Interactive Mechanics

Fellowship Program

Learn About the Program Apply Now! Read the FAQ

Class of 2018 Fellowship

Fellowship Applications open now through July 9

Apply Now!

Our Speakers

See our Class of 2018 roundtable speaker lineup

Meet the Speaker Lineup

About the Program

The Interactive Mechanics Fellowship Program is a paid, part-time, low-residency program that provides portfolio development, hard and soft skill building, and networking opportunities for entry and junior-level designers and developers.

This nine-month fellowship aims to build capacity for representation and inclusion in the technology field, and we see it as a mutual learning experience for the fellows and for our existing team. Designed to remove some of the common barriers to members of groups historically underrepresented in the tech field, key features include a small stipend for fellows’ time, a part time and remote schedule to allow for other commitments, and facilitated conversations on soft skills and workplace culture issues.

Fellows work September through May on a portfolio-building project relating to one of Interactive Mechanics’ areas of interest: higher education, museums, or arts and culture. This fellowship is focused on developing both hard and soft skills, providing hands-on technical guidance in addition to one-on-one mentorship and the opportunity to discuss current issues in the tech workspace. You’ll also build a network in the technology industry and enhance your portfolio.

With the support of their individual mentors, fellows will set clear goals and build projects that will develop their skills in design, front end development, and/or back end development. Our emphasis is on deep learning over time rather than quick, shiny demos, so goals do not necessarily need to connect to a comprehensive and complete project.

Mentorship Project

During orientation, your mentor will help you clarify your goals for the fellowship, and work with you to design a project and education plan tailored to your learning objectives. Your work on this project will be remote, with scheduled weekly mentor checkins via phone, Slack, or Hangouts.

Monthly Roundtables

You’ll meet with the other fellows and Interactive Mechanics staff once a month at our Old City office to share project updates and to participate in a roundtable discussion with an industry leader. You can check out past topics here.

Office Hour Coaching

In addition to your work with your mentor, you’ll have access to the full range of expertise of our team. You can schedule in-person or remote time to chat about anything from user experience to content strategy to networking.

Eligibility

The ideal candidate is interested in at least one of our areas of work (higher education, museums, or arts and culture) and has strong beginner or intermediate-level skills in front-end, back-end development, and/or digital design. Applicants interested in design should have basic experience with Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, and/or user experience methodologies (like persona development and user testing). Applicants interested in development should have basic experience with some (but not necessarily all) of the following technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL/MariaDB, NoSQL databases, Python, Node.js, or Ruby.

Fellowship Timeline

July 9
Applications due
Late July
Interviews
Early Aug.
Fellows announced
Sept. 18
Orientation & Kickoff
Oct-Apr
Monthly Roundtables
May 21
Project Night
Late May
Fellowship retrospectives

Class of 2018 Mentor

Jeff

Read my Mentor Profile

Class of 2018 Mentor

Tara

Read my Mentor Profile

Class of 2018 Mentor

Christina

Read my Mentor Profile

Class of 2018 Mentor

Mike

Read my Mentor Profile

Class of 2018 Speakers

Jen Dionisio, EPAM Systems
Doing Tech Outside of Tech

Stephanie Lin, Elsevier
Card Sort All the Things! How to Make Decisions that are more Aligned with your Values

Sylvester Mobley, Coded by Kids
Why Mission Based Work Is Important for Technologists

Upma Singh, Digitas Health
Relationships Matter: Building a Network

Darla Wolfe, SweatEquitE
Being Your Own Career Disruptor

What we expect from you

  • Complete your project based on goals set during orientation
  • Meet monthly as a team to participate in talks led by a curated roster of industry leaders
  • Check in with your mentor weekly via phone, slack, or hangouts
  • Participate in an Orientation and a Project Night
  • Write one blog post over the course of the fellowship

Your total time will vary based on the amount of time you choose to spend on your project, but we expect that your time commitment (including meetings and checkins) will be between 20 and 40 hours a month. Most of your work time is designed to be flexible and remote, but we ask you to commit to the following dates to meet at our Old City office. All times are 6:00-8:00pm:

  • September 18, 2017
  • October 16, 2017
  • November 20, 2017
  • December 18, 2017
  • January 8, 2018 (2nd Monday, to account for MLK Day)
  • February 19, 2018
  • March 19, 2018
  • April 16, 2018
  • May 21, 2018

Still have questions? Ask us on our FAQ page.

What you can expect from us

  • Curated monthly roundtable conversations
  • Opportunities for face-to-face networking with industry leaders
  • A supportive and welcoming environment in which to learn new things and improve your skills
  • Shared expertise through mentorship and office hour coaching
  • A monthly stipend of $100 ($900 total)

Class of 2017 Fellows

Ebonie Butler

Ebonie graduated with a degree in Information Technology from Drexel University and is currently working as a Test Engineer by day. But by night, she runs a music blog called Metal&Coffee and hosts a metal radio show on WKDU Philadelphia 91.7 FM. Ebonie did some coding academically but first knew that she wanted to become a front-end developer for sure when she took on the tasks of building her Metal&Coffee music blog on a Wordpress Framework and making it live. Ebonie looks forward to gaining all the necessary skills through the Interactive Mechanics Fellowship. Ebonie re-designed and re-deployed the supporting website for weekly Philadelphia radio show Metal&Coffee, which features a lot of local and international metal music.

Madilynn Whittle

Madilynn grew up in South Jersey and recognized early her commitment to social justice through a technology-based lens. She is interested in graphic solutions, technology narratives across cultures, and putting the tools of technology into the hands of the people. She studies Computer Science and Information Systems at Stockton University in New Jersey. Madilynn puts her passion into practice by serving as an Bonner AmeriCorps Lead Tutor at Stanley Holmes Homework Completion Program, a public housing complex in Atlantic City. Maddy’s biggest goal is to make tech cool for young women of color, and help them to see themselves as programmers, designers, and developers. Madilynn designed a "Choose your own adventure" interactive game based on Mae Jemison’s life.

Candace Worthen

Candace started her career with a degree in Journalism at Pennsylvania State University. One day, she started a blog and quickly realized some limitations in not knowing how to code. She enrolled and graduated from a web development program at Delaware County Community College. Candace is excited to be a part of the Interactive Mechanics fellowship and aspires to be a web developer, where she can code and build projects that reach people in an engaging way. In her free time, Candace volunteers with Girl Develop It, enjoys video and photography and meeting new people. Candace built the Inventor Project, an interactive app that features inventors of color and their meaningful contributions to society.

Class of 2017 Speakers

  • Kevin Curtis Taylor, Argyle Analytics
  • Sylvester Mobley, Coded by Kids
  • Juliana Reyes, Technical.ly
  • Ather Sharif, EvoXLabs and Comcast
  • Elise Wei, TicketLeap and Girl Develop It Philadelphia
  • Darla Wolfe, SweatEquitE

Want to learn more?

Read the FAQ