthen core competencies. The curriculum evolves each cohort to align with fellows’ interests and growth opportunities.

Outside of formal training, fellows connect 1:1 with their Colorwave mentors for technical support and guidance specific to their projects. These mentoring relationships provide personalized coaching time.

How to Apply

Applications for the colorwave fellowship open in November each year for the cohort starting in January. The application includes:

– Application form covering interests, experience, and goals

– Resume/CV

– Short essays on motivations for social impact work and fit for the program

– Code sample or analytical work sample (e.g. Python notebook)

– Letters of recommendation (optional)

The selection process is highly competitive, with Conclusion

The colorwave data science fellowship provides a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience, build skills, and expand your network – all while creating social impact. For aspiring data scientists and analysts, it can be a transformative stepping stone that launches your career.

The program enables fellows to apply their quantitative talents towards creating change, whether by modeling microfinance risk, analyzing disparities in education, optimizing nonprofit workflows, or countless other projects. Over its first five years, the fellowship has supported over 100 fellows working with 50+ nonprofit partners globally.

If you’re passionate about social justice and early in your data career, the colorwave fellowship is well worth considering. Visit their website to learn more and apply for the next cohort starting in January. With hard work and commitment, you could join a cohort of change-minded data professionals supporting impactful projects around the world.