Are you a veterinary student that’s looking to fulfill your externship requirements? If so, read below to find out more about where to look and how to get the most out of your experience!
1. How to find them?
There are many ways to approach finding approved externships. Your school may be a good starting point. Some universities have externship databases, where you can search and filter your options. If your school doesn’t have a database-don’t worry!
There’s other ways to find externships. You can check your school’s email list-serv to see if any openings have been sent out or ask your mentor or classmates if they’ve heard of any. Outside of your university, you can use search tools such as the AVMA job center and search for externships or use specific sites such as AAEP to check out what may available.
If none of these options help you find an externship that may be a good fit, then you are still in luck! In today’s technologically connected world, you can email the coordinators at different hospitals you are interested in or call their front desk. But remember- your externships likely are for school credit so make sure any that you pursue are approved by your school before you go!
2. Go in with a goal!
Externships can be so much more than just checkboxes on your school transcripts. They can be amazing ways to get real world experience, diversify your exposure and build your network. Externships can mean different things for different students.
For example, if you are looking to apply to internships, you may consider externing at some specialty practices to get a feel for the practice and try to determine whether or not it may be a good fit on both sides. If you are looking to enter into general practice after graduation, then you may consider externing where there is a job opening or a potential for a job opening so you can check it out ahead of time before applying.
If you are looking improve your clinical skills, make sure to apply for externships that allow students to be hands-on! Remember to always go into your externship with a goal so that you make the most of your experience!
3. Ask for feedback
As with any new experience, it’s always a good idea to ask for feedback. Sometimes feedback can be really positive and motivating and other times, it can serve as a way to help you learn and grow.
Some universities require feedback forms to be filled out by your externship coordinators, but if yours doesn’t- I encourage you to seek this feedback for yourself so that you can identify areas of improvement.
I know it may seem hard at first to ask for an evaluation but I guarantee your confidence, knowledge base and skill set will improve with time, feedback and experience!