Public Health Internships

Wed, Jul 28, 2010

Internship Information

A career in public health may be recession-proof and also, the answer to your job worries.

“The Department of Labor and Statistics lists jobs in the public health sector as some of the fastest growing occupations, and occupations projected to have the largest numerical increases in employment between 2002 and 2012,” according to Benedictine University.

That information can make a career in public health, or simply just a semester as an intern in the health field, appealing to students. Kathryn Anderson, a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University, was an intern with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health this summer.  

She said the process to get the placement was pretty simple, even in a high demand field. “I did some searching on my own and found out the Fort Wayne – Allen County Department of Health offered internships.  I filled out an application and sent in a resume and they took me in as an intern,” she said.

The ease of the process didn’t stop there. The qualifications to get the internship were pretty simple. “You had to be a college student, be in good academic standing, be getting academic credit and get approval from your adviser,” Anderson said.

A typical day at the department office had Anderson working on mostly communication related projects. “I made literature for refugee populations in Fort Wayne about health insurance, particularly for the Burmese.  The health care in Burma is horrible, so many refugees are not very knowledgeable about things like insurance since it doesn’t even exist in their country of origin,” she said.

Not only did she utilize public health knowledge, she also had to play historian. “I also did some research on the history of the department dating from the 1840s to present so that they can maybe put it on their website,” she said.

Anderson’s previous experience and attraction to the public health field made her internship an easy choice. “I did an internship last summer in San Francisco working at a disability office and wanted to do something similar. Fort Wayne doesn’t really have a disability office, so the Department of Health seemed like the closest thing,” she said.

Although it was unpaid, she believes the experience was worth the difference, because she knows how much it can pay off in the future.

“Any internship in general is good because it gets your foot in the door and looks good on a resume,” she said.

Internships can also show you where you don’t want to work.

“I learned that I don’t want to work at a place like that for a career. The people were nice and it was generally a friendly work environment, but I can’t see myself working alone in a cubicle all the time,” she said. “I feel I made some good contacts though and it was neat working in the City-County building.  It was also nice that I got credit for this and I am a little bit closer to graduating.”

Where you can find internships (paid and unpaid) in the public health sector:

If you would prefer a public health internship close to your university or home, you also may have good luck checking with your local health department or city government offices. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is national resource for finding these types of internships as well.

By Kelly McLendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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  1. Where to Find Public Health Internships | InternProgram360 Says:

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