Insight Fellows Program
Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Update: Fully-Remote Summer 2020 Session

  • Q
    How does the remote program work in comparison to the local sessions?
  • A
    The content of the remote program is identical to the in-person programs. During the session, interactions are virtual and participants can reside anywhere in the US or Canada where they can secure a quiet place with stable internet. When applying to the summer session, you should still apply for the program in the location where you intend to work following the program.
  • Q
    Can the remote program be done from any location, or does the Fellow have to be based in the US or Canada?
  • A
    You may participate in the remote program from any location, but you must be eligible to work in the US (for our US programs) or Canada (for our Toronto program) upon completion. Also, please note that as a participant, you must be available generally from 9am-6pm in the time zone local to the program for group activities, plus times in the mornings and evenings for 1-on-1 meetings, which may make participation in the full-time program difficult from vastly different time zones.
  • Q
    Do you offer a remote program for all of your programs?
  • A
    As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have an impact around the world, Insight has made the decision to run all of our Summer 2020 programs remotely, in both the U.S. and Canada. However, we typically only offer our Data Science program remotely.

About the Insight Program

  • Q
    What outcomes can I expect after completing an Insight Fellows Program?
  • A
    88% of Insight Fellows accept a job offer in their chosen field within 6 months of finishing the Fellows Program, and the median time to accept a job offer is 8 weeks.

    $126,000 is the average starting base salary for Insight Fellows across all our locations. The average bonus is $12,000, and almost all Fellows receive either equity or stock grants. The average stock grant for publicly-traded companies is $26,000 per year.
  • Q
    What are the long-term term benefits of joining the Insight network?
  • A
    Beyond the seven week program, Insight Fellows get access to a structured, highly-personalized post-program experience. This personalized post-program experience that we’re introducing as of Summer 2020, helps Insight Fellows get jobs 40% faster and earn $10,000-15,000/year more than the results quoted above.

    After beginning their new career, Insight Fellows also get lifetime member access to our online platform, private events, and career coaching that connects them to the full network of 3000+ Fellows, including over 500 Fellows in leadership and management positions at top companies across North America.
  • Q
    How much does Insight cost?
  • A
    There are no upfront costs to join the Insight community or do an Insight Fellows Program. If you successfully get a job within 6 months of finishing the Fellows Program earning at least $100,000, you commit to sharing 7% of your gross income for 2 years as a lifetime membership fee. The income sharing is done through an Income Share Agreement (ISA). If it takes you longer than 6 months to get a job (or you earn less than $100,000), you will still get all the benefits but will not have to pay the income share.
  • Q
    What is Insight’s business model?
  • A
    The seven-week Insight Fellows Program is funded by our sponsor companies who pay to hire Insight Fellows. To fund all membership benefits after the Fellows Program (personalized post-program experience, alumni events, online platform, mentoring, ongoing career coaching, professional development), we are asking Insight Fellows to share 7% of their gross income for 2 years, only if they get a job within 6 months of finishing the program earning at least $100,000 per year.
  • Q
    Wasn't Insight free for Fellows in the past?
  • A
    In 2019 we ran a series of pilots on a new post-program experience that is far more structured and personalized. We saw extremely strong results, with Insight Fellows in these pilots getting hired 40% faster and earning $10,000-15,000/year more than the results quoted above. In order to fund the new post-program experience we have introduced an Income Share Agreement (ISA) for Fellows starting Summer 2020. In addition to Fellows receiving the immediate benefit of getting a job faster and making more income (which we estimate will more than pay for the ISA), we plan to invest additional resources into the lifetime membership in our community.
  • Q
    Can Insight help with living expenses during the seven-week program?
  • A
    If you are invited to the Insight community, you will be eligible to apply for a need-based scholarship, which is intended to cover some of the costs of living during the seven-week program. These scholarships are a gift and do not need to be paid back. This scholarship can fund relocation expenses and other essential day-to-day living needs related to the program.
  • Q
    Do you plan to have programs in other locations in the future?
  • A
    We are currently focused on our Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Seattle, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Remote program locations, but as a quickly growing company, there is the possibility of expanding both our programs and our locations in the future. Sign up for our Community Newsletter to stay up-to-date on our program locations.
  • Q
    Can I continue working for my current employer? Can I actively participate in coursework, research, and/or teaching while participating in Insight?
  • A
    We ask that any Fellow admitted to the program completely clear out their calendar for the duration of the program. This includes Remote program Fellows. Fellows who have tried to maintain other responsibilities have not gained the full benefits of the program, and this can delay full time job placement. If you are worried about prior commitments, please apply to a later session when you can reserve the full 7 weeks (and additional time after for interviewing) to dedicate full-time to the program.
  • Q
    What if I am accepted and have to miss a few days of the program?
  • A
    Participating in the program is a full-time commitment, and you are required to be present every day. Missing a day could result in falling behind. With that said, we understand that sometimes life happens and if something comes up and you are unable to attend a day or two, we will work with you to catch you up on what was covered.
  • Q
    How long will I need to stay in the program location area once the program ends?
  • A
    You must intend to get hired full-time in a career after the program is finished and agree to interview with mentor companies immediately after the program. This process typically takes five to eight weeks following the completion of the 7 week program.
  • Q
    Can I talk to Fellows that already completed the program?
  • A
    We are more than happy to connect you with members of the Insight community once you have been invited to participate in the program.

