medical field internships for undergraduates
Medical internships can be extremely competitive, so it’s important to start your search as early as possible. In fact, most of the available programs are already fully booked by March 1 of the same year, so you should try to find a program and apply by October-November at the latest. If you’re looking for an unpaid internship, research your options sooner rather than later to make sure you don’t miss out on a perfect opportunity.
To get started, research what kinds of internship opportunities are available in your area (or anywhere else you’d like to go). Make sure that each one meets your requirements in terms of time commitment and schedule (days/nights/weekends only), level of responsibility (some programs offer more hands-on experience than others do), salary or stipend amount (if any), housing arrangements if necessary, and transportation accessibility; these factors will all play a role in whether or not an internship is right for you. Once you’ve compiled some options that fit with your desired scope and location, apply to at least two or three different ones. Ideally, one should be a more prestigious institution that may be harder to get into; this way if you do land a spot there but feel less excited about it after spending some time considering all your options, you’ll have another option ready as well.
Put yourself out there.
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Decide which field you want to intern in: hospital, research lab, office etc.
The first step in deciding what kind of internship you want to do is figuring out which field you’re most interested in. Chances are, you already know what the answer is, but it can be helpful to review your options and decide for sure. Once you’ve made that decision, you’ll probably want to look into which fields are most in demand—this will give your resume a boost and make it easier for you to find an internship after graduation.
To figure out what’s in demand, check out this list of job openings from the past 10 years:
- Physician assistant
If one of these jobs sounds like something you’d be interested in doing after college, then it might be worth considering going into a related field while interning–for example, nursing instead of medical research if that’s more interesting to you. Best of luck!
Prepare your CV/Resume.
In order to prepare for an interview, you’ll want to do some research about the company and its culture. Start with the company’s website. Look at their mission statement, current projects, and any announcements they’ve made recently (e.g., new locations opening, or a press release about a partnership with another company). Also check out the company’s social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; this will give you a sense of how the company present itself online to employees and customers alike. If there are employees on LinkedIn you can connect with that have worked at this particular internship site in the past, reach out to them. Ask if they’re willing to share their experiences working there; they may also have valuable tips for your interview process!
Now is also a good time to look through Glassdoor reviews of the company—what are people saying? What are some common positives? Negatives? Are these things you’re willing to live with?
Finally: be sure you know what kind of skills and values you want them to know about when you start your interview. You need keywords listed on your resume that show how hardworking or reliable or innovative or whatever other great characteristic employers will value most in their interns. In addition to knowing how best to position yourself based on what you find in your research of the company’s needs and preferences, it’s also critical for your resume/CV preparation that you understand your own strengths as well as any areas where improvement might be needed.
Do your preparation beforehand.
The most common mistake I see in graduate students is the lack of proper preparation for an interview. As a hiring manager, it is important for me to find someone who has the skills and knowledge to complete a job. The interview is my chance to see how well you know your stuff. Here are some tips on how you can wow your future employer at an internship interview:
- Research the company/lab you are applying for
- Research your interviewer
- Know about current events in the medical field
- Prepare for the interview (practice answering questions)
- Review your CV/resume
- Dress appropriately (no jeans and sneakers)
- Show up early (and be polite; no one likes a jerk)
- Ask questions (show interest in learning more about the company)
Find a mentor.
Find a mentor.
Your mentor can be a professor, an older student, someone that you meet at an internship, or someone else you look up to who works in the health sciences field. Your mentor may be able to give you advice and information about the best steps to take during your college years so that you are prepared for a career in the health sciences field. Your mentor may also be able to help you meet other people who work in the health sciences field (through networking) and help you find internship opportunities during your college years.
Get references from professors and past employers.
Before you even begin applying for internships, it’s wise to get references that can showcase your work ethic. Employers will want to know if you’re a hard worker and how well you get along with others. References are especially important if you don’t have prior work experience in the medical field, as they can provide an employer with some insight into your personality traits and abilities. Some possible options for good references include professors, past employers, or supervisors from volunteer work. In any case, make sure that whoever is giving you a reference knows you well and is able to speak about your strengths from a personal point of view (not just something they found on your resume).
Practice before the interview.
You’re heading into your first medical internship, and you want to be sure to impress. But it’s hard to know what the interviewers are looking for.
- The good news is that there are several common questions they’ll ask you. You can expect them to inquire about your specific background and training, along with the reasons why you chose this field. They might focus on behavioral questions as well, asking you how you’d respond in certain situations and gauging your responses for signs of a strong work ethic, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.
- To prepare for these questions, brainstorm some talking points about yourself relating to past experiences that demonstrate those skills, accomplishments that highlight your work ethic or display leadership abilities, and any relevant goals (beyond becoming an intern) that you have in this career field.
- Then practice answering these questions out loud until they come easily. You can do so by reading question prompts from online lists of interview questions (like those found on [Glassdoor](https://www.glassdoor.com/Interview/), describing the situation in your own words before giving a description of how you responded in real life or would hypothetically respond to a similar situation now that you have more experience under your belt. Do this with family members or friends who can offer feedback on whether your answers sound natural enough when spoken out loud; if not, keep practicing until they do! Finally, remember to pay attention to your body language as well: sit up straight while interviewing others can help put others at ease while creating a positive vibe between both parties during the interview process!
Dress professionally for the interview.
- Dressing, even for a phone interview, is important. You may feel that it’s not fair that interviewers judge you on your appearance and clothes, but it’s true! Make sure to dress modestly, professionally and appropriately for the weather.
- Get dressed as if you’re going to work at the medical office where you want an internship. Wear comfortable shoes because there may be a lot of walking involved during the interview process. If possible, have someone drive you to your interview so that in case of emergency or panic attack about forgetting something or suddenly feeling sick or whatever, there is someone there to help you get through it all. (After all, emergency rooms can be stressful.)
- Avoid wearing too much perfume or cologne because if someone in the office is allergic or sensitive to smells…well, that could spell disaster before the interview even starts!
Be ready to answer questions about yourself and your career goals.
You will likely be asked questions about yourself and your experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Read the job description carefully, and relate your experiences to it, especially as they pertain to some of the duties that you may be performing during the internship. For example, if the internship position involves data collection or processing, think about how you perform similar tasks in your current position.
- Research the company before the interview, including its mission statement and core values. This will help ensure your answers align with what is important to them.
- Be prepared for questions about your career goals. You can use these opportunities to highlight any qualities or skills you have that would make you an excellent fit for this role (and their company). For example: “I’m looking for an opportunity to work in a more hands-on research environment; I have been doing a lot of administrative work lately and feel like I haven’t kept up with my data collection skills.” These types of statements can show them that you’re interested in taking initiative on improving yourself professionally and that you understand how this particular position could help do so.
Internships are a great way to gain experience and land a job in the medical field!
Internships are a great way to gain experience and land a job in the medical field.
Medical field internships are specifically designed for students who wish to get work experience while supplementing their studies. Internships often lead to full-time employment offers, and they can provide you with the kind of professional exposure that can help boost your career.
What should you expect from an internship? You’ll work closely with professionals on real projects and tasks, which will help you expand your network and get hands-on exposure. Many students also use their internship as an opportunity to explore different careers and see what roles best suit them before committing to a permanent position.