It's not too late to request a student through the Summer Jobs Program

Image caption: Summer 2016 intern Kayla Washington works with Royce Faddis on an Office of Communications project


The Johns Hopkins University and Health System are still seeking departments and offices interested in employing a high school student as part of the 2017 Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program. The paid internship provides Baltimore City students the chance to spend eight weeks in one of the many workplaces throughout the Johns Hopkins enterprise. The deadline for departments to request a student is Friday, May 19.

More than 700 students applied this year, says Yariela Kerr-Donovan, director of Strategic Workforce Planning and Development, which coordinates the program for the university and health system. She adds that as of the beginning of May, about 435 students are still actively in the hiring process, and her office has only about 290 placements available. "So we definitely need more departments to host interns," she says. "Last year we placed 326 students in worksites throughout the organization. We're hoping to place as many students as we can."

The participants are paid by the Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program, not by the departments that are employing them.

Last year students worked throughout Johns Hopkins, including in schools and departments at the Homewood, East Baltimore, Mount Washington, and Bayview campuses; Johns Hopkins Community Physicians; and the White Marsh and Greenspring Station locations.

"Departments can request the skill set and age of the students they want based on the work that they have, so that leaves it very flexible," Kerr-Donovan says. "And if departments are unsure about whether they have meaningful work, we can counsel them on that."

Meaningful, she says, can apply to all kinds of positions. "People say, 'I don't want the students just answering the phones or filing and things like that,' Kerr-Donovan continues, "but someone gets paid to do that, so it is meaningful. Administrative tasks are viable jobs, as long as they're interspersed with opportunities for the students to learn about the office and the operations of Johns Hopkins. Oftentimes I say you can have students shadowing people and taking notes in meetings because, one, note taking is a skill set they need for school, and coupled with a debriefing of the meeting, it helps them understand the intricacies of the work in the department and also the institution."

The internships, which start June 19, last eight weeks, with students working Monday through Thursday and spending their Fridays in professional development sessions.

"We often ask departments if they have one of those 'Oh-I-wish-I-had-time-to-get-to-it' projects," Kerr-Donovan says. "That work could be broken down into smaller components that a young person could get started for you. Or maybe there's a suite of offices, and you each have a certain function, but you all represent one unit or division; you can pool work together so that you can have students rotate throughout the department."

The main goal of the program is to give high school students meaningful exposure to working in a professional environment and to careers. "We try to keep it as real as possible," she continues, explaining that every summer intern goes through the same hiring process as any Johns Hopkins employee, from the online application and interview through the I-9 paperwork and orientation process. "No one gets hired without going through those steps. We try to take every opportunity to have real life experiences be a learning moment for them."

To get all your questions answered—from whether you can request a former student to how payroll is handled—go to the FAQ page of the Summer Jobs Program website.

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