Graduation is fast approaching, which means the job market will soon be flooded with well-educated new professionals looking to start careers. What recent graduates will find is a competitive field that values intelligence and experience. Many who easily clear the first hurdle, however, find themselves stumped by the second. Graduates today are expected not only to have spent their time in college becoming educated individuals, but they are expected to accrue workplace experience that will give them the edge when applying for jobs after.
Mindful of the challenges posed by these competing interests, however, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission offers a fellowship program for recent graduates interested in beginning careers in state government. As an entry program, it provides an opportunity for those with less experience to learn, first-hand, important and marketable skills. This program, which has been in place for more than forty years, sponsors approximately 24 paid fellowship positions throughout state government. The skills acquired through the fellowship prepare them for careers in any field.
The fellowship is open to everyone, regardless of political affiliation or college major. Program participants will be placed in one of three areas: the majority or minority caucuses of the Ohio House or the Ohio Senate; as a member of the LSC research and fiscal staff; or as a telecommunications assistant with Ohio Government Television (OGT). Twenty LSC fellows are traditionally assigned to work for one of the four legislative caucuses where they assist legislators in areas such as speech writing, constituent services and other legislative work. The remaining fellows are split between the LSC research staff and OGT positions.
Before being placed into offices, fellows are given an intensive two-week training. They learn all the basics of state government, how to manage an office, handle constituent cases, research legislation, and much more. In addition to the skills acquired in the fellowship, participants are able to explore all areas of state government through a number of tours they will take with their colleagues. These tours provide an opportunity to learn about the functions of our state agencies in fun, interactive ways. In addition to these, there is also the possibility of an all-expenses paid trip to Toronto to see how legislatures in Canada differ from our own. Lastly, those participating in the fellowship will join a network extending far around the state of Ohio. They will meet former fellows who are now staffers, lobbyists, legislators, congressmen, and even Governor!
The LSC Fellowship Program lasts for thirteen months, beginning the first week of December and ending December 31 of the following year. Applications for the 2018 legislative positions are due by April 1, while telecommunications candidates must submit their applications by April 30. It is important to note that an applicant must obtain a bachelor’s degree before the start date of the next class in order to qualify. Additional information about the program, including an electronic application, an informational brochure, and answers to frequently asked questions are available at http://www.lsc.ohio.gov/fellowship/.
The Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Program is a unique opportunity for public service minded individuals to gain exceptional experience working in the public space. Fellows can expect to gain lasting professional relationships and meaningful skills that they will use for the rest of their careers. Moreover, this program represents a great chance for anyone looking to distinguish themselves as they begin a career in the public sector, and I highly recommend that any interested candidates apply.