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Focus Area Information

Focus Area Information

The Ontario Internship Program places interns across the Ontario Public Service in 7 focus areas. Each focus area represents a line of work that is essential to serving the people of Ontario. You are encouraged to select the focus area that matches your skills and interests when you apply to the program. Check out the various focus areas to learn which stream will provide you with the best opportunity to reach your career goals:

Business and Financial Planning

Business and Financial Planning in the Ontario Public Service

With an annual budget of more than $100 billion, the business of managing the government’s finances is no small task. The business and financial planning professionals of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) make sure the government manages public funds in a way that is accountable, efficient and results-oriented.

As a business and financial planning intern you will be part of this team. The Ontario Internship Program (OIP) is seeking talented individuals who understand and thrive in the world of business and finance. In this role, you will provide financial advice and expertise to clients and stakeholders, forecast and monitor business expenditures, and perform expenditure management and analysis. You will also be exposed to government accounting policy development, planning and decision making processes. You will also have the opportunity to gain valuable training and experience that will assist towards acquiring an accounting or financial designation.

Interns specializing in business and financial planning work on a wide range of innovative and exciting projects, such as assessing financial proposals, evaluating ministry-wide management processes and business practices, and preparing forecasting reports and the annual ministry business plans.

If you have a passion for business and finance, and are ready to accept real challenges and responsibilities, then start and accelerate your career with us.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

We are seeking candidates who possess certain knowledge and can demonstrate a variety of skills and abilities including:


  • Knowledge of accounting/finance: demonstrates knowledge and an understanding of various accounting principles and systems and the ability to analyze and prepare financial statements and reports
  • Business planning: involves identifying key business objectives and goals for the organization, considering the variety of factors that impact the organization and establishing goals that account for those factors
  • Knowledge of financial management/economics/business/commerce: refers to demonstrated knowledge and an understanding of effective planning and management of moneys to meet business goals. This would include:
    • knowledge of long and short range financial planning;
    • financial and economic forecasting;
    • allocating budgets and targets;
    • risk management and performance measurement;
    • monitoring, tracking, processing transactions;
    • financial controllership and reporting; gathering data and performing quantitative analysis;
    • statistics and the ability to interpret and apply standards, policies and procedures

Skills and Abilities

  • Analytical skills: refers to the process of analyzing and synthesizing information (including data), to ask and answer questions, to identify trends and relevant themes as to support the development of evidence-based findings and recommendations
  • Communication skills: presenting information using traditional and/or digital media in a clear, concise and accurate manner through effective written, oral and visual communication
  • Collaboration skills: working effectively with others to solve a problem or achieve a common goal that is mutually beneficial
  • Customer service skills: involves anticipating and identifying client needs to respond and provide better services with a goal of maximizing client satisfaction. Customers and clients may include the public, colleagues, partners, and peers
  • Influencing skills: refers to the ability to bring about change by compelling others to action
  • Problem-solving skills: refers to the ability to recognize, understand and resolve a problem by breaking it apart into smaller pieces, and evaluating options and identifying alternative solutions
  • Research skills: refers to the ability to ascertain relevant questions/concerns about the identified topic and determine the most appropriate method(s) to acquire the knowledge and or information needed to address, as fully and accurately as possible, those questions/concerns
  • Relationship management: involves building and maintaining strong working relationships with clients, stakeholders, partners and colleagues and demonstrating respect, ethics and extending trust in order to achieve organizational goals
  • Work management: involves prioritizing tasks, managing competing priorities as to effectively manage time in order to meet deadlines.

What to Expect

As a business and financial planning intern your work could include:

  • Learning about public sector accounting, financial management and internal control practices
  • Acquiring hands-on experience with the principles of business planning, risk assessment and strategic resource management
  • Developing business proposals in support of ministry programs
  • Designing financial and business processes that support the implementation of program initiatives and changing business requirements
  • Identifying and analyzing the financial impacts of new and changing programs
  • Providing assurance and consulting services to add value and improve an organization’s operations

Looking Ahead

The OIP is an excellent opportunity to start and accelerate your career and expand your business and financial planning skills with the Ontario Public Service. The knowledge and experience you gain as a business and financial planning intern will lay the foundation of a future career as a specialist in your field. An internship in this area can prepare you for a career as a/an:

  • Financial Analyst/Officer/Project Lead
  • Program Analyst/Consultant
  • Economist
  • Internal Auditor.