Program Qualifications

  • Q
    When will the next program be offered?
  • A
    We typically offer three sessions of Insight per year - January, May, and September, and expect to continue this pattern going forward. The sessions currently accepting applications are listed on the application page. The Insight Community Newsletter is the best way to stay up to date on new sessions and application deadlines - we will send out a notification as we confirm future session dates and application deadlines.
  • Q
    Can I submit an application for more than one program?
  • A
    When applying, you can select one preferred program and up to two additional programs of interest. If you are interested in more than one program, we ask that you please take the time to consider each location and submit your application to the location where you are most interested in working. Fellows in the Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Toronto sessions will interview for jobs based in their local cities and surrounding areas. In the Remote program, Fellows will interview with companies located outside of the cities of the in-person programs. We expect admission for all locations to be equally competitive, so your choice should be based on where you intend to live and work.
  • Q
    Can I edit my submitted application?
  • A
    If the edits to your application are minimal, or you would like to update your resume/CV, please email the changes or updated PDF to fellow-admissions@insightfellows.com, and our team will update your application accordingly.
  • Q
    If I apply for a session and I am not accepted, can I re-apply for a future session without being penalized?
  • A
    If you are not admitted, we absolutely welcome you to re-apply without penalty. When you reapply, we strongly encourage you to update your application with any new projects, tools or classes you have worked on since your last submission. We encourage all applicants to visit our resources page for guidance on improving their applications.
  • Q
    After submitting an application, when can I expect to hear back?
  • A
    While we sometimes accept applications several months in advance, we typically do not begin reviewing applications until 2 months before the session is scheduled to begin, with most applications getting reviewed after the deadline. In the meantime, the Insight Community Newsletter is the best way to stay up-to-date on new sessions and application deadlines.
  • Q
    How many applications do you receive/what is the acceptance rate?
  • A
    Insight is a highly competitive program and receives over 15,000 applications each year. As a result, we currently have many more applications than we have spaces in the program, but we are always looking for ways to grow the number of people who we can help in their career transition.
  • Q
    What does the interview look like?
  • A
    The interview consists of a 30-minute Zoom chat with the team that runs our programs. Depending on the program, you may receive instructions to prepare for your interview by completing a take-home challenge. You will be given specific information prior to the interview, with most applicants receiving1-2 weeks to prepare.
  • Q
    Do you keep a waitlist for future sessions of Insight?
  • A
    Unfortunately, we do not keep a waitlist and require applicants to re-apply for each session of Insight they are interested in. While our application will save your previous application answers if you re-apply, we encourage all applicants to review our resources and update their application.
  • Q
    What is early admissions?
  • A
    Early admissions is intended to provide applicants with faster updates on their applications. The process consists of application review and interviews just like regular admissions, and all applicants will receive a notification regarding their application before the main admissions deadline. In some cases, applicants who are selected to interview during the early admissions cycle may be asked to reinterview during the main cycle of admissions.

    There is no competitive advantage to applying during early admissions compared to the main deadline. We typically finalize each cohort about a month before the start of session, so anyone who applies for a session before the main deadline will receive equal consideration within the entire applicant pool.
  • Q
    Is there an educational requirement?
  • A
    The majority of our programs (Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, DevOps Engineering, Decentralized Consensus, and Security) have no educational requirement. At this time, 98% of our Fellows in the Data Science and Health Data Science programs have completed ()or are approaching completion) a PhD/MD. If you do not have a PhD/MD and feel that you have significant experience that offsets this requirement, you may apply and address this issue specifically in your application.
  • Q
    Is there an age limit to participate in the program? Do I have to be a recent grad?
  • A
    We do not have an age limit on program participation, and welcome applications from all backgrounds including recent graduates to those with several years of industry experience.
  • Q
    What visa do I need to attend Insight programs based in the US? Do you accept applications from non-US citizens who are not currently based in the US?
  • A
    While we do not require a specific form of US work authorization to be admitted to the program, we do require that all applicants be able to work full-time in the US immediately upon completion of the Program, without needing to go through the H1-B lottery. 

