How do I get an internship in health policy? It's a question that many students in this field are asking in increasing numbers. Since the rule of health care is to first do no harm, many students who choose to go into this field are looking for internships with highly-regarded healthcare companies, charities, and organizations, only to find that these opportunities may be hard to come by. Here's a quick tip sheet on how to become considered for these opportunities.
Attend an Accredited University
The first step to finding internships in this field is to attend an accredited university or college. It is not necessary to earn a bachelor's degree in this field for this opportunity, as many community colleges do offer internships for associate's degrees. However, most health policy programs are found at four-year universities and therefore it is highly encouraged. It is also important to have a major either in the field itself or, if your college does not offer the major, specializing in health and policy for the best chance at finding internships.
Seek Internships Early
Many schools require internships to be completed during the junior and senior years; this is because the first two years of a bachelor's degree is dedicated to that school's general education curriculum. Advanced studies in your major generally are not offered until the junior year. However, it is up to you to seek internships as soon as possible, providing you with the best possible chance to find internships at high-quality firms and healthcare facilities. It is advised that students begin their applications for internships during the second term of their sophomore year; some schools may even allow for the process to begin earlier, depending on their program's structure.
Follow the Advice of Your School's Department
If your school does offer a major in this field, go directly to the department chair or a faculty member for guidance on finding internships. While most schools provide internship consultation, going to your school's department will provide you with the opportunity to get the best possible advice when selecting internships to apply for. Another option is to discuss your opportunities with a faculty member that teaches health and policy; these professors generally have a good idea of what internships are available and may be able to point you to an opportunity that hasn't yet been made available to the student body.
Volunteer Experience Counts
Internships often come with requirements, such as a certain GPA and maybe even prior work experience. Volunteering in the field of health, law, or policy may give you an advantage over other applicants, so be sure to seek out volunteer opportunities in those areas. If you live in a community where non-governmental organizations or charities focus on this field, reach out to them for experience opportunities. It is possible that working directly with a charity or organization may lead to you being selected to take part in one of their internships without the need for you to go through the application process.
Students who study health and policy understand how crucial it is for professionals to get work experience before entering the field. It is an industry that is currently going through changes in America, and the more students get a first-hand glimpse at how the field works, the better it is for society in general. With this article at hand, you won't have to worry about how do I get an internship in health policy; instead, you can focus on building a resume that gets you in the door to work for a company in this field.