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With permission from Cristo Rey Network

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Communications Intern


About Bellwether Education Partners

Bellwether Education Partners is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit of over 50 professionals dedicated to helping education organizations become more effective and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. To do so, we work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support:

  • Our Policy and Thought Leadership practice works to shape the broader education landscape by conducting policy analysis, research and writing, and idea generation, and by advising education entities on policy and public affairs.
  • Our Talent Services practice has two complementary offerings. Talent Advising helps clients build talent-ready organizations where diverse teams can work, develop, and thrive. Executive Search identifies and places education leaders through comprehensive recruiting, supports organizational search processes, and conducts individual career coaching.
  • Our Strategic Advising practice works with leading education organizations on their most pressing strategic and operational issues. We partner to create bold but achievable plans, while ensuring that leaders and stakeholders are in alignment around the path forward.

Why bring all this together? Bellwether was founded on the belief that the only way to ensure that all children have access to high-quality schools is to take a holistic approach to education’s most pressing challenges. Having all three areas of expertise makes our work stronger by tying innovative thinking to perspectives regarding on-the-ground realities.

In this way, Bellwether has carved out a special and desperately needed niche in the education reform landscape. We aren’t just a think tank, a consulting firm, or a human capital organization. We are all of the above and more, providing comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.

Organizational Culture

Bellwether takes our mission of serving educators, students, organizations, and communities seriously. But we try not to take ourselves as individuals quite so seriously. We do challenging work, and we know how to have fun. From jumpsuits and talent shows at retreats, to PowerPoint presentations on werewolves and vampires at team meetings, we embrace our individuality — our quirks, talents, and diversity of viewpoints. We welcome different experiences and perspectives because we know that our team is stronger for having a variety of political, cultural, and educational beliefs represented. 

Bellwether strives to make the work rewarding and sustainable so we can find harmony between demanding jobs and full personal lives. We are proud that our team has poets, hockey players, food bloggers, activists, teachers, karate black belts, church leaders, cyclists, and much more. Our flexible work environment allows many of our team members to work where they like, and when they like (within reason, of course). This allows us to operate in ways that feel most productive to us and do more of what we love doing on our own time.

These qualities are clear in the core values that guide our work and reflect what is truly important to us as an organization:

  • Mission Mindset: We are dedicated to dramatically improving outcomes for lowincome students. Our nonprofit status allows us to focus on this mission, and it guides the people we hire and the clients and projects we support.
  • Tailored Excellence: We work with our clients to develop customized, innovative solutions. We direct our unwavering focus on quality toward successful outcomes for our clients.
  • Synergy: We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our Talent Services, Strategic Advising, and Policy and Thought Leadership teams make each other better.
  • Integrity: We exemplify the highest standards of individual and organizational ethics. We carefully balance client confidentiality with transparency to other clients and the public.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We believe that to achieve our mission, we must be a diverse and inclusive organization broadly reflecting the various communities we serve.
  • Flexibility: We believe in the philosophy of “working smarter, not harder.” We trust our co-workers and teams to do excellent work in the manner they see fit.
  • No Drama: We have no tolerance for drama or the politics of education affecting our work. We respectfully and proactively deal with frustrations, disagreements, and unexpected hurdles.

Further, we value many forms of diversity and believe race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work. By actively seeking and hiring talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and maintaining an environment where divergent ideas and perspectives are freely expressed, we increase our collective ability to deliver thoughtful, relevant solutions and analyses for our clients and the education sector.

About the Position

As part of our mission to build the field of talented individuals in the education entrepreneurship and reform space, Bellwether regularly employs interns who work under the direction of Bellwether staff. Bellwether interns participate in meaningful work experiences in the field, are engaged in substantive projects, and are treated as core members of our team. Interns provide both quantitative and qualitative research support to Bellwether staff, working on both long- and short-term projects as needed. They may also write memos, briefings, and blog posts on a range of education reform topics. Because we are a small organization with an "all hands on deck" mentality, interns do occasionally perform administrative tasks to support Bellwether staff teams' work.

This internship is an opportunity to cultivate skills in communications, social media, web content, and writing.

The Communication Intern’s primary responsibility is to support the Senior Communications Manager in elevating Bellwether’s profile online and off in order to better reach organizations and individuals who work on behalf of underserved students.

The duration of this temporary, part-time opportunity will be approximately six months between January 2017 and May 2017. Candidates must be available to work 5-10 hours per week. Bellwether Internships are typically uncompensated, but financial assistance may be available for candidates with demonstrated need.

Range of Responsibilities (may include):

  • drafting social media content and curating a bank of evergreen material for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn;
  • researching and writing Ahead of the Heard blog posts;
  • assisting with drafting content and building email newsletter;
  • helping to maintain website content; regularly refreshing homepage features, client lists, and issue area expertise; and reviewing language for consistency;
  • working with web development vendor to project manage website optimization projects;
  • tracking breaking news and managing press hits on the website and via offline database;
  • collecting and analyzing web, email, and social media performance metrics;
  • researching potential organizational and media partners; and
  • other communications/editorial projects per the candidate’s interest.


The ideal candidate will possess:

  • desire to grow professionally especially in the area of nonprofit communications;
  • interest and/or experience with social media and online communications (particularly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn);
  • comfort learning new technologies (experience using Drupal, Salesforce, Mailchimp, and design tools like Canva and Photoshop are not required, but highly desirable);
  • high school diploma and either be a graduate of or currently enrolled in an institution of higher education;
  • strong research, problem-solving, interpersonal communication, and writing skills;
  • ability to work both independently and as a member of a remote team at a largely virtual organization;
  • sense of initiative, time management skills, and willingness to ask questions and self-advocate in the work environment;
  • strong attention to detail and commitment to working toward “zero-defect” work product; and
  • familiarity with key education issues in the United States today.


Bellwether internships are typically uncompensated, but financial assistance may be available for candidates with demonstrated need.


Our work is national in scope, and our team is primarily concentrated in three major cities: Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and San Francisco. Although we maintain offices in these cities, our flexible working style allows our professionals to work where they have built their lives, thereby enabling Bellwether to hire the best person for each role, regardless of geography.

Bay Area residents are especially encouraged to apply; Bellwether’s Senior Communications Manager, Heather Buchheim, lives and works in San Francisco and will supervise the position.

To Apply

Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:

Heather Buchheim, Senior Communications Manager

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the deadline of November 30, 2016. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current résumé and should be submitted electronically via the email above. Phone calls not accepted.

Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Further, as described above, Bellwether is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.