Finding the right internship can be difficult. Finding one with little to no experience can be even more so. Securing reputable training is a crucial first step toward a satisfying and successful career in the healthcare industry.
A prestigious internship is a fantastic opportunity to obtain hands-on experience and help you land the career of your dreams.
Internships allow you as a graduate or a post-graduate to learn new things, gain valuable knowledge and real-world experience in the healthcare industry as well as help you refine the skills you already have. It is a great way to discover your career, an opportunity to self-assess and measure your capabilities.
Let’s look at why internships are important and how to get an internship with little to no experience.
Why Are Internships Important?
Internships are a great way to develop real-world skills and earn professional experience. It strengthens communication skills and improves business etiquette and workplace collaboration skills.
Internships allow you to experience the career you are planning to pursue. It can help you to identify what you enjoy the most and what you don’t like. It also gives you a clear perception of whether you are following the right path or require shifting your career path differently.
Internships also allow you to improve your skills through professional feedback from someone who works in your field. The hands-on experience that you gain in a work environment will enhance your resume with skills that might be appealing to employers. It may help position you as a competitive candidate for job openings.
A successful internship can become a strong foundation for beginning a professional career in the healthcare industry.
Tips To Get An Internship With Little/No Experience
Internships are very important and provide an insight into the academics, training, and skills necessary to enter a healthcare field. It gives you a glimpse of what work-life looks like and what being a medical professional is. Internships are your first-hand interaction with jobs and employment.
Here are some steps to get an internship with no experience:
1. Decide On Careers That Interest You
Explore different healthcare career options you are currently enrolled in. Look for various options, decide on the top two to three choices and look for internships related to those positions. Once you determine your interests or career goals, apply for internships in those fields.
2. Type Of Internship And Location
Choose the type of internship and the location you would like to work. Decide whether you would like to go for paid internships with no experience or non-paid no-experience internships. For instance, if you have to complete an internship along with academic study, you must find an internship program near your campus. Or, if you plan to travel to your hometown during summer break, maybe you can look for summer internships in your hometown.
Students, residents or even practicing physicians with internship experiences have higher chances of getting selected for their dream job than those who have never interned.
3. Consult With Career/Medical Center
Career or medical centers are good resources where students can look for opportunities to find internships. Career centers often have links with healthcare industries and are aware of open positions, including internships.
Career centers can help you discover relevant skills or activities that can translate into qualities the organizations may be looking for. They will also help you craft a persuasive cover letter and highlight specific roles on your resume to certain qualities that stand out from other applicants.
4. On-Campus Opportunities
Top universities, hospitals, and healthcare organizations offer internships on campus. These internship opportunities are usually designed for students who may work around their class schedule and are suitable for students without experience.
5. Develop Your Skills
To stand out from the tough competition, you need to evaluate yourself and show your employers how you are better than the others. Emphasizing general skills can give you a competitive advantage over other applicants. Developing transferable skills, such as communication, computer, and leadership skills, may make you a more desirable candidate.
Listing the skills on your resume can be helpful to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
The easiest way to acquire experience is to volunteer. Volunteering can be an added advantage to show the employers your social responsibilities towards the community. Volunteering shows your activeness in helping other people and getting the assigned jobs done. Participating in extracurricular activities helps you to grow and become a better person.
Through volunteering, you can also develop skills such as time management, reliability, working with a team, and organization.
You can try freelancing to get some experience. Post your services online, on social media, and through information centers in your college. Since you have little to no experience, you may need to reduce project rates or take payments after you have provided the services.
8. Student Employment
For students, student employment helps you surpass the internship application process and offers additional advantages such as actual work experience listed while applying for an internship. Regardless of the job assigned to you, you will have to report to a supervisor who can advocate for you. Your supervisor can be a good reference source as part of your internship application process.
Expanding your search outside of your specific field and taking internships in different fields may help develop different transferable skills that may be beneficial while applying for jobs.
Does Internship Count As Work Experience?
Certainly, the internship does count as a work experience but depends upon the type of internship you have gone through and the type of position you are applying for. If the internship is exceptionally good and is relevant to the job you’re applying for, it can count as an experience.
An internship allows you to develop skills and acquire valuable experience close to the actual practice that may help you surpass other entry-level candidates. In the majority of the cases, internships are counted as work experience as it provides hands-on experience in the more desired fields of specialization.
Employers generally prefer candidates with prior practical knowledge and internships. Adding your internships on the resume shows that you take the initiative to learn more and grow professionally.
How Many Internships Should I Apply For?
Due to the high competition, you will require determination while going through the process since the truth is you won’t be getting every internship you apply for.
There is no right number as to how many internships you should apply for. It might be easy to pick one or two that match your interests and career objectives, but the chances of getting one among those are significantly lower.
Research hospitals and healthcare organizations and make a general list of at least 10 or more (even 20) internships that you find acceptable. List the organizations that offer the greatest value and apply for all of them. You must try to align your experiences and qualifications the organization is looking for while applying. A well-tailored application will give a clear-cut idea of what you have to offer and secure relevant internship opportunities.
If you are not chosen for any of those internships, you shouldn’t give up. The more you are persistent and determined in seeking out and applying for internships, the more success you will set for yourself.
Internships allow you to use the knowledge you have gained in a real-world setting and learn job-specific skills that can help you secure your dream job. Prospective interns must do extensive research and identify opportunities that match their interests and career objectives.
Hone your skills and promote yourself to secure a great healthcare internship.