    Students on F-1 visas that are about to start OPT are welcome to apply, but please note that Insight is not a formal employer, and as such we cannot sponsor any Fellow visas. If you have any further visa-related queries please email fellow-admissions@insightfellows.com
  • Q
    Am I eligible to participate in the Toronto, Canada program?
  • A
    As with our programs in the US, we do not require a specific form of Canadian work authorization to be admitted to the program, but we do require that applicants be able to work full-time in Canada immediately upon completion of the Program. Students completing their graduate studies in Canada are typically eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) for up to three years. If you have any further visa-related queries please email info@insightfellows.com

Program-Specific Questions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Artificial Intelligence Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Artificial Intelligence Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    Do you have any recommendations for how I can prepare myself to transition to artificial intelligence?
  • A
    If you have been researching applied AI roles (machine learning engineering, deep learning researcher, computer vision researcher, etc), you already have an idea about many of the skills needed to transition to applied AI teams. In addition to learning on your own, implementing current research papers, and doing side-projects, we recommend taking courses in machine learning (including deep learning), control theory, and optimization. This will provide you with an extremely solid foundation that will serve you well in your research, as well as a foundation for translating machine learning and deep learning research into applied AI products. You can also review our AI-specific resources.

Data Engineering

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Data Engineering Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Data Engineering Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    Do you have any recommendations for how I can prepare myself to transition to data engineering?
  • A
    We are looking for Fellows who possess strong computer science fundamentals and a passion for data infrastructure, as well as the ability to use the appropriate data structures and algorithms for a given task. We recommend familiarizing yourself with distributed systems, the Linux environment, functional programming, and the many open source technologies that we commonly discuss on our blog.

Data Science

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Data Science Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Data Science Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    Do you have any recommendations for how I can prepare myself to transition to data science?
  • A
    If you have been researching Data Science careers, you already have many of the skills needed to be a data scientist. In addition to learning on your own and doing side-projects, we recommend taking some introductory computer science classes (first 2-3 courses in whatever the core CS curriculum is for undergraduates at your university). This will provide you with an extremely solid foundation that will serve you well in your research, as well as a foundation for doing data science and anything software related in the future. Additionally, we would also recommend an introductory statistics course and a machine learning course if it is available. For more tips, check out this blog post.
  • Q
    How does the Remote Data Science Program work in comparison to the local sessions?
  • A
    The content of the Remote Data Science program is identical to our in-person Data Science programs, with the only difference being that the companies in the remote program are located outside of New York City, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Boston, Seattle, and Los Angeles. During the session, interactions are virtual and participants can reside anywhere in the US where they can secure a quiet place with stable internet. That being said, if you are more interested in starting your career in one of our in-person program locations, then you should apply for the in-person programs.
  • Q
    What would make me a better fit for the remote program vs. an in-person session?
  • A
    The decision to apply to the remote program should entirely be focused on where you plan to reside once you achieve full-time employment. The content and full-time level of engagement is identical to the in-person sessions. If you are location agnostic and would like to consider positions all over the country excluding Silicon Valley, New York, Toronto, Boston, Seattle, and Los Angeles, the Remote program is the correct program for you. 

  • Q
    If I apply for the remote program, does that mean I can also interview with Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto hiring companies? Or would I only be able to interview with companies outside of those locations?
  • A
    If you would like to work in Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, or Toronto, we recommend that you apply for those programs versus the remote program. If you participate in the remote program, you would only interview for companies outside of Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto.
  • Q
    If I apply for the remote program, does that mean I can also interview with Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto hiring companies? Or would I only be able to interview with companies outside of those locations?
  • A
    If you would like to work in Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, or Toronto, we would recommend for you to apply for those programs versus the remote program. If you participate in the remote program, the vast majority of teams you would meet would be outside of Boston, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto.
  • Q
    Can the remote program be done from any location, or does the Fellow have to be based in the USA?
  • A
    You may participate in the remote program from any location, but you must be eligible to work in the US upon completion of the program. Also, please note that as a participant, you must be available generally from 9am-6pm in the time zone local to the program for group activities plus times in the mornings and evenings for 1-on-1 meetings, which may make participation in the full-time program difficult from vastly different time zones.
  • Q
    Do you offer a part time or remote program for all of your programs?
  • A
    As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have an impact around the world, Insight has made the decision to run all of our Summer 2020 programs remotely, in both the U.S. and Canada. However, we typically offer only our Data Science program remotely.

Decentralized Consensus

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Decentralized Consensus Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Decentralized Consensus Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    What backgrounds do you look for in the Decentralized Consensus Program?
  • A
    We consider applicants from a variety of backgrounds, including software engineering, distributed systems, cryptography, security, mathematics, and more. Our  Decentralized Consensus Program is looking for cross-functional learners, with no specific programming language requirement. Familiarity with blockchain concepts and basic coding ability are important, since we'll jump in and start building during your first week.

