Benefits of a Psychology Internship As a Graduate Student

As you pursue a graduate degree, an internship can offer a glimpse into a career in psychology. An internship can also help you refine your personal career interests and goals, while developing knowledge and skills.

Grad students are expected to be more mature, informed and certain about their career paths. Many can enter internships with some practical experience in addition to their vast educational knowledge. Therefore, organizations that work with graduate-level interns should be able to offer positions that are challenging and engaging.

It might be difficult to fit an internship into a busy schedule that includes school and home responsibilities. However, an internship can be valuable for graduate psychology students seeking to diversify their experience, gain inside work knowledge and build their professional network. 

Benefits of a Psychology Internship

First, it is important to think about why an internship will be beneficial for you. Internships can be invaluable because they can help you build interpersonal skills, prepare for a career and practice the principles of psychology. An internship is an excellent way to gain real-world experience while still in school and make connections with professionals in your field, which is critical when seeking a job after completing graduate studies.

Internships provide psychology majors with the opportunity to use what they have learned in their classes. Students can apply the theories they have learned from lectures, readings and coursework in professional settings.

In addition, an internship can help a psychology student decide on a specialization or identify the types of clients they want to work with. Internships can vary across several areas of psychology, with settings ranging from clinics, healthcare organizations, businesses, research settings, social services and more. There are many specialty areas of psychology, including clinical psychology, social psychology, forensic psychology and counseling. As an intern, you can begin to narrow down your options and select the path you are most interested in and passionate about.

Steps to Finding an Internship

Once you have evaluated the potential benefits of an internship, you can begin your search. College support, whether through a career services office or the psychology department, can help you find and connect with internship opportunities. Internship requirements depend on the program; therefore, students should consult with academic advisors on the specific requirements for their program.

Many students may begin their search online. An internet search on a career or internship site might start out broad, but students can get more specific by searching for certain keywords, geographic locations, and paid or unpaid internships.

Once you have found potential internships, you are ready to apply for them. As you do, continue to research the organizations you are interested in, think about what skills you can bring to employers and practice your interview skills.

More Tips for Grad Students Seeking Psychology Internships

  • Reach out to your network

Turn to professors and fellow students and ask them about possible internship opportunities. Professors usually have connections within the field and might help you uncover opportunities you might otherwise not know about. Meanwhile, students who have completed internships can offer insights into the experience.

  • Check out opportunities online

Social media, including professional networking site LinkedIn, can offer information on potential internships. If you already have an organization or role in mind, you can go directly to the organization’s website, where you can find the latest career openings and necessary contact information.

  • Talk to professionals

Professionals working in your field of interest can be great connections for internships. They can provide perspectives and advice about taking the first steps into the working world. School alumni, in particular, can be helpful in providing information about careers and opportunities. 

Deepen Your Knowledge and Psychology Career Potential

Carlow University offers graduate degrees in Psychology that offer hands-on work experience. Find the master’s or doctoral degree that is right for you in your grad school journey.

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