The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for Internship

     So it’s time for you to apply for that year of internship (the clinical year)! You can finally see the end of the long road here at AU. That’s great! But you must be warned: the task of applying for an internship is no small undertaking. It requires thought, organization, time management, and patience. It is with the hope that you will have some “launching pad” upon which to begin work that this outline of the do’s and don’ts in applying for internship is prepared for you. Remember to visit each facility informally with the field trips so it won’t seem so foreign during interview time!

I. The Time Element

     First and foremost to be considered is the time element. IF you foresee your graduation date within a year, then you need to get busy. Hospitals start to sift through their applications up to nine months before the start of their next MT curriculum. Therefore, you need to get your application process completed before the deadline and even several months early.

  Application deadline for July programs: January 30 each year

  Application deadline for January programs: August 15 each year

  Application deadline for September programs: February 1 each year (depends on school)

  Application deadline for March program: check with school

 

II. Where To Now?

     Now comes the fun part – selecting where you wish to intern. It is wise to look at several hospitals and university-based programs and to apply to more than one program. Make sure the hospital you are applying to is affiliated with Auburn University or is willing to develop and affiliation agreement if you get selected to go there and is approved by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). The list of affiliated programs can be found on the last page of this handout and applications for these can be found in Rouse 313, the office of the coordinator of LABT/MEDT. If we do not have an application to a program you would like to apply to, then write to them and ask for that information but do it well in advance of their deadline.

You can access all U.S. Medical Technology internship programs via the Internet at:

                        http://www.ascp.org/bor/naacls/

This is ASCP’s website and lists all U.S.-approved programs for Medical Technologists by state.

III. Applying

a)       Now that you have decided where to apply, you must start the actual process. First, it is best to send your completed application form on to the program director. Some forms ask for a personal photograph. Include this with your application. Others ask for an application fee of usually no more than $10. Your application can precede your recommendations or your transcripts; however, no certain order is necessary as long as it all arrives by the deadline.

b)       Now, go over to the basement of Mary Martin Hall to the Registrar’s Office. Have an official copy of your transcripts sent to each site you apply to. This will cost approximately $3 a copy and you might want to obtain one for your records as well. Take your address sheet with you to indicate where you want them sent.

c)       You will need at least 2 letters of recommendation sent to each facility you apply to. These should be from 2 college professors in the biological sciences that know how you work in lab and how you perform on tests. Some programs will accept a third letter from a former employer, friend, any other professor, etc. Be sure to check with each program as to what they require. It is left to your discretion as to whom you wish to ask, although it is highly recommended that you ask your LABT and MEDT professors since they probably have gotten more of a chance to know you and since they know the educational coordinators from each facility as well. When requesting recs to be sent, give to them in writing your request with the names and addresses of each facility you are applying to. Give your request to these professors at least 3 weeks or more before the app deadline in order to give them plenty of time to complete them.

d)       “Preliminary Credit Check” copy should be included with each application you send. This can be obtained from the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) during the 3 months prior to your application deadline. Make an appointment if you have not already done so during that time to have this completed for you. What this information will tell the internship is all the courses you are currently taking as well as what is left for you to complete your time at AU. All AU coursework must be completed prior to starting your internship!

 

I.V. The Interview

     During the months prior to you internship, you will be asked for an interview. However, you may call ahead and request one if you have your app completed and sent, and your transcripts will arrive before your interview. They usually like to have some of your information before they interview you. The internship facility will be impressed if you take the initiative yourself and schedule your interview with them early. Be sure to ask them when it convenient since some facilities do not do interviews during Christmas break while others will welcome them during that time. If you can do an interview during semester breaks, it is in your best interest to do so since fall semester is hectic enough without having to add interviews and missed labs to it. Get a map to the facility a week before you leave for your interview so you know where you are going.

    Before the actual interview begins, think ahead of some questions they might ask you. For instance, “Why are you in this field?” or “Why do you want to come to this facility?” Be honest and sincere in your answers, as that usually makes a better impression than trying to give the answer that you think they want. Also, your personal experience has a great deal of bearing on the hospital’s “instant opinion.”

V. The Waiting Period

     Now you can rest for a period as you begin the long wait until you hear from each facility. They will be reviewing a check list on your application process and look for anything not sent or turned in and will call or write to get everything to them on time. Check with the Coordinator of LAB/MEDT at AU to see if any program directors have called regarding incomplete apps. IF you change your mind about any facility, please call them ASAP and let them know so they will not spend time reviewing your application. Be courteous throughout this while procedure and let people know ahead of time of any changes you may be making.

Letters of acceptance go out the first Monday in March for AL facilities for summer start dates.

Letters of acceptance go out the first Monday in Sept. for AL facilities for Jan. start dates.

 

VI. Summary

     In every case, be sure to follow directions sent to you by that particular facility . Bear in mind that this is only a general outline and procedures vary from one program to the next. As stated before, this is only a “launching pad” to help guide you through it and get you started. Also you can never start too early and time is a factor.

App. + Trans. + 2 Recs. + Prelim. CC + Interview = App. Process.

VI. Acceptance

     Once you have received an acceptance letter from a facility, let them know ASAP if you are going to accept them or not!! If you receive an acceptance from a facility you know you do not want to attend, send them notification immediately so they can accept an “alternate.” Remember, if you are an “alternate,” you may receive an acceptance within days by phone so set up your answering machine to take messages. Individuals who accept and then decline at the last minute are not looked upon very highly because it is too late to accept another student and then that spit is never filled. You may have kept someone else from being accepted, since the class sizes are limited to usually 6-8 students.

 

VII. Nonacceptance or Alternate List

     Due to the large number of students applying and the large number of programs closing, you may be picked to be an alternate at more than one facility. That just means you would have been accepted if so many had not applied with slightly higher GPA’s that you. Don’t quit; apply for the next session and ask the program director to hold your application until then. This will put it in the active file for the next application deadline. You may have to send more transcripts at that time and you may have to re-interview. Some students who were MEDT in this situation switch to LABT so they will have a Bachelor of Science degree before they start their internship. That is a good suggestion since it means you are still actively working in this direction. Go talk to your advisor about your options and then keep on working towards your degree.

Last updated: 03/19/2010