According to national data, applicants have a 40% higher chance of being hired if they have done an internship in the field and a 60% higher chance if the internship was faculty supervised. Unfortunately, time and money often prevent students from taking advantage of internship programs like the one in our department. The Internship Initiative is a philanthropic endowment that financially supports students, enabling them to engage in experiential learning in the form of psychology internships.
Applications for the Winter 2023 Internship Initiative are open and must be submitted by this Wednesday (12/7) at 5 P.M. Four to six students will be selected for this award and will receive up to $1,500. In reviewing the applications, students in high financial need are prioritized. Furthermore, the award committee looks for students who will really benefit from an internship, where it is aligned with their career goals and may be their first opportunity at getting this kind of experience.
Although the Internship Initiative is only awarded to a few students, all psychology majors are encouraged to participate in the psychology department’s internship program. The program has a list of preapproved internships that students can apply to. The list is diverse and growing, with internships in Mental Health, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Sports Psychology, Family-based Social Services, Adult-based Social Services, Advocacy and Restorative Justice, and Research-based opportunities. If none of the preapproved internships are a good fit, a student can also find an internship that’s not on the list and possibly even out of state. Elizabeth McNeilly (firstname.lastname@example.org), the internship coordinator, will review the internship and ensure that it provides valuable, practical experience with onsite supervision and training. Once a student has applied and been accepted as an intern, they will have regular reflection assignments to complete that encourage them to think deeply about their experience with their internship.
The internship program could support many more students than have been enrolled in the past few terms. There are many internship opportunities and rarely have there been students who want internships and cannot find one. Many of those who do participate in the program really enjoy their experience and find it beneficial. Some students participate in the program over several terms, building their resume by trying out multiple different types of internships. Others love their internship so much that they start working at the same organization as paid staff.
This was the experience of Dana Lundin, an undergraduate who participated in the program this past year. She was the first student intern for the Center on Parenting and Opioids, a prevention science institute. Working one-on-one with the project coordinator, Lundin reviewed IRB material and their screening and enrollment survey. The Center even augmented the internship position to bring in her skills from working in management in the food industry. Lundin used her experience in management to help create a training manual for the incoming research assistants at the center.
Lundin found the internship program both manageable and very practical. She appreciated the freedom and flexibility of finding her own internship, which allowed her to choose her own path. She was also impressed by the reflection assignments, which asked questions she would never have considered, like how supported she felt in her relationship with her direct supervisor. The internship was a major help in boosting her resume and finding work, especially since she was hired by the center after her internship ended. The experience also gave her a different perspective on the research world and her future career options. Despite never envisioning herself as a “lab rat”, Lundin is now interested in applying to other research institutions and possibly human resource positions. She felt that the internship was a great opportunity to dip her toe in to the field while getting credit. Lundin also emphasized the huge difference the award made in her ability to do this internship and take several courses this summer.
If you are interested in the internship program or have any questions, contact Elizabeth McNeilly at email@example.com.