Benefits of Having an Internship

TODAY“There are numerous ways that internships prepare you for the workforce. They not only allow you to gain work experience, but also aid in networking. In addition to this, you can even decide if a unit is the right place for you. So not only can you build your resume by completing an internship experience, but you will also give yourself a competitive edge in the job market. It is easy to see how important an internship is in order to be successful in finding a job right after graduation.

To start, internships allow you to gain work experience and aid in networking opportunities. Clinical experience is vital in the healthcare field. We learn many skills through practice and an internship allows us to do this. Developing your professional practice is crucial to be successful in the nursing field. This is not only done through skill development, but also networking. During an internship, you will have the opportunity to meet with various staff members (nurse managers, charge nurses, staff nurses, and assistive personnel). Make sure to truly get to know these people because they could be your colleagues someday and they are the ones that could aid you in getting a job within the system.

In addition, internships allow you to decide whether a unit is the right fit for you. If it is, you could have the opportunity to transition onto that unit post-graduation. Internship experiences are a great way to get your foot in the door in a healthcare system. It is important that when contemplating applying for positions, you look at the hospital’s mission statement, vision, and values. These will tell you a little bit about how the system functions and what they look for in an employee. An internship experience is like informally interviewing. The staff will remember how you act in certain situations and how you provide care to your patients. It is important to always keep this in the back of your mind.

Furthermore, internships give you an opportunity to build your resume and give yourself a competitive edge. As previously stated, you are practicing and developing skills, as well as your professional practice. Many employers look for prior experience before hiring an employee and this is a great way to get it. This opportunity will make you more competitive in the job market because you have the additional experience. This is especially true when applying for a position within the same system as the internship was completed.

All in all, internships give you an advantage when applying for jobs. They allow you to gain work experience, networking opportunities, the ability to decide if the unit is right for you, the chance to transition into a position, an opportunity to build your resume, and a competitive edge in the job market. Therefore, it is important to see how positive an internship experience can be when applying for jobs. So, my advice…get out there and get an internship.”

Written by Krista Greene


Krista_GreeneKrista is a Nursing major with the hopes of becoming a Nurse Practitioner upon graduation. Krista is a Chicago Blackhawks fan who enjoys running, scrapbooking, and water sports!

Successful Interviews


“Senior year in all reality is a time of reflection. Four years have come and gone, memories were made and hard work paid off. The spring of senior year marks the end of an extraordinary chapter, but also the beginning to the rest of our lives in our chosen career paths. There is still much more to learn out in the world and the first step begins with applying for jobs and interviewing successfully. My internship was one of the greatest learning experiences of my collegiate years; so naturally, I used several specific examples from my time as a nurse intern at camp. Some common questions that I have been asked are, please describe a conflict you have had with a coworker, tell me about a time that a parent or family member was unhappy with the patient’s plan of care, tell me about a challenging experience you encountered, and tell me a time that you thought outside the box. All of these questions I specifically related to experiences that I had with my internship. I gave examples that addressed certain campers, described what the problem was, came up with a plan to improve the situation at hand, described how I implemented that plan either individually or with my team depending on the situation, and then what the outcome of the situation was and why it was beneficial. The best advice that I can give for students looking for their first professional job is to do your research about the organization, prepare for a variety of behavioral questions and write down as many patient situations that you can think of. Preparing for an interview takes many hours of preparation and dedication, so make sure that you are serious about the jobs you choose to apply to, and put some thought into it before you just fill out any application. It would even be helpful to keep a notebook throughout your time as a student nurse of each patient that you have. Write down what you did well, what you learned and what you should work on for the next time. Internships are excellent opportunities to show future employers what makes you different and why you would be a great fit for the position.”

Written by Brittany Buboltz


Internships Can Help in Interviews



“It goes without saying that having an internship is an extremely valuable experience especially to have on your resume when applying for jobs. There are a limited amount of internships and applying for them takes extra effort on your behalf. This demonstrates to your future employers that you are determined and dedicated to your future as a nurse and are willing to put for the necessary effort to gain more experience and knowledge. I was fortunate enough to have an internship in specialized area of nursing which I was very interested in working in after graduation. Typically if you have an internship in a specialized area of nursing that you wish to pursue it can increase the likelihood that you could be hired there after graduation because of your previous experience. Another benefit of having an internship is you have more nursing experiences to draw on during a job interview. This can help strengthen your professional responses during your interview. You will have more examples of your critical thinking, team work and have a better idea of what your professional strengths and weaknesses are. This can better prepare you for the job application process.

