Johns Hopkins has consolidated the university's job and internship postings onto a single website, SMILE, a new platform for finding remote and in-person experiential learning opportunities across all JHU divisions.
All positions posted on SMILE are non-credit bearing, compensated via JHU payroll, and part time. Students will continue to use the existing Handshake platform for off-campus internships and full-time positions.
According to Nickolas Lantz, executive director of University Experiential Learning—formerly Student Employment Services—the creation of SMILE is part of a larger rebranding of student employment at Johns Hopkins to emphasize experiential learning. The office works to promote the development of power skills—a rebranding of soft skills such as communications and social abilities—as well as networking opportunities, access to mentors, and a connection to Life Design Services for a more holistic career experience.
Lantz said SMILE will help fulfil the office's mission of fostering "moments of inspiration" by offering students chances to discover new passions or skills in opportunities they might not otherwise have sought out.
"We wanted one universitywide platform for students to help create an equal access to opportunity," Lantz said. "This is a way for us to both become more efficient with our processes, but also add value to the student experience as well."
Due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Hopkins students missed out on summer internships or other experiential learning opportunities. As a part of the establishment of the SMILE platform, the Office of University Experiential Learning is pushing faculty to rethink their current employment needs, and consider what opportunities there may be for remote paid internships. Through SMILE, Hopkins students who reside in the U.S. can apply for these remote opportunities, even if they have not returned to Baltimore for the fall semester.
Paid internships offer students a minimum of 100 hours of experience, an opportunity to gain career readiness competencies as defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and individual guidance and feedback through the Hopkins Guided Reflection on Work model. Lantz said the hope is that through SMILE and increased University internship opportunities, students will be able to gain the same experience from high-impact internships during the upcoming school year as they would in any other.
By streamlining the job portal, SMILE will also help establish standard operating procedures across the university, more easily ensure compliance with employment eligibility laws, and enhance the university's reporting and data keeping abilities. Students who apply through the portal will be directly connected to the onboarding process, creating a single resource for both hiring and HR procedures.