The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy's Executive Internship Program provides you with a unique opportunity to attract high-quality students with a depth of policy knowledge and an eagerness to learn. Under the guidance of our JSGS Student Experience Officer, your organization can:

  • Gain access to highly capable and competent interns to support staffing workloads and new projects and initiatives;
  • Increase the visibility of your government ministry or organization with a targeted talent pool of policy professionals;
  • Introduce fresh and innovative perspectives within your ministry or organization; 
  • Assist students in building a valuable network within the public sector;
  • Help enhance and diversify the local workforce within your organization and community;
  • Provide opportunities for your current employees to develop leadership skills as executive mentors; and, 
  • Benefit from a cost-effective solution to gaining access to new talent.

On the other hand, our interns benefit from:

  • Gaining valuable and relevant work experience;
  • Developing new skills and advancing their professional growth;
  • Building a professional network;
  • Contributing to work files that impact society; and, by
  • Being compensated for their contributions. 

Partner with us today and attract top-tier talent to your organization! 


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Program Goals

The goal of each internship placement is to expose MPA students to and give them hands-on experience with a broad range of activities and issues related to public administration, public policy analysis and evaluation. Interns will apply their knowledge and skills and will contribute to your organization's processes through direct involvement in:

  • planning, policy development and analysis
  • budget development
  • program development and delivery
  • research and evaluation, and
  • strategic planning and reporting.

JSGS Executive Internship opportunities may be based in federal or provincial departments, other public agencies, and even non-governmental or international organizations and agencies.

Information for Mentors

Internship mentors are typically from the most senior levels in their organizations and provide direction and guidance to the interns. Mentors will design and monitor the placement to ensure it is rewarding and meaningful for both the mentor and intern. Additionally, the mentor is encouraged and available to share their knowledge and experience.

Prior to the start of the internship, a Mentor Orientation is hosted by the school. Additionally, mentors should be guided by the Mentorship Handbook (see Resources and Forms). JSGS encourages a 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 breakdown in activities as follows:

  • Interns are tasked with one substantive, meaningful project aligned with the intern's interests;
  • Interns will shadow the mentor in meetings, planning sessions, and other applicable experiences; and
  • Interns are involved in additional areas of the host organization.

Mentors will expose interns to as many areas of the organization as possible. Periodic meetings with the intern will ensure the intern is learning the practical hows and whys of organizational processes and decision-making and ensure the internship is progressing well.

Below is useful information regarding the Executive Internship Program Cycle to help you prepare for hiring JSGS executive interns!

Dates Activities
Mid-Dec. JSGS begins reaching out to existing and prospective partner organizations to gauge their interest in supporting an intern for the following September.
Jan. 2 - Feb. 15

Interested partner organizations must submit an Intern Request Form by February 15. (Extended until Feb. 29)
Feb. 1- Mar. 31 Students who submit applications undergo a thorough assessment process which includes a review of their application, completion of a Briefing Note exercise, and an internal applicant interview.
Apr. - Jul. JSGS selects which students will be accepted into the Executive Internship Program, and begins matching them with partner organizations. Memorandums of Agreements are signed with each partner organization and the school sends letters of confirmation to each successful student.
Late Aug. JSGS hosts intern/mentor orientations to answer any outstanding questions and to kick off the beginning of the Executive Internship Program.
Sept. - Apr. Intern placements begin each September and take place over the course of the following eight months. During this time, JSGS's Student Experience Officer is in constant contact with mentors to answer any questions and offer support throughout the program.
Apr. Mentors are required to complete an intern evaluation and submit it to the SEO by the end of April.


Applicants to the JSGS Executive Internship Program must be current (not graduated) MPA students with a minimum 75 percent average. They must also have completed at least 50 percent of their program by the time the internship placement begins.

To apply, students are required to submit an application package that includes a completed cover checklist, a professional resume, personal biography, a cover letter, and JSGS faculty references. Students who meet required academic standards will be invited to participate in a timed briefing note exercise and an interview to further assess their competencies. The internal interview panel typically consists of members of JSGS faculty and staff. Candidates who make it past the internal interviews successfully may be invited for an external interview with a prospective mentor.

Internal interviews are scheduled for the end of February or the start of March.

Once contracts are signed, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School invoices the partner organization $30,000 at the beginning of each eight-month internship. The partner organization is then responsible for paying either the school’s University of Regina or the University of Saskatchewan campus (identified on the invoice). The school then provides monthly compensation to each intern in the form of a scholarship.

Federal interns are compensated at an hourly rate of pay determined by the employer.

If you are interested in becoming a partnering organization and mentoring a JSGS Executive Intern, we ask that you complete the Intern Request Form (see Resources) and submit it to JSGS’s Student Experience Officer by February 15th.

The form will consist of the following information:

  • Contact information
  • Designated Mentor and Back-up Mentor
  • Number of interns requested
  • If you would like to interview a few candidates or have JSGS match you to a specific intern
  • Mentors will expose interns to as many areas of the organization as possible. Weekly meetings with the intern will ensure the intern is learning the practical hows and whys of organizational processes and decision-making, and ensuring the internship is progressing well. Please describe how the intern would be involved in these processes within your organization
  • Please outline potential project options the intern will be assigned to, noting that specific assignment of projects will be determined at the time of placement, based on the intern’s knowledge, skills and interests.
  • What qualities are you looking for in an intern (ie: knowledge of government or private sector, leadership, analysis and problem solving, interpersonal relations, organizational, communication, skills in research, preparing presentations, personality types, etc.)

If you have questions about the program, please contact

Partnering Organizations

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School is pleased to partner with many new and existing organizations on the Executive Internship Program, and would like to thank the following organizations for their involvement:

  • Government of Canada, 2010 – Present
  • Saskatchewan Government, 2005 – Present
  • Elections Saskatchewan, Present
  • City of Regina, 2016 - Present
  • City of Saskatoon, 2011 and 2014 - Present
  • Saskatchewan Health Authority - Present
  • University of Saskatchewan - Present
  • Canada West Foundation - Present
  • eHealth Saskatchewan, 2016
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic, 2015 - 2016
  • Saskatchewan Institute, Conference Board of Canada, 2015 - 2016
  • Saskatchewan School Board Association, 2011
  • SaskPower, 2020
  • Earnscliffe Strategy Group, 2014
  • College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 2012
  • Institutional Planning and Assessment, University of Saskatchewan, 2012 - 2014
  • Saskatchewan College of Paramedics and Saskatchewan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, 2015 - 2021

The JSGS would like to thank these organizations for their contributions, and we look forward to partnering with them again in the future.

Resources and Forms

The following resources have been developed to assist and guide mentors through the program:

Contact Us

If you have questions about the program and are interested in learning more, please contact