Every Spring, as the Graduate Public Service Intern Program says Farewell and Congratulations to a group of graduating interns, we simultaneously go through a process of hiring a new group of graduate interns. Interviews are hosted four times a year, but the largest round of hiring for GPSI occurs in May. In previous years, the GPSI interview day was an incredibly structured and organized one-day event, hosting nearly 100 internship placements and over 100 eligible applicants to complete the interview process. Last year, due to COVID-19, it was necessary to transition all interviews to virtual platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, Skype, etc. This process worked so well, we have been running all subsequent interview rounds virtually and have been making as many internship matches as our in-person interviews typically yield.
This year, we are celebrating the success of May’s virtual interviews which resulted in 85 new hires for the GPSI program. We experienced an incredible number of agency requests for interns, over 125 available internship placements for UIS graduate students. These placements included our regular, committed partners at:
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- Illinois Department of Transportation
- Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
- Illinois Department of Human Services
- Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
- Illinois Department on Aging
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency
- Illinois Executive Ethics Commission
- Illinois Central Management Services
- Capital Development Board
- Office of Medicaid Innovation
Since GPSI is open to any government, non-profit, or public service entity, this interview round also included agencies and organizations new to GPSI and we are excited to welcome them into the program. These placements include:
- NPR Illinois at UIS
- Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
- Safe Electricity University of Illinois Champaign Urbana Extension
- Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
While GPSI is proud to be able to continuously offer new, exciting placements for UIS graduate students, our new hires are quite impressive as well. We are welcoming students from China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, The Gambia, the United Kingdom, and of course the United States. Students will be studying under one of UIS’ 20 graduate programs and boast an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3/4.0.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to teach us daily lessons, but one of the most important professional lessons I’ve learned is flexibility. Virtual interviews were always a no-go for GPSI, but the success we’ve experienced over the last year have shown that they can work and they can allow for better use of student’s and supervisor’s time. We are committed to doing what’s best for our students and agencies and are thrilled to move into this Fall semester with all 190 of our new and returning interns!
Myra Kaufman is the Assistant Director of the Graduate Public Service Intern program at UIS. Prior to her start at UIS and GPSI in July 2017, Myra earned her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Communication Studies- Interpersonal Communication and her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education degree in Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership in Higher Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
If you have questions, feel free to connect with us and request more information!