Finding an Internship or Relevant Job
Don’t be intimidated! This is easier than you think. There are many opportunities out there; you just need some helping finding out what and where they are. A list of relevant summer opportunities can be found on AdviseStream. One opportunity for students interested in medicine is the Women in Medicine and Science/Health Professions Shadowing and Internship Program. This program matches Wake Undergraduates with physicians in the Wake Forest Baptist Health System. Applications are accepted twice a year. Students shadow two physicians, for half a semester each. The number of hours is variable. For more information, visit http://college.wfu.edu/prehealth/be-competitive/wake-forest-university-clinical-internshipshadowing-program/.
Another place to look for ideas is the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) in Reynolda Hall. The minute you settle into your dorm, go to career.opcd.wfu.edu/handshake/. Follow the login instructions, using your Wake Forest username and password to sign in. Fill out the profile at the top of the page, and select “Profile” from the left hand navigation. Add your work experience, extracurricular activities, and any special skills you may have. Then, click the account tab and specify the industry and job functions that interest you. Internships and jobs related to your selections will appear in your news feed, and you will receive notifications of relevant events on campus. You’ll want to periodically update Handshake, and begin to check it frequently as summer or a gap year approaches and you are looking for the perfect internship or job.
Another great site to visit is career.opcd.wfu.marketplace, where you can find lists of opportunities under headings such as health professions, biology, chemistry, community and social services, international gap year opportunities, and public health.
OPCD also offers career fairs each year, where hundreds of companies interested in hiring Wake Forest students will be represented. These include the Fall Career Fair in September, and the STEM Slam Networking event in February (this is a particularly good one). Once you have comfortably reached your third year, a definite must is the November Graduate and Professional School Day, when representatives from many health professions programs will be in attendance. As you begin to think about specific programs, be sure to attend the March Health Professions Expo, where admissions officers from a diversity of programs at many schools will be present. This is a time to feel them out about whether or not you are a good fit for their program.
Finally – and this is IMPORTANT – once you begin to think about an internship or job, make an appointment with an OPCD Career coach. They can help. Who to contact:
|Brian Mendenhall (firstname.lastname@example.org) – specializes in the sciences and health professions.
Patrick Sullivan (email@example.com) – specializes in internships and experiential education.
BECOMING A COMPETITIVE APPLICANT: RESEARCH
Many students ask whether they should be involved in research. Research is just one of the many ways that you can enrich your educational experience, and contribute towards making you a well-rounded person. It is an opportunity to get close to a faculty member, who can potentially write you a strong letter of recommendation.
Only do research in science if you are truly interested in the science side of health care. You could choose instead to do research in the humanities or social sciences, for example. Medical schools do not expect that you will have done research in a lab; many successful candidates have not. If you choose to do research, do it because you care about the research question. Be sure that you are prepared to discuss the research knowledgeably on an interview.
Summer Programs for Research & Healthcare Experiences
A comprehensive list of summer research and internship opportunities can be found on AdviseStream.
The WF URECA Center – The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center (http://college.wfu.edu/ureca/) is a center that promotes undergraduate research and creative activities between WF faculty and students. Students can apply for Research fellowships or Richter fellowships to help fund their projects (http://college.wfu.edu/ureca/funding-and-fellowships). There are also links to external opportunities for research on the URECA Center home page (http://college.wfu.edu/ureca/opportunities).
NSF REU summer research programs – Often researchers that get grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) often have money to pay students to be involved in summer research programs. The program is called REU – Research Experience for Undergraduates. Programs can be found located in any part of the country. You can find information on REU programs at http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/.