Have you finally decided that you want to major in psychology? If you know that you want to be a psychology major, but you are not sure what you want to do with your degree, completing an internship can help you decide what type of career you want to pursue and what environment you would enjoy working in. You can pursue a variety of different psychology-related professions from being a vocational counselor to working in the field of sports psychology, but what is interesting to one student may not be interesting to the next. Not only do many degree programs have an internship requirement that must be satisfied before you can graduate, being an intern can truly help you identify the career path that is best for you.
There are several different internship opportunities posted by health care centers and organizations on an annual basis. While it is important to apply for these opportunities well in advance so that you can compete with other students, you need to identify which internships would be best when you are earning a degree in Psychology. The best internship opportunity is one that will familiarize you with the work environment, your obligations, your responsibilities, and the work hours you will have in the field. Read on to learn about the types of internships that Psychology Degree Majors often apply for.
Types of Internships You Can Apply For
Applying for an internship at the Department of Psychiatry with your university may seem like an obvious choice when you want to become a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but there are other less competitive options when you do not plan on pursuing a PhD. In addition to the psychology internships that are available for graduate students, there are also other opportunities that will prepare undergraduates for the real world or graduate school. You can work for a government agency, a school, or even in a private clinic to gain skills that you will use as a psychology professional. Here are some of the various types of internships that may be available in your area:
- Working in a mental health facility and becoming a patient advocate
- Working in a high school or college setting to consult students on career and degree options
- Working with a vocational counselor at a vocational school
- Working with professional sports teams to become a sports psychologist
- Working in a private practice to learn about the environment and duties
- Working with lawyers in a criminal justice department to become a forensic psychologist
How to Get Selected for an Internship
Your job is to distinguish yourself from other students applying for the same internship as you. If you want to be selected, make sure to apply early. Most of the time, applying 6 months to a year in advance is necessary. The organization offering the internship will often work with your school schedule to set a start date that works best. Make sure that you let the organization know you are passionate about the field of psychology, and focus on your student accomplishments. Apply for several opportunities, and do your research in advance so that you know what they are looking for. Finding the perfect opportunity is like finding the perfect career, it will take time and effort.
There are a lot of different internship options when you are a psychology degree major. Consider what career you will find fulfilling, look for opportunities that are relevant, and gain experience while you improve upon your resume for the future.