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3 Reasons an Externship Makes a Difference for Your Career

While studying, taking notes and submitting papers are key ways to become familiar with course subject matter, hands-on experience is often needed to truly grasp what duties challenges and experiences your day-to-day career will bring. Whether you are pursuing Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, or a Pharmacy Technician program from WTI, externships are a great way to test the waters and get a feel for the profession. Externships matter and here’s why:  

1. Gain industry experience: The benchmark of the externship is EXPERIENCE. The more you learn, the more ahead of the game you will be when it comes time to apply for jobs. Interviews are a great opportunity to talk about the challenges and eventual successes you encountered during your externship. A potential employer wants to know that you can handle the job, so prove to them that you can! You might be tempted to take a back seat during the externship experience, as you are likely the new person on the team. Don’t let this “newness” intimidate you or rob you of what you can learn from others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something; plus supervisors will appreciate knowing that you are thorough and curious! Tip: Don’t forget to collect letters of recommendation from one or more of your supervisors throughout the externship experience. These letters will act as testimonials for your success during the interview process.  

2. Exposure to real world situations: Text books and three page papers can’t prepare you for successful ways to deal with a co-worker or a boss, or ways to communicate effectively in an email, or even ways to handle stress and conflict within the workplace. While you might have a general idea about how to handle each scenario, nothing can prepare you like the actual, hands-on experience will. Each day of your externship is likely to pose a new question or a new tricky situation, so soak it all in! After all, the purpose of an externship is to learn and be able to apply what you have learned to your future career, so face every challenge head on! Tip: Keep some kind of professional journal during your externship experience. The things you learn during this time will likely serve you well in the future. What challenges did you face and overcome? How did you handle it? What situation would you have handled differently? Spending time reflecting on these questions will help successfully shape your future experiences.  

3. Successful time management: It is likely that while undertaking an externship you will also be pursuing your education. Juggling both schoolwork and the responsibilities that come along with your externship will teach you the importance of time management and prioritizing; skills that are also vital once you enter the workforce. Throughout the externship you will need to prioritize your tasks to ensure that your responsibilities are met. Make lists and determine the list of importance of pressing items, and protect your time by being ORGANIZED.   For a complete list of WTI’s programs, click here! Questions? Request information about WTI here!