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Executive Pathways Summer 2021 internship opportunities

Applications open April 7-30

Download the application packet

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has paid internship opportunities for college students to explore a rewarding career in public service. Our agency helps provide essential services to Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Working with many groups and people to ensure that Minnesota seniors, people with disabilities, children and others meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Executive Pathways Internship Program focuses on a diverse workforce by developing the talents of students as they prepare for professional employment. Graduate and undergraduate students majoring in public policy, statistics, psychology, social work, law, public health, sociology and other human services-related fields are encouraged to apply and have the opportunity to learn how public policy is developed and implemented in a large and complex government organization.

Through this internship program, students have the chance to be part of many well-publicized and highly visible policy decisions that impact Minnesotans' quality of life.

Each placement is designed to provide in-depth learning opportunities in a state government setting. The Executive Pathways Internship Program is a paid internship program and students will work 30 to 40 hours per week between June to August. Due to the pandemic, all internship positions will be remote. 

Eligibility and requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a sophomore, junior or senior in an associate's, bachelors or undergraduate program or be in a graduate program. We also accept students who have graduated from their program within the last year (ex: if you graduated May 2020, you are still eligible to apply for the program in Summer 2021)
  • Be in good academic standing and be able to provide proof of current educational enrollment
  • Have the ability to work in the United States
  • Be available to work (remotely) 30-40 hours per week between June 14 to Aug. 30, 2021
  • Be willing to submit to a background check prior to starting internship.

The 2021 Student Application Packets will be available in the first week of April. If you have questions or concerns, please email dhs.internships@state.mn.us in the meantime.


Summer 2021 internship opportunities

Community Relations Intern

Operations – Community Relations
We are requesting an Executive Pathways intern to support the efforts of the Community Relations Team visibility and strengthen relationships with the people DHS serves via community engagement efforts across the state. The applicant will learn about the Minnesota Department of Human Services and strategies for how state government can better serve people in need. This individual will have the opportunity to work across the department and enterprise-wide and learn more about other human service program areas as well as the importance of collaboration across the department and State agencies. This position provides research, administrative assistance, and strategic planning support to the DHS Community Relations Team, equity policy implementation process management, monitor and support working group activities, agency-wide engagement reporting, plans and strategies for increased community engagement at the agency, and attendance at meetings and events.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current Undergraduate level student
Desired Skills: Passion for Community Engagement and for serving Minnesotans who access depend on services at the Department. Understanding of social determinants of poverty and health. Willingness, interest and ability to engage people from diverse backgrounds across Minnesota. Excellent writing and verbal communication skills; Microsoft Office, analytical skills and quantitative and report writing skills. Ability to manage projects from beginning to end.

Community Supports Intern

Community Supports Administration
The Community Supports Administration (CSA) is requesting an Executive Pathways Intern to focus on assignments and efforts related to legislative fiscal notes, operations, and compliance. The Executive Pathway intern would help evaluate the current processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and implement improvement plans. One major objective is to build a robust equity impact analysis approach in CSA’s legislative fiscal notes and contracts system.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current Undergraduate level student
Desired Skills: Written, oral communication, Microsoft Office, ability to work in diverse groups, analytical skills, and quantitative and report writing skills.

Data & Analytics Intern

Operations - Office of Inspector General, Data and Analytics Office
The Executive Pathways intern will work with Office of Inspector General (OIG) Data and Analytics Office Leadership, OIG Executive Leadership, and OIG data analysts to find and implement opportunities for policy and program development using data. The intern will evaluate and manipulate data to identify trends and recommend policies and procedures to increase transparency, program integrity, and accountability within DHS-licensed and publicly funded programs. General duties will include data analysis, data visualization, and report writing. Internally, the intern can expect to interact with the four divisions within the Office of Inspector General, other DHS data professionals, and policy areas across the Department of Human Services. Externally, the intern may interact with state and county agencies, license holders, stakeholders, and other data and analytic professionals by attending data analytics professional development events and user groups.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current Undergraduate or Graduate level student
Desired Skills: Analytic and evaluative techniques, how data can be used to inform policy recommendations, objectives, and strategic planning initiatives, Microsoft Office products including: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, conducting data analysis, technical and non-technical report writing and oral presentation of analysis and research results, advanced writing ability to compose letters, reports and memos using correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and composition, attentiveness to detail and the ability to work with minimal supervision, effective listening sufficient to elicit opinions, ideas, and support team relationships.

Equity & Inclusion Intern

Operations – Equity & Inclusion
DHS is committed to advancing equity both for its staff and for the community members we serve. There are many ways that DHS is seeking to achieve its goals to create a more inclusive environment. The Office of Equity and Inclusion works closely with the DHS Strategic Anti-Racism Team, Employee Resource Groups and Equity Leads to create educational opportunities for staff and to create policies and programs that align with the DHS Equity Policy. The Executive Pathways intern will be an important member of the team, and will use their communications skills and creativity to elevate the antiracism and inclusion work being done in the department. Projects the intern will work on include: Developing a communication strategy to inform and engage DHS staff about equity topics such as the importance of the religious accommodations, gender pronouns, and microaggressions. The intern will create DHS today news stories, videos, webpages or other interventions based on their skills and interests. The intern will also help plan educational events. This includes meeting with staff as well as scheduling speakers and events. In collaboration with others, the intern will lead facilitated discussions around antiracism and inclusion topics to engage staff in further learning and development. The intern will learn to facilitate engaging online workshops, using technology tools, breakout sessions, and activities. This is a great opportunity for someone with an interest in communications, education, or employee engagement. A demonstrated passion for and commitment to antiracism and inclusion is necessary to succeed in this position. The intern will work closely with the Director of Inclusion and Engagement, and will be mentored to develop their own leadership and professional skills.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current Undergraduate or Graduate level student
Desired Skills: Experience working within diverse communities, passion for antiracism, proficiency in Microsoft Word, ability to write and communicate in a professional manner, positive attitude, with the ability to think creatively and work collaboratively.

SNAP Employment and Training Events & Program Intern

Children and Family Services - Economic Assistance and Employment Supports/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program helps participants improve their employment prospects and wage potential through activities such as job search, training, education, workfare or skills development activities. The goal is to assist SNAP recipients in obtaining a livable wage, leading toward self-sufficiency. The statewide expansion of this program is supported by numerous partners including other state agencies, counties, community colleges and community-based providers. We are requesting an Executive Pathways intern to support the continued, intentional expansion of the SNAP E&T program, with their position focused on planning and executing a Provider Meeting and Training to take place summer/early fall 2021. Additional work will include the initial planning and data collection relating to program participation and marketing. The responsibilities include planning the event, securing presenters to focus on program and department goals including equity, program policies, innovation, and other topics yet to be determined. In addition to this, the intern will also assist with the early stage development and data collection for a project aimed at evaluating barriers to participation and effective program marketing strategies. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience/interest in event planning and logistics, excellent oral and written skills, and the ability to multi-task.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current Undergraduate or Graduate level student
Desired Skills: Microsoft office, writing, public speaking, ability to work in teams, with diverse groups and in a fast-paced environment with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines.

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