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How To Make The Most Of Your Externship

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By Joyce Huber

Total undergraduate college enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased 31 percent from 13.2 million in 2000 to 17.3 million in 2014. By 2025, total undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase to 19.8 million students, according to the National Center For Education Statistics. With more and more students enrolling in college, there will also be more and more college graduates looking for jobs.

Real world work experience opportunities give students job experience while they are still in school and provides an edge for students that will help prepare them for landing a job after graduation. It gives them an advantage over other students. Work experience opportunities include internships, externships, co-ops, and fellowships. For a complete description of each, visit www.findinternships.com/2016/10/difference-between-internships-externships-coops-fellowships.html 

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTERNSHIPS

While externships sometimes resemble internships, they are generally structured as short-term job shadowing and usually do not include pay or stipends. But they play an important role in allowing college students to explore career options and narrow down career fields and even companies they might want to work for. Because they are short-term assignments, students can easily complete more than one externship, increasing their opportunities to preview career fields.

Externships are a unique opportunity to "put your foot in the water," or "look before you leap," to see what a chosen career is really like. It provides a realistic view of a career field, identifies job skills needed, and helps facilitate career decision making -- all in a short-term, 'day in the life' type setting.


Another benefit is that students can add these externships to their resume. In doing so, it is important to add a brief explanation of learning outcomes, just as you would if you were adding an internship or fellowship to your resume. Sometimes externships will include hands-on training, and that is something valuable to add to your resume.

So, how can you get the most out of your externship? There are several ways this can be done which involve preparation before the externship, focus during the externship, and evaluation following the externship.

Preparation 

Before you accept an externship, prepare a checklist that identifies all the critical aspects you are looking for in a career setting. According to Forbes, "People who are happiest and most fulfilled live what is the perfect job, career and life for them." So, begin my asking yourself what makes you the happiest? What is your passion? What would you be happiest doing the rest of your career? Forbes recommends you make a list of all the jobs you've ever had, then write down what you liked and disliked about each one. Add to this list things you've never done but would like to do. Look at your list to see if the perfect job is emerging.


Most perfect jobs are not your first job, but they are a journey that leads you to the perfect job. When evaluating companies for an externship, look at the company to see if they offer an ideal journey to your dream career. Many candidates look only at the salary. While it is tempting to accept a position that pays very well, it may not ultimately fill your overall career passions.

Look at the corporate climate. Do people seem happy there or stressed? Is there a balance between work and family, or is it demanding and encroaching on family life?


Formulate a list of questions that are important to you about working in your chosen career field and what is important to you about the company. This will determine how well the company is checking off the boxes on your list, and how satisfied and fulfilled you might be in that career field.

Focus during the externship

The externship poses the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about your chosen career field as well as the company. This is where your checklist will be important. Now s the time to put your checklist to work. Refer to your checklist often and use it to gather important information that will help you answer all your questins and evaluate career options. Besides salary, which is something you should never ask about, ask many questions while you are there. Find out how long people have worked there; longevity is usually a sign that people are content with their jobs. Learn what career paths are available, including training programs, and/or tuition benefits if additional schooling is required. Is travel involved? If so, how much?


Be sure to speak with employees from different areas. Talk to people not only in the department where you will be spending your externship, but branch out to others in departments such as human resources, marketing, research and development, and sales. Most jobs will require functioning with other departments, so it is important to understand how your job relates to others within the company.

Also, talk to both those who have been with the company for a long time as well as those who are the "newbies." Each will have their perspective, but you want to make sure it is a positive one. Those who have been with the company for some time may have started in one position and worked their way into their perfect job. Find out how they did it and if they are happy in their chosen career.

Learning as much about the company and the career field itself will help round out your perception of what to expect and the reality of what it will be like to work in this field for the rest of your career.


Evaluation after the externship

During your college years, it is best to experience several externships if you can. Following each externship, evaluate the experience and look at how many boxes it checked off your list. Some people have even created a number value for each box, which ends up giving each externship a rating. Looking at an evaluation on paper creates a powerful visual realization that can help you decide which career field and company is for you.