My advice for future nursing interns is always be willing to do something new or something out of your comfort zone. It is only when you push yourself to new limits that you able to grow and develop your nursing skills. At my internship, I always said “yes” whether that meant saying “yes” to helping a physician with a procedure, to learning about the trauma equipment, or even helping someone quick restock a room. This showed the staff that I truly felt humbled and excited to be there every moment of the day and was more than willing to be a team player. With that being said, if I was asked to do something that I was not familiar with or not confident in my abilities, I would ask questions. Lots of questions! My preceptor Lisa used to joke about how many questions I asked but it showed everyone how much I really wanted to learn and grow from this experience. Asking questions and my determination to discover more knowledge actually became one of my strengths. I was determined to have a deeper understanding of why I was doing something so it pushed me to discover more. This strength caught the attention of the administrative staff and I was thrilled and extremely humbled when they asked me to return as a full time nurse in the spring. I literally poured my heart and soul into each day at my internship and it made the experience one of the most valuable learning opportunities for me that I am extremely grateful for.”


Written by Micheala Schwartz


Michaela_SchwartzMichaela is a Nursing major with the hopes of having a career in Emergency and Trauma nursing. Michaela enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and has even been skydiving!

Nursing Interviews

NURSING“When the start of junior year rolled around, I knew it was time to become serious about preparing for my future, and more importantly my nursing career. When I was a freshman in nursing school, I remember looking at the job and internship page on the Carroll Nursing page and I can still feel the awe and excitement that filled my core. There were a few general hospitals that were advertising their programs but my heart raced when I saw the Camp Kamaji Nurse Intern tab. After spending a majority of the last two and a half years of my schooling on adult nursing, I knew that my heart yearned for something else. I have always been much more attuned to the needs of a child than I have for an adult, which is why I decided to look up that camp name again when I was on winter break of my junior year. Since the job opportunity was no longer on the nursing job page, I had to scrounge my memories for the name of that summer camp that I saw a few years back, luckily, I was able to mix around the letters a little bit to finally find Camp Kamaji for Girls in the northern woods of Minnesota. I filled out an online application for the camp, of which required me to fill out my past experience, a little bit about myself, if I have had camp and/or childcare experience, and what kind of experience I would like to gain from this opportunity.

Since I decided to search for the nontraditional internships, the process was fairly quick. I heard back in email within a week of my application submission and a phone interview was determined to be the next course of action, most likely due to the 8 hour distance. As the morning of the interview came around, I had my pen in hand and my notebook ready, filled with questions about the camp, what my expected duties would be, and reasons why my involvement on campus reflected my values and how that would demonstrate my perfect fit into the camp life. The interview lasted about an hour and was filled with open ended questions consisting mainly of “tell me about yourself” and “why do you want to work at camp?” The interview was very relaxed as the director mainly wanted to get a sense of who I was in order to see if my personality would be suitable for interacting with children on a daily basis. Even though the interview was over the phone, I laughed, smiled and let my true character shine. By the end of the interview, I felt like I could really be a part of the camp magic which was inevitably true since the closing remarks of the conversation was a job offer!”


Written by Brittany Buboltz


Finding Nursing Internships



“I began looking for internships early my sophomore year by checking the local hospitals’ job postings online. I was not sure when the internships would be posted online so I contacted the Human Resource departments to learn more about when I could expect to start applying. For the hospitals I applied to, the internship applications opened in the fall and were due early December. Each hospital’s application was slightly different but all included a resume, cover letter, letters of recommendations and several essay questions. Once the applications were released, early in the fall of my junior year, I worked closely with Career Services to polish my resume and cover letters in a professional manner, I met with the Writing Center to fine tune my application essays, and I contacted several nursing professors for letters of recommendation. Overall, it was a very busy and stressful fall trying to perfect my applications and submit everything on time. However, my hard work paid off when I was offered interviews at two of three positions I applied for.

My interviews were scheduled over my winter break. In the weeks leading up to my interviews I prepared by practicing a lot of behavioral interview questions. These types of questions can catch you off guard if you do not have a prepared response. I found common behavioral interview questions on the Internet and I also received a list from one of my nursing professors. I also researched both hospitals that I had interviews at. I made sure I knew their hospital vision statements/values, an example of how my life and nursing practice matched their vision statements and recent news regarding their hospitals. For example, one hospital was in the process of building a major addition so I made sure I was well informed about the project. I am glad I did because my interviewer asked me about my perspective of the hospital improvements and I already had a professional and polished response prepared for her.

My first interview was for acceptance to the internship program and not for a specific unit. That made the interview more challenging because I wanted to highlight specific strengths and show the interviewer I was right for the position but it was difficult not knowing which unit it was for. I left the interview feeling okay but certainly not great. My second interview was for a specific unit that the interviewer had selected me for. This means all of the applicants for this internship were reviewed, then each unit selected six students for a follow up interview based on how well they thought the student would fit. I was lucky enough to be selected for the Emergency Department, which is my dream job. I left this interview feeling on cloud nine. Later in February, I received a phone call from the Emergency Department offering me the intern position and later that afternoon I received another phone call offering me the position at the other hospital on a cardiac unit, which is another passion of mine. So then the choice had to be made, which internship would be right for me?”

Written by Michaela Schwartz


Michaela_SchwartzMichaela is a Nursing major with the hopes of having a career in Emergency and Trauma nursing. Michaela enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and has even been skydiving!



Finding a Nursing Internship



“Finding internships is not always the easiest of tasks, especially for nursing students. Most health care systems require you to complete three years of nursing school and have a plan to graduate the following year. So there is your first hint…begin looking early! I started looking for nursing internships the summer before my junior year. However, as stated earlier, I did not meet the schooling requirements. Throughout this process I found that many health care systems no longer offer summer internships. Despite this, I found one near home that not only matched my interests, but was paid! Since I did not meet the requirements that year, I put the idea in the back of my mind until the spring semester of my junior year.

The time finally came to apply! I had to call human resources (HR) to even find the application online. Second hint…If you cannot find a position at a hospital do not be afraid to call HR and ask if they offer something. The worst they are going to tell you is no, right? After completing the application and returning it to HR, the waiting game began. Several weeks had passed before I received a call to move on to the next level – a formal interview. I prepared for the interviews in two ways: physically and mentally. (I actually ended up having an interview with HR and two separate interviews with each department I was applying for.) First, let’s talk about the physical appearance aspect. Personally, I wore a business suit, nice dress top, and kitten heels. Oh, and you cannot forget the nylons! The interviewer’s first impression of you comes from your physical appearance. Therefore, it is very important to carry yourself in a confident manner and dressing the part is just one way to do this. Furthermore, I prepared myself mentally by looking up various interview questions online prior to my interview: “Why do you want to work for our health system? What makes you qualified for this position? Tell me about a time that you made a mistake and what you did to resolve the issue?” That way when I went into the interview I was prepared for almost anything. Most of the questions I ended up looking up were in fact asked. So final hint…look up questions and prepare answers prior to the interview to become more comfortable.

After my three interviews, I left the hospital feeling confident. Again, then came the waiting game. Luckily for me, I got a call back less than 24 hours later with an offer from both positions! Besides getting the internship, the formal application and interview process has given me experience for when I apply for nursing positions this spring.”


Written by Krista Greene


Krista_GreeneKrista is a Nursing major with the hopes of becoming a Nurse Practitioner upon graduation. Krista is a Chicago Blackhawks fan who enjoys running, scrapbooking, and water sports!


Are you ready for the 2015 WorkForce Career & Internship Fair?


Are you prepared for WorkForce 2015 Career & Internship Fair?

If not, here is a checklist of things to do before going:

  1. Create / update your resume. Need help with this? Make an appointment with a Career Fellow through LC Online.
  2. Review list of employers that will be attending the fair. Click here for the list of participating companies and organizations.
  3. Research the companies that you want to speak with.
  4. Create and practice your 30 second elevator pitch.
  5. Clean or purchase your business professional attire.

For more tips and to see what a career fair looks like, check out this video, Career Fair Success