The Ohio Education Research Center — a collaborative of the John Glenn College and the Center for Human Resource Research — offers the Public Sector Data Internship Program for students interested in exploring careers in policy research and evaluation. Students receive instruction on data-based methods to investigate policy problems, and work at a state agency in Columbus for the summer. The program allows students to discover the exciting work that the Ohio Education Research Center and its affiliate partners are engaged in, and gives students practical experience with theory they learn in college classes. This summer we have 5 interns participating in the program. To highlight their hard work and dedication this summer, the OERC will be featuring each of our summer interns.

Our next intern of the week is Evelyn Arrey. Evelyn is a Ph.D. student in Industrial and System Engineering. Mrs. Arrey is interning with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities analyzing the program co-enrollment data. Her reflections on the internship are shared below:

My name is Evelyn Arrey and I am a Ph.D. student in Industrial and System Engineering. I chose to participate in the Public Sector Data Science internship because I am from Chile, and as an international student I wanted to live the experience of doing an internship here in the USA. In addition, I am interested in research for public sector and social projects, and this internship allowed me to learn about and get experience in these areas.

This summer, I am interning with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) analyzing their data on individuals who are co-enrolled in Vocational Rehabilitation and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs. Currently, OOD utilizes self-reported data by individuals to determine if an individual is co-enrolled in more than one program. However, individuals may not always know the formal name of the programs in which they are participating and may incorrectly self-report their involvement in programs. My project is to make a cross-analysis between the data from OOD and data from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) to check the level of co-enrollment. I am using SQL and Tableau to complete my analysis.

My favorite thing about my internship is that my team and supervisor at the OERC and at OOD are great and supportive; and I have felt so comfortable working with them. A second favorite thing has been the flexibility to work remotely. The most challenging thing about my internship has been managing so much data and the data structure of the data. There are many tables to analyze and many relationships to have in mind when you must cross the data.

I definitely recommend this internship. It was a great experience, and I’ve learned a lot about data analytics and federal reports. Also, I have met wonderful people. The seminars on Fridays were so helpful for me to know more about future work options and share experiences about our internships. And having lunch and getting to know the other interns has been great.

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