NOTE: As noted previously, some externships are structured very much like internships. If this is the case, you can learn more about how to make the most of your experience at www.findinternships.com/2016/05/how-to-turn-internship-into-full-time-job.html

These tips will help you make the most of your externship. Externships can pave the way for internships and save you much time and effort to ensure you are focused when selecting an internship. Internships allow for more extensive and up-close, personal association with the company and a deeper view into your field of interest. Externships play an important role toward future enriching work experiences. So be sure to make the most of your externship.

#FindInternships

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Dental Programs

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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has four American Dental Association-accredited post-graduate programs for dental students who have graduated of an American Dental Association or Canadian Dental Association accredited school.

The residencies are in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and General Dentistry.

Dentalxp’s Online Implant Externship Certificate Program

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Dentalxp’s Online Implant Externship Certificate Program is an advanced teaching program in dentistry. The program is designed to teach surgical and restorative implant dentistry that leads to a certificate.

Students who complete the externship program will receive a Certificate of Completion, and Continuing Education Credit. Externs will receive training in areas that include bone augmentation and grafting, implant prosthetics, soft tissue enhancement, sinus augmentation, and extraction site management.

State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County Judicial Externship

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State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County Judicial Externship offers experiential work externships to law students in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Students who have completed the first year of law school and are in good academic standing may apply.

Judicial externships are 6-12 weeks during the summer; length may vary for Spring and Fall. Externs work in a judge's chambers and receive either school credit, a stipend from an outside agency or to gain experience working in the court system.

Superior Court of California County of Orange Law Student Externship

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Superior Court of California Law Student Externship is offered to law students throughout the year at Justice Center Courtrooms in California. Externships are available at Santa Ana, Orange, Westminster, Fullerton, and Newport Beach, California.

Law students may choose the area they are most interested in, such as General Civil, Limited Civil, Criminal, Family Law, Juvenile or Probate. Externs receive no pay but gain valuable experience in various areas of law practice.

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Student Nurse Externships

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Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Student Nurse Externships offer clinical experience with pay for nursing students. The externship program is open to BSN nursing students who have completed at least 2 semesters of clinicals and are in good standing at an accredited school of nursing.

The 10-week externship program runs from mid-May through mid-August every year. Externs work 8- or 12-hour shifts with pay; some shifts will be day-night and rotations may include occasional weekend shifts. Nursing students learn through observation, clinical practice and classroom experience.

Mayo Clinic Summer III Nursing Externship

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Mayo Clinic Summer III Nursing Externship is open to nursing students every summer at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Students who are at the Junior level in school may apply. 

Externs work with clinical coaches as well as RNs in a variety of clinical settings, including working on trauma patients and performing CPR. They are exposed to challenging yet rewarding environments and experiences.

Dayton Children's Summer Nurse Extern Program

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Dayton Children's Summer Nurse Extern Program is open to nursing students currently enrolled at Wright State University or Cedarville University and will graduate no later than the spring following their externship. Applicants must have completed all junior-level courses.

The Summer Nurse Extern program is 8 weeks and includes pay. Externs work 36-40 hours a week at Dayton Children's Hospital. Externs may choose one of the following pediatric specialities: Almost Home Unit, Emergency Department, General Pediatrics, Inpatient Hematology/Oncology, Intermediate Care Unit, Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Surgical Services or House Float.

Gwinnett Medical Center Nurse Extern Program

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Gwinnett Medical Center Nurse Extern Program is available to nursing students enrolled in an accredited nursing program. Candidates must be in good academic standing and be in their last year of nursing school.

Externs will gain valuable clinical knowledge and skills through the summer externship and receive experience in Oncology, Medical, Surgical, Cardiac, Orthopedic/Surgical Specialties, Emergency Services, Neuroscience and Spine, ICU, Labor & Delivery, Mother/Infant, NICU, High Risk Pregnancy Unit, Surgical Services, and Nursing Imaging.

