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Executive Pathways Summer 2022 internship opportunities

Applications open February 9 – March 9, 2022

Application Packet will be available on February 9, 2022.

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. 

Access application packet (PDF) >>

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 2021, you are still eligible to apply for the program in Summer 2022)
  • 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 13, 2022 to Aug. 19, 2022
  • Be willing to submit to a background check prior to starting the internship.

The 2022 Student Application Packets will be available on February 1, 2022. Please email DHS Human Resources at for further information.

Summer 2022 internship opportunities

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Intern

Children and Family Services

Children and Family Services (CFS) Administration, includes Child Safety and Permanency, Child Support, Child Care Services, Economic Assistance and Employment Supports and the Business Integration Division. CFS is responsible for department programs and strategies designed for counties, tribes and partner agencies to improve child well- being and helps low income individuals and families achieve stability so children can develop to their fullest potential.

The DEI intern will work with the Director of Equity and Inclusion as we expand our capacity for CFS staff to participate in virtual engagement, supportive learning, and action necessary to address deep disparities and inequities in our programs. Specific responsibilities will be developed in conjunction with the Director of Equity and Inclusion. The ideal candidate for this position will have an interest in learning more about CFS programs ability to collaborate, work independently and with various teams, and an understanding of the importance of equity and inclusion.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current undergraduate or graduate-level students
Desired Skills: Written and oral communication, Microsoft Office, creativity, problem-solving, and commitment to serving low-income individuals.

SNAP Employment and Training Events and Program Intern

Children and Family Services

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.

The SNAP ETP intern will provide support the continued, intentional expansion of the SNAP E&T program by supporting our providers with a Provider Meeting and Training to take place summer 2022 and supporting the state workplan collection process. The responsibilities include planning the online event; securing presenters to focus on program and department goals including equity; program policies; innovation; and other topics yet to be determined; helping providers access the online event; identifying presentation methods likely to increase engagement; and evaluating the event. In addition, this position will support the state’s annual plan process by assisting providers in responding to an online form; compiling & summarizing data collected, and converting the data collected to usable contract workplans. 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 students
Desired Skills: Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, writing, public speaking, ability to work in teams, with diverse groups and in a face-paced environment with ability to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines.

Community Supports Administration (4 Interns)

  • Behavioral Health Intern
  • Community Supports Intern
  • Disabilities Services Intern
  • Housing Support Intern

Community Supports Administration (CSA) is committed to eliminating barriers to accessing the services and supports we provide to Minnesotans. To achieve this objective our interns will work collaboratively across the community supports administration, which includes Disability Services Division, Housing, Behavioral Health and Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to develop policies, procedures, and new approaches to improve access to services for people from underserved communities. This work will include collecting feedback from diverse experiences and using it to identify problems in the current process and if possible solutions for those problems, or next steps in the process.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current undergraduate or graduate-level students
Desired Skills: Writing/oral communication skills; ability to work in diverse groups.

Office of Equity and Inclusion (2 Interns)

  • Equity Communications Intern
  • Equity Training Intern

In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Human Services established the DHS Office of Equity and Inclusion to initiatives to advance equity within the agency to the benefit of employees, the programs they administer and Minnesotans. The core work of the Office of Equity and Inclusion to address inequities that require intensive training, supports and engagement. The Office of Equity and Inclusion coordinates agency-wide trainings, continuing education, and supports for employee engagement and development.

Communications specific responsibilities include leading communication strategy and implementation for equity-related resources and initiatives for the DHS Office of Equity. The ideal candidate is passionate about communications strategies that share stories related to equity and human services. Areas of particular importance include highlighting equity, especially in partnership with DHS employee resource groups, or in tandem with the lived experience related to teaching anti-racism. Additionally, this individual would work with other DHS staff to develop content to contribute to or improve internal and external communication about the Office of Equity and Inclusion. (Education preferences and skills on the next page)

The ideal candidate for this position will have experience and/or interest in understanding and application of equity principles, research, and theory; understanding and appreciation for the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in communications; and experience in multiple disciplines in communications field. Other important skills include experience in conducting research, data analysis and writing in a government, health or human service field.

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current undergraduate or graduate-level students
Desired Skills: Writing, oral communication, Microsoft Office, Ability to work in diverse groups, Analytical skills, and quantitative and report writing skills.

Health Care Equity and Inclusion Intern

Health Care Administration

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Health Care Administration (HCA) is committed to building and operating affordable and efficient health care programs that improve the health of all Minnesotans. The Health Care Administration is working to advance equity, reduce disparities in our health care programs outcomes, improve access to human services for communities, and build an internal culture of equity, inclusivity and diversity. The Executive Pathways intern will be part of the HCA Equity Team; working alongside the HCA’s Equity Director and Equity Specialist to support these efforts and to execute business plans, projects and initiatives that make equity an integral part of all of HCA’s business.

The Health Care Equity and Inclusion intern will develop an in-depth understanding of the DHS’ Health Care Administration, the foundations of inequity, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to build more equitable and sustainable systems. They will assist the Equity Director, Specialist, and other equity staff with duties related to administering the HCA Equity Committee and executing duties under the HCA Equity and Inclusion Action Plan as well as additional projects and initiatives

Preferred Educational Qualifications: Current undergraduate or graduate-level students
Desired Skills: Excellent human relations skills with the ability to be sensitive and respectful of differences (including, but not limited to, culture, gender, race, ability, sexuality, gender identity and/or expression, and veteran status). Experience working with communities with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, religious/spiritual beliefs and/or practices, sexualities, gender identities and/or expressions, accessibility needs and/or disabilities, and additional social identities. Strong verbal and written communication skills. Project management and analytical skills. Ability to recognize one’s own bias and privilege.

Enterprise Operations Intern

Office of Inspector General – Enterprise Operations

The Office of Inspector General is responsible for a diverse array of regulatory functions focused on the conduct of background studies, licensing, and financial fraud and abuse investigations. Disruptions to the performance of these functions increase the risk for children and vulnerable adults, as well as negatively impact efforts to sustain the program integrity of a wide variety of DHS programs.

The operational challenges presented by the COVID pandemic clearly show the importance of being able to quickly respond to a variety of disruptions to maintain business continuity for critical functions. Business continuity is focused on preserving and protecting organizational sustainability, stewardship, resilience, and integrity. A well developed, comprehensive continuity of operations plan is essential for preparing organizations to respond to any disruption. The Enterprise Operation Intern is to lead development of an updated continuity of operations plan for the Office of Inspector General. The incumbent will develop a detailed, operational understanding of the OIG’s mission and functions, including staffing, IT, contractual, and communications requirements necessary to sustain priority functions in a variety of business continuity situations. Specific responsibilities include learning basic business continuity principles; collecting business continuity information from OIG divisions and business units, which will require extensive research and knowledge development of OIG’s priority functions and associated dependencies; developing OIG’s continuity of operations plan; and communicating the plan to OIG’s internal and external stakeholders.

Educational Qualifications: Graduate Level

Desired Skills: Have experience and/or interest in public administration, organizational development, and or business continuity/emergency management; experience developing and implementing complex project plans involving multiple, interrelated components; research and analytical experience, to include interviewing key stakeholders to collect critical information; and technical writing experience in a government, health or human service field.

Safety Investigations Intern

Office of Inspector General – Licensing Division

The Licensing Division, located in the Department of Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, licenses and certifies over 24,000 human service providers and services. Our mission is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the people served by those providers.

One of the Division’s roles is to investigate allegations of maltreatment involving vulnerable adults and children receiving services from providers that we license and certify. Our investigation processes are guided by procedures and definitions in the Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults Act and the Maltreatment of Minors Act, two Minnesota statutes.

The Safety Investigations Intern will work with the Licensing Division Director and Assistant Director, the Investigations Unit Manager and staff and other Department of Human Services staff working on the Culture of Safety initiative, the intern would learn about the current maltreatment investigation processes; learn about the Culture of Safety Initiative; Review and analyze maltreatment reports concerning allegations of neglect, Develop recommendations for ways to incorporate culture of safety concepts into the maltreatment investigation processes; develop written materials for a public website and outreach materials for licensed providers explaining how the Licensing Division will incorporate culture of safety concepts into its maltreatment investigation process.

Educational Qualifications: Graduate Students

Desired Skills: Critical thinking, analytical, oral communication, writing, ability to work in diverse groups, Microsoft Office, general computer.

Communications Intern

Operations – Communications

The Minnesota Department of Human Services helps provide essential services to the state’s most vulnerable residents. Working with many others, including counties, tribes and nonprofits, we help ensure that Minnesota seniors, people with disabilities, families, children and others meet their basic needs and have opportunities to reach their full potential. More than 1.3 million people – or about 1 in 5 Minnesotans – are impacted by the department through health care, mental health, food assistance, child care assistance and other programs.

The department’s communications team promotes successes, increases public awareness about services and helps Minnesotans understand our work. The communications intern will work on a variety of projects and topics within the agency – from equity and inclusion to mental health to foster care and adoption. Responsibilities will include researching and writing news articles, web content and press releases; editing publications; helping organize community events; and developing social media content. The intern will gain real-world experience and develop work examples that can be added to their portfolio.

Educational Qualifications: Undergraduate or graduate level

Desired Skills: Students interested in mass communications, public affairs, public relations, journalism, marketing, or English. Strong writing, editing and organizational skills are preferred.

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