DevOps Engineering

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the DevOps Engineering Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the DevOps Engineering Program, please read the program's white paper.
  • Q
    I don’t have a background in software engineering, am I eligible to apply for DevOps?
  • A
    Yes. We consider applicants from all backgrounds, and have had successful Fellows straight from academia as well as with lots of industry experience. Our admissions process focuses on technical skills, the ability to communicate technical concepts clearly, and a passion for data infrastructure.
  • Q
    What backgrounds do you look for in the DevOps Engineering Program?
  • A
    DevOps Fellows should have a knowledge of Linux operating systems, fundamental understanding of scripting (e.g. Python, Ruby, and/or Bash), cloud providers (AWS, GCP, or Azure). While knowledge of Terraform, Prometheus, Docker, Kubernetes or other DevOps tools is nice to have, it’s most important that Fellows possess a strong desire to build scalable cloud infrastructure. 

Health Data Science

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Health Data Science Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Health Data Science Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    I have no background in healthcare or biology, can I still apply to the Health Data Program?
  • A
    Certainly! It is extremely commonplace for data scientists working in healthcare to come from an entirely different background. Health Data Science is an expansive field encompassing not only pharmaceutical and biotech R&D, but also health economics, outcomes research, hospital operations, health IT, personalized medicine, wearable devices, health insurance, and other areas in digital health. Accordingly, backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, physical science, and social science are appreciated. While some positions may require domain expertise in biology, the vast majority of positions require the same data science skill set that is applicable to many different industries.
  • Q
    What types of mentor companies participate with the Health Data Program and the Data Science Program in Boston and Silicon Valley?
  • A
    The mentor companies participating in Boston and Silicon Valley range from small, venture-backed startups to multinational Fortune 500 companies. Mentor companies for the Health Data Program span the full range of the healthcare sector, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, digital health, wearable devices, health insurance and outcomes research, pharmacies, and hospitals. For the Data Science Program, participating mentor companies come from a variety of industries including e-commerce, technology, finance, marketing, consulting, cybersecurity and many more. To get a sense of examples of participating companies, please read our Health Data Science White Paper.
  • Q
    I’m interested in healthcare as well as other industries, is there any mentor company overlap between the Health Data and Data Science Programs?
  • A
    Currently, the Health Data and Data Science Programs are distinguished primarily by the industry of mentor companies. Accordingly, the majority of companies that will participate in a session will tend to come from the healthcare field for the health data session, while the data science program will primarily interact with data science teams from other industries. There will still be the possibility, however, to interact with both healthcare and non-healthcare related companies as an Insight Fellow.
  • Q
    Are there differences in the structure of the Health Data and Data Science Programs?
  • A
    Both our Health Data Science and Data Science Programs are structured very similarly. Insight focuses on project-based learning, rather than classes, and Fellows meet industry leaders, present their projects, and begin interviewing in the same format and schedule (please read the White Paper for more information on the week-by-week structure of Insight). The major difference is with regards to projects, as Health Data Science Fellows are expected to work on projects that analyze medical and biological datasets to showcase their interest and passion for a career in healthcare. See examples of past Health Data Fellows’ projects here.
  • Q
    Do health data scientists have a distinct skill set from other data scientists?
  • A
    Data scientists in the healthcare industry regularly utilize the same tools of the trade as other data scientists, and are required to be highly competent in statistics, machine learning, and programming. Many healthcare companies are working on similar problems to general tech companies, such as predictive modeling, time-series, natural language processing, deep learning, analytics, and user behaviors. The greatest distinction is with regards to the types of datasets being commonly used, with the healthcare industry focused on data generated from medical, claims, and billing records, genomics, imaging, and additional clinical information.
  • Q
    Should I apply to the Data Science Program or the Health Data Science Program?
  • A
    The choice is ultimately yours. If you are passionate about healthcare and it is your goal to work as a data scientist in this industry, the Health Data Program would be more appropriate. Similarly, if you come from a background in bioinformatics, computational biology, epidemiology, or public health, and would like to remain in your field, the Health Data Program would most likely be the better fit. Alternatively, if you are interested in exploring career opportunities in a number of industries, the Data Science Program would be more suitable.

Security

  • Q
    Where can I learn more about the Security Program?
  • A
    For more information about Insight and the Security Program, please read the program's White Paper.
  • Q
    What backgrounds do you look for in the Security Program?
  • A
    We consider applicants from a variety of backgrounds, including software engineering, distributed systems, cryptography, security, and more. Our Security Engineering Program is looking for cross-functional learners, with no specific programming language requirement. Familiarity with security concepts and coding ability are important, since we'll jump in and start building during your first week.