The Ohio Public Service Internship Network (OPSIN) is a consortium of 15 Ohio higher education professionals who focus on connecting students to careers in public service and public administration. This website serves as a hub of resources for students and employers, compiled by OPSIN members, that will continually be updated to reflect OPSIN’s mission.
OPSIN Mission: “Support students and employers by offering them the resources to be successful in the job or internship search.”
Info interviews are a great way to network with people doing the work that you are interested in.
A great way to start any cold outreach to someone you are interested in meeting with, try “I am really interested in the work you do. Would you be willing to talk more in person over coffee or over the phone?”.
Use LinkedIn to research people and organizations to reach out to. It is perfectly professional to message someone via LinkedIn about and info interview.
An info interview isn’t a time to bring your resume and ask for a job—it’s to get your foot in the door and get to know someone who can offer great advice. Oftentimes, the person you’re meeting with will ask you to send them your resume after your meeting, but don’t do it preemptively.
Should you pay your interns?
BENEFITS OF PAID INTERNSHIPS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
More qualified applicants who are looking for paid work.
Larger pool of applicants to choose from—everyone wants to get paid!
Higher retention rates—interns won’t go looking for paid positions since you’re already paying them.
Low-commitment and low-stakes opportunity for the employer.
Trial period can turn into a full-time transition upon graduation.
Creates equal opportunities for successful students who need to make money.
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO NOT PAY INTERNS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
If a government institution doesn't have an intern budget but wants to offer experiential education to college students.
Nonprofits or startups that have a great mission and a robust internship program but are unable to find extra funds to pay interns.
If you’re allowing the student to receive class credit while completing the internship.
What is an internship?
An internship is an experiential learning opportunity in a professional setting that offers meaningful mentorship, practical work, and professional development in a student’s career interest or field of study.
The purpose is to provide students with an experience that informs their career path. Internships are a low-risk way to figure out what your ideal career is and allows you to narrow down what you like in a workplace versus what you don’t.
The main goal of any internship should be to gain soft and hard skills. Soft skills are things like “strong communication” or “attention to detail” while hard skills are mastering programs like GIS or STATA.
DAY TO DAY EXPECTATIONS
Typically, interns will be working anywhere from 8-20 hours per week depending on the needs and expectations of the employer. The day to day of each internship is different, but across the board, it should have 5 basic components:
Arrive on time and check in with your supervisor on what needs to be accomplished that day
Plan out tasks and make a plan to accomplish them in the timeline suggested
Get to work on your plan
Converse with other interns or coworkers in the office
Check out with your supervisor before you leave to ensure that you completed all necessary tasks
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Each organization and company is different, however, speaking to your hiring manager or human resources representative before arriving on your first day can help you figure out what the dress code is.
Typically, however, most workplaces require business casual to business professional for their employees. It’s always okay to be overdressed than underdressed for your first day!
CAN I GET PAID AND GET CLASS CREDIT?
It depends! Some universities allow paid interns to also receive credit and some universities do not. The same goes for employers as some organizations will pay their interns and also sign off for credit while others will only allow one or the other.
HANDSHAKE 101 – Using filters to your advantage
For a successful job searching experience, it is important that students understand how to navigate their campus job board. Handshake is the largest career community for students and recent graduates that allows them to explore career options, find internships and jobs, and connect with employers.
When navigating Handshake, filters are crucial. Here are the steps to take to ensure that your Handshake experience is top-notch:
Navigate to “Job Search”
Using filters like “Job Type” or “Location,” students should narrow down their search based on their interests
Using the same filters, narrow down by “Industry.” Students should select any and all industries that are relevant to either their major or career/internship of interest
Browse internships and careers—it’s as easy as that!
How to write a job description
When creating a job description, it’s important that it is clear and concise. It needs to describe the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role.
A good job description does the following:
Tells the applicant where within the company’s reporting structure the position is.
Clearly outlines the job description and duties to be used for performance metrics down the line.
The skeleton of the job description should have the following:
Generic listing of duties being performed by the employee in the role.
Broad enough so that it is comparable to other positions within the industry.
Uses key words so that it is searchable in most online job searches.
Specific duties and responsibilities with percentages that outline how much time expected to be dedicated to each task. Ex. Manage all interns in the office on their day to day tasks – 35%.
Describe what the applicant needs to be able to do in the job based on the skills they already have from past experiences.
Use competencies, for example, strong communication.
Does the applicant need a certain type of degree? You can list those.
Outline reporting structures so that applicants understand who will be supervising them.
List hourly or yearly salary range. Listing a range will set expectations from the beginning.
Explain benefits and time-off policies in a broad sense.
The point of a job description is to accurately provide an applicant with the correct and relevant information to your job posting. A more detailed and clear job description will yield more highly qualified applicants.