While we are well into our placements now, we’d like to give you a peek into the process that lead us to our great experiences within the offices of Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)! As a non-partisan programme, OLIP requires that each Intern spend one term working for the Government of the day, and another with one of the two Opposition parties. To that end, backbench MPPs receive an application form that they use to indicate their interest in having an Intern, the type of work they could see an Intern doing with them and some background on their current projects and riding.
However, that’s where things become a little strange and exciting for the Interns. As a group, we schedule an interview with the interested MPPs. Unlike you might think, the MPPs do not interview us and decide which Intern they would like in their office — it’s the other way around! The cohort gets the unique opportunity to ask questions of each Member and their staff to determine which MPP’s office might be a good fit based on our interests and development. We are fortunate that the forty years of history behind OLIP means many MPPs have had Interns in the past. Not only are the MPPs used to the process, they genuinely love it! Further, strict confidentiality in all interviews means that we often have very candid conversations with the MPPs about their work. Part of that trust stems from the many cohorts of Interns who have successfully “crossed the floor” between their placements, seamlessly making the transition from Government to the Opposition (and vice-versa) all while maintaining their integrity and the integrity of each office. It really is a truly unique opportunity that we all feel very fortunate to experience!
One of the best parts of the interview process was talking with MPPs one-on-one to hear how passionate they are about serving their communities and developing legislation that benefits all Ontarians. As every Member is always so welcoming and excited to host an Intern, it is tough for all of us Interns to pick just two placements. Needless to say, all of our “interviewees” had great things to say about the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme and encouraged us to make the most of our placements, even if we should not end up working with them specifically.
Many thanks to all our applicants this year! Keep checking our OLIP Unplugged blog to stay abreast with our adventures both in and around the Pink Palace!