Without a doubt, Washington, D.C. is the hot spot for political science, criminal justice and history majors when it comes to jobs and internships. But what about healthcare?
Between hospitals, national associations and nonprofit organizations, D.C. has a lot more to offer in the healthcare field than one might think.
When I applied to TWC, I had no idea what I wanted to do as an intern, let alone what organizations were available. I am a double major in business and healthcare, so I knew I had a broad range of options ahead of me. Fortunately, TWC has an internship matching process that helped me narrow things down to specifics.
It is important to write down some ideas for future career choices and your interests going into the matching process. I would also recommend writing down what you are not interested in. I researched healthcare organizations in D.C. so I could read more about the organizations and decide if I would be interested in their work.
Here is a small sample list of internship sites that TWC partners with that other healthcare interns and I had referrals with this semester:
- Center Road Solutions
- National Association of Health Underwriters
- Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Guide Consulting Services, Inc.
- Arthritis Foundation
- Retire Safe
- Iona Senior Services
- AIDS Institute
- Grand Oaks at Sibley Memorial Hospital
- Peace Corps
TWC has more partners within healthcare, but this was just a short sample list. Each organization has different roles for interns in healthcare.
After my TWC acceptance, I received an email to set up a video call with an advisor. I was prepared to discuss some of my professional and personal goals. I was also comfortable to simply say I don't know, and work with my advisor to figure it out. We discussed some ideas such as do I want to be in a clinical setting, do I want to work with healthcare policies, do I want to do hands-on work or more shadowing, etc. I gave some specifics of what I am interested in within healthcare, specifically working with the elderly and doing administrative work.
My first interview was with Retire Safe and I immediately took their offer instead of waiting for any other interviews or possible placements because I was very intrigued by the organization.Morganne Blazejak
My resume was sent out to a few places in D.C. following my advising session. I was matched with Retire Safe, Sibley Memorial Hospital, the AIDS Institute and the Peace Corps. My first interview was with Retire Safe and I immediately took their offer instead of waiting for any other interviews or possible placements because I was very intrigued by the organization.
At my internship, I advocate for issues important to senior citizens through research, presentations and attending various weekly meetings, briefings on the Hill and events around the city to stay atop current news. I have had the opportunity to attend meetings with well-known organizations like PhRMA, National Health Council, BIO, Veterans Health Council, and others.
I have met more than a dozen people at other organizations by attending these events, which has led to some great networking opportunities. For example, I met someone who makes electronic health records and was able to discuss my thoughts on electronic health records with them. I even received their business card! This opened my eyes and gave me incredible insight into future career options that I had never thought about before D.C.
One of my roommates, who is also a business and healthcare double major, landed an internship at Grand Oaks Sibley Memorial Hospital. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and gave specifics during her advisement meeting such as working with patients, nursing home setting, no research tasks and getting to supervise an administrative employee. Her internship is in a clinical setting where she gets to interact with elderly patients every day as well as doing administrative work for the hospital. We are the same major but ended up with completely different internships!
No matter the outcome of your internship, you will either find a passion to continue, or you will know what you don't want to do, which is also important.Morganne Blazejak
If you are unsure of where you want to intern in healthcare like I was, it is completely normal. Your advisor will go over tons of questions and ideas to help you think of things that interest you most. No matter the outcome of your internship, you will either find a passion to continue, or you will know what you don't want to do, which is also important. Some people come in with an idea of what they want to do and leave with a completely different passion in mind. At the end of the day, an internship in D.C. will lead to incredible experiences, networking opportunities and valuable learning every day.