Good Shepherd Student Nurse Extern Program

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Good Shepherd Student Nurse Extern Program is for students currently attending an accredited nursing school. Applicants should have completed 1-2 clinical semesters before applying.

The extern program offers competitive pay and an opportunity for nursing students to get hands-on experience with a healthcare team under the direct supervision of registered nurses. Externs receive training in nursing competencies, healthcare computer training, and documentation training.

CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Nurse Extern Program

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CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Nurse Extern Program provides externships for students entering their final semester of nursing school. Externships are offered in the Spring and in the Winter.

Winter externships run from June - December, and Spring externships run from December - May. Externships are offered in Cardiac Observation, Emergency Care Center, Medical/Surgical, Medical/Surgical Intensive Care, Neuroscience/Stroke, Observation Care Center, Oncology, Ortho/Spine, Telemetry, and Vascular. Applicants must be ranked in the top 15 percent of their class.

Friendship Hospital Veterinary Externship

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Friendship Hospital Veterinary Externship is an opportunity for veterinary students to learn more about their field in a high-quality clinic. The rotating externship provides observational opportunities in Primary Care, Urgent Care and Specialty Services.

Externs shadow specialists in various departments, such as Neurology, Specialty Surgery, Internal Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, Anesthesia and others. Although no direct patient care is included, externs will learn much by shadowing specialists.

Pacific Dental Services Externship

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Pacific Dental Services Externship is open to any dental assistant currently attending an ADA-accredited school. This is an opportunity for dental students to get hands-on experience under the direct supervision of highly-qualified dentists and hygienists.

Candidates should be proficient in coronal polishing and sealant placement; patient counseling, including postoperative care and general oral health; understanding of evidence based dentistry; and have excellent communication skills.

American Medical Clinicals (AMC) Internal Medicine Externship Program

American Medical Clinicals (AMC) Internal Medicine Externship Program is open to ECFMG certified graduate doctors. The externships are offered at The Internal Medicine Department at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC.

Throughout the externship, externs will gain experience through four inpatient rotations, including in-patient medical floor, intensive care unit (ICU), coronary/cardiac care unit (CCU) and night float. They will have 3 months of hands-on, in-patient experience, do morning reports, grand rounds and teaching rounds, and noon conferences.

Cima Hospice Externships

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Cima Hospice Externships are offered to students who are interested in pursuing careers within the healthcare field. Externship opportunities are available for San Antonio Texas College students on campus and online.

Externships offer a rich, volunteer experience and a great educational opportunity for students. Externs will be able to work with Social Workers, Chaplains, RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and medical administrative staff in providing compassionate end-of-life care for over 300 patients in the San Antonio, Texas area.

InovaTrauma Acute Care Surgery Externship

InovaTrauma Acute Care Surgery Externship and Jobs
InovaTrauma Acute Care Surgery Externship is for pre-professional students considering careers in medicine. Externships provide a full-time, two-week commitment where students will gain insight and experience within the area of trauma care.

The application deadline is usually at the end of January, and the externship runs for about two weeks beginning in June. Although unpaid, the program is designed to give students an in-depth view of a career in trauma care. Externs will learn first-hand by interacting directly with trauma surgeons and will be present during daily rounds, patient assessments, emergency resuscitation and surgical procedures.

Rehabilitation & Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) Pediatric Physical Therapist Externship

Rehabilitation & Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) Pediatric Physical Therapist Externship
Rehabilitation & Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA Home Care) is seeking a full time Pediatric Physical Therapist for an Externship for our Weld County, Colorado office.

The Pediatric Physical Therapist's primary role is the assessment of the physical condition and the development of appropriate preventative and rehabilitative therapeutic programs to assist in the client's recovery. This position will:
  • Perform initial and ongoing assessments, including OASIS assessments; 
  • Develop and revise the plan of care in consultation with the physician and other care team members; 
  • Provide therapeutic treatments and evaluation of equipment needs as applicable within the scope of physical therapy practice proficiently and in a productive manner. 
  • Instruct clients and family in the home program as applicable to ensure the client's maximum level of wellness is achieved. 

Facebook Public Policy Externship

Facebook Public Policy Externship
Facebook Public Policy Externship is available to college students pursuing a BA or graduate degree in business, law, political science, public policy, international relations, communications, journalism, or equivalent. This is a full-time, contract position for the summer of 2015.

Qualified students must be able to work up to 40 hours per week in Facebook's Washington D.C. office. Ideal candidates will have a strong interest in politics, public policy, and technology. A passion for Facebook and online communication is required, along with excellent verbal and written communication skills, good organizational and project management skills, and, preferably, experience in Internet technology.

Allied Medical School Medical Billing Externship

Allied Medical School Medical Billing Externship
Allied Medical School Medical Billing Externship provides hands-on training in a real world environment for students interested in a career in medical billing. The externship is available to students enrolled in Allied's Medical Billing Program.

The externship gives students an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience that will enable them to enter the job force quicker. Students enrolled in Allied’s Medical Billing Program will receive an externship opportunity at no additional cost. Allied’s medical assisting, medical coding and pharmacy technician programs also offer externship opportunities.

UCLA Health Nursing Summer Externship Program

UCLA Health Nursing Summer Externship Program and Jobs
UCLA Health Nursing Summer Externship Program offers work experience to nursing students who have completed their junior year and are entering their senior year of nursing school. The externship is unpaid.

Externships are offered during the summer and take place at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, and The Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Applicants can choose two specialty areas for their externship. The externship is designed to help nursing students choose a career path in nursing.

North Shore-LIJ Health System Psychology Externships

North Shore-LIJ Health System Psychology Externships and Jobs
North Shore-LIJ Health System Psychology Externships are offered to students enrolled in doctoral graduate psychology studies or for those who have completed their doctoral studies. The externships are part-time, unpaid positions.

Up to 35 students are chosen every year to participate in externships in clinical psychology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York. Externships are 12 months long and focus on clinical and research activities. Several different externships are available. They may focus on adult psychology, child and adolescent psychology, trauma psychology and others.

Kaplan College Dallas Physical Therapist Externships

Kaplan College Dallas Physical Therapist Externships
Kaplan College Dallas currently has four externship opportunities for students in the area of Physical Therapy. Each of the four externships are designed to provide students with practical on-the-job clinical experience that will give them an opportunity to use their classroom knowledge in a real, professional environment.

Externships vary in levels and include Assistant Clinical I, II and III, and Assistant Final Clinical Practicum. Assistant Clinical I, II and III require students to complete a 90-hour clinical at an affiliate site that provides physical therapy services. Assistant Final Clinical Practicum requires a 360-hour clinical.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Nursing Externships

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Nursing Externships and Jobs
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Nursing Externships are paid work experience opportunities offered to nursing students at Jefferson University Hospital. Orientations are held every month.

Eligible students must be enrolled in an accredited nursing program and have completed one semester of hospital medical or surgical clinical experience before applying. Nursing externs are temporary, part-time positions that give nursing students real-life experience in the nursing field.

Indian Health Service Extern Program

Indian Health Service Extern Program and Jobs
Indian Health Service Extern Program offers paid externships for college students preparing for careers in the health profession. Priority is given to health profession students who are American Indian or Alaska Native. 

The externship includes a salary that is based on each student's experience and level of training. Eligible students must be pursuing a degree in the health care industry and have a grade point average of 2.0 or above.

Children's National Health System Externships

Children's National Health System Externships and Jobs
Children's National Health System Externships accepts applications on an ongoing basis. Eligible students include those pursuing careers in pediatric neuropsychology.

Externships are 12 months long. Externs will work 16 hours a week. Their work will include assessing children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and will be in the Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology.
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