Looking for some help? Check out the NIH Management Intern program
Participants gain experience while NIH offices receive short term help
What do a social worker, NIH police detective and a dietician have in common? They are some of the varied backgrounds of participants in the NIH Management Intern (MI) Program.
The MI program was established in 1957 to offer opportunities to NIH staff who were interested in increasing their skills and moving up the career ladder. The program offers targeted training and hands-on experience to motivated NIH employees interested in pursuing a career in administration and management.
“Graduates have become some of NIH's most respected administrative managers, including Human Resource Managers and Executive, Administrative, Grants Management, Budget and Contracting Officers,” said Richard Hawkins, the MI program manager.
The highly competitive program offers two-year opportunity to complete six to eight rotations that are three to four months long, gaining additional insight into how the NIH works.
Quinn Cassidy, MSW, is a current Management Intern who worked in the Clinical Center’s Social Work Department for eight years prior to joining the MI program. She has rotated through several Institutes and programs including the Office of Finance and Management for the All of Us Research Program; the Ethics and Management Analysis Branch at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; the Administrative Management Branch at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Office of Government and Congressional Relations at the National Cancer Institute. MIs can also elect to complete a rotation outside of NIH, and she considers herself fortunate to have spent four months at Health and Human Services working with the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response in their Division of Community Mitigation and Recovery.
“The projects I’ve been invited to work on have been fascinating and impactful, and it has been an honor to be invited to contribute to important IC and NIH initiatives. What has really stood out for me is that many of the skills I honed working clinically with patients are absolutely transferable to administrative projects and collaborations. Clinical care requires incredible skill at assessment, communication and juggling conflicting priorities - all highly sought-after skills in administrative fields,” said Cassidy.
“…[W]orking clinically with research participants brings a particular perspective and understanding of the lived impact of our individual and collective efforts. The teams I’ve worked with have appreciated that I bring that perspective as it is not nearly as common outside of the Clinical Center,” she added.
Hawkins recently took the reins of the program and was a participant himself from 2015-16. One of his rotations was in the NIH Clinical Center with the hospital’s Office of Communications and Media Relations, writing articles for the CC News, attending meetings with the Office’s Chief and hospital leadership, serving as a Patient Ambassador while the Discovery Channel had camera crews onsite for the First in Human documentary project and eventually managing the scheduling calendar for Clinical Center staff who worked with the documentary film crews.
“This was one of my most rewarding rotations the interactions with patients and staff were amazing, gaining an understanding of the work that goes on in the CC really opened my eyes,” recounted Hawkins. “I made so many friends and mentors during my rotations there that I still keep in touch with.”
Have a staff member who might benefit from the experience, or interested in bringing in a Management Intern to your office? Two information sessions will be held via Zoom on Feb. 15, 2022, at noon and Feb. 17, 2022, at 2 pm.
Cassidy had one piece of advice for people thinking of applying: “Give it a shot!”
“I have consistently found more than enough interesting, challenging work that I can directly connect to making lives better, either through the NIH mission or by improving situations for my fellow NIH employees,” she added.
The application period for the upcoming class will run from March 1-11, 2022, and the positions will be posted on the USA jobs website.
- Donovan Kuehn