If you’re someone who is majoring in health and wellness and you’re interested in getting an internship, the opportunities may not seem as obvious as if, say, you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. Yet, when you think about the purpose of what an internship is actually for (to get some hands-on experience in your course of study), it only takes a bit of creative thinking and ambition to land the right kind of internship within your field.
People who are not studied in your major may assume that people studying about health and wellness simply want to be personal trainers or manage a gym, but you know better than that. Therefore, when it comes to the kind of internship that’s best for you, the first thing that you need to think about is what you want to do with your degree.
For instance, if you want to be a Health and Wellness Coordinator, you may want to reach out to a local community center about implementing an educational program at their facility for a semester. On the other hand, if you want to be a dietician, then you might want to work at a hospital or nursing home. Once you’re clear on what you want to do, it will be easier to narrow down the options that you have to choose from.
Intern at a gym
If indeed you do want to be a trainer, interning at a gym (or even with a personal trainer who can get you college credit) is a wise place to start. The cool thing about going the gym route is that you may be able to train under instructors in the exercise area that you’re most interested in like yoga or strength training. Or, if you do want to go into the corporate side of running a gym, there are administrative options that are also available. These internships are fairly easy to apply for and run year round.
Intern at a therapist’s office
Massage therapists and physical therapists are two fields that continue to grow at a steady pace. If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist, being that there are over 80 different kinds of massage treatment, it’s a good idea to get a couple of internships under your belt. When it comes to physical therapy, there are many people who learn the techniques in school but had no idea how much of a demand the job had on the body until they actually worked in an office. Don’t hesitate to contact spas and physical therapist offices in your area to see if they are interested in an intern. More times than not, they are.
Intern at a hospital
Whether it’s an administrative position, a nutritionist or dietician or someone who wants to assist with physical fitness or rehabilitation programs in a hospital setting, these are all good reasons to contact hospitals within your area to review a list of the internships that they have available. The main thing to keep in mind with these is that slots tend to fill up rather fast and so you will need to contact them at least one semester prior to when you want to intern at their facility.
Intern at a publication
Some people study health and wellness so that they can write about their discoveries. The more health conscious that people are becoming, the more publications are premiering that focus on things like eating right and exercising including Women’s Health, Prevention, Self, Total Health and Health.com. Publications enjoy the presence of internships. They usually look for ones that are available in the fall and spring semesters. Simply go to their websites and put “internship” in their search engines for more details.
Intern at a camp
Once you review the latest internships (InternSearch.com and PHFR.com/InternFinder are two great places to start) and you still haven’t found the kind of internship that you’re looking for, you might want to consider interning at a summer or day camp that focuses on health and wellness for the residents there. A lot of these kind of internships can give you experience in everything from exercise and administration to supervising and even course development. Plus, if you commit to the duration of the camp, there is usually a paycheck (along with college credit) that’s offered to you.