Why Are Externships Important for Your Career Development?

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Have you ever noticed that it’s hard to get a job without experience, but you can’t get that experience because you haven’t had a job in your chosen career? An externship lets you test the waters of a new career, get some experience, and start building your network. It places you into the real-world environment of a local work site and helps you to begin your career development. Here’s how:

Gain Hands-On Experience with an Externship

Even with career training, you may not feel ready to enter the workforce of a new career. And you’re probably not. You need some hands-on experience and interactions with professionals from the field. An externship gives you the chance to put your newfound knowledge into practice at a real-world facility. For example, if you trained to become a Medical Assistant, an externship at a healthcare facility provides you the opportunity to use the skills you learned. And you can add the experience to your resume, helping you stand out during your job search.

Learn Through Observation during an Externship

At your externship, you also learn by observing others doing their jobs. Watch the doctors, nurses, and even other Medical Assistants. Find out how to carry out the tasks of the profession and the right ways to interact with co-workers and clients or patients. Consider your externship as a chance to develop your soft skills, including communication, attention to detail, and problem solving. For example, by watching a nurse interact with patients in a positive way, you can take away pointers for the future that can improve your bedside manner. You can also observe the role your occupation plays in a larger organization. By watching staff engage with each other, or by sitting in on meetings, you can better understand the role you might play when you enter the workforce.

Externships Give You the Chance to Interview Professionals

While out on your externship, take advantage of all the knowledge that is sitting there in people’s brains. Maybe you trained to be a Veterinary Assistant. What can other Vet Assistants teach you? Ask lots of questions of the veterinarian, vet techs, and other Veterinary Assistants. Find out what they like and don’t like about their jobs. And take notes—the answers you get can be just as valuable as the information you find in textbook.

Build Relationships during an Externship

The more people you meet on your externship, the larger your network can become. Find someone who’s great at the job you hope to have and consider asking them to be a mentor. You can learn from them now and into the future. Connect with other coworkers online, in-person, and through platforms like LinkedIn. You never know where your earliest friendships might lead. Your connections with people from your externship help you build your professional network, which can prove useful throughout your career. You can gather insightful tips, advice, and maybe even letters of recommendation and job leads.

When you decide on a career training program, be sure to choose one that has an externship built into the curriculum. At Charter College, we understand the importance of career development, which is why many of our programs include externships. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more about these programs.