Program Goals

The MBDH supports training, mentoring, and career development for students from all backgrounds and disciplines who are interested in how data relates to their education and their career goals.

The MBDH Student Intern Program is a paid internship currently focused on two areas: science communications and student community engagement.

In our Science Communications track, students work with MBDH leadership, collaborators, and community members to tell the stories of how people are working with data and data science tools to have meaningful impacts on research, practice, and community needs. This work is published on the MBDH Community Blog and communicated through our newsletter and social media.

In our Student Community Engagement track, interns help to build a regional community of student groups and individual student participants who share their experiences and build new connections. In particular, we are interested in building student group leadership capacity to help new leaders learn from the experiences of existing student organizations. This work can be seen through our Data Science Student Groups webinar series and the Student Groups Profiles series.

You can meet our interns here:
2023–2024 cohort
2022–2023 cohort
2021–2022 cohort

In fall 2023, we added a Program Evaluation Intern to assist in evaluation work on projects supported through our Community Development and Engagement (CDE) Program.

Contact Us

We expect to have new internship opportunities each academic year. Check back on this page for the next opportunity to apply. Please contact us with questions.

Testimonials from the MBDH Student Intern Program:
Qining Wang, PhD student in Chemistry, Northwestern University and member of the first cohort of interns in the MBDH Student Intern Program in 2021–2022

“As a Ph.D. student in STEM, I tend to view science from a very narrow and specific scope. MBDH’s science writing intern program encouraged me to think more broadly about data science and its intersection with our daily life, from water quality and self-driven cars to community building. I was able to gain a new appreciation for my research and realize what I do is making an impact on the world. This program has also inspired me to pursue data-driven sustainability and circular economy research after my Ph.D. studies. I highly recommend students who love science and writing participate in this program and explore how data science weaves into the fabric of the world.”

Erica Joo, BS student in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Journalism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and member of the first cohort of interns in the MBDH Student Intern Program in 2021–2022

“The Midwest Big Data Hub Internship Program was one of the best programs I’ve ever been involved with. The program allowed me to find an interdisciplinary space for my love of science and journalism and take it to the next level. When I first started, I had little science journalism experience, but through this program, I learned more than how to write pieces but to tell stories about people in science and how science continuously impacts our lives. The best part of this experience has been interviewing scientists at the forefront of their fields and weaving a story that highlights the scientist and the science. What is more amazing is how supportive the team was in our creative process. After finishing the internship, I am more confident in my ability to write about science in an easily digestible way.”

Current Interns

  • Shruti Gosain (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master’s student in Information Management
  • Jas Mehta (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master’s student in Information Management
  • Kensuke (Ken) Ogata (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sophomore in Statistics
  • Nikki Cardon (Program Evaluation Intern), University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Education in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment (MESA) student

Program Alumni

2023–2024

  • Elizabeth Grant (Program Evaluation Intern), University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Education in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment (MESA) student

2022–2023

  • Isabel Alviar (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS in Computer Engineering with a minor in Statistics
  • Iishi Patel (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master’s student in Information Management
  • Aisha Tepede (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Sasha Zvenigorodsky (Science Communications Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS in Crop Sciences
  • Shruti Ravichandran (Project Coordination Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master’s student in Information Management

2021–2022

  • Raleigh Butler (Science-Writing Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS in Journalism
  • Erica Joo (Science-Writing Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Journalism
  • Qining Wang (Science-Writing Intern), Northwestern University, PhD in Chemistry
  • Sushma Mahadevaswamy (Project Coordination Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS in Information Management
  • Sarah Riadi (Project Coordination Intern), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master of Urban Planning